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The Morning Scroll: Taylor Swift Claps Back at Interviewer’s Sexist Question & Federal Judge Blocks Mississippi’s Abortion Ban

Morning! While you were sleeping (or staying up to binge-watch Friends for the tenth time, or pulling an all-nighter in the library), a few things went down that you’ll probably want to know about. So grab a cup of coffee, settle in, and get scrolling.

What in the World

A British climber has died on Mount Everest, marking the tenth death in two months as several climbers have succumbed to the severe challenges during the current climbing season on the world’s highest summit.

Hiking officials have attributed these deaths to weakness, exhaustion and delays on the crowded route to the 8,850-meter (29,035 feet) summit, HuffPost reports.

British climber, Robin Haynes Fisher, 41, died in the so-called “death zone,” known for low levels of oxygen on descent from the summit, according to Murari Sharma, Managing Director at Everest Pariwar Treks.

“He died because of weakness after a long ascent and difficult descent,” Sharma told Reuters. “He was descending with his sherpa guides from the summit when he suddenly fainted.”

Guides changed Fisher’s oxygen bottle and offered him water, but were unfortunately unable to save him.

The deaths come amid reports of massive crowding on the mountain, particularly around Hillary Step, where climbers have to go single-file in their descent from the summit, and there were reports of two- to three-hour delays on Wednesday.

2019 has been the deadliest year for Mount Everest climbers since 2012 and a number of factors are to blame.

According to ABC News, Nepal has issued a high number of permits to climb Mount Everest this year: 367 to foreigners and 14 to Nepalese climbers. There is also at least that number of support staff joining the journey.

In addition, peak climbing season for Mount Everest is April and May, and, unlike last year where there were 11 consecutive days of low winds, there were only five days this year when conditions were safe enough to summit.

“The jet stream has not moved off of the summit the way that it traditionally does during May,” Alan Arnette, a mountaineering expert who runs a Mount Everest blog, said, adding that this creates severe cold and wind conditions that make it unsafe to stand on the summit. “It’s just too dangerous for frostbite or literally getting blown off the mountain.”

As climbers waited for more favorable weather conditions to descend, it created bottlenecks, and with delays, climbers were waiting as long as 15 to 20 hours above the 8,000 meters due to wait times and exhaustion, whereas the average time should’ve been closer to 10 to 12 hours, ABC News reports.

The longer the climber stays at a higher altitude, the higher the risk of their body not acclimating to the lower air pressure and oxygen levels, resulting in altitude sickness.

Another death reported this week was Donald Lynn Cash, a 55-year-old Utah resident who had conquered the Seven Summits (the tallest mountain on each continent) and died shortly after reaching the summit.

Rumor Has It

It’s no secret that female celebrities face a double standard, as interviewers often ask them sexist questions that men would never face during interviews. Frankly, it’s quite upsetting and annoying, which is why we completely don’t blame Taylor Swift for shutting down a reporter when she was asked a question that she found a little sexist.

During a recent interview with Deutsche Presse-Agentur, the interviewer mentioned that the “ME!” singer was going to be turning 30 this year and asked if her 30th birthday, which is on Dec. 13, was going to be a “turning point” in her life. The interviewer also asked if Swift planned on settling down and having a child with British actor boyfriend Joe Alwyn. Because that is something that women are totally expected to do as soon as they hit 30.

(I mean, did the interviewer even watch Swift’s ME! video? She literally calls her fur babies her children!)

Image via Giphy

But Swift clapped back at the sexist question, and rightfully so.

According to The Whisp, Swift replied, “I really doubt men get asked the same question when they turn 30. I’m not going to answer that question.”

Image via Giphy

This isn’t the first time that Swift has addressed the issue of sexism.

Talking with Esquire back in 2014 about the amount of slut-shaming that she has endured over the years, Swift said, “Take Beyonce: She’s incredibly talented, gorgeous, perfect role model for girls, empowering women all over the world. ‘Yeah, but…let’s try to pick at her marriage.’”

“I think that every celebrity has that. And predominantly women, unfortunately … I would date someone, figure out we weren’t compatible or figure out we didn’t work out, and then we’d break up,” Swift continued. “That seems like a very normal thing for a young 20-something to do, and that is my biggest scandal.”

“I really didn’t like the whole serial-dater thing. I thought it was a really sexist angle on my life,” Swift added. “And so I just stopped dating people, because it meant a lot to me to set the record straight — that I do not need some guy around in order to get inspiration, in order to make a great record, in order to live my life, in order to feel okay about myself.”

Props to Taylor for not tolerating any of the sexism and calling it out.

Then This Happened

A Mississippi federal judge Friday temporarily blocked the state from enforcing its new law that prohibits abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is usually six weeks into the pregnancy.

“Here we go again,” wrote U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves, who previously ruled against Mississippi’s 15-week abortion law in November, declaring it to be unconstitutional.

Reeves wrote that the United States Supreme Court had “repeatedly held” that a woman had the right to choose to have an abortion up until the fetus was viable, BuzzFeed News reports. Since a fetus isn’t viable at 15 weeks, he wrote referring to the previous law, the fetus wasn’t viable at six weeks either.

According to Reeves, the law “threatens immediate harm to women’s rights, especially considering most women do not seek abortions services until after six weeks.”

“Allowing the law to take effect would force the clinic to stop providing most abortion care,” Reeves wrote, adding that “by banning abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, the law prevents a woman’s free choice, which is central to personal dignity and autonomy.”

In issuing a preliminary injunction Friday, Reeves blocked the state from enforcing the law while the case proceeds.

The law was set to take effect in July.

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood said in a statement that he would appeal the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, CNN reports.

Mississippi is one of several states that has recently passed heartbeat bills, which bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Alabama passed a near-total ban on abortion earlier this month that makes it a crime for health providers to perform an abortion unless the life of the mother is in “serious” risk. If the law takes effect in November, it will become the strictest abortion ban in the nation.

The American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit Friday challenging Alabama’s abortion law.

Happy Thoughts

Happy Memorial Day!

Image via Giphy

Emily has also authored political articles for Restless Magazine and numerous inspirational and empowering pieces for Project Wednesday. When she isn't writing, she can be found flying off to her next adventure, attempting new recipes, listening to one of her infinite playlists on Spotify, or cuddling with her dogs. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter @emilycveith.