1. Trump Rolls Back Rights for Trans Teens
This week in [muffled screaming noise], President Trump rolled back protections for transgender students. Quick catch up: In May 2016, the Obama administration enacted federal guidelines that basically said Title IX (a law that bans sex discrimination in gov-funded schools) meant schools had to let transgender students use the bathrooms of their choice. On Wednesday, Trump overruled his own education secretary by repealing the Obama guidelines. Soooo this essentially leaves the decision about trans bathroom use up to the states. Fine in New York, maybe not so fine in other states. What can you do to show solidarity and support transgender rights? Donate, call, and keep your eye on social media for upcoming protests. We’ll be right there with you. #protecttranskids
2. Female Film Directors Shut Out of Hollywood
When pressed on why more women directors aren't hired, Hollywood execs always trot out the same old excuse: “we just wanted to hire the best, most experienced person for the job — it just so happens they are all men”. Well, this week the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) called ~bullshit~. The body might take legal action against the major Hollywood studios for systematically discriminating against female directors. Only seven per cent of the films made last year were directed by women. Next week at the Oscars, Ava DuVernay will be the only female director in contention, with her documentary on the US prison population, 13th. Let’s keep this conversation going (loudly), and remember to put our money where our mouth is – go see movies made by women!
3. Dutch Foreign Minister Fights Back Against Global Gag Rule
Last month, President Trump signed an executive order banning American aid to international organizations that discuss abortion as a family planning option (a.k.a. The Global Gag Rule) (PS. American law already forbids the use of taxpayer money to fund the procedure itself). In response Lilianne Ploumen, the Dutch Minister of Foreign Trade and Development founded She Decides, an organization to raise money for aid groups whose funding is threatened by the rule. She Decides (and us, obvs) believes that women and girls have a fundamental right to decide freely and for themselves whether, when, and how many children they have. S/o to Lilianne for stepping the F up and being a major THINXspiration this week.
4. Gynopedia: It’s Like Wikipedia For Your Vagina!
Have you ever been overseas and thought: I really wish I knew where I could get a pap smear/std test/morning after pill? Well, now you will! Gynopedia is an online, open-source, nonprofit health care database (yes, like Wikipedia), that offers women free healthcare information. Say you need a to find tampons in San Salvador, a friendly gynecologist in Bangkok, or the morning after pill in Lima? Gynopedia has your back. Founder Lani Fried told Broadly: “"It's crazy to me how you can find a gazillion sites on the top ten things to do or see when you visit a new place, but nothing about critical aspects of every woman's life," she says. "I want Gynopedia to change that." And so do we! Get contributing ppl.
5. India and Nepal Work to "Break the Bloody Taboo"
This week has seen two countries with particularly big hurdles to overcome in breaking deeply ingrained stigma around menstruation, take a big step in the right direction. In India, a report has shown that 70% of mothers consider menstruation “dirty”. Inadequate sanitation and lack of basic, clean menstrual products means that as many as 1 in 5 girls in rural India drop out of school after getting their periods.
To combat this statistic, government schools in Dehli, India, will partner with NGO Sachhi Saheli on a campaign called “Break the Bloody Taboo”. Running FAQ seshs in over 70 public schools, the campaign will cover the basics and bust some common period-myths. Big YES to busting these taboos so that young women can thrive!
In Nepal, the government is working to end the harmful practice of Chhaupadi, which forces women on their periods out of their houses, oftentimes to live in cattle sheds or makeshift huts. Although outlawed in 2005, the tradition has been slow to change. In response, the Nepalese government has enacted a menstrual hygiene policy framework that aims to break down these barriers, address sanitation issues, and allow women safety and dignity while on their periods.
- In case drinking from a bedazzled flask at the Grammys wasn’t enough reason to make you truly love Rihanna, she is getting the 2017 Humanitarian of the Year Award from Harvard University! BITCH BETTER HAVE MY commitment to global health initiatives!
- Cressida Dick (which is also the name I would choose if I were a James Bond spy) was named the first female police commissioner of Britain’s oldest and largest police force, Scotland Yard.
- Hands up if you want to see representation in the fashion world. All of you? Same. According to the Fashion Spot’s new diversity report, for the first time this NYFW, every single show had at least one model of color. Good first step, let’s keep fighting!
(Here's a Rihanna #bffgoals gif for the road—you're welcome)