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TWIF Vol 85. Ready, Set, Go (Dismantle Inequality)!

1. First woman to run Boston Marathon runs it again -- and she’s still got it!


Photo via Flickr

We love running (even on our periods!) and we take for granted our ability to compete in marathons (or fun-runs, or fun-walks!) – but equality in running hasn’t always been so easy (surprise, surprise). In 1967 the Boston Marathon was restricted to men, and Katherine Switzer called BS. She registered under the name KV Switzer, and the race officials didn’t notice her gender until a few miles down the course, when they tried to physically pull her out of the race, creating an iconic image of women’s rights history. Switzer escaped the officials with the help of her boyfriend, and finished the race. On Monday, at 70, she ran it again (only 25 mins slower than her time in 1967!!) She wore her original number, 261, which was retired by race organizers after she crossed the finish line. Women were officially allowed to enter the Boston Marathon in 1972, and now 58% of marathon runners in the US are women (& we hope a lot of them will do that in our new Training Short #freebleed).

2. Revenge porn is now illegal under Marine and Naval law:


Photo via U.S Department of Agriculture: Flickr

You probably caught one of the number of stories that revealed hundreds of Marines had been involved in sharing nude photos of female Marines on FB and Snapchat. The US Navy Regulations now have a clause that bans the distribution of an “intimate image” without the subject of the photo’s consent. Violators will face consequences ranging from administrative actions to criminal punishment, and so far 15 active-duty service members could face felony-level charges. This is a good step towards fighting what Marine Kyleanne Hunter called, in a Teen Vogue op-ed, “a culture of misogyny.”

3. Crisis continues for gay men in Chechnya:


Photo via idjphotography, Flicker

Last week, LGBTQ rights organizers spoke out after reports surfaced that the Chechen government in Chechnya, Russia is allegedly capturing, torturing, and murdering gay men. Local reports confirmed that at least 100 gay men in Chechnya have disappeared. A spokesman for Ramzan Kadyrov, the Chechen leader, denied the allegations by claiming gay people “just don’t exist in the Republic”. Sooo. Human rights groups are calling for the UN and US government to put pressure on the Russians to stop the alleged abductions, and today Vladamir Putin’s spokesman also denied the claims, stating that there is no evidence to support them. The fight is far from over.


4. Serena Williams (greatest women's tennis player of all time) is pregnant:

On Wednesday, Serena Williams confirmed on Snapchat that she’s pregnant y’all! What a time to be alive! Usually celeb pregnancies don’t really count as “news” (I know, call me old-fashioned) but there’s a lot of bad news out there (srsly, my news app notifications are giving me anxiety) and I am taking this opportunity to s/o to the world’s best women’s tennis player and one of the greatest athletes of all time, ever. Also, when Serena Williams won the Australian Open (beating her sister Venus) and her 23rd Grand Slam, she was two months pregnant. Women’s bodies can do pretty amazing things, huh? Serena made it clear in a follow-up statement that she intends to return to competitive tennis in 2018. We can’t wait.


5. Period taboos and stigma in India harms girls

Via Wiki Creative Commons

In late March, a story emerged about a principal of a residential school in North India, who forced 70 girls between the ages of 12 and 14 to strip naked so she could search them, after some menstrual blood was found in the school’s bathroom. The incident sparked outrage among parents, and an official inquiry has been launched, but several of the girls have since dropped out of school, and the chances of them returning to study are slim. This story, once again, highlights India’s deep period-shaming culture, the silence around menstruation, and the urgent need for more health education. This week, Chelsea Clinton highlighted the need to “support menstruating girls and women of all ages to erase the stigma and the access barriers that too often go hand-in-hand with “that time of the month.” Good news? Earlier this year, a new campaign called Break the Bloody Taboo was introduced in 70 schools in Delhi, aimed at destimatizing menstruation.


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