This Week in Women: Goodbye to The Greats
Our hearts are heavy this week as we say goodbye to the unforgettable Franca Sozzani, 1980’s pop icon George Michael, and the actress and activist mother-daughter duo Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher. We raise a glass to celebrate their lives and contributions, as we also say farewell to a veritable rollercoaster of a year. Cheers to solidarity and finding hope in 2017. It’s time for This Week in Women!
Rockettes Drama Over Performing at Trump’s Inauguration
Iconic kick line and dance ensemble, The Rockettes, announced on December 22 that they would be performing at Trump’s inauguration, and all full-time dancers were “obligated” to perform. In a revealing interview with Marie Claire, one dancer spoke out anonymously (under the alias, “Mary”): “If I had to lose my job over this, I would. It’s too important. And I think the rest of the performing arts community would happily stand behind me.”
Controversy struck immediately as dancers were notified about the performance, many finding out from friends and loved ones via text message. “It’s almost worse to have 18 pretty white girls behind this man who supports so many hate groups. They’re going to be branded in history as one of those women,” Mary said. “How’s it going to look?”
“I usually don’t use social media to make a political stand but I feel overwhelmed with emotion,” posted one of the other dancers, Phoebe Pearl, in a now-deleted comment to her Instagram. “Finding out that it has been decided for us that Rockettes will be performing at the Presidential inauguration makes me feel embarrassed and disappointed. We will not be forced! #notmypresident.”
Gloria Steinem and Planned Parenthood Join The Women’s March
Feminist author and activist, Gloria Steinem, has joined the list of participants as an honorary co-chair for The Women’s March in Washington D.C. on January 21, one day after Trump’s inauguration.
Planned Parenthood has also decided to join the protest, according to BuzzFeed. “We will send a strong message to the incoming administration that millions of people across this country are prepared to fight attacks on reproductive health care, abortion services, and access to Planned Parenthood, as they intersect with the rights of young people, people of color, immigrants, and people of all faiths, backgrounds, and incomes,” Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, said in a statement.
Mike Pence Gets a Special Welcome
Vice President-Elect Mike Pence received a meaningful welcome-to-the-neighborhood message from area residents. Signs provided by NARAL—a top women’s reproductive rights advocacy group—were plastered around Pence’s temporary neighborhood (as he rents a five bedroom house in the days before the election) in Chevy Chase, Virginia. “Part of our charge following the election is making sure that Mike Pence knew just how off base he was with the majority of Americans when it comes to abortion access,” said NARAL’s communications director Kaylie Hanson Long to DCist. “The best way to let him know that is to go literally right to his door step and tell him.”
Image via New York Daily News
Stay tuned to Milk for more of This Week in Women and check out our previous installments here.