This week marked the first week of March, which is Women’s History Month, and yesterday we celebrated International Women’s Day! The Feminist Campus team is also super excited because next weekend, March 17-19, is our National Young Feminist Leadership Conference! If you haven’t registered yet, you’ve still got time left: register for NYFLC here! Celebrate with us throughout the month – and every month – as we take a look at some of this week’s feminist wins – our herstory in the making:
Gymnast Aly Raisman takes action
“I refuse to wait any longer for these organizations to do the right thing,” said Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman, who is suing the U.S. Olympic Committee for failing to take action to prevent former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University team doctor Larry Nassar from molesting hundreds of women. Raisman continued by stating, “It is my hope that the legal process will hold them accountable and enable the change that is so desperately needed.”
Raisman, a gold medalist who competed at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, was among more than 100 women who alleged that Nassar sexually abused them. He pleaded guilty to child pornography and sexual assault charges and was sentenced to lengthy prison terms. Raisman is continuing to fight and demand action as she takes up this powerful lawsuit that hopefully will hold all parties accountable.
Texas starts off strong
A record number of women are seeking public office in Texas, which kicked off its primary season yesterday. 50 women are running for congressional seats across the state (and half of them won their primaries outright or advanced to runoffs yesterday). Approximately 110 are seeking local office. This surge in the number of women running for political office is particularly notable in a state that has only three women representatives in its House (out of 36).
Serena Williams stars in powerful new Nike advertisement
Nike debuted a new commercial featuring Serena Williams, titled Until We All Win. In the ad, Williams recounts all the times that she’s been criticized for not being “womanly” enough before saying, “But I’m proving time and time again that there’s no wrong way to be a woman.” In a statement, the tennis star who’s become an active philanthropist added: “Over time, I became much more conscious of the impact I had, and I became more conscious of what I had to do to make a difference.” Yesterday, International Women’s Day, also marked her first day playing professional tennis again after giving birth.
— Nike (@Nike) March 5, 2018
Women protest around the world on International Women’s Day
The Guardian hosted live coverage of International Women’s Day news and protests held across the globe, including:
- BBC employees protested for equal pay, walking out of the broadcasting house at 4:22 PM, which signifies the time women would need to leave work on a 9AM-5PM workday to account for the current 9% pay gay at BBC.
- UN Women hosted a Wikipedia edit-a-thon to close the #WikiGap. Over 50 countries participated in the event, designed to increase women’s contributions to the ever-growing knowledge database at Wikipedia and push for women’s representation on the internet. Currently, 90% of edits made to Wikipedia are contributed by men.
- South Koreans held a #MeToo protest in Seoul in support of the movement that has taken off in South Korea over recent months. The Me Too movement has resulted in multiple resignations from high-profile sexual abusers in South Korea, much like it has in the United States.
- 10 unions orchestrated a nationwide women’s strike in Spain, resulting in the cancellation of 300 trains. Reports indicate that over 5 million women across the country went on strike for International Women’s Day under the slogan “If we stop, the world stops.”
- Aboriginal women marched to call for an end to alcohol-related interpersonal violence, which disproportionately impacts Indigenous women in Australia
- Marches were held in Nepal, as women called for social, economic, and political equality. The march’s theme was #RageAgainstRape, which women donned on white t-shirts as they marched silently through the streets of Kathmandu.
- Protests held in the Phillipines against President Rodrigo Duterte attracted hundreds of activists, who claim that Duterte is one of Asia’s worst violators of women’s rights.
#MeToo and inclusion riders at the 2018 Oscars
The Academy Awards is filled with perfectly planned outfits, jokes, and acceptance speeches. The ceremony, like many award ceremonies, also often reflects the current culture in the U.S. and this year was no different. Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel reminded everyone that “what happened with Harvey and what’s happening all over is long overdue.” Ashley Judd, Annabella Sciorra, and Salma Hayek (all Harvey Weinstein accusers) addressed the #MeToo movement during their speeches. And let’s not forget the moment when Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri‘s Frances McDormand said, “And now, I want to get some perspective,” and asked every female nominee in the room to stand. “Look around,” she told the audience, “because we all have stories to tell, and projects to finance.” She ended her speech saying, “I have two words to leave with you tonight … inclusion rider.” An inclusion rider is a contractual agreement that actors can either ask for or demand, which mandates that a film’s cast and crew reflect a higher level of diversity – yet another stepping stone to a more diverse and representative Hollywood.
The featured image for this Feminist Wins blog post is a derivative; original photo by Red Women’s Workshop.