Feminist Wins of The Week

By Samantha Levine

Happy Friday!

Continued engagement around the Me Too movement + the start of the 2018 Winter Olympics = a gold medal-winning week in feminist wins:

The women of Team USA are bringing home the gold

The 2018 Winter Olympics kicked off last week in PyeongChang, South Korea. According to the official Olympics website, “the number of women athletes at the Olympic Games is approaching 50%,” up significantly from 2014’s 40.3% (1,120 women athletes). The women of Team USA have gotten off to a great start so far in these 2018 games: Jamie Anderson won the gold for women’s snowboard slopestyle after she performed in less-than-perfect weather conditions (becoming the only woman to earn two gold medals for the Olympic event). 17-year-old Chloe Kim became the youngest woman to win an Olympic snowboarding gold medal during the Winter Games. And the United States’ figure skating team took home the bronze medal – thanks in part to Mirai Nagasu, who became the first American woman to land a triple axel in the Olympics. Keep kicking butt ladies, we’re all rooting for you!

All 50 AGs demand end to ‘culture of silence’ around sexual harassment

On Monday, every state attorney general – the majority of whom are Republicans – signed a letter to congressional leaders demanding that sexual harassment victims get their shot at justice. “Ending mandatory arbitration of sexual harassment claims would help to put a stop to the culture of silence that protects perpetrators at the cost of their victims,” the letter says.

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This is the first time in 10 years that all state attorneys general have worked together like this, according to a press release from Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. Bondi, a Republican, is leading the effort with North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, a Democrat. Stein spoke with The Huffington Post about the Me Too movement’s impact: “There’s been a much greater understanding about how deep-seated and widespread sex harassment is,” Stein said. “This Me Too movement and all the attendant media coverage have really underscored just how grave this situation is in America’s workplaces.”

Left out of the #MeToo movement, sex workers are speaking out

Some sex workers recently spoke out about being left out of the #MeToo movement, and Time magazine is working to include them in the narrative. In the words of one woman, who recently worked as a prostitute and webcam model: “They’ll say we’re just whores anyway – ‘How can you sexually assault a whore?’ I’ve had that said to me multiple times.” Sex workers are particularly vulnerable to sexual violence on the job, but lack many options to report.

Nigeria sends first bobsled team to the Olympics – and it’s all women

Three women, Seun Adigun, Ngozi Onwuumere, and Akuoma Omega, will be competing this coming week as the first-ever Nigerian bobsled team. The women know that they are breaking boundaries and are excited to represent not only Nigeria, but the entire continent of Africa as the first bobsled team to ever qualify for the Olympics. All three women were born in the United States, but have chosen to represent their parent’s homeland at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Although new to the sport (and viewed as underdogs), the former track and field athletes are not the first to transition from track to bobsled, and their speed on the track will serve as an advantage on the ice. They compete on February 20 and 21.

New York Attorney General files lawsuit against the Weinstein Company

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman filed a lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein and his film company, “accusing the disgraced Hollywood mogul of repeatedly sexually harassing, intimidating and demeaning female employees and perpetrating a hostile work environment.” The lawsuit has successfully paused a deal to sell the Weinstein Company to Maria Contreras-Sweet. Negotiations for the deal halted last Sunday, making it likely that the debt-ridden studio will be forced to file bankruptcy. “Any sale of the Weinstein Company must ensure that victims will be compensated, employees will be protected going forward, and that neither perpetrators nor enabler will be unjustly enriched,” Mr. Schneiderman said in a news release.

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