1. USWNT Sues US Soccer Federation for Equal Pay.
This week, to the surprise of absolutely ~no one~, we learned that professional soccer stars make less money if their balls are on the field and not in their pants. Rockin! Stars of the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT), Hope Solo, Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, and Becky Sauerbrunn all filed a suit against the U.S. Soccer Federation on behalf of the rest of their teammates through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, citing their unfair pay as compared to their male counterparts. In spite of earning half and sometimes even a quarter of male salaries, these women make up what is not only a far more competitive and successful team in terms of wins on the field (UMM hello, World Cup champs 2015, PLUS four Olympic golds!?), but they’re also more financially successful--bringing in many millions of dollars more than the men’s team last year alone. A handful of analysts and commentators have weighed in, emphasizing the team’s good timing and likeliness of winning the case. Let’s hope for a slam dunk win, ladies!! Yay sports!
2. Kesha Case Spirals Downward.
A few weeks after we covered the unfolding tragedy surrounding pop icon Kesha, we were heartbroken yet again to learn this week that she is being asked to apologize for rape claims against her producer and alleged abuser, Dr. Luke. UGH. In the words of Liz Lemon, NERD RAGE. It appears that Dr. Luke’s team is stubbornly adhering to the narrative that Kesha simply fabricated the allegations in an attempt to break her contract so that she can enter into a new one...to make more money. All the while ruining her own career and enduring months (years!) of very public shame and pain. Sounds like a *super* ‘lucrative’ move to us!! Meanwhile, Kesha is standing strong and refusing to apologize for telling the truth. Unfortunately, blaming women for making their own problems--either by lying or by ‘asking for it’ or whatever it may be--is a pattern that no longer surprises us, but that we will always push back against. It was also announced more recently that a New York state judge has thrown out Kesha’s case entirely, stating that, by not accepting the terms proposed by Sony, she had acted unreasonably and was therefore not worth the state’s time. No matter what, we believe you, Kesha. Never stop fighting like a girl.
3. Scripps College Students Protest Madeleine Albright Address.
Full disclosure: if Madeleine Albright agreed to come speak at my college graduation, I would probably freak the frick out, ya feel? In a good way, of course. Some students at Scripps College--a women-only school in Claremont, California--however, spoke out against the liberal icon and first female Secretary of State this week when it was announced that she will be addressing this year’s graduating class. Claiming she’s a white feminist and a genocide enabler, there are members of the Scripps community that feel the school should have sought out a person of color to speak instead, citing that in all of its history, the institution has invited, like, two people of color to give the commencement address. Yikes. Obviously, these are all super valid criticisms. But does this mean that students shouldn’t welcome one of the world’s most influential women (albeit problematic, like every human ever), to their campus? Read more of my thoughts here.
4. North Carolina Discrimination Law Threatens Federal Funding Eligibility.
The federal government came in clutch this week as it rained karmic fury all over North Carolina’s infrastructure budget--or at least threatened to do so. See, North Carolina recently passed a law that restricts the rights of LGBT+ folks, thereby jeopardizing the state’s ability to receive billions of dollars in federal funds for highways, schools, and housing. By the way, this law is absolutely nuts, people: we’re talkin’ a law that actually *prohibits* anti-discrimination measures (acca-scuse me!?) and requires students to only use school bathrooms that correspond to the sex they were assigned at birth. Laws like this represent such backward thinking, it almost feels as though it were written in the Stone Age--and believe you me, the Stone Age wasn’t a fun time. Basically, experts have said it’s unlikely for the federal government to actually restrict funding, at least right now, but that the looming threat is a powerful tool in attempting to overturn the law. Money makes the bigots frown! (That’s how that saying goes, right?)
5. Hillary Clinton Comments on Reproductive Debate and Feminism.
We’re channeling Frozen’s Anna for this one, so look alive: For the first time in forever, she’s getting noticed by someone (who isn’t trying to prove she’s the gatekeeper of the underworld!) *breathes sigh of relief* This week, Hills made headlines for some interesting comments she made on The View, concerning feminism and reproductive rights. She managed to perplex ladies, dudes, and probably even the unborn when she said that, of course she believes pro-life women can still be feminists. Hmmmm. Let’s not get it twisted, there’s no question that she is one of the most comprehensively and actively pro-choice presidential candidates in our history, so it’s clear that she wasn’t advocating for a pro-life agenda; she was, however, acknowledging that feminism is, in many ways, about the freedom to make choices--whether that means choosing to terminate a pregnancy or choosing to develop a political opinion. Therefore, those of us who consider ourselves pro-choice have a responsibility to defend a woman’s right to choose, period. Cool, inclusive stuff, Hillary.