1. Chicago Tells Tampon Tax to Shove It.
So far, we’ve booed it off the stage in New York, California, and Great Britain, and the tampon tax is getting sweatier by the day. This gift of a week added Chicago to our rapidly growing list of cities, states, and countries that are righting their wrongs, coming to terms with the blatant sexism of a tampon tax, and working toward doing away with it altogether. Chi-town city officials voted to abolish the tax on tampons and sanitary pads in an effort to “correct an unfairness to women.” While the tangible monetary impact won’t be super plus, the symbolic measure definitely holds water (it’s very absorbent. Yep). Plus, when low-income women have to choose between a box of tampons and putting food on the table, every cent counts. We are one step closer to universal menstrual dignity, friends! Thank you, Chicago!
2. Chilean Government Liberalizes Abortion.
Big ups to the ladies (and their allies!) of Chile who fought for more liberalized abortion laws and won, despite General Augusto Pinochet’s unwavering anti-choice policies that have reigned now for generations, since the early 90s. After over a year’s worth of controversial legislative tussle and intense, ideological debate, the world watched this week as President Michelle Bachelet, #bossladyinchief, and her like-minded peers celebrated the advancement and approval of their abortion bill, designed to open up the possibility of abortion to survivors of rape and other forms of abuse. For one of the Latin American states with the most rigidly anti-choice Catholic agenda (Chile is one of seven that currently has a total ban on abortion), this bill represents a massive win for feminists and defenders of women’s healthcare everywhere. The takeaway? Ladies get sh*t done. And in other news, water is wet.
3. Pube Propaganda Grows.
Last week, we took a look at the state of ‘lady science,’ or the scientific research centered around women that is often neglected and underfunded in mainstream and well-respected scientific circles. This week, however, we were pleased to see the increasing popularity of a largely ignored 2014 study that will def impact the lives of ladies everywhere--especially ~down there.~ Thanks to the folks at ASAPScience, the world was reintroduced to the study, and more importantly, reintroduced to its conclusion: ditching your pubes may actually be #dangerous...and not dangerous in the exhilarating, mysterious way. Dangerous in the STD-spreading way. Waxing and shaving actually creates microscopic cuts that leave already sensitive skin even more sensitive and susceptible to infection. Whatever you want to call ‘em--your carpet, your curlicues, your crotch blanket--those pubes actually serve an evolutionary purpose and can benefit us in a whole long list of ways. However, a bunch of questions arise in response to this conclusion: what about women of color who are shamed extra cruelly for their coarser, darker body hair? What about women with certain physical constraints, rendering them incapable of shaving their own body? Is there a certain privilege in getting to *decide* whether or not you want to shave? Click here to read my opinions on the matter (i.e., read about what happened after my vowed year of no shaving).
4. U.S. Sees First Congressional Caucus for Black Women and Girls.
Face tattoo ideas: 1) a *real* tattoo of Zayn Malik’s fake face tattoo, OR 2) the names of the three women who made history this week with the announcement of the first Congressional Caucus for Black Women and Girls in U.S. history. Both are revolutionary in their own right. Wait, did we say first ever Congressional Caucus for Black Women and Girls in U.S. history?? Yes we did. U.S. Reps. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), Robin Kelly (D-Ill.) and Yvette D. Clarke (D-N.Y.) confirmed the news of their new caucus in a press release this week, explaining that the purpose of the group is to focus specifically on the needs and rights of black women--a task no other major political group has ever attempted before. Black women and girls face a specific brand of combined racism and sexism (misogynoir) that disproportionately affects their access to and quality of health care, education, nutrition and puts them at an increased risk for abuses and violence from both institutions and interpersonal relationships. Also consistently one of the most politically active demographics in the country, it’s truly about damn time that this caucus for black women and girls was given the space to form and flourish.
5. Anti-Racist Protesters Arrested in Arizona.
Arizona activists non-violently shut down a major Phoenix-area road this week to keep folks from getting to a political rally for a certain candidate-who-must-not-be-named. Saying his name only gives him more free press coverage, so this time we’re gonna abstain (hint: he’s the one with all the yelling and the fake-tanning). It was a rad and effective move for the anti-racist protestors to pull, but it was in the aftermath where things got, err, a little icy. Three protesters were arrested on-site, and one of them--a U.S. citizen, BTW--was taken to ICE detainment to be questioned about her immigration status. Her last name? Gonzalez. Conveniently, this racial profiling is very on brand for the candidate whose rally was being protested; this is exactly the kind of racism we can expect to see on the rise if he continues to gain political momentum. Luckily, migrant rights groups and Latinx activists all over the country are taking a stand against the racist and divisive rhetoric that has already tarnished this presidential race.