This week we discover that feminism is having an identity crisis, some Brits show us how things are done, periods get some love, Nancy Pelosi pins a gold star on moms, and a transgender-reveal party fills me (and hopefully you) with hope and happiness.
Bad news in feminism:
Two recent studies have concluded that as much as 80% of young women in the US and Britain are declining to identify as feminists. It seems as though the old (I'm talking very old here, like 100 years old) stereotypes of feminism are rearing their ugly head once again and bringing to mind outdated and radical images of man-hating lesbians who won't wear lipstick or something ridiculous like that. The good news is that the majority of these same young women believe in full equality for men and women. It seems that it is the word feminist that is frightening them off. Let's be clear that the vast majority of feminists don't hate men, nor do the vast majority of lesbians. Also, I'm guessing that straight and gay women wear lipstick (or not) in fairly similar numbers but I don't think anyone really cares about that one way or the other. And sorry for the product placement here but this is precisely why a book like F is for Feminist is so important. We must be teaching our children (boys and girls) that a feminist is very simply "a person who supports equal rights and opportunities for women." (See the F page in F is for Feminist, please). I think we can (almost) all agree on the value of the concept - we just need to be more comfortable in calling it what it is. Say it with me loud for the people in the back- feminism! It sounds to me like young women need to read the book as well. In my humble opinion:)
Study details and article here.
The UK announced last week that upskirting became illegal when Queen Elizabeth II signed a bill making it official. For those of you who may not know, "upskirting" is the practice of surreptitiously taking a photograph underneath a woman's dress or skirt. It is a form of harassment, a form of voyeurism, a form of image based sexual abuse, an extreme invasion of privacy, and guess what? Here is why it is in the bad news section: it is not illegal in much of the U.S. Though there are various laws throughout our country that attempt to protect women under this circumstance, many if not most cases are thrown out because the laws don't support punishment for this very specific type of behavior. Perhaps now that we have more women in Congress this particular problem will get a boost in priority. Right after they get the Equal Rights Amendment passed - or before. An upskirting law might be easier. Sigh. Our Congresswomen (and men) really have their work cut out for them.
US/Britain comparison article here. Ministry of Justice tweet here.
Good news in feminism:
Can I just say that my favorite thing from this week was the announcement of the new period emoji?! OK maybe that implies that I had a sad week or that I have bad periods but finally half of the population has an emoji that expresses a hundred different sentiments with a single drop of blood! Oftentimes, no other words are required - a single drop of blood can say it all. We just get it. The emoji came about thanks to the hard work of Plan International UK, a children and girls advocacy organization, in partnership with NHS blood donation. The main purpose of the emoji is to destigmatize menstruation. I am certain it will help with that and also just make communication easier for a bunch of us. Article here. Have you read one of my first blogs, The Tampon Secret is Out!? This new generation is fearlessly stepping up and making sure that periods are appreciated for what they are (just the future of all human life on earth) and removing unwarranted shame and embarrassment. Love it!
Nancy Pelosi announced that she considers child-rearing a "gold star" on a resume and thinks that every prospective employer should do the same. The most powerful woman in our country (and the third most powerful politician in our country), who also happens to be a mother of five and a grandmother of six, confirms what moms already know. Being a mom is hard work and deserves to be recognized and valued. In fact, she credits raising her children as one of her life experiences that most prepared her for her job as Speaker of the House. She famously recently said, "I know a temper tantrum when I see one." Spoken like a mom, and one who doesn't give in when the baby starts screaming to get his way. I wonder if the clapback was a holdover from parenthood?
The following is a really feel-good story so I wanted to end with it. Heather Lundberg Green is a mom who lives in Kentucky. She threw a gender-reveal style 20th birthday party for her transgender son. "It's A Boy!" she announced, complete with "pregnancy" photos, balloons, an "It's A Boy!" baby blanket and teddy bear, blue sparkles, and happy family photos with herself and her two smiling sons. Heather told the Huffington Post that the photos were a statement of joy and a positive way to support her son Adrian on his journey in transitioning. You can see that in the photos. They are full of love and joy. Heather said, “It’s not enough to accept or ‘put up’ with the transgender community. We need to celebrate them. These men and women have had courage that is beyond anything we can fathom. We should be able to celebrate our similarities and differences with all of the people of the world.” I'll make a birthday toast to that. Happy Birthday Adrian!!
Original facebook post here. Huffington Post article here.