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!

5 WAYS SURROUNDING YOURSELF WITH BADASS WOMEN EMPOWERS YOU

2018 was a tough and beautiful year for me. It brought painful life changes, valuable realizations and exciting new beginnings. Much of this was due to the support, insight, love and encouragement of the badass women in my life, who actively built me up and helped me recognize my self-worth. I have experienced firsthand the various ways surrounding yourself with such people can have an empowering impact, and I’m excited to share some of them with my VINA community!

INSPIRATION THROUGH THEIR SUCCESSES 😍

There’s nothing quite like seeing the women in your life succeed and getting to celebrate those successes with them. In a society still heavily dominated by men, these successes are all the more meaningful and inspiring, because they remind us we are also capable of achieving our dreams.

Badass women don’t hide their successes; they share them and use them to remind other women not to hold back or be intimidated. They are not threatened by others’ achievements and excitedly share their valuable insight with those willing to listen.

I’m surrounded by countless renegade women who are actively crushing it professionally and personally. They always own their wins and encourage me to do the same–something that can be difficult in a society where men are often encouraged to boast about their achievements, while women are chided for it.

Part of what makes these women so inspiring is their tenacity and drive to go beyond dreaming of accomplishments and to actively pursue them. For example, if they tell you they want to learn a new language, they’ll take the necessary steps to do so, motivating you to do the same with your goals.

THEY ACTIVELY AFFIRM AND BUILD YOU UP 💪

Badass women are quick to recognize when you’re down and all the quicker to remind you how valuable you are and how far you’ve come. They validate your experiences while helping you see the light at the end of the tunnel. They recognize the strength, resilience and potential within you and insist on helping you realize it.

After experiencing a difficult life change in 2018, I felt embarrassed, defeated, and valueless. During this time, I was living (temporarily) with two of the fiercest women I know. There were numerous nights I’d go home to their apartment feeling overwhelmed and depleted. They would immediately offer me warm hugs, hot tea and listening ears. When I doubted myself or my abilities, they pointed out what I’d already accomplished and helped me realize there was far more strength within me than I was giving myself credit for. Their love, kindness and wisdom helped me move forward and rebuild my confidence.

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JUDGMENT-FREE SPACES FOR SELF EXPRESSION 🦄

Badass women are too busy building each other up and getting sh** done to pass judgment on others. They cultivate healthy spaces for you to express yourself without feeling criticized. Do you love eating ice cream at 3 in the morning? No judgment. You’ve worn the same pair of jeans three days in a row? No judgment. You don’t see what all the fuss is about Meryl Streep? Okay, a little judgment, but they’ll still love you!
In judgment-free spaces like this, no topic is off limits.

While living with the powerful ladies mentioned above, I always felt safe opening up about my fears, insecurities and numerous vulnerable topics. Never once was I shut down or made to feel ashamed for what I shared. They encouraged me to be honest and open and made sure I always felt heard and validated.

THEY VALUE THEIR TIME ⏰

A common thread I’ve noticed amongst the badass vinas in my life is how they value their time and care for themselves. They suffer zero fools because they don’t have time to waste on them. They prioritize self-care and eliminate anything/anyone toxic from their lives. Badass women encourage you to follow suit—not wasting energy on empty things or allowing unnecessary negativity into your life. They are aware of their mental, emotional and physical needs and make sure to take care of them.

One such strong woman in my life is incredible at recognizing when she needs time to rest, relax and refocus. She identifies what she needs and values herself enough to prioritize self-care. Watching her care for herself inspired me to do the same—whether it meant stepping away from an activity for some me time, taking a quick nap to reset, or treating myself to a movie or a substantial portion of chocolate chip ice cream.

CELEBRATE WINS, GROW FROM FAILURES 🙌

Empowered women jump at the opportunity to celebrate your achievements. They’re excited to see you move forward and live your best life. They also come alongside you when you experience failure to share their own stories; They help you see where you can improve and what you can do to be successful in the future.

All throughout this past year, I’ve had a circle of vinas all around me to celebrate triumphs, big and small. They have cheered for me, affirmed me and made sure I took time to soak each one in. If things didn’t work out how I planned or turned into a complete mess, they offered me valuable insight and encouragement to help get me back on track.

The best thing about badass women? They’re everywhere! All around you are women taking sledgehammers to the glass ceiling and over-the-moon about equipping others to do the same. Empowered women empower women–they build each other up and help each other move forward. And, finally, badass vinas make sure you know you yourself are one badass woman.

Ready to meet some renegade vinas? Jump on the Hey! VINA app and get swiping to get connected.