WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
The Bahamas Just Outlawed Gender Discrimination
Book that next Caribbean getaway, because the Bahamas is screaming sunshine, blue water, and equality right now. The Bahamian Parliament has passed four amendments to its 1973 Constitution in order to protect against sex-based discrimination. The first three bills regard the passing on of Bahamian citizenship to spouses or children. Before the amendments, only Bahamian men could pass on citizenship to a child born in a foreign country with a non-Bahamian spouse, and only men’s non-Bahamian spouses could become citizens. The last bill adds the word “sex” to the forms of discrimination the Constitution protects against. (Some decried this as a slippery slope towards the evil institution of gay marriage. We can dream.) Prime Minister Perry Christie says, “It has been more than fifty-three years since our women won the right to vote but they still do not have constitutional protection against discrimination based on their sex. This must be seen as abhorrent to our fundamental values.”
Bermuda, Bahama, com’on equal mama…
SCOTUS Split Would Uphold Anti-Abortion Laws
Reviewing oral arguments on abortion cases is stressful, but we do it whenever we need a break from watching the Republican debates and Donald Trump’s descent into madness. With the death of Justice Scalia, the Supreme Court will likely be split 4-4 on Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt, upholding two existing anti-abortion Texas laws without precedent and sending the case back to the district it came from. The provisions, which come from Texas’ backwards HB 2, require doctors and abortion clinics to jump through hoops that would effectively reduce the number of clinics by 75%. Ten clinics and 5.4 million women? Many living 200 miles away from the nearest clinic? Yeah, we think that’s an undue burden. Justice Sonia Sotomayor pointed out the puerile logic of making a woman take abortion-inducing pills at a clinic, wasting her time and money, when she could take them at home like all other pills. Meanwhile, Justice Alito blabbed on like the adults on Charlie Brown.
Change you can believe in starts with Obama picking the 9th justice.
New Persian Graphic Novel Teaches Gender Equality
While the U.S. continues to cast Iran in an Orientalist light, a group of journalists, writers, and artists have sought to create a platform for real Iranians to connect with. Jensiat, a new online graphic novel, follows 34-year old Iranian woman Leila as she navigates sexuality, gender politics, competition in the workplace, and more. The site aims to teach Iranian readers about gender inequality and internet security; it includes blog posts and digital security guides to supplement Leila’s story. The second episode in the six-part series will be released on March 24. Sorry, non-Farsi speakers—this one is yet to be translated.
Not for your eyes, unless you can read Farsi.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
In Guatemala—a country with high rates of femicide, sexual abuse, and impunity in such cases—one woman is using music to make a difference. Guatemalan hip-hop artist Rebecca Lane highlights everything from catcalling, to inequality in hip-hop, to murder in her music. When Lane was a teen, she turned to poetry for solace after being sexually and physically abused by an older boyfriend. Eventually she started writing rap, but never intended for it become as influential as it has. She is currently performing alongside three other hip-hop artists on the “Somos Guerreras” (“We Are Warriors”) tour across Central America and Mexico. She says, “[Somos Guerreras is] a way of seeing hip-hop for women as a political movement.” Empowering and enlightening, love to listen to that on my way to work!
Young girls today have online tutorials that give them 20 years of professional make up experience in five minutes, among many other things. Twenty years ago, they had Clarissa of Clarissa Explains It All, your girl-next-door-through-your-TV that helped you navigate the trials of puberty. Mitchell Kriegman, a former SNL writer, aimed to create a show that would explore young female identity and shatter stereotypes. Clarissa loved science and video games, and while her life didn’t revolve around contouring and eyebrows on fleek, she still cared about her appearance. She was an inspiration for girls who became gamers and techies, and her outfits, in all their nineties glory, reflected what actual viewers wore. Meanwhile, today’s television teens look like 35-year-old divorcees with great botox and two bottles of Moscato stashed under the pillow. Indeed, Kriegman says, “It was a step back when Disney came out with girls who wanted to be a star and were boy crazy.”
WHAT WE'RE READING
There was a time when women were spinsters once they got to a certain age and were unmarried, and now look—everyone from Carrie Bradshaw to your newly-divorced mom is single and living it up. While we were once relegated to nunneries and attics (just kidding), single adult women now outnumber their married counterparts. Rebecca Traister, author of All the Single Ladies, believes such unmarried status is by choice. With economic independence and sexual liberation under their belts, women can delay marriage later than ever, or not get married at all. And later marriages also even out the division of domestic work; when a man and woman have both been single for a while before tying the knot, each will have had time to figure out the extremely arduous tasks of baking cookies and changing light bulbs.