1. Gloria Steinem Launches TV Show WOMAN.
What’s black and gray and badass all over? Yep -- Gloria Steinem is *back* (did she ever leave?) and with a brand new TV show to boot. Now that she’s conquered the writing, traveling, speaking, and all-around humaning realms, she’s decided to try her hand at an entirely different realm up on the silver screen. This week, her show WOMAN began its storytelling journey on VICELAND (yes, we know what you’re thinking: isn’t that the same bro-y network that produces shows with titles like Balls Deep? Why, yes. Yes it is. Irony is the sincerest form of flattery… or something like that), featuring female correspondents who travel the globe in search of stories about the wide-ranging abuses women continue to face, for audiences that would normally remain ignorant to those realities. This whole series, much like Steinem’s life work and personal activism, is rooted in the fundamental belief that accessing human empathy by way of sharing stories (from the mouths of those impacted) will be the greatest tool in affecting the massive, cultural changes that we so desperately need to see, here in the U.S. and around the world. Can’t wait to be balls deep in all this feminist glory-a.
2. Detroit Teachers Stage Sickout Protests.
Teachers in Detroit are gonna need a lot more than just a nice, shiny apple on their desks in the morning to make up for the incredibly low-quality circumstances they have had to teach in--not to mention the state of Michigan threatening to withhold payments for hours already worked, simply because the state spent the funds set aside for teachers. UMMMM. Phone a friend? Seth Meyers did a pretty in-depth feature on his late-night series of (only the most recent) union-led Detroit teacher sickout, which was a demonstration of Detroit teachers protesting for the money they’ve already earned, as well as the respect that should come along with it. Over the course of the year, students and faculty in Detroit public schools have tried desperately to attract attention to the dire conditions of their institutions of “learning” with little to no avail. Students are taking classes in rooms filling with mold, dead rats rotting in the corners, entire gyms out of service, and so much more. Many have speculated that it’s no coincidence that Detroit public schools are mostly black in demographic, and that teaching is one of the professions most densely populated by women. Yeah, something doesn’t smell right here and we’re pretty sure it’s not just the dead rats. Ok ok, that was pretty glum. We're *super hoping* that these protests have a positive outcome for all involved (i.e., no mold, no dead rats, happy gyms with happy gym classes, [properly] paid, and respected, teachers).
3. We Were Reminded of That One Time Gary Johnson Tried to Use Pussy as an Insult.
***We’re coming clean for a sec: this one actually happened back in March, but with recent comments making headlines again this week, we realized that we ignored Johnson’s offensive comments when they surfaced, and we wanted to address ‘em now. Does better late than never still apply here??***
This week on the jungle gym that we call U.S. presidential politics, a former governor and relatively ignored presidential hopeful again went public with his dislike of Donald Drumpf (calling him “ridiculous” and making headlines), which reminded us of that one time not too long ago that he also tried to insult Drumpf, this time by calling him a pussy, but instead just wound up insulting all vaginas ever. See, Gary Johnson was trying to illustrate the many ways that he is stronger, more fit, more manly, etc. than DJ Drumpf, which (according to Johnson) are all qualifications for the Oval Office. And thusly, to illustrate his point about Drumpf’s weakness, he appealed to the hunger for sexism and dove head-first into the swordfight of testosterone and pee-pees that has clinked and clanked its way through this nomination process--calling Drumpf a “pussy” like it’s the most shameful thing to be. The reality is, the reverse (calling a pussy a “Drumpf” if you will) is an infinitely more shameful task. It’s about time that, as a culture, we learned how to use some other descriptive phrases so that we can finally put the use of pussy as an insult to rest. And besides; if anything, we need more pussies in government. Read here for my full thoughts on the matter.
4. Loretta Lynch and DOJ Take North Carolina to Court Over Issue of Trans Rights.
This week, current Attorney General Loretta Lynch got up in front of cameras and delivered what some are calling the “I Have a Dream” speech for transgender rights, declaring that the Department of Justice will be filing a suit against the North Carolina state legislature which, as we’ve covered before, recently passed a discriminatory bill that forces transgender people to use public restrooms that correlate to the sex they were assigned at birth, not the sex they identify with now. Lynch stood up before the country and carefully outlined how sex discrimination, which is a practice already made illegal in the U.S., inherently includes gender identity discrimination, making officials from NC some red-handed kind of fools. Tsk tsk tsk. Loretta Lynch, oh gracious queen whose even-toned and level-headed voice narrates my sweetest dreams, let us count the ways that we love thee.
5. A Line of Sex Toys for Breast Cancer Survivors Drops.
Reminder: this week is National Women’s Health Week here in the U.S., so you should probably celebrate with a sex toy or two, right?? Well, have we ever got the place for you: CalExotics--a woman owned and developed sexual novelties company. Even better: this week, in celebration of the national holiday, CalExotics partnered up with a non-profit called Living Beyond Breast Cancer to drop a brand new line of toys specifically for women who are recovering from breast cancer treatment (making them the first company to ever devote a whole line of sex toys to benefit a non-profit). Though it’s not a conversation that many people have for a whole host of reasons, the truth (that a lot of women don’t find out until too late) is just how breast cancer treatment has the capacity to destroy one’s sex life. This new line of toys is specially designed by women for women, with very specific tools to make sex less physically painful, or just to help a woman feel sexy again after losing one or both breasts to the disease. Lots of people are committed to helping those who are currently fighting a disease, but many fewer people stick around after the dust clears, and the cancer is gone. These two institutions are trying to change that, and it's pretty sexy ;) Read more here.