HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SANDRA DAY O’CONNOR! 8 FACTS TO CELEBRATE THIS TRAILBLAZER

Sandra Day O’Connor turns 89 today! The former Supreme Court Justice has a lot to celebrate this year, and here’s a few reasons why you should throw a little party for her, too.

Image via Wikipedia.

SHE GRADUATED FROM STANFORD 

She was one of four women in her class at Stanford’s law school, and said that she had no idea how hard it would be to hold a career as a female lawyer. Despite that, she still graduated third in her entire class!

SHE WAS THE FIRST FEMALE SUPREME COURT JUSTICE OF THE U.S. 

When O’Connor was sworn in on September 25th, 1981, she was the first woman to ever hold a Supreme Court seat! Three other women have followed: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan.

SHE WAS KNOWN FOR HER ANALYTICAL APPROACH TO SUPREME COURT CASES 

O’Connor was methodical and practical when it came to her decisions on cases, such as Mississippi University for Women v. Hogan in 1982 and Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992.

SHE DOESN’T LIKE BEING CALLED A “SWING VOTE” 

O’Connor ended up casting the determining vote in many high-profile Supreme Court decisions, many of which touched on abortion, affirmative action, and other contentious topics. However, she wants it to be known that she doesn’t like the term “swing vote,” because she doesn’t think justices “swing” back and forth on issues — they make decisions based on legal principles.

SHE DEALT WITH HUGE INVASIONS OF PRIVACY AS THE ONLY WOMAN ON THE SUPREME COURT 

O’Connor mentions that she was the subject of “intense scrutiny” because of her position on the court, saying that people went so far as to dig through her garbage and do whatever it took to get access to her private thoughts. She also said that this didn’t change until Ruth Bader Ginsburg (another amazing vina) joined the court in 1993 — and O’Connor was kind enough to show her the ropes.

SHE KNEW HOW TO HAVE FUN 

It’s hard to be a justice, and O’Connor made sure she found some time to do her own thing. She liked to play golf and tennis, and she also used to spend time with her clerks by having picnics with them!

SHE’S STARTED HER OWN NONPROFIT 

After O’Connor retired from the Supreme Court, she founded iCivics, which is an organization that is used to teach students about the government and encourage their participation in civic duties. She considers it to be her greatest legacy!

NO MATTER WHAT, SHE’S PAVED THE WAY FOR A MORE WOMAN-CENTRIC SUPREME COURT 

From left to right: O’Connor, Sotomayor, Ginsburg, and Kagan. Image via Wikipedia.

Thanks to O’Connor, it’s no longer a first for women to be Supreme Court Justices. Her legacy will live on for generations, and hopefully inspire lots of young women to follow their dreams and become Justices. Here’s to many more to come!

Sandra Day O’Connor is all about empowerment, and so are we here at Hey! VINA!

FEARLESS FEMME FRIDAYS: 5 KICKASS WOMEN IN THE NEWS

Another week means another dose of amazing women to celebrate! We’re so here for all the amazing ladies in the news this week.

LILLY SINGH

Image via Instagram.

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

Image source via Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.

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!

JACINDA ARNDERN

Image via Wikipedia.

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

Image via Twitter.

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

Image via Wikipedia.

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!

Find your own group of fearless ladies using Hey! VINA today!

TABOO TOPIC TUESDAY: POLITICS AND SOCIAL MEDIA

Most people have opinions on politics these days, and they’re usually strong ones. Social media has given us the opportunity to share the things that are important to us. But what should and shouldn’t make its way to our public and often permanent personal history on the world wide web?

COMMENTING

No matter how cautious you are about sharing your strong political opinions on your profile, everyone has those friends who aren’t. And sometimes those friends don’t have similar opinions… So, what do you do when you follow someone who is spouting off about things that, in your view, are just wrong? Do you leave a comment and hope they reconsider their baseless rant? Or, do you scroll on with an eye roll and decide not to take the bate that often leads to pointless and cruel internet fights?

It can be tempting to want to add a voice of reason to blatantly biased posts, but at some point, we have to consider that the people so confident and so committed to their cause that they post about it on social media might not be open to a new perspective. Although you may think they’re asking for it as they’ve chosen to post to a public forum and invited commenters to share, we all know what they’re really looking for is support from their similarly-minded friends. In general, it’s safer (and healthier) to avoid the kind of name-calling fight that gives people on either side of the aisle a bad rep.

THE ARGUMENT FOR AND AGAINST SOCIAL MEDIA POLITICS

On one side, social media gives us a platform to help inform our community about impactful events happening around us, and it lets us become activists for causes we care about. These are important things, and having informed and active citizens contributing to the public dialogue (a dialogue that helps shape public policy) is an important and even necessary component of a republic. Our societal structure doesn’t work without conversation. It’s so important that the freedom of speech, particularly political speech, is the first amendment made to the constitution in the Bill of Rights. Staying informed and informing others is no joke.

On the other hand, however, we all know what a catastrophe political rants on social media can end up being. There are two general scenarios that tend to happen. First, there’s your weird uncle who only reposts “news” articles about the crazies on the other side of the aisle. It’s embarrassing, but besides you and a few other obligatory family follows, he’s pretty much sounding off to an echo chamber of other old men who will never change their mind about the political views that make up their identity.

Second, there’s the political rant made by that girl you sort of knew in high school but didn’t really know. Like, you had a few classes together, had some common friends and saw each other at a few parties, but you didn’t know about her (strong) future stance on The Wall and abortion laws which now seem to be one of her favorite things to post about (outside pictures of her cat). Now you see her posts and cringe.

HOW FAR IS TOO FAR?

So where’s the line? We all want to be the girl that posts informed, insightful, and important awareness posts about what’s happening in the world. The one who reminds her friends and family to vote, that the rights of every person matter, and that there’s something not right with the system. But even that can be tricky. Because here’s the thing, posting anything about your political views on a semi-public forum like the internet could backfire bigtime, especially when you’re in the midst of a job hunt.

You may believe that no competent hiring manager or future boss could ever believe what you know is just and good and right is, in fact, wrong. You, like your crazy uncle, probably live in an echo chamber yourself. We all do. Most people tend to surround themselves with people whose values and opinions align, especially on the hot topics. Your potential future boss isn’t apart of that chamber. They’re in their own chambers, listening to the confirmation of their own opinions and “facts.” So when you’re desperately applying to jobs and the hiring manager who has a fifty-fifty shot of disagreeing with you sees your highly charged political posts, guess whose application just got tossed?

This is one of the first things your professors or mentors will tell you about career prep and managing your social media image: Just don’t do it. Don’t post it.

So it’s up to you, of course (the first amendment says so). You need to weigh your options. It’s important to be politically active and to give a voice to those who don’t have one. Social media gives you a nice and easy platform to do that. However, be wary of adding a voice to an echo chamber that isn’t really adding value to the conversation. Make sure you’re providing verified facts and well-rounded points of view. And be wary of your own personal biases so that you’re not painting yourself as a Millenial version of your crazy uncle: set in your ways, uninformed, and only listening to the messages that confirm your own views.

It’s also important to be professional and to be able to get a job. From a soon-to-be-college-grad perspective, every professional adult will tell you to just keep it off the internet. There are so many ways (oftentimes more impactful ways) to be an active citizen. Attend a march, vote, have meaningful and open-minded discussions with your friends and classmates, talk to people with different opinions from yours, start a movement if you want to.

A great way to practice open-mindedness and learn about the world outside your echo chamber is by have a conversation with someone new. Check out the Hey! VINA app to swipe right on a whole new world of ideas and fun.

FEARLESS FEMME FRIDAYS: 5 BADASS WOMEN IN THE NEWS

We 👏 are 👏 here 👏 for all the women in the news this week doing INCREDIBLE things! We have support for women from women on both sides of the political aisle and both sides of the globe! We even have a few returners from last week with us today (ahem, can we hear it for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez!) We are psyched about the phenomenal women on this planet, so let’s celebrate them!

THE GULABI GANG

A group of women in India known as the Gulabi Gang (and who’s gang color is pink!) have recently inspired two films in the making (a documentary and a full-length feature film) for their vigilante ways. The gang carries large sticks with them to beat rapists in their community.

Sampat Devi Pal, the group’s founder, first recognized the power she had when holding a stick when she attacked a local man who abused his wife. Since then, the group has grown into a more than 400,000 thousand-strong movement in Uttar Pradesh, India’s largest province.

Talk about women supporting women 👊❤️️Learn more about the women’s gang for justice!

FEMALE MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

A record number of female house representatives arrived for President’s Trump second State of the Union address. The women on the Democratic side donned white to celebrate the progress women have made in gaining suffrage. Female suffragists in the 20th century marched in white dresses to generate awareness for women’s right to vote, and the tradition was continued this week.

In addition to the white attire, the women in the crowd broke out in dance and cheers when Trump announced the record number of female lawmakers that have been elected to Congress.

Nothing says solidarity like matching outfits signifying the strength of women, no? Read more about the significance of the all-white lewk!

ANGELINA JOLIE

Angelina Jolie visited Rohingya refugee camps in Myanmar this week to share stories of rape survivors and speak on the refugee crisis. She called on the government to take action against the violence Muslims face in their home country that is forcing them into exile. Around 740,000 refugees have moved to Bangladesh since August 2017. She continued her speech with comments on the need for the establishment and enforcement of the refugees’ rights in their homeland and stood with the Rohingya people.

Jolie has been known to do much work for unrepresented people across the globe, and we don’t expect her short tour through Bangladesh to be the last thing we see from her. Read more about what Jolie is doing for refugees!

ROSALIND BREWER

Rosalind Brewer is the chief operating officer of Starbucks, former CEO of Sam’s Club, and, as of Monday, the newly appointed member of Amazon’s previously all-white board of directors. Brewer is currently the only person of color and the fourth woman on the board. At Sam’s Club, Brewer was the first woman and the first African American to lead a Walmart division, which she did successfully from 2012 to 2017.

From 2004 to 2009, Myrtle Potter acted as the first black woman on Amazon’s board, making Brewer the second in the company’s history.

Amazon has faced increasing pressure to diversify its directors, and Brewer has a proven commitment to diversifying the teams she leads. Read the rest of Rosalind Brewer’s story and the national push for diversity in leadership.

IVANKA TRUMP

Ivanka Trump is leading a plan designed to ensure economic security for 50 million women across the globe called the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative. The goal is to have the initiative fully active and having helped those 50 million by 2025. It will be funded by $50 million supplied by the United States Agency for International Development.

The official plans have yet to be announced, but the president has articulated that he will be officially unveiling the plan on Thursday.

No matter where you stand on politics, we can all support giving support to other women. Read more about the global initiative and be ready to get excited on Thursday!

Let’s keep lifting up the women around us.

Find your tribe to lift up and celebrate on Hey! VINA today!

BLACK HISTORY MONTH: 5 TRAILBLAZING WOMEN

When February rolled around and with it, Black History Month, historic names absolutely came to mind—Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Angela Davis, among many. But instead of this being another history lesson, I wanted to focus on the present-day actions of amazing women making a difference in today’s world. By no means am I diminishing the countless contributions of phenomenal women in the past, but it’s easy to feel that greatness is out of reach when only concentrating on past actions. Having a more tangible, recent example shows the next generation that courage in the face of adversity is not only for the history books.

In starting to make a list of the women I wanted to feature, I soon realized that I’d need to write a dissertation just to chronicle them all (hello strong women!!) So instead of writing you a novel, I’ve listed a few that I think exemplify the indomitable strength, courage and resilience that every little African-American girl should know.

Tarana Burke – Founder, #MeToo Movement

“Me Too was just two words; it’s two magic words that galvanized the world.” – Tarana Burke.

Prior to 2017, Tarana Burke was quietly, but effectively organizing resources and aid for survivors of sexual abuse. She had dedicated her time and efforts to being a support system for women who might have never shared their stories. However, all of this quickly changed when a well-known actress started the hashtag #MeToo in response to the large number of women coming forward about their sexually abusive experiences. Thrust into the spotlight, Tarana poignantly stated, “People have these pervasive misconceptions that this movement is about taking down powerful men.” In clarifying what #MeToo actually stands for, she emphasized that it’s about being heard, creating a community of support and reminding survivors they are not alone.

Laverne Cox 

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Courtesy of Laverne Cox Instagram.

In her role in Orange is the New Black, Laverne Cox has both made a name for herself in Hollywood, as well as in the LGBTQ Community. A two-time Emmy-nominated actress and documentary film producer, Laverne is a staunch supporter of equal rights for all people and, in 2014, was named one of the Top 50 Trans Icons by the Huffington Post, as well as being honored with the Courage Award from the Anti-Violence Project. She is one of The Grio’s 100 Most Influential African Americans and received the Reader’s Choice Award from “Out” Magazine for her dedication in lending her platform to those that have none. She was once quoted as saying, “We are born as who we are, the gender thing is something that is imposed on you.”

Antoinette Harris – Football Trailblazer

Super Bowl LIII just got some Black Girl Magic! Antoinette (Toni) Harris, the first female to play a non-kicker position on any college football team, has been tapped by Toyota to tell her story. Hailing from Detroit, Michigan, Toni has had to struggle to play the game she loves so much. However, at age 22, she received a full athletic scholarship to East Los Angeles College to do just that! Her story resonated with the RAV4 Hybrid Team so much they decided to feature her struggle turned triumph alongside the release of the new vehicle. By comparing its size and how many underestimate its’ strength, Toni’s story shines even more brightly. Her dreams of one day being the first woman to play in the NFL just got a whole lot more real.

Now you know I couldn’t write this feature without looking at the groundbreaking triumphs of our political sisters, right?! Beginning in January 2019, the largest class of African American Women will take their place in Halls of Congress.

Ayanna Pressley – Congresswoman, Massachusetts

It’s not often that you see a politician, from either party, go straight from City Council to Congress. Ayanna Pressley did just that when she beat the 10-term incumbent congressman in 2018. Wait, take that in….. 10-term incumbent. Whew! Running on the premise of “challenging conventional narratives about who should have a seat at the table,” Pressley isn’t afraid to put her past and family difficulties on the front street (girl we all have them). She doesn’t shy away from tough conversations and recognizes that the face of representation needs to change in order for the outcome to change. Preach!

Stacey Abrams – 2019 Candidate for Governor of Georgia

By no means am I a politico, but you have to have been on a desert island over the past few months not to have heard of Stacy Abrams. A former Democratic House leader, who became the first woman of color to hold that distinction, challenged Republican Brian Kemp for the open governor’s seat. Doubted from the second she announced her candidacy, Stacey surprised them all when she won the Democratic primary by 56 points and went on to rally the state to receive more votes than any previously campaigning Democratic. Although she didn’t secure the governor’s seat, Stacey continues to make her mark in politics—and daytime TV (Oprah anyone?)—and is adamant you will see her name on a ballot very soon. To further prove how far her message has reached, she has recently been tapped to deliver the Democratic response to the President’s State of the Union address.

There are so many more great voices, narratives, trailblazers and all around remarkable women that I couldn’t possibly list them all. However, all of these women continue to inspire us, lead us and open our eyes to different points of view that reach far beyond the month of February. I am proud to have written a snippet of their story and am super-duper excited (yes I said it) to see how they change the world!!

Want to connect with amazing trailblazers of your own? Get the Hey! VINA app and start meeting some kickass vinas! 

WHAT TO DO WHEN POLITICS ARE KILLING OUR VIBES

You know the feeling. You’re at your favorite restaurant after a hard day of work, about to sit down to a killer meal when your political obsessed friend starts in with their latest opinion piece. The minute they open their mouth with the ideal variation of decreasing health care in America, your other friend slaps back with why medical needs are not justified monetarily enough already. Before you know it, the whole table is in a politics standoff ready for a battle to the death. Personally, I just sit back and enjoy my food while everyone else’s gets cold. Here are a few tips to keep you from stabbing your dinner dates with your fork.

REMEMBER YOUR ZEN

It’s impolite to just get up and walk away from a conversation, no matter how badly you want to; mentally escaping is much easier. When conversations start to get heated or controversial and you just need to get away, go to a safe place in your head. Think of something that makes you feel all warm and cozy. Snuggling up with your pup last Saturday, or last week when you went for coffee with your vina and met a cute guy.  Mentally visualizing a serene space can help cool you off and collect your thoughts before your head spins out of control. You are not obligated to hash out politics just because someone comes at you with a loaded question. Instead, politely change the subject or let the other person know that this is your personal time and you are officially hitting the “politics free zone” button.

good vibes

MAKE YOUR INTENTIONS CLEAR

When the topic of politics comes up, make your intentions clear. Whether you want to take a stance on a topic or would just rather keep your opinions to yourself, let people know. When people know that you have a specific opinion or idea, but aren’t trying to challenge theirs, it sets your boundary and keeps the conversation civilized. You are entitled to your opinion, but sometimes you just don’t wanna share it, which is totally valid!

Bottom line is: your vibes should never be killed by politics. Matters of the world we live in and the people we live among are incredibly important, and something we should all be involved in, but there is a time and place. And there is SO much more to life. Why not chat about the ’80s movie you saw for the first time last night, or a recipe you just found for making your own frozen yogurt, or a puppy dressed like Santa Claus?! The possibilities are endless! You have to let people know when they’re crossing the line of your politics limit! Setting some boundaries and keeping yourself together goes a long way. And when all else fails, you can always make an elaborate, unrelated exclamation about something completely random.

Looking for a vina to talk anything but politics with? Start swiping at Hey! VINA. 

 

THESE WOMEN RUNNING IN SWING STATES NEED YOUR VOTE!

It’s that time of the year. Yes, there’s pumpkin-spice everything, colored leaves falling around us, and cozy vina get-togethers, but it’s also time to VOTE. That’s right: November 6 is the Midterm Elections, and it’s more important than ever to make your voice heard.

This year, we’ve already seen two major records get beaten—the highest total number of filed female candidates (476!) and the number of female candidates who won primaries (235!), making it to the general elections.

What this means is that the largest number of women ever have set out to make a difference—talk about historic.

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And then there are the women running in swing states. Swing states as we know them are states that are not considered ‘safely’ in either Democratic or Republican stronghold. Because election results from these states can swing from one to the other, they become major battlefields for any election campaign. And this year, the swing states are even more in the spotlight—it is the last national vote before the 2020 Presidential Elections and the two parties are projecting starkly different stances in regards to labor, immigration, and human rights policies.

This year, there are 55 female candidates running in 11 swing states: Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Although none of the women candidates in New Hampshire made it to the general elections, it’s also a swing state, so many eyes will be closely following the results (and New Hampshire will still be making history: They’ll elect either its first African-American or first openly LGBTQ member of Congress!)

To learn more about the women running in swing states, VINAZINE is breaking it all down for you!

In total, there are 55 women running for Congress in swing states this year. 46 are Democrats and 9 are Republicans; 40 are running against male opponents, while 15 are against females; 31 are first-time candidates. Meet them:

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COLORADO

Colorado has three female candidates running for Congress:

Diane Mitsch Bush

  • Democratic candidate running for 3rd district, competing against a male opponent.
  • Diane is not favored to win.
  • Check out Diane’s campaign here!

Karen McCormick

  • Democratic candidate running for 4th district, competing against a male opponent.
  • She is competing in a district that voted for Republican presidential candidates in the last two elections.
  • Check out Karen’s campaign here!

Stephany Rose Spaulding

  • Democratic candidate running for 5th district, competing against a male opponent. 
  • Stephany is a first-time candidate and is not favored to win.
  • Check out Stephany’s campaign here!

FLORIDA

Florida has 11 female candidates running for Congress. This is the highest number among all swing states! However, none of them are favored to win—but four are in competitive race.

Kristen Carlson

  • Democratic candidate running for 15th district, competing against a male opponent.
  • Kristen is a first-time candidate and is in a competitive race.
  • Check out Kristen’s campaign here!

Debbie Mucarsel-Powell

  • Democratic candidate running for 26th district, competing against a male opponent.
  • Debbie is going against an incumbent opponent, but nevertheless challenging him in a competitive race.
  • Check out Debbie’s campaign here!

Maria E. Salazar

  • Republican candidate running for 27th district, competing against a female opponent: Donna Shalala
  • Maria is a first-time candidate and is in a competitive race.
  • Check out Maria’s campaign here!

Donna Shalala

  • Democratic candidate running for 27th district, competing against a female opponent: Maria E. Salazar.
  • Donna is in a competitive race, running for a vacated Republican seat.
  • She is known to have long ties to the Clintons and has received the Presidential medal of Freedom from President Bush.
  • Check out Donna’s campaign and what she has to say.

Jennifer Zimmerman

  • Democratic candidate running for 1st district, competing against a male opponent.
  • Jennifer is a first-time candidate.
  • Check out Jennifer’s campaign here!

Yvonne Hayes Hinson

Virginia Fuller

Nancy E. Soderberg

  • Democratic candidate running for 6th district, competing against a male opponent.
  • She is a former US representative at UN and was at Clinton National Security Aide.
  • Check out Nancy’s campaign here!

Dana Cottrell

  • Democratic candidate running for 11th district, competing against a male opponent.
  • Check out Dana’s campaign here!

Lauren Baer

Mary Barzee Flores

  • Democratic candidate running for 25th district, competing against a male opponent.
  • She was nominated to be a federal judge by President Obama, but was blocked by a Republican Senator Marco Rubio.
  • Check out Mary’s campaign here!

MICHIGAN 

Michigan has eight female candidates running for Congress. One is favored to win, three are in competitive race, and four are not favored to win.

Rashida Tlaib

  • Democratic candidate running for 13th district, competing against a female opponent.
  • Rashida is favored to win.
  • She is a former state representative
  • If Rashida is elected, she will be the first Muslim women in Congress.
  • Check out Rashida’s campaign here!

Elissa Slotkin

  • Democratic candidate running for 8th district, competing against a male opponent.
  • Elissa is in competitive race.
  • She is a former CIA analyst and veteran of Iraq. She also worked on the national security staff under President Bush and Obama
  • Check out Elissa’s campaign here!

Haley Stevens

  • Democratic candidate running for 11th district, competing against a female opponent, Lena Epstein.
  • Haley is a first-time candidate and is in a competitive race.
  • She was endorsed by Hillary Clinton
  • Check out Haley’s campaign here.

Lena Epstein

  • Republican candidate running for 11th district, competing against a female candidate, Haley Stevens.
  • Lena is a first-time candidate and is in a competitive race.
  • Check out Lena’s campaign here!

Cathy Albro

  • Democratic candidate running for 3rd district, competing against a male opponent.
  • Cathy is a first-time candidate and is not favored to win.
  • Check out Cathy’s campaign here!

Gretchen D. Driskell

Candius Stearns

  • Republican candidate running for 9th district, competing against a male opponent.
  • She is competing in a district that Hillary Clinton won in 2016.
  • Check out Candius’s campaign here.

Kimberly Bizon

  • Democratic candidate running for 10th district, competing against a male opponent.
  • Kimberly is a first-time candidate and is not favored to win.
  • Check out Kimberly’s campaign here!

NEVADA

Nevada has two female candidates running for Congress. 

Susie Lee

  • Democratic candidate running for 3rd district, competing against a male opponent.
  • Susie is in a competitive race, competing in what is considered Nevada’s most competitive House district.
  • She’s a philanthropist.
  • Check out Susie’s campaign here!

Joyce F. Bentley

  • Republican candidate running for 1st district, competing against a female opponent.
  • Joyce is a first-time candidate and is not favored to win.
  • Check out Joyce’s campaign here!

NEW MEXICO

New Mexico has four female candidates running for Congress. One is favored to win and two are in competitive race.

Deb Haaland

  • Democratic candidate running for 1st district, competing against a female opponent, Janice Arnold-Jones.
  • If Deb is elected, she will be the first Native American women in Congress.
  • She is the chairman of the Native American Democratic Caucus of New Mexico
  • Check out Deb’s campaign here!

Xochitl Torres-Smal

  • Democratic candidate running for 2nd district, competing against a female opponent, Yvette Herrell.
  • Xochitl is a first-time candidate and is in a competitive race.
  • She is a former Senate staff
  • Whether she wins or not, this district will be represented by a woman for the first time!
  • Check out Xochitl’s campaign here!

Yvette Herrell 

  • Republican candidate running for 2nd district, running against a female opponent, Xochitl Torres-Small.
  • She is a State legislator
  • Whether she wins or not, this district will be represented by woman for the first time.
  • Check out Yvette’s campaign here!

Janice Arnold-Jones

  • Republican candidate running for 1st district, competing against a female opponent, Deb Haaland.
  • Check out Janice’s campaign here!

NORTH CAROLINA

North Carolina has four female candidates running for Congress.

Linda Coleman

  • Democratic candidate running for 2nd district, competing against a male opponent.
  • Linda is in an unexpected and tight competitive race against an incumbent candidate.
  • She is a former Wake County Commissioner
  • Check out Linda’s campaign here!

Kathy Manning

  • Democratic candidate running for 13th district, competing against a male candidate.
  • Kathy is a first-time candidate and is in a competitive race. She won 70% of votes in the primary election.
  • She is a former immigration lawyer.
  • Check out Kathy’s campaign here.

Denise D. “DD” Adams

Kyle Horton

  • Democratic candidate running for 7th district, competing against a male opponent.
  • Check out Kyle’s campaign here!

OHIO

Ohio has eight female candidates running for Congress.

Jill Schiller

  • Democratic candidate running for 2nd district, competing against a male opponent.
  • Jill is a first-time candidate and is not favored to win.
  • Check out Jill’s campaign here!

Janet Garrett

  • Democratic candidate running for 4th district, competing against a male opponent.
  • Janet is not favored to win.
  • Check out Janet’s campaign here!

Shawna Roberts

Vanessa Enoch

Theresa Gasper

  • Democratic candidate running for 10th district, competing against a male opponent.
  • Check out Theresa’s campaign here!

Beverly Goldstein

Betsy Rader

Susan Moran Palmer

PENNSYLVANIA

Pennsylvania has eight female candidates running for Congress. Pennsylvania has the highest number of female candidates favored to win. If any one of the 8 female candidates in Pennsylvania gets elected, it would be a break of all-male delegation of the state.

Madeleine Dean

  • Democratic candidate running for 4th district, competing against a male opponent.
  • Madeleine beat a former congressman in primary elections and is favored to win.
  • She is a state legislator
  • Check out Madeleine’s campaign here!

Mary Gay Scanlon

  • Democratic candidate running for 5th district, competing against a female opponent, Pearl Kim.
  • She is a pro-bono lawyer; she works on pay equity for women, assistance for women fleeing violence and persecution.
  • Check out Mary’s campaign here!

Chrissy Houlahan

  • Democratic candidate running for 6th district, competing against a male opponent.
  • She is a former high school chemistry teacher/Air Force captain
  • Check out Chrissy’s campaign here!

Susan Wild

  • Democratic candidate running for 7th district, competing against a male opponent.
  • Susan is a first-time candidate and is in a competitive race.
  • Check out Susan’s campaign here.

Pearl Kim

  • Republican candidate running for 5th district, competing against a female opponent, Mary Gay Scanlon.
  • Check out Pearls’ campaign here.

Jessica King

Bibiana Boerio

Susan Boser

  • Democratic candidate running for 15th district, competing against a male opponent.
  • Susan is a first-time candidate and is not favored to win.
  • Check out Susan’s campaign here!

VIRGINIA

Virginia has six female candidates running for Congress. 

Elaine G. Luria

  • Democratic candidate running for 2nd district, competing against a male opponent.
  • She is a military veteran who served in the US Navy.
  • Check out Elaine’s campaign here.

Leslie Cockburn

  • Democratic candidate running for 5th district, competing against a male opponent.
  • She is a former journalist who worked for “60 Minutes” and “Frontline.”
  • Check out Leslie’s campaign here.

Abigail Spanberger

  • Democratic candidate running for 7th district, competing against a male opponent.
  • Abigail is a first-time candidate and is in a competitive race. She won the primaries against male candidate of similar background who said her gender would give her “an edge.”
  • She is a former CIA operative.
  • Check out Abigail’s campaign here.

Jennifer Wexton

  • Democratic candidate running for 10th district against a female opponent.
  • Jennifer is in a competitive race, which is said to be one of the most closely watched elections in the nation
  • She won 42% of votes in primaries.
  • Check out Jennifer’s campaign here.

Vangie Williams 

Jennifer L. Lewis

WISCONSIN

Wisconsin has one female candidate running for Congress. 

Margaret R. Engebretson

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And check out this reminder from @kruckcarrie on Twitter. Thanks for this info!

And that’s a wrap! Make sure to cast your vote on November 6! Want to plan a post-voting brunch with your vinas? Hop over to the Hey! VINA app now to plan it!

WHAT IT MEANS TO BE AN ASIAN WOMAN IN 2018

Nothing for us Asian women is easy.

Let’s start with beauty. Instead of embracing darker skin tones, a great majority of the Asian women population have an unhealthy obsession with getting their skin whitened, hoping to match up with the European beauty standards. Can we really help the fact that some of us are naturally darker from genetics or from the exposure under the sun that increases the amount of melanin in us? Why am I pressured by my native community that keeps telling me that European features are the epitome of beauty? From double eyelids to higher nose bridges, is it necessary for me to undergo plastic surgery to finally be happy with my appearance?

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And that is just the start. There is an obsession with flat stomachs for Asian women. The celebration of thicker Asian women is much more rare in the eye of the Western media. This causes body dysmorphia for a lot of my Asian vinas even when I tell them how damn fine they look. Their mental health goes down the drain and they develop eating disorders, trying to look like their favorite models who secretly might have an eating disorder as well. Why is there a stigma against thicker Asian women? And when she wears a revealing or body hugging outfit to accentuate her curves, why do people call her brave? What if she’s already confident in her own skin? No one tells a thin woman that she’s brave for wearing a bodycon dress, that’s for sure.

Oh oh oh, how about me getting told that I speak English well for an Asian? What the hell does that even mean? It seems that even with the fact that I’m able to speak English people treat me differently. For instance, if an Asian woman was not able to converse in English fluently, she’s immediately a ghost in an English speaking community with difficult means to improve on her speaking skills. No one would approach or even look at her and that’s the reality of it. The reality of “go back to China” is very real and it’s even worse when you’re not even from there. This doesn’t even include the joking stereotype that Asian women who work at beauty salons aren’t able to speak English. Or the irrationality of that one viral video where an Asian woman was yelled at for speaking Mandarin in a Chinese restaurant selling Chinese food. The occasional regular comments like “you’re pretty” followed by “for an Asian” is frustrating. For an Asian? Really? This leads to us Asian women working hard to be on the same page as anyone else.

From getting the grades, making the cash to going for a workout, people would tell us “you work too hard,” “you’re too determined”, “slow down”, “you sure you can handle that?” Hell yeah, we can handle that. To be given the same opportunities—that’s the kind of hustle we have to put in and we don’t hesitate to fight to the top.

Have a topic you want to talk to other vinas about? Start swiping here.

 

 

 

1 YEAR AFTER THE ELECTION: WHY POLITICS STILL MATTER AND HOW TO GET MORE ACTIVE

It seems just like yesterday that the country was buzzing about the presidential election of 2016. For many, there was hope that we would see the first female President of the United States in Hillary Clinton. However, there was also a bitter divide in our nation—about Hillary, about her Republican opponent Donald Trump, about the third-party candidates, about the issues at stake and the candidates’ stances on them. In the end, Trump was the one elected as the country’s 45th President.

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Since that fateful evening in November, a lot has happened in our country. We’ve seen discord within our own people and in our government and witnessed terrorism in a few forms. Issues like health care, immigration, and foreign relations have been front and center in our news cycle. No matter where you stand in the political spectrum, we all can agree that things have been overwhelming.

However, there have been some glimmers of optimism. Most notably, the Women’s March in January brought out an estimated strong 3.2 million people out on the streets to stand up for equality (And you can bet that we at VINA were among them!) It’s important to remember that our government works for us and we the people are their bosses. As citizens, we hold so much power than we think we do.

As we pass the one-year mark of one of the most heated elections of our lifetime, our voices and actions matter more than ever. If you’re looking to get involved in shaping the future of our country, it’s never too late. Here are some places to start.

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Resist Bot This nifty AI-powered tool allows you to text and message your Senators, representatives, governor, and President from your mobile messenger and Facebook messenger. Simply enter “Resist” and the bot will look up your officials based on your address and send a note to them based on what you write. Resist Bot makes it so easy and effortless to contact those in our government.

Indivisible is a movement aiming to fuel a progressive grassroots network of local groups to resist the Trump Agenda. The movement initiated in 2016 with the online publication of Google Doc written by Congressional staffers with tips on how to peacefully but effectively resist the move to the right in the executive branch of the United States government. They adopt Tea Party techniques, but wield them for good. Get involved!

Americans of Conscience After the election, Jennifer Hofmann feared for her rights. She also feared for the rights of her Black, Muslim and Latino friends. So, she created a checklist for Americans of Conscience. Sign up for the weekly newsletter to get clear and hype-free actions to support democracy, freedom and equality for all Americans. No partisanship. No yelling. No fear-mongering. No vilifying allowed.

Women’s March You may remember the pink knitted hats and the nearly 4 million women who took to the streets right after the election? We certainly do! But while the first Women’s March was the largest single protest in US history, it’s important to remember the movement continues today. Today, Women’s March is a women-led movement that works to provide intersectional education on a diverse range of issues. It also creates entry points for new grassroots activists. So grab a knitted hat, find a local chapter, and take to the streets today!

Emily’s List knows the importance of choice. They aim to elect more pro-choice women into office. Donate $2 $20 or $2000 today to ensure that women who believe in the power of choice get into office!

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It’s also important to never forget the power of calling, emailing, texting, and writing to your Senators and representatives! They have real power, but don’t forget YOU give them that power. So do your bit and hit them up today.

Know other ways to get involved and make a difference? Let us know in the comments section below! The country is waiting for you!

WHY GIVING A S*** IS ACTUALLY COOL

I was never one of those kids who went around acting like I was “too good” for something. I have always had a tendency to wear my heart on my sleeve.

If something interests me, I can’t contain my excitement. I’m like a little kid getting all hyped up because tomorrow is Lunchables Day! That uncontrollable giddyness that is so closely associated with kids – yeah, well, I still have that.

If something doesn’t interest me, try as I might to muster up enthusiasm,  I can’t do it. Thankfully, it goes relatively unnoticed to anyone around me, but deep inside I can’t shake the feeling that it is tough lying through my teeth.

Throughout time the lines seem to have been blurred between what is acceptable behavior for young adults when it comes to showing excitement, and what is lame.

We have all seen movies where somebody asks their crush out on a date and for a split second their unabashed enthusiasm is bared, only to be caught a second later and smoothed back down like a bad combover. They realized they sounded excited and immediately had to try to reverse things because apparently excited = uncool.

Now, I’m not sure when this mentality really took over, or why it did, but I can tell you, it isn’t how I’ve gotten through my 24 years on Earth. Nor would I recommend it for anyone else living their life.

I always though it seemed like a miserable way to exist. We as humans already have to train ourselves to surpress so many emotions. Even if our world is crumbling, we still have to wake up, head to school or work, put on a brave face and make it through the day. We have to mask our pain, sorrow, anger, distain and even our genuine happiness. All the work that goes into hiding something that should be expressed, is exhausting.

Not only is it tiring to always seal out your emotions, but it can also affect your relationships with people. You can only spend so much time acting like your not interested in others and casually doing your own thing, before it catches up to you. Folks will eventually learn not to rely on you, and not care to talk to you. This can put you at a huge disadvantage in the job market and in the overall life market. I mean honestly, who wants to be around someone who always acts like they just don’t care about what’s going on?

Acting uninterested in things can just be a phase, and for most teenagers and young adults, that’s the case. Growing out of it, is vital though. I can’t stress enough how important it is to let your loved ones know how much they mean to you. It’s absolutely critical that those who you care about see it reflected in their interactions with you.

Remember, ” A heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.”- L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

(Feature image via @uonewyork)