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Childcare for Female Candidates + More
Federal Election Commission Allows Campaign Funds to be Used for Childcare Expenses
Liuba Gretchen Shirley, New York congressional candidate, won unanimous approval from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to use campaign funds for childcare expenses. When considering a run, her biggest obstacle was obtaining care for her two children, as a part-time nanny quickly proved insufficient and unaffordable. This FEC decision mitigates a significant obstacle for women in politics, but affordable childcare remains a barrier for women in other fields.
Behind the Flowers: The Activist History of Mother’s Day
Brunch, flowers, cards, and political activism? Although not commonly known, Mother’s Day originated from activism and political protests. Mother’s Day can be traced back to 1870 when Julia Ward Howe, poet and activist, wrote the “Mother’s Day Proclamation” calling for a “Mother’s Day for Peace” to end state-supported violence. This action continues to inspire modern groups such as Codepink, which has been leading national events on Mother’s Day since the early 2000s. While it is certainly a day for celebration, Mother’s Day holds much more meaning than it is known for.
Image: JOSHUA ROBERTS
Paulette Jordan Hopes to Become Idaho's First Native American Governor
Democrat Paulette Jordan defies critics with her candidacy for Idaho governor. The 38-year-old Coeur d'Alene Native American woman cites her powerful female ancestors as motivation for her candidacy, asserting that "the opportunity for women is now." Idaho is an 80% white state with a history of voting Republican, but Jordan hopes to disrupt this trend.
How the #MeToo Movement Has Made the Podium Hers
This year is seeing a record number of women commencement speakers. Although the #MeToo movement is not the direct cause of the increased number of women speaking at prestigious graduation ceremonies, it has certainly influenced the decisions. This year women account for about 60% of the speakers at 25 of the schools with the largest endowments. Speakers include women from a range of fields such as business, art, politics, athletics, and more.
Female Politicians and Candidates Face Rampant Online Harassment
When running for political office, women often face the added challenge of navigating online harassment and stalking. Incessant, sexist, and sometimes threatening messages are used by opponents as a tactic to deter women from running. Women have increasingly publicized such messages to draw attention to this issue.
Image: Getty Images
Dina Brawer Becomes Britain’s First Orthodox Female Rabbi
Dina Brawer, the founder of the United Kingdom’s branch of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance (JOFA), recently became Britain’s first Orthodox female rabbi. The graduation ceremony will take place in June at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale in Bronx, New York. Brawer, in response to Jewish News, commented “I wanted to be a role model to women and girls in the community, to show this is not something only possible as a man… Young girls should become anything they want.”
It’s been over a year and six months since the Brexit vote, and the UK’s impending breakaway from the European Union is still causing uproar. Fashion companies based around the UK, in particular, are concerned about the deals’ impact on their ability to hire and travel internationally, as well as import high-quality textiles from around the globe. According to a report from the Creative Industries Federation, 74% of small luxury labels—many of whom are run by or provide employment to women-- fear that Brexit will significantly harm business prospects. Adam Mansell, the executive of the UK Fashion and Textile Association, warns that, although it seems unlikely, “it is vital that we get a trade deal with zero tariffs and very simple border controls.”
28-year-old Humza Mian isn’t just a veterinary technician—he’s also a drag queen and social media influencer whose feeds are both a celebration of his South Asian heritage and of his individuality. His drag name, MangHoe Lassi, pays homage to a popular drink in India. Growing up in a religious family, Mian was taught to hide any traces of femininity, and he still isn’t out to his parents. While he wishes he could be, the reality is that coming out still is not a safe option for many people across the world. Even though laws are changing and promoting acceptance of more and more people, the social implications of such a decision can be incredibly dangerous. Mian wishes that media represented those queer folk who are proud of their identity but still have to remain closeted, unlike the many out-loud-and-proud shows like Queer Eye and RuPaul’s Drag Race. Despite this, he is happy his drag, makeup tutorials, and social media presence as a beauty influencer can create a safe space for him to be fully himself, and he hopes he can create that space for others with similar experiences.
Jessamyn Stanley, yoga instructor and body-positive advocate took to Instagram this week to talk about an issue that isn’t discussed nearly enough: chafing and the discomfort—and scars—it can result in. Stanley posted an amazingly real photo of herself on her couch in her underwear, comfortably watching television with her inner thighs bearing the scars many plus-sized women have from chafing. Within her caption, she says “Yes, there are permanent marks on my thighs from chafing, Welcome to being #fat.” What people don’t realize is that this happens to women whose thighs happen to brush together when they walk—it’s not about being what society deems as “fat.” It’s simply friction and nothing to be ashamed of.
Coming out is an important moment for many in the queer community, but what if you never technically have to come out, or you’re not sure you even have anything to come out about? Growing up, Wilson knew she liked boys, but she was confused about the feelings that girls would sometimes provoke in her. She hated herself for being confused. As a supporter of queer rights, she felt that even discussing her confusion would take away from “real queer people,” and she saw her own identity as invalid. After all, she married a man and was incredibly happy with him, so what was the point of exploring her identity even further? But one day during Pride Month, Eleanor wondered why she didn’t think her identity mattered and why she had been unhappily hiding herself. She realized that to finally feel comfortable in her own skin, she had to be honest. After coming out via social media, Eleanor couldn’t stop telling everyone she talked to; it gave her such a rush of love for herself and her unique identity. If there’s one thing Eleanor’s story can teach us, it’s that accepting yourself and showing who you are to the world takes time, bravery, and a whole lot of self-love.