The Bachelorette Steps Up (Who wouldda thunk?)
We love trashy TV as much as the next grl, but it’s not usually the place we look for shining examples of representation. Welllll, The Bachelorette came through! The star of next season will be (freakin’ finally) a black woman! Obvs, with both the Bachelor and the Bachelorette on TV for like 15 years, this is loooong overdue. However, representation (in all forms of media, and especially a mainstream TV show about fairy-tale romance) is super important, and this is certainly a step in the right direction. The new Bachelorette, Rachel Lindsay, is an attorney from Dallas, would be Michelle Obama for the day if she could, and passed the bar on the first try. Next season, tune in to watch her be adored, admired, fall in love and hopefully make out with a bunch of good-looking dudes in a hot tub — all in the name of feminism! You’re welcome.
Oklahoma Lawmakers Move Forward with Anti-Abortion Bill
In this week’s installment of “please GTFO of my uterus”, state legislator Justin Humphrey put forward a bill that would require women wanting to get an abortion to have written consent from a man. Humphrey said his concern was that “we have excluded the man out of all of these types of decisions,” and even though women “feel like that is their body”, they are actually a “host” (making me think that Humphrey is confusing abortion with the movie Alien). The bill is on its way to the full House, which means it is getting closer to being an actual law. Oklahoma has some of the toughest abortion regulations anywhere in the US, and with Pence (and Trump) promising to erode reproductive rights, we need to keep our eyes firmly on this space.
Chinese Feminist Collective Fights For Women’s Rights
When Lu Pin came to New York from Beijing in 2015, she never expected to be unable to go home again,but her association with the women soon to be known as the Feminist Five (Chinese activists jailed after campaigning for public awareness around sexual harassment on public transport) meant she was in danger. Although she’s stuck stateside, Lu Pin is still fighting the good fight by supporting the growing grassroots Chinese feminist movement (often targeted by the government) with her Chinese Feminist Collective. Check out her Facebook group Free Chinese Feminists — it’s a place to share news,organize political action, and support activism in the the Chinese community and, of course, all things feminist!
Calls for Justice in Peru
During his 10-year reign as president of Peru, Alberto Fujimori launched a “family planning” program that resulted in the sterilization of more than 272,00 women (and 22,000 men). Thousands have claimed these sterilizations were forced and non-consensual. Most were poor, indigenous, Quechua-speakers, living in rural areas. For a long time, their stories went unheard. The Quipus Project aims to shed light on these abuses — making sure the stories are never forgotten and the abuses never repeated. Using a specially-developed free telephone line in Peru, people are encouraged to call and tell their stories, which are then collected to be shared around the world.
Kenyan Advocacy Group Helps Break Period Taboos with New Teen Mag (What Else!)
For many young Kenyan women, getting your period is rough. It’s expensive (65% of women are unable to afford pads) and a lack of privacy and education for young women means that getting your period can be uncomfortable and scary. The Zana Africa foundation has come up with a new strategy for battling period taboos — a teen magazine! In Kenya, girls often don’t see themselves reflected in the media around them. Nia Teen aims to change that by covering periods, puberty, self-confidence, relationships, comics, aspirational lifestyle content . . . u kno, all the good stuff. Best of all, the (physical) magazines can be saved to reference later, read in private, and shared with friends . . . I knew there was a reason I was hoarding all those 2000’s Teen Vogues!
- Did you catch Laverne Cox’s shoutout to #StandWithGavin at the Grammy’s? Inspiring trans teen Gavin Grimm is taking his fight for equal rights all the way to the Supreme Court. We’re cheering for you Gavin!!
- Nineteen-year-old Mary-Patricia Hector is running for City Council in Georgia. She acknowledges that as a female black teen, she is breaking conventional barriers, but she is not afraid to take the road less traveled. Did someone say 2017 Leslie Knope?
- Porn site xHamster protests Utah’s rejection of a sex education bill by redirecting its Utah-local users to sex ed videos instead of porn. Now every teenager caught watching porn can say: “it’s educational, I swear!!”
- Transgender Boy Scout Joe Maldonado broke barriers this weekend by attending his first Boy Scouts meeting, after the organization recently announced it was reversing its policy that banned trans boys from being scouts. And, now I really feel like cookies. Anyone else?
- If #MyClitoris sounds like something you would like to get involved in (yes please!), watch this super cute video from Intergrate UK protesting Female Genital Mutilation.