1. Braless Wonder Challenges Sexism At High School.
Let us just get this off our...chest…: contrary to popular belief, it is actually not the duty or burden of students to keep creep-ass high school teachers from getting aroused by teenage bodies. Buuuut, the fact that this burden always still seems to be put upon students--almost exclusively female students--is a symptom of rape culture (which is that thing we live in, BTW). This appears to be something that the faculty of a high school in Montana, where a senior was called to the principal’s office for not wearing a bra to school, is yet to grasp. Kaitlyn Juvik, the “braless warrior” who refused to saddle up the pups for a whole school year, was sent to the administration this week upon orders from a male teacher who was made to feel “uncomfortable” (we all know what that means) by her free-floppin’ funbags. Need it be said at this point? Every human has nipples!! Boys are not required to cover theirs, while girls are. It’s a shame that the teacher was uncomfortable with the natural female form, but his comfort shouldn't take precedence over that of his student's. For some women, bras are lacy prisons with no medical benefits and a hefty price tag. Why should a teacher have jurisdiction over what’s happening underneath his student’s clothes? Raising girls to prioritize the “comfort” and demands of a man while ignoring their own needs shouldn’t be a requisite for high school graduation any longer. Flop on, Kaitlyn.
2. Oregon Recognizes First Legal Non-Binary Identity.
TBH, as a society, we’ve had a very rough couple of weeks. We’ve read (and covered) our fair share of stories about suffering, loss, violence, etc. And honestly, thank goddess for Oregon ‘cause our heads were about to explode. This week, for what we believe is the first time in the country (but not in the world; hiya India, Pakistan, Australia, and Germany), the state of Oregon legally recognized a person as third gender--not male, not female. Jamie Shupe, who has long struggled with their gender identity, was recognized by an Oregon judge as non-binary after having wrestled between male and female identities for their entire lifetime. Shupe, a 52-year-old retired Army mechanic, never felt comfortable with either of the two widely recognized genders, and found the support with their wife to pursue legal acceptance of a third option. While for some, Shupe’s struggles and experiences may be hard to understand, we’re thrilled that they have finally been able to find some peace and express themself with more integrity and comfort. Shupe, there it is.
3. Angels Protect Funerals of Orlando Shooting Victims.
Things that are better than the Westboro Baptist Church: stepping on a rusty nail; trying to drunk-feed a raccoon, getting bitten/contracting rabies; trying to be a feminist but accidentally getting “Blurred Lines” stuck in your head when you walk past a bumpin’ family barbeque in Prospect Park. The WBC is literally the worst. Remember how they do this? This week, in the aftermath of the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history, the hate group scheduled an appearance at funerals of victims in Orlando, planning to protest the LGBT community and shame families who lost loved ones to a horrific hate crime. Luckily for the world, news broke of a group of civilians dressed as angels that are planning to block the funerals from Westboro Baptist protests (they made their own costumes and everything). Apparently, the practice of dressing as angels to protect victims of anti-LGBT hate crimes dates back to the late 90s in San Francisco. V cool. Oh, and speaking of angels during public tragedies, Emma says “let’s hear it for the dads” (it’ll all make sense, we promise).
4. Rep. Gwen Moore Stands Up For Poor Americans.
You won’t hear this often in this country, but there’s been a lot of good work happening in Congress these days. Not only are Senate Democrats standing stronger than we’ve seen against the gun lobby (check out this and this), but badass shero and Wisconsin Rep. Gwen Moore has proposed an act that would require the top 1% of Americans to be drug tested before receiving tax breaks (of which they receive, like, a lot). The “Top 1% Accountability Act of 2016” is in direct response to Paul Ryan’s genius unveiling of the GOP’s “A Better Way” plan to combat poverty--some would say to combat poor people themselves instead of the institution of poverty, but who’s splittin’ hairs--which perpetuates a long-standing, and unfounded, narrative and stereotype that poor people are drug-addicted and therefore don’t deserve government help. Tired of this classist and racist trend, Moore took a stand to prove a point about the way we treat people based on socioeconomic status. As Britney would say, “Gimme gimme Moore.”
5. Birth Control Apps Pop Onto Tech Scene.
After venting our frustrations about the lack of innovation found in the world of women’s health, it is with great joy that we’re able to say: there’s an app for that. Birth control delivery apps are hittin’ the market hard this week, making it possible--easy, in fact--for women and others to receive the contraceptives they need that usually require an in-person consultation with a doc. Not only are visits to the doctor time-consuming and often times infuriating, they have the potential to be very uncomfortable and damaging for trans and gender non-comforming people who would rather not have to deal with another instance of publicly outing themselves, or receiving unnecessary questions, etc. Apps like Nurx allow people with any background and socioeconomic status (as long as they have access to a device) to obtain the products necessary, ranging from the pill, to Plan B, to NuvaRing without needing to take time off work or travel far in search of a doctor willing to prescribe, and offers virtual consultation for patients trying new products. We love to see modern-day tech being put to such feminist use! (Pssst… big news! Check this out for more about what happened in women’s health this week).