With June officially ringing in the start of summer, it looks like the sun is shining and skies are clearing (for feminism) this week! Get excited for the weekend (and Pride!) with some Feminist Wins from the past two weeks – covering everything from driver’s licenses in Saudi Arabia to Miss America beauty pageants.
Happy Pride Month! 🌈
June 1st marked the beginning of Pride Month, and we’re so excited! Started in 2009 to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Riots in Manhattan, this month is filled with events dedicated to celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community and all of its many vibrant rainbow colors. So from all of us at Feminist Campus, happy Pride!
Medicaid expansion comes to Virginia
After years of appeals, the state of Virginia finally received a sudden expansion to Medicaid health care – enough to provide 400,000 low income Virginians with health insurance. Virginia joins 32 other states that have taken the expansion as part of the Affordable Care Act. The bill was officially signed into law yesterday, marking a powerful culmination of four years’ work.
Equal Rights Amendment gains traction
In more than a weekly win, the Feminist Campus team and our summer interns attended a shadow hearing for the Equal Rights Amendment, a bill – over 200 years in the making – that promises to prohibit gender discrimination as a constitutional right. With only one more state needed to ratify its passage through Congress (thanks Illinois!), Wednesday’s press conference and hearing featured members of Congress advocating for the ERA’s passage, as well as actress and #MeToo advocate Alyssa Milano. Hopefully her Charmed magic (and a whole lot of feminist activism) will push this bill through once and for all!
Women drivers celebrate in Saudi Arabia
This Monday, driver’s licenses were issued to women in Saudi Arabia for the first time in the country’s history. The 10 women to receive their licenses first will join an estimated 20,000 later this month, when the national ban is officially lifted on June 24. This is a victory for women thanks to the diligent and brave work of women’s rights activists in Saudi Arabia who have risked arrest for years. However, many of these activists have been arrested and are still being detained, despite the lift on the driving ban.
Miss America embraces body positivity
This week, the long-standing beauty pageant announced it is axing its swimsuit competition, promising to “no longer judge our candidates based on their outwardly physical appearance.” The decision, which seeks to judge contestants purely on their personal merits, comes after December’s release of sexist and sizeist emails between high-ranking officials at the organization and the subsequent change in leadership (to be mostly all women led), which prompted the firm to reassess its core values and mission. In the words of former Miss America Mallory Hagan,
I don’t want to see young women fretting about fitting into a bikini or enduring comments from people about how they’re 10 pounds too heavy to do vital charitable work. I want to see young women tell me how they have changed their community; share with me what they want to see legislators accomplish in regard to their platform; engage with me on pressing topics of our world.
— Cara Mund (@MissAmerica) June 5, 2018