Feminist News Round Up - July!
20 years after their peak of popularity, the Spice Girls emerged in a big way with a remade version of Wannabe for Project Everyone. The campaign is a United Nations-supported project coincides with the Sustainable Development Goals initiative to include education, gender equality and an end to violence against women as a priority globally. Modern day girl power is at the forefront of the remake, with celebrity performers dancing and spelling out some of the global goals. The video urged women and girls to share a photo of themselves, holding a sign with what they want for the future hosting the hashtag #WhatIReallyReallyWant. Check the video out here
Linda Burney is sworn in to parliament. Labor’s Linda Burney was sworn into federal parliament, claiming the seat of Barton on July 2nd, becoming the first Indigenous woman to enter the house of representatives. Read more about it here
Tanzanian and Gambian governments have put a stop to child marriage, actually putting in place strict punishments for anyone who fails to comply with the new legislation. This was a massive win for child rights groups and activists, as previously a girl as young as 14 years old could marry, most often without having any control over the decision.
2nd female prime minister in the UK sworn in: Theresa May has become the 2nd female prime minister in the UK, sworn in on the 13th of July, taking over David Cameron. May will steer the country through the Brexit crisis, with an outwardly recognised strong mind and a no-mucking-about attitude towards leadership. Already in the short time she has help Prime Ministership, May has shuffled around the MPs, and expressed her desire to push the country in the right direction through Brexit.
My ovaries made me do it. As we all saw on Q&A this month, Steve Price called Van Badham “hysterical” while they were discussed gender based violence, after interrupting her thirteen times while she spoke. This is a perfect example about the importance of language. In the aftermath of the incident, Price argued that he would have called a man hysterical, thus rendering his comments not sexist and devoid of belittling Badham as a woman who couldn’t control her emotions. The reaction to this was unsurprisingly outrage as his comments were dismissive to common knowledge around the origins of “hysteria” and the supposed neurotic condition women have because, well, they are women. Even after he was versed with the knowledge, he still refused to admit that he had hit a sensitive nerve in the community, particularly for women. Read more here
All female Ghostbusters film released in Australia. On July 14th, the all-female-lead Ghostbusters hit Australian screens, sparking a debate around gender representation in Hollywood. On both sides of the spectrum were strong opinions about putting females into a ‘male role’ and ‘male film’, some agreeing that it was not relatable to females and therefore would not be as enjoyable to watch. Conversely, there was widespread celebration of women having the opportunity to be at the forefront of a blockbuster film, as often the female roles are insubordinate to males. Read more here
Honour killing in Pakistan. Social media star, Qandeel Baloch was murdered in an honour killing, confirmed to be by her brother. The devastating event led to worldwide outrage about the epidemic of honour killings that occur in Pakistan, a largely conservative nation. The widespread public is protesting against honour killings and spreading awareness in order to counteract the injustice. Read more here
Michelle Obama gives a groundbreaking Democratic Election Convention speech here on the 26th of July. She recognises the America's recognition of women in politics can largely be attributed to Hilary Clinton, and that the US needs to stand behind her to keep the country progressive for all, particularly women, and the future generation: “And as my daughters prepare to set out into the world, I want a leader who is worthy of that truth, a leader who is worthy of my girls’ promise and all our kids’ promise. A leader who will be guided every day by the love and hope and impossibly big dreams that we all have for our children.”
Hillary Clinton was officially selected as the Democratic Party's presidential nominee on July 26th. Clinton is the first woman in American history to receive the White House nomination of a major US political party, as she has secured the support of the Democratics realised at the convention in Philadelphia. Clinton is a former first lady, senator and secretary of state, paving the way for women in American politics. Read more about it here.
The representation of female's in the Australian Coalition party reached an all-time low in over two decades, when Paul Keating was prime minister. Read about it here
Jessica Valenti, an influential feminist writer decided to quit social media altogether on July 27th after trolls threaten to rape her five year old daughter. She was sick of having to "suck it up" as part of her job, and has made a stand, and is no longer going to tolerate abuse online, or in her life just because she is a public figure and a woman.
On July 20th, Brighton Grammar expelled two senior students who set up a degrading and abusive instagram account that showcased photos of young girls, including a competition where followers voted on "slut of the year". The boys being expelled from the schools sets a precedent for how schools should do with not only mysognistic beahviour, but also online bullying and/or abuse, instead of simply sweeping it under the carpet to avoid a dint in the school's reputation. Read more on this here