WOMEN IN THE WORKFORCE:
Hillary Clinton has made history this election season as the first woman to earn the nomination of a major party. Despite the sexist remarks Clinton has received and the effects of persisting gender inequalities, she made it this far and that is progress for equality. She is not actually the first woman to run for the presidential candidacy, however this is still hugely important. During the convention Clinton’s primary challenger, Bernie Sanders, nominated Clinton, indicating that the Democratic party is working to move forward united.
Takeaway: It does not matter whether you like Hillary Clinton or not, this is a significant moment in history.
MAKING NEWS THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA
As with trending hashtags before it, #commutingwhilefemale shone a light on the sexism that women face – this time in form of harassment during their daily commute. Woman began sharing their stories following a piece on the Huffington Post highlighting disturbing encounters women face while taking public transportation every day.
Takeaways: These viral hashtags raise awareness for the sexism many women face daily. Some people have the luxury of being blind to the disgusting acts that occur in public places, but the stories shared via these stories provide victims a voice to reveal the deeper issues.
This fun way to promote gender equality is encouraging women around the world to share what they really want for girls and women. The video remake of the 1996 hit “Wannabe” was produced by Project Everyone, an organization working to spread awareness about the U.N.’s Global Sustainability Goals. The messages will be presented to world leaders during the U.N. Sustainable Development Summit in September this year.
Takeaway: The more time and discussions spent on these issues, the more it pressures society and organizations to make the changes people want happen.
Obama, Biden, and other members of the administration will no longer visit colleges that fail to properly address rape allegations. Biden further said that he would like to take away federal funding from universities that are not adequately changing its ways of handling sexual assaults.
Takeaway: The president and elected officials can make a huge impact without only using legal means by the way that they act.
Fox News CEO and chairman Roger Ailes was accused of sexually harassing former Fox News Host Gretchen Carlson at the beginning of this month. Soon after, six more women came forward with allegations of sexual harassment by Ailes. There are reports that Megyn Kelly, the network’s biggest star, received unwanted sexual advances by Ailes about ten years ago. While the investigation into allegations is ongoing, Ailes recently resigned from Fox News.
Takeaway: People need to be held accountable for sexual harassment and sexual assault. This case is raising more publicity on the issue.
As briefly documented in January’s news roundup, the NFL has a spotty reputation when it comes to sexual violence. This month, the NFL has announced $10 million in funding over the next five years to an alliance of organizations working to prevent sexual violence. The initiative, Raliance, is the first-ever major corporate funding of a collaborative effort dedicated to ending sexual violence.
Takeaways: Though surely spurred by backlash to many sexual violence incidents linked to the NFL in the past, this initiative is a great step towards change. Having a large entity like the NFL publicly speak out against sexual violence and back up their words with donations to support its prevention will hopefully encourage others to do the same.
The recently confirmed Republican nominee for President has thus far only angered female audiences with little more than his crass remarks and general views of women. However, early this month a woman filed a federal lawsuit against Trump, alleging that he raped her when she was 13 in 1994. The case itself raises many questions about Trump’s history with women and sexual assault (though this topic is certainly not new for him). But what’s possibly more problematic is the lack of media attention paid to these allegations. While the press has thus far been eager to call out Trump on his mistakes, they remain relatively mum on the topic of sexual violence.
Takeaways: No matter which way you lean politically, it’s apparent that certain topics are dealt with differently for each of the newly appointed presidential nominees. These allegations raise many questions the media doesn’t seem willing to help answer.
AROUND THE WORLD:
Social media star, Qandeel Baloch, was killed by her brother earlier this month as part of a so-called “honor” killing. An honor killing is the killing of a relative, especially a girl or woman, who is perceived to have brought dishonor on the family. Qandeel was seen by some as the Kim Kardashian of Pakistan, rising quickly to fame through videos on Facebook expressing herself as a modern day feminist. Her brother has since been charged with crime against the state, but expresses no regret for his actions, saying “Girls are born to stay home and follow traditions. My sister never did that.”
Takeaways: This particular incident highlighted the massive difference between feminism in the United States and elsewhere in the world. Instead of the brother being remembered with pride and honor as he wished, we should remember Qandeel as a brave feminist who has inspired women around the world.
To protest the “morality police” and show their solidarity with women who are required by law to cover their hair in public, men in Iran are wearing hijabs and posting the evidence online under #meninhijab. The men were inspired by the My Stealthy Freedom campaign, which encourages women to share veil-free photos through social media outlets to protest. Many of these men are posting photos in support of wives, sisters, mothers, and other family members as they protest the strict rules around the headscarf.
Takeaways: Feminism isn’t just for women, in any part of the world. We need men to show their support and join the fight against inequality and unjust treatment in order to make any progress.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Making an unusual move for a platform that has a reputation for lax policy enforcement, Twitter has permanently banned conservative blogger Milo Yiannopoulos after his online interactions with Ghost Busters actress Leslie Jones, during which his followers bombarded her with racially and sexually abusive content.
This incident has once again sparked the issue of free speech, as well as policing online harassment. Twitter is, in fact, a private company and can do what they please with users who do not follow the guidelines. Twitter even has an entire section of their rules dedicated to Abusive Behavior, though the company is certainly not known for policing their policies. Now, the blogger’s followers are calling for lawyers to sue Twitter for infringing on their freedom of speech.
Takeaways: We’ll simply leave you with the following comic .
Last month we reported on New York City ensuring access to free pads and tampons in public facilities like schools, shelters and prisons. This month New York became the 11th state without a tax on menstrual products. The tax repeal could save women purchasing tampons and similar products an estimated $10 million a year, according to a press release issued by the governor.
Takeaway: New York continues to make steps forward, let’s hope other states are quick to follow.
OTHER ITEMS COVERED IN BRIEF:
- Update on Harriet Tubman on $20 bill: A history of women on American money.
- Kesha Announces Tour: This is her first since suing former producer Dr. Luke for sexual assault. The lawsuit is not yet resolved.
- What Feminism Means Around the World: NPR asked women in various countries what feminism means for their nation.
- Yoko Ono’s New Feminist Catman Music Video: The video combats issues like ageism and sizeism by featuring dancers of various ages and body types.
- Miss Teen USA Ditches Swimwear Portion: Continuing recent modernization, Miss Teen USA has eliminated the swimsuit portion that was previously a staple of the pageant.
- Safe Bars: Bars in D.C. now are implementing training for bar staff to know how to identify and stop potentially harmful situations that could be lead to a sexual assault.
Did we miss something huge? Let us know! Submissions are always welcome and comments are highly encouraged and will be approved to further discussion as long as they follow our guidelines. Please keep an open mind and respect your fellow humans.