This week we’ve got the Queens of Music and the Kings of Comedy all coming together in their shared love of feminism. Awwwwww. (Plus, like, one other story, too).
1. Janelle Monae Shut Out for Speaking Out.
Pro-tip: Q.U.E.E.N.S. should never be cut off. Ever. Particularly when said queen is talking about police brutality and racial politics. These are just the basics of human-ing, people. However, the folks at NBC’s “Today Show” last Friday apparently didn’t get the memo, as they silenced Janelle Monae (an immensely talented contemporary soul, funk, and R&B artist) in the middle of an impassioned speech about police brutality. Monae has long waved the feminist flag, specifically championing young women of color (that video makes us cry every time. You’ve been warned). Her music celebrates female empowerment, racial equality, and social activism. Ooooo, a woman of color with an important message for young girls! Scary isn’t it, patriarchy?
2. P!nk Stands for PP.
Not a drill: a story about reproductive health made it onto Perez Hilton’s site. OMG, guys… I think we’ve….we’ve made it??? Yas it's true, thanks to legendary party-starter and glass-raiser P!nk, Planned Parenthood has reached full celeb-status. In what became somewhat viral Internet news, the power-house singer took to Twitter to defend Planned Parenthood, highlighting its necessity (as it was apparently one of the only sexual health resources in her town growing up). At a time when four U.S. states have officially defunded the healthcare facility, stories like these are welcome now more than ever. Safe to say pink is still our favorite color.
3. Feminism Lives on When Stewart is Gone.
OK, so maybe we’re in denial about Jon Stewart (one of the few male feminists in comedy) leaving “The Daily Show.” Maybe we didn’t watch his last episode because we’re so in denial. Maybe we’re numb to the pain at this point, idk. Either way, the reality of the situation will inevitably one day hit us; but it appears now that John Oliver, of "Last Week Tonight," will be there with a hanky to dry our tears. Score. "LWT" recently aired a 20+ minute-long segment about the need for comprehensive sex education in the U.S., spinning the show into a feminist masterpiece. Read morehere and check out our new Instagram series, #28DaysofRealSexEd! Also, looks like Oliver isn’t the only feminist in late-night... *cough cough* see below *cough cough.*
4. Be Still, Our Stephen Hearts.
It's not like anyone needed an extra reason to fangirl over Stephen Colbert, but add “outspoken feminist” to his repertoire anyway, please. In a piece for Glamour Magazine titled Stephen Colbert Shares Why He Thinks Women Should Be in Charge of Everything, our favorite fake-Conservative slathers on a thick layer of satire (we hear he’s good at that stuff!) to draw attention to sexism in our present-day, and to outline why he will be the most fempowered host of the “Late Show” airing September 8th on CBS. Can’t say we’re surprised, Mr. Colbert, but we’re certainly excited. Also important: when is our first day at work as the Women in Charge of Everything? Should we talk to Human Resources, or...? And also, when can we expect to see some ladies hosting late-night TV?
5. Decriminalizing Sex Work: Pros & Cons.
When Meryl Streep, Gloria Steinem, Kate Winslet, and Lena Dunham all sign the same petition, we’d usually just assume the petition is heaven-sent and move on with our days. This time, however, it’s a lil’ more controversial. With news that Amnesty International is now open to discussion about the decriminalization of sex work, the feminist community is hittin’ a bit of a schism. While sex workers themselves (on the whole) argue that their lives would be greatly improved if their work was legal (think: access to medical services, not being targeted by police, etc.), the high-powered feminists mentioned above feel this move would actually empower the bad guys--keeping “pimps, brothel keepers, and sex-slavers in freedom and riches.” Amsterdam; thoughts?
6. Transgender Progress in the White House.
Remember that time Obama shut down a heckler, and then the Internet was all, "Ha! Take that, heckler!" until it was revealed that the heckler was a transgender woman of color, advocating for undocumented LGBTQ+ immigrants? And then the Internet was all, "Yeah...we, uhh...we have a thing to go to....so..." *awkward silence.* Yeah. Obama remembers, too. Things may be on the up-and-up, however. Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, a transgender activist and advocate for those in poverty, is now the first openly trans person to be hired by the White House. As the new Outreach and Recruitment Director for Presidential Personnel, she has already brought necessary attention to the tremendous adversity faced by the trans community. Equally as important: she just sounds like an all-around qualified, passionate, and truly wonderful human being. Happy tears. :')