Hats off to Sofia Coppola, who became the second woman in history to win the Palme d'Or for Best Director at Cannes.

World

6.2.2017

This Week in Women: "Fearless Girl" & A Win For Gender Identity

This week director Sofia Coppola took home the Palme d’Or for Best Director at Cannes Film Festival—becoming only the second woman in history to do so. “I do hope that when we include more female storytellers we will have more of the women that I recognize in my day-to-day life—ones that are proactive, have their own agency, and don’t just react to the men around them,” said Cannes juror Jessica Chastain.

What’s more, we also celebrated an outstanding victory for LGBTQ rights and saw a “Peeing Pug” appear on Wall Street. Read on below for all the deets—it’s time for This Week in Women!

The “Fearless Girl” Statue And The Appearance of The “Peeing Pug”

Kristen Visbal’s “Fearless Girl” statue had a companion on Wall Street this week that sparked outrage and roiled up more controversy. The “Peeing Pug”, created by New York City artist Alex Gardega, was present for several hours and appeared to be peeing on the Fearless Girl’s feet.

While Gardega claimed his intention with his paper mache pug was to draw attention to the Fearless Girl’s commissioning firm, State Street Global Advisor, and its true intentions of capitalizing on well-placed feminism, many found the canine to be indicative of other truths.

Battles Rage on in the States for Women’s Healthcare

In Iowa, Governor Branstad cut funding to Planned Parenthood through an appropriations bill, causing four of the state’s 12 clinics to shutdown beginning June 30. The four clinics have provided critical healthcare services to 14,600 people over the past few years.

“This is a case of extreme Iowa politicians deciding they know what’s better for a woman’s health than the women actually seeking care, with devastating consequences,” said Suzanna de Baca, President & CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland. “We will do everything we can to continue to care for as many patients as we can. However, the harsh reality is that, despite all our efforts, there will be women who fall through the cracks and lose access to healthcare because of this dangerous legislation.”

Here, we saw the same language used in the “Trumpcare” bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives, attempting to cut funding for Planned Parenthood. Iowa is an example of the real effects of this bill’s damaging language and intent, and each person included in the statistic counts for one very real life that will experience additional adversity and suffering over a loss of accessible healthcare. Humanity is being left at the wayside by conservative legislators at the state and national level as they divide over partisanship and send our healthcare backwards.

A Win for Gender Identity & LGBTQ Community in Federal Appeals Court

We are celebrating a decision by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago that ruled this week in favor of transgender student Ashton Whitaker. Whitaker is a 17-year-old in Kenosha, Wisconsin, who was forbidden to use the boys bathroom, even though he identified as a boy.

The court ruled that Whitaker’s freedom of choice was protected under Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. “This action further stigmatized Ash, indicating that he was ‘different’ because he was a transgender boy,” Judge Ann Claire Williams wrote.

“I am thrilled that the Seventh Circuit recognized my right to be treated as the boy that I am at school,” said Whitaker in an official statement by The Transgender Law Center. “After facing daily humiliation at school last year from being threatened with discipline and being constantly monitored by school staff just to use the bathroom, the district court’s injunction in September allowed me to be a typical senior in high school and to focus on my classes, after-school activities, applying to college, and building lasting friendships.

“As I look forward to college next year, I hope my case will help other transgender students in Kenosha and elsewhere to just be treated the same as everyone else without facing discrimination and harassment from school administrators.”

Featured image via Reddit

Stay tuned to Milk for more of This Week in Women and check out our previous installments here.

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