Feminist Wins of the Week

By Clarie Randall

Happy Friday! Get your weekend started early with some #FeministWins of the Week:

Another judge rules that DACA is here to stay

This Tuesday, Judge John Bates of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia became the third federal judge to overrule President Trump’s plans to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an immigration program more commonly known as DACA.

Since attacks on DACA began, entities outside of the federal government have taken approaches to protect those reliant on DACA within their communities; just this week, the University of Michigan released a website designed as a resource for both undocumented and DACA students. The University of Michigan is joined by many other universities and colleges (as well as the Connecticut legislature) renewing support for undocumented and Dreamer students in light of this new ruling.

… And more rulings are made to protect reproductive freedom

In a win for sexual health education, a Washington judge halted the Trump administration’s plans to cut grants that fund the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program. By issuing a permanent injunction, the federal judge’s decision ensures that the grantees will continue to receive funding for the next year.

Additionally, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit affirmed a previous ruling that struck down certain provisions of an Indiana law designed to restrict and limit access to abortion. The law was originally signed in 2016 by then-Governor (and current United States Vice President) Mike Pence, who is a prominent opponent to abortion access. This ruling upholds the previous federal court decision that deemed the law unconstitutional, and is a victory for abortion access.

Janelle Monáe comes out as ✨queer✨

Yesterday, Janelle Monáe officially came out in a Rolling Stone cover story, referring to herself as queer, as well as “a free-ass motherf*cker.” With the release of her album, Dirty Computer, today, Monáe discusses the references to queerness in her new music. Rolling Stone reports, ” ‘If you listen to my albums, it’s there,’ she says. She cites ‘Mushrooms & Roses’ and ‘Q.U.E.E.N.,’ two songs that reference a character named Mary as an object of affection … The original title of ‘Q.U.E.E.N.,’ she notes, was ‘Q.U.E.E.R.,’ and you can still hear the word on the track’s background harmonies.”

Her singles released in advance of today’s Dirty Computer drop have already been lauded for their queerness and sexual fluidity: “Make Me Feel” has been called a “bisexual pop anthem” and her music video for the song “Pynk” heralded as “about as queer a music video as they come” (in which Tessa Thompson’s head pops out from between Monáe’s legs). But her coming out in Rolling Stone solidifies the importance of her new album, and she dedicates it to those who have ever been marginalized because of their identity:

I want young girls, young boys, nonbinary, gay, straight, queer people who are having a hard time dealing with their sexuality, dealing with feeling ostracized or bullied for just being their unique selves, to know that I see you. This album is for you. Be proud.

19th annual Denim Day held on Wednesday

CW: sexual violence

Advocacy group Peace over Violence held its 19th year of Denim Day events, with others around the world joining in, to bring awareness to sexual violence. Denim Day is held each year in late April to wrap up Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and this year rides on the wave of movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp, which have garnered awareness around sexual harassment and brought massive attention to the epidemic of sexual violence. Denim Day, which is named for the Italian Supreme Court ruling that overturned a rape conviction “because the justices felt that since the victim was wearing tight jeans she must have helped her rapist remove her jeans, thereby implying consent,” is a campaign that asks its supporters to wear denim in solidarity with the survivor of the case and against sexual violence and rape culture worldwide.

By Clarie Randall

Clarie is Senior National Organizer at the Feminist Majority Foundation, where she runs operations and programming for Feminist Campus on the East Coast. Shortly after graduating from the University of South Carolina in 2017, she joined the Feminist Campus team to organize in Southeastern states. Now a D.C. resident, Clarie is passionate about digital and grassroots organizing and enjoys exploring the city with her partner, dreaming about getting a dog one day.

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