This Week in Women: a damning report, a reproductive rights lawsuit, and a new chapter in the ceaseless tragedy that is the Trump presidential campaign. In other words, things are still kind of sucking for women.



This Week In Women: Caitlyn Endorses Trump and Female Directors Reign

Last week, we said things were kind of improving for women. Joke’s on us! This week’s installation of This Week in Women features a damning report, a reproductive rights lawsuit, and a new chapter in the ceaseless tragedy that is Donald Trump‘s presidential campaign. 

Breaking News: Film Industry Treats Men Better Than Women

Yet another study has found that women in the workplace have it worse than men. This time, the film industry is the culprit: a new report by Slated shows that films written, directed, produced by—and even starring—women enjoy a larger average return on investment than those by men.

The only anomaly found was among low-budget films directed by women, which receive the lowest average return in investment.

“Why are woman directors performing so low in low-budget films compared to everybody else?” Stephen Paternot, CEO of Slated, asked The Hollywood Reporter. It turns out that this discrepancy in performance was due to a distribution gap. The Slated study, which was conducted over the course of six months and involved an analysis of 1,591 feature films released between 2010 and 2015, found that low-budget films by and about women receive two-thirds less distribution than those by men. In other words, for every 121 screens a female-led movie gets, a male-directed one gets 323.

Sofia Coppola on the set of The Virgin Suicides.

The study also found that, on average, women are being given less money to create films and less distribution once those films are created—and yet women still generate more money for the industry than men.

“Everybody thinks if you bet on women, you lose,” Patternot said. “But the data is saying, if you’re really in this just to make a return on your capital, you should be betting on women.”

This problem can’t be fixed by asking consumers to support female-led films by seeing them in theaters—clearly, people are already doing that. The solution lies in production and distribution companies. They’re the only ones who can close the gap.

Caitlyn Jenner Says Trump is Great for Women + LGBT

Ardent Republican Caitlyn Jenner has once again expressed her support for Donald Trump in a recent interview with STAT News.

“I’m on the conservative Republican side,” she told the news site. “I’m not excited with what Obama has done to the economy, to our Constitution, all that kind of stuff. But as far as the transgender community, they’ve actually been very good.”

Regardless, the former Olympian/current reality TV star thinks Obama isn’t the candidate who will make America great again. “Trump seems to be very much for women,” she said of the businessman-cum-politician who has repeatedly been called out for sexualizing women, including his own daughter

“He seems very much behind the LGBT community because on what happened in North Carolina with the bathroom issue,” Jenner continued. He backed the LGBT community.”

Earlier this year, Trump said Jenner could use any bathroom she wanted at Trump Tower, a reference to the anti-trans bathroom bills that have passed around the country. She took him up on the offer and recorded a video of herself entering and exiting the women’s room at the Trump Tower in Columbus Circle.

Thanks Donald! #everyonehastopee #flushdiscrimination (head to Facebook if you want to see the whole video)

A video posted by Caitlyn Jenner (@caitlynjenner) on

Jenner nonetheless acknowledged that Trump is a wildcard when it comes to his LGBT policies—as well as most other policies (she didn’t say that; we just did).

“In Trump’s case, there’s a lot more unknowns,” Jenner said. “With Hillary, you pretty much know what you’re gonna get with the LGBT community.”

Even if Trump is as good for women as Jenner claims, it’s unlikely that a Trump presidency will not be friendly to people of color, immigrants, Muslims, or anyone else, for that matter.

The ACLU is Suing the US Government for Violating Reproductive Rights

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a suit against the US government for withholding abortion and contraception from undocumented immigrant minors. According to the suit, the Office of Refugee Resettlement uses the funding it receives from the federal government to give grants to private shelters across the country—some of which refuse to provide young immigrant girls necessary reproductive services.

The migrants sent to these shelters are typically apprehended by US law enforcement while crossing the US-Mexico border. According to Think Progress, nearly half of all migrant children apprehended at the border in 2014 were girls—many of whom fled their home countries due to violence, rape, and sexual assault, according to a report from the Women’s Refugee Commission.

“One young woman—who was hospitalized for suicidal ideation after she became pregnant as the result of rape by one of her ‘guides’ to the United States—was kicked out of her Catholic-affiliated shelter because she asked for an abortion,” the ACLU suit alleges.

It’s already hard enough for immigrants to flee their homes; we don’t need to make their lives any harder.

According to the suit, religious shelters’ anti-contraceptive policies violate the stipulations of the Unaccompanied Alien Children Provisions of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, which states that shelters that receive funding from the ORR are required to “provide unaccompanied immigrant minors who are victims of sexual assault with access to reproductive healthcare.” Thus, the ACLU claims that the government’s funding of groups that refuse to follow these stipulations on religious grounds is unconstitutional and violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment—essentially, they’re saying taxpayer dollars are being spent unconstitutionally.

Douglas Laycock, a University of Virginia expert on law and religion, told The New York Times that the ACLU’s claim that taxpayer dollars are being spent illegally is weak. Nonetheless, hopefully this suit motivates the federal government to take action in support of young women and girls’ reproductive rights. The ORR has declined to comment on the pending suit.

Images via The Red List and John Moore/Getty Images. Original imagery by Kathryn Chadason.

Stay tuned to Milk for more of This Week in Women.

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