Last Saturday, undefeated Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) star Ronda Rousey took home the UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship title. In 34 freakin' seconds flat. So, now, a woman is possibly the biggest star in the land of MMA rn, which is dope (though let's be real, all women are fighters—just ask Christina Aguilera)! Unfortunately, Rousey has also been known to make transphobic remarks (specifically, about fellow fighter, Fallon Fox), calling attention to the disgracefully high amounts of violence against members of the trans* community today. This comes as a reminder that all of our idols have flaws, and, without ignoring their positive contributions, they should be held accountable for their actions. We’ll certainly continue to champion Rousey as a pioneer for gender equality in the fighting sphere, but in doing so we also have an obligation to spread awareness of, and speak out against, transphobia, and hope she catches on. Because feminism ain’t doin’ its job until everyone gets some R.E.S.P.E.C.T.
2. It's World Breastfeeding Week.
Ladies, leave your bottles at home; it's time to celebrate annual World Breastfeeding Week! This year, the theme is "Women and Work—Let's Make it Work," which is a global call for improved workplace conditions for working, nursing mothers. Considering that a boob is not the sweater-bound WMD our culture makes it out to be (I mean srsly; Houston, we have a problem, when it feels like a woman's nipples are policed more than firearms), we can definitely get down with this celebration of maternal biology. Additionally, studies have shown that breastfed babies grow into healthier and more successful kids. And, if you needed more convincing that this celebration is worthwhile, check out The Big Latch On—a.k.a. the mother of all breastfeeding events—that took place in Manila this past week. Totally bra-wesome.
3. Amy Schumer spoke out about gun laws.
Comedian, writer, and feminist icon Amy Schumer came forward this past week with a somber message about the need for strengthened gun laws. This plea, presented alongside politician and second cousin Chuck Schumer, came after a gunman opened fire in a Louisiana theater during a showing of her movie, Trainwreck. Schumer was urged (via a letter by Sarah Clements, the daughter of a Sandy Hook survivor) to use her celebrity influence as fuel for a campaign to tighten gun control. In a time of such devastating loss, it brought smiles to our faces to see Schumer not only tweet a response, promising to oblige, but then to actually follow through with that promise. Over the past few months, Schumer has quickly climbed to the top of the list of brilliant feminist performers who are invested in making the world better, and we're feeling all kinds of proud.
4. All the Planned Parenthood stuff.
Moooooooom, politicians are trying to tell me what I can and cannot do with my vagina again! UGH. For real though, the Senate just voted on a bill that would defund Planned Parenthood—a vital organization for women’s health (and, consequently, health in general)—and smacked. it. down. Huzzah! But ICYMI: the GOP call for the defund comes as a result of a series of hilariously inaccurate “Gotcha!” videos created to smear (not the pap kind!) Planned Parenthood as lucrative sellers of fetal body parts. Watching GOP and friends rush to tighten the purse-strings in reaction to these ridiculous vids has brought us some of the MOST face-palm-y content in the history of the face-palm. Yikes. Can we pllleeeaasssee get a silver lining up in here? With all this *free* publicity, we can at least hope that critics will start taking the time to learn about all the services provided by Planned Parenthood--and those who benefit from these services--before they knock it in the future. #StandWithPP
5. Venir Al Sur celebrated Latin American LesBiTransInter-Feministas.
Cool, so now that we finally legalized same-sex marriage here in the States, the global fight for LGBTQ+ rights is like... over, yeah? NOPE. So, last weekend, Costa Rica flexed its inclusivity with one of the grooviest festivals ever: the “2nd Encuentro LesBiTransInter-Feminista” event, called Venir Al Sur. Guests flocked from all over the Spanish-speaking world, reppin’ everywhere from Argentina to España. The gathering provided a much-needed space for members of the community to share stories of trauma and triumph, and functioned as a celebration of Latin American feminism, which is more inclusive and progressive than most people are aware of. The world would just be better off with more fabulously feminist fiestas, verdad?
6. Vice launched Broadly.
Unless you’ve been living under a soundproof rock covered in anvils and other heavy things, you’ve probably noticed that women are tired of being stereotyped and misrepresented by media and everything else, ever. Welp, instead of just sitting around whining and nagging like we usually do (#justgirlythings), we’ve taken our representation into our very own, well-manicured hands. Case in point: Vice’s brand new feminist channel called Broadly. Their promise to provide a safe space for women to represent themselves is ultra-enticing. For starters, the folks behind the site have decided to make Broadly a comment-free zone. This comment-section-rejection was born plainly out of the hard truth that outspoken women historically suffer verbal abuse from misogynistic Internet trolls (Men’s Rights Activists sure are great sweet-talkers!). TYSM, Vice. Rly.