Happy Friday, vinas! Another week, another batch of ladies to celebrate!
It’s officially the month of Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut! Her film, Booksmart, starring Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever, is out on May 24th. It’s all about two best friends having one wild night before their senior year of high school ends, and it looks amazing. Wilde directed the film, and we’re so excited to see more female filmmakers shine! Watch the trailer here.
Gina Martin is an amazing UK-based activist who recently provoked change into making “upskirting” (the act of taking photos up someone’s skirt) a criminal offense. Martin is devoting her time to helping end abuse against women and minorities, and we applaud her.
When she was seventeen, Amika George founded a campaign to raise awareness to the amount of people who have to miss school because of their periods, called #FreePeriods. Anyone with a period knows that sanitary products are expensive — way more expensive than they need to be. Thanks to George and her mission, hospitals in England will provide free tampons and pads to menstruating people who need or ask for them!
The story of Erica Malunguinho is a pretty incredible one: she is the first trans woman to ever hold a state representative position in Sao Paulo, Brazil! She wants to use her position to fight for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, and serves as a huge inspiration for those who hope to provoke change.
Tarana Burke, founder of the Me Too movement, was featured on the TIME 100 list with a profile by Gabrielle Union. In the past decade, Burke has dedicated huge amounts of time and energy to activism for sexual assault, particularly for Black survivors of sexual assault. It’s important to remember her name and mission when discusses Me Too, because not only is she the original founder, she brings awareness to uniquely Black experiences.
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It’s Friday — you know what that means! Another installment of our Fearless Femme Fridays here at Hey! VINA! Here’s 5 more fearless femmes in the news this week…
RACHEL HELD EVANS
Rachel Held Evans is an author and a progressive Christian. Many of the themes in her pieces center around feminism, LGBTQIA rights, and walking away from negative conservative values. She was recently placed in a medically induced coma, and fans around the world are praying for her recovery. You’re doing wonderful things, Rachel, and we hope you get better soon!
LIEUTENANT COMMANDER MARCIA ANDRADE BRAGA
Brazilian officer, Marcia Andrade Braga, has received the UN Gender Advocate of the Year award at the 2019 Peacekeeping Ministerial conference. She has been cited as a ‘stellar example’ of why more women are needed in UN peacekeeping. You go, Marcia! We love to see women like you doing such important things.
Meher Bhandara has noticed that India has had an influx of contaminated water that is dangerous for drinking purposes, so she made it her mission to change that. Founder of WaterMaker, Bhandara has implemented the plan to “Create Water From Air” by teaming up with scientists to create a clean water initiative in over 3000 installations worldwide. Wow!
Elizabeth Warren is running for President, and we’re so proud to have her represent us. She came up with her own little campaign — “That’s What Girls Do.” Whenever she sees a little girl on the campaign trail, she will bend down, look her straight in the eyes, and say “I’m Elizabeth Warren, and I’m running for President, because that’s what girls do.” We love that she’s inspiring young girls throughout her time running, and our fingers are crossed for her success. Love you, Liz!
GERALDYN M. COBB
“Jerrie” Cobb, 88, passed away this week. She found a glass ceiling in space, and was just as qualified to be an astronaut as any other man. On Capitol Hill in 1962, she testified for the equal rights of women in space:
“We women pilots who want to be part of the research and participation in space exploration are not trying to join a battle of the sexes,” Ms. Cobb testified. “We see, only, a place in our nation’s space future without discrimination.”
We’ll miss you, Jerrie — you did such wonderful things for the world.
Know any other Fearless Femmes in the news that you’d like to discuss? Head on over to Hey! VINA to find your next gal pal.
Feminists in South Korea have advocated relentlessly to overturn the abortion ban that has been in place for the last 66 years, and late last week they accomplished their goal. The ban on abortions has officially been overturned. These women circulated a 230,000-person-signed petition to abolish the crime of abortion, raised awareness on social media, organized rallies, and ushered in the Me Too movement in a country where not long ago it was shameful for a girl to know about the functioning of her own body.
Tifanny Abreu is a professional volleyball player in Brazil, and her presence alone in professional sports is stirring up a national conversation about transgender athletes. Abreu has faced direct attacks both in person and online, but the criticisms are growing as her story is becoming national news. Women have always been criticized and attacked for making a space for themselves, especially in professional spheres, but Abreu has found herself in the middle of a national controversy. Many scientists have announced that trans women who’ve undergone hormone treatment perform no better in sports than other women, but still the naysayers claim science as their defense. Regardless, Abreu has proven herself a role model for trans women in Brazil and the world. Her bravery in the face of international criticism for her identity should be celebrated and her talents supported.
Lt. Cdr. Braga has served as the Military Gender Advisor at MINUSCA since April of 2018 and has been an integral part of the creation of a gender advisers network throughout Central African Republic. Female advisers have been able to build relationships with the people of CAR that male advisers often can’t, and this has allowed for the UN to get honest and accurate information about what the women and children in the country need in terms of protection and aid. Braga has not only served as a female adviser in CAR but has trained many more gender advisers to advance the reach the group can have and extend the protection the UN can offer.
Middle school math teacher, Lauren Miranda, lost her job after a private topless selfie she sent to a boyfriend (who also worked at the school) got into the hands of students. Does this remind anyone else of that episode of Thirteen Reasons Why where a photo of Hannah is circulated throughout the entire high school by a boy, and Hannah is slut shamed by everyone including her friends? This case is so angering. Not only was the private photo sent privately to someone she trusted, but she is the one who has lost everything for having an intimate moment with that person instead of the person who (likely) leaked the photo to a school of middle school students.
Miranda is standing up for herself and for women everywhere who have historically been held to a double standard when it comes to male and female sexuality. Miranda is suing the school for her job back or for $3 million in damages.
Shockingly and sadly this is a controversial opinion, but we stand with Lauren Miranda and all the women who have been shamed for their sexuality and who have been betrayed by people they trusted.
Dozens of women attending the “Daughters of the Vote” day in Canada’s Parliament stood up and turned their backs to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to speak out against the scandal that has been rocking Canada for months. In February, Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould (the first Indigenous female attorney general) resigned after accusing Trudeau’s office of “pressuring her to consider a civil rather than criminal penalty for a company accused of corruption,” according to a New York Times article. Women throughout Canada and abroad have voiced their support for Trudeau.
There has been much controversy around the women’s display. Critics believe the stance only fueled the view of many who still believe women are too emotional to be involved in politics. However, politics are inherently about people, and important political decisions have much to gain from a female’s perspective.
It’s the end of another week, vinas! You know what that means…time for another roundup of amazing women in the news!
Agnès Varda, French filmmaker, passed away on Friday, March 29th in Paris. She was a pioneer in the French New Wave cinema scene of the 1950s and 1960s, paving the way for many women to follow in her footsteps and become filmmakers themselves. She frequently addressed feminist issues in her films and progressive ideas about race and gender. She will be greatly missed, but her legacy will continue in the film industry and serve as a reminder for female filmmakers everywhere that they can be whoever they want to be.
Emilia Clarke recently wrote an essay for The New Yorkerabout her struggles with two brain aneurysms right around the time she was finishing her first season of HBO show Game of Thrones. She recalls the anxiety and fear she felt during some of the most terrifying health scares possible. As she enters the last season of the show, she took some time to reflect on what she learned from one of the hardest times in her life and expresses her gratitude for where she is now.
Zuzana Čaputová was recently elected to be the first female president of Slovakia! It’s a huge achievement for someone who is both a woman and political newcomer. She said to some of her supporters that she hopes to change the tides of Slovakia’s political climate to a more just and fair environment, and turn away from the more conservative and populist movements that the country has seen thus far.
Bailey Davis, a cheerleader for the New Orleans Saints, has been leading the charge to end sex discrimination against cheerleaders after she was fired from the team for posting a picture of herself in an outfit deemed inappropriate by the Saints. Since then, she has filed a discrimination lawsuit herself, saying that the NFL holds their football players to different standards than they do for cheerleaders. People have taken notice and as a result, cheerleaders for the Saints have been given more conservative outfits to wear. We applaud Davis for not backing down!
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Lori Lightfoot, 56, has officially become Chicago’s first black woman elected as mayor! Not only that, but she will also be Chicago’s first openly gay mayor. Look at American making progress, vinas!
“The only way we are going to carve a new path for the city, to take us in a direction that our communities don’t continue to be resource-starved, is to vote for change,” said Lightfoot.
We stand with you, Lori! We can’t wait to see you make some much-needed changes.
We love Ali Wong because she’s the creator of a fabulous book just for girls, featuring personalized letters to her two daughters that delve into life lessons, dating advice, and female empowerment. This comedian is taking things to the next level for women — young and old — and we adore her for that! Go Ali! We can’t wait to read your book.
US WOMEN’S HOCKEY TEAM
The United States’ women’s hockey team is seeking to be seen as equals to their male counterparts. They threatened to boycott USA Hockey over equal pay, and they’ve received a grand sum of $71,000 each, every year.
We feel you, gals. Just know that here at VINAZINE, we think you rock so hard, and we stand with you!
Agnès Varda passed away this week at the ripe age of 90, and we want to recognize her for her triumphant artistic works in the realm of film. She incorporated feminist elements in many of her films, exploring the themes of romance, curiosity about human interaction, nature, and political activism. We’ll miss you, Agnès; you won’t be forgotten.
Erica Vladimer was sexually assaulted by a New York State Senator. To transcend her pain and suffering, she has decided to help other women heal their wounds. She is now the leader of the Sexual Harassment Working Group, which is working to change the culture of sexual harassment for the better. We stand with you, Erica!
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McSally, a Republican Arizona senator, gave a voice to many voiceless victims of military sexual assault when she announced in a senate subcommittee hearing on the topic that she, too, was a rape survivor from her time in the Air Force. Besides her accomplishments representing the citizens of Arizona, McSally was once a colonel in the Air Force. Not only that, but she was the first American female to fly in combat after a ban on women in military combat was lifted. Her successes in the military, however, came at a cost. After sharing her testimony, McSally discussed her views on how military culture needs to change, and who needs to be held responsible for detecting and stopping related crimes from happening in the future. Rape is an obviously sensitive and deeply personal topic that few publicly or privately testify on. McSally did more than add wight to her argument last week, she bravely gave representation to women unable and unwilling to share their own stories.
I don’t know about you, but I kind of forgot the leggings-as-pants debate was still a thing. I thought we settled that one back in high school, to be honest. Well apparently the debate is still on and strong, as a mother of a male Notre Dame student wrote a letter to the editor of the school’s paper pleading female students to choose jeans over leggings for the sake of her son’s distractability, and that of all male students. As you might assume, there was quite a bit of backlash. What started as dissenting comments on the online article grew into organized marches of legging-clad women and supporting men. Of course, the argument swings on who should be held accountable for the actions of men. Is it the women who “tempt” the men with their form-fitting pants, or the men who “biologically” “can’t help themselves”? Clearly the masses of Notre Dame marchers had an opinion.
Be sure to check out the full story, complete with quotes from Maryann White’s letter.
Our girl Jameela Does 👏 Not 👏 Stop 👏 As usual, she has a bone to pick about the way women are treated in our society. On Sunday she shared a story of harassment on Twitter. When she told a man asking for her phone number that she had a boyfriend, the man reacted aggressively (gotta looove that toxic masculinity, no?), threatening her career and calling her “low class.” This unfortunately unsurprising and scary story isn’t an uncommon one for us women. After publishing her tweet, she received an outpouring of similar stories. Starting discussions like these that so many girls can contribute to is important. Not only should women not feel alone, but society needs to take a good hard look at what’s going on, especially on topics that can easily be overlooked by those who aren’t affected by them (ahem, men), but are yet just as responsible for their remedy.
Read more stories shared in response to Jameela’s and about why men respond so defensively when faced with rejection.
Amika George, founder of the #FreePeriods campaign, is celebrating a major success. Her campaign, which she started when she was 17, for free pads and tampons to be available to all school girls and women in Britain has just seen a huge gain as Philip Hammond, a British politician serving as Chancellor of the Exchequer, has announced that all such products will be available at every secondary school and college in Britain. This is a huge win for women and for the nation as this provision will allow girls and women who can’t afford menstrual products to go to school every week of the month. This has been and continues to be a problem of gender equity around the world where women are forced to lose out on their education for days at a time because of their economic background and gender – two things that should never impede on someone’s access to education. As great as this win is, George is pressing for more. As girls begin to start puberty younger and younger, George insists the provision expands to elementary schools as well.
Another woman speaking out on a gender equity gap in the world, Biba Kang is offering an alternative narrative to the death of ____. While most news outlets and public discussion has revolved around how ___ is to blame for her own death due to her lack of safety precautions, Kang is reflecting the light onto the continued need for a change in global culture surrounding women’s safety. Instead of blaming the victim, Kang argues that it is in fact the dangerous view of women in the world that is to blame for the increasing violence against solo female travelers. While this seems like a logical conclusion – blaming the criminals for their crimes as opposed to the victims – Kang represents the opinions of a small segment of the public. Even as a minority, Kang is working to add diversity of thought and alternative suggestions for solutions to the public conversation, and we are all about a vina using her voice to extend a conversation on gender.
Kang has a lot more to say on the subject, so be sure to check out her full story.
Another week means another dose of amazing women to celebrate! We’re so here for all the amazing ladies in the news this week.
Late night TV just got better. Lilly Singh (otherwise known as IISuperwomanII on YouTube) announced that she’s going to be hosting her own late night show, A Little Late with Lilly Singh! She will be replacing Carson Daly’s show — Last Call with Carson Daly — making her the first woman to have her own show among the current line-up of late night hosts. We can’t wait to tune in!
KAREN KESKULLA UHLENBECK
Uhlenbeck is an American professor and mathematician, currently teaching at the University of Texas at Austin. The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters announced last Tuesday that she would be the recipient of the Abel Prize, seen by many as the Nobel Prize of mathematics, making her the first woman to ever receive the prize!
After the horrific terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Arndern made the pledge to immediately change New Zealand’s gun laws just six days after the attack. Fast action is key in these types of situations, and we applaud Arndern for making a decision that will prevent these attacks from happening again in the future.
Lesley Regan, one of the United Kingdom’s top gynocologists (who is also a professor!) has announced that she will be co-chairing a women’s health task force with government minister Jackie Doyle-Price. This aims to help women and girls receive the help and care they need — particularly with their reproductive health. In an article for The Guardian, she says, “In an ideal world, ‘an adolescent girl can go along to a well-woman clinic, facility or shop and she can access her smear, her contraceptive advice, she will get very simple, preferably infographic, information about what she needs to do to prepare herself to have safe sex and when she wants to get pregnant to have the best possible outcome for her pregnancy.'” Way to go, Dr. Regan!
Meghan Markle, now Duchess of Sussex since her marriage to Prince Harry last May, gave a powerful speech on International Women’s Day where she spoke about gender, feminism, and menstruation. It was her first public unscripted appearance since her wedding, and she spoke as openly as she could about the issues that she felt were pressing to women and girls everywhere. In an interview for the New York Times, journalist Anne McElvoy says in regard to Markle’s activism compared with the history of the royal family, “I think she has kind of moved the dial. I think the rewards now very clearly outweigh the risks.” We love to see Markle changing the norms and we hope she continues to do so!
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March is National Women’s History Month, so you know we’re all about celebrating the badass femmes in the news! Here are our top five picks for the week of March 15:
Human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh stood with protestors against the Islamic Republic’s mandatory wearing of headscarves, and is now facing jail time for defending the group. US News reports, “Sotoudeh received the awarded the prestigious Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought by the European Union in 2012. Her previous clients also include Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi.”
Sotoudeh is an activist, a humanist, and a strong, empowered woman who stood with other women during the pushback of mandatory dress laws–and we are standing with her.
General Hospital actress Amber Tamblyn has just released her first book, Era of Ignition, in which she divulges memoir pieces about her personal experiences with feminism and calls to all women to band together, despite race. We’re reading this book STAT!
We’re still celebrating Women’s History Month and will be proudly for the remainder of March, so as per our usual Friday tradition, we’re celebrating women making history this week!
Susan Lontine is the Colorado State Representative for House District 1 and has just introduced a bill to change the way sex ed is taught in public high schools in Colorado. The bill, HB19-1032, requires that sex education be taught inclusively. This means doing away with using religious ideology or gender stereotypes, along with requiring the inclusion of sexual minority experiences. Additionally, it would rid sex ed classes of shame-based language, teachings, or instructional tools. “I’d rather they just don’t teach anything if they can’t be honest,” said Lontine, noting the drastic lack of scientific and objective sexual education made available to students. This bill, if put into law, would be a huge leap forward in destroying gender and sexual-orientation bias in our society. Not only that, it would provide people of many more experiences access to crucial knowledge about their own bodies and health.
As you clearly know, even if just by reading this article, we over here at VINAZINE are really into the whole women supporting women thing. Big fans. And Lisa Smosarski is leading an entire campaign about it. As Editor-in-Chief of the women-championing magazine Stylist, Smosarski is a big part of their #visiblewomen campaign. More recently, Smosarski spearheaded Stylist’s Remarkable Women Awards, recognizing women across the board who are remarkable in their field. This year’s ceremony was this week, honoring everything from Mentor of the Year to Entertainer of the Year to Sports Star of the Year. Other awards including the Equality Award, Triumph Award and the Glass Ceiling Award were among many that duly recognized the women who are so often left recognition-less, but who are none-the-less accomplishing, not only hard and meaningful things, but things that are changing the world we live in as women.
Our favorite makeupreneur, beauty blogger and Fortune 40-Under-40 Most Influential Young Person recipient has been busy. Besides her usual kick-ass routine of empowering women, leading the way for female entrepreneurs, and generally being an icon for living her best life, the NYU graduate and Glossier founder and CEO launched the brands newest offshoot this week, Glossier Play. I don’t know about you, but there’s not too much that inspires me more than genuine, kind, intellectual, and politically active women succeeding in business – and succeeding big time (her company is currently estimated to be worth $532 billion). (Added bonus, she is a branding master, and, if you know me, you know that’s kind of my *thing*.)
If you’re looking for some serious (and simultaneously funny) body positivity woke-ness, this woman’s Twitter is the one to follow. Jameela Jamil, who stars in NBC’s The Good Place, leads the iWeigh movement in an attempt to rewrite the societal script women are given about how they should feel about their bodies. Jamil just posted an inspiring and F-bomb-littered moment she had at the BlogHer Health 2019 conference on her Twitter. In the clip, she talks about the body-shaming entrenched culture we’re apart of and why she is fighting so aggressively to change it. The short, 2-minute clip is a must see for some added fuel to your self-love fire so go watch, enjoy, and spread the self-love.
VIRGIN ATLANTIC EMPLOYEES
Virgin Atlantic announced on Monday that their female flight attendants are no longer required to wear makeup and are now given pants along with the traditional skirt to wear for their uniform. Virgin Atlantic Executive Vice President Mark Anderson attributed the change to the mounting voices of Virgin Atlantic employees. The long-standing skirts-only, makeup-required flight attendant regulations popular among the airline titans are reflective of retired social norms that just aren’t as acceptable today as they were, say, 50 years ago. Women at Virgin Atlantic made their voices heard and were part of a movement that may be soon followed by more airline regulation updates across the industry. Regardless of what’s to come, these women are demanding equality and breaking down archaic sexist traditions one company at a time.
We love to write about the goddesses out here changing the world, but strong, intelligent, society-altering women who don’t have large platforms are shaking things up every day. If you want to see a particular vina who’s challenging the status quo on next Friday’s Fearless Femme update, email your nominations to email@example.com or find fearless femmes in your own city on the Hey! VINA app today.
A new week means a new round-up of kickass ladies to celebrate. From the Oscars to the open seas, take some inspiration from some incredible women making headlines. And here’s a bonus: we’ve gathered seven awesome women to cheer for this week! Score.
MELISSA BERTON & RAYNA ZEHTABCHI
Berton and Zehtabchi (producer and director, respectively) won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short for their film Period. End of Sentence. The documentary focuses on the taboos surrounding menstruation in a rural village near Delhi, India, and discusses how the stigma still surrounding periods prevent young girls from receiving appropriate sanitary products and result in having to drop out of school. Berton said that because of the film’s nomination, their team has received tons of requests to install sanitary pad machines in various communities across the world, with the help of a non-profit called “The Pad Project,” which you can learn more about here.
In addition to being an incredible tennis player, Serena Williams is also a fierce advocate for equality. In a new Nike ad, featuring all women, aired during the Oscars and Williams narrates a list of all the adjectives women are called to undermine their passion: hysterical, irrational, crazy, etc. Williams urges young women to go out and find their voice, regardless of what anyone says about them.
Kate McCue became the first American woman to captain a cruise ship in 2015, and beginning later this year, will sail a billion-dollar ship (the Celebrity Edge) designed entirely by women. In an interview with The New York Times, she talks about how she knew she wanted to sail cruise ships since she was 12 years old, and eventually worked her way up from working on banana boats to working on a Disney cruise as a third mate, where she climbed the ranks from 2003 to 2015. Read more about McCue here.
The 119th Congressional committee is the most diverse it’s ever been. Ilhan Omar, one of first two Muslim women ever elected to Congress, spoke to Rolling Stone about what her first experiences in the United States (she immigrated when she was 12) and what it feels like to now represent her country during a contentious political climate. She discusses the importance of advocating for people like herself, as well as the necessity of owning up to her mistakes. Read the interview here!
HANNAH BEACHLER & RUTH E. CARTER
These two women made history at the Academy Awards last Sunday when they won Oscars for Production Design and Costume Design, respectfully, for their work on the Marvel hit Black Panther. They each became the first African-American women to win awards in their category, as well the first African-American women to win in a non-acting category since 1984! Their contributions allowed Black Panther to be an authentic and beautiful film that will live on in history.
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