This Week in Women: The Call-Out Edition
Progress means staying on top of the issues and speaking up when necessary to start a conversation. Our foremothers did not sit idly by when it was time to raise their voices in protest of the injustices they faced, whether they were voting rights or reproductive healthcare access. And this week was full of women speaking out—some for a good cause, and others for unknown reasons. It’s another this week in women: the call-out edition!
Amy Schumer Gets Roasted for “Formation” Video
Amy Schumer and a handful of her co-stars in her upcoming movie—Goldie Hawn, Joan Cusack, and Wanda Sykes—created what some are describing as a parody of Beyoncé’s epic artistic production, “Formation.” CNN reported that Schumer claimed she had Beyoncé’s permission to recreate the music video, which seems likely based purely on the fact that it was first released Tuesday night on Tidal, Jay Z‘s streaming service.
At first, Schumer shed light (if only a sliver) on her latest multimedia work in an Instagram post.
But that didn’t stop an onslaught of backlash and criticism on Twitter as well as pretty much all other social platforms, claiming that the parody was tone deaf to issues of cultural appropriation and included racially insensitive humor. Eventually, this gave way to a hashtag, #AmySchumerGottaGoParty.
Last night, however, Schumer defended herself in an article on Medium. In it, she writes, “Saying I love Beyoncé’s album ‘Lemonade‘ is a huge understatement…I love how in the lyrics of ‘Formation’ Beyoncé is telling us to get in formation. And also I like to think she is telling us ladies to get information. I did not mean to detract any of the meaning from the video. I am of course horrified and sickened by the events that are addressed throughout that video and didn’t see this as minimizing that and still don’t. It was a way to celebrate bringing us all together… It was NEVER a parody. It was just us women celebrating each other.”
Pussy Riot Drops Epic Anthem
There was some music this week that generated some positive attention, however—namely the homage to vaginas that Nadya Tolokonnikova, the feminist rocker of Pussy Riot, gifted us with. She recorded “Straight Outta Vagina” back in February of this year with Dave Sitek (TV on the Radio), and the new video was released this week. Featuring Tolokonnikova, Sitek, Leikeli47, and Desi Mo, “Straight Outta Vagina” is a powerful anthem, coming at a rather apt time (re: the election).
Not to mention a fine work of songwriting! In the song, the vagina is invoked in all sorts of sweet ways. “Does your vagina have a brand?” the song begins rather geniusly. It goes on, “Vagina gonna win the race / Vagina gonna play in space / Vagina gonna top the charts / Vaginas fill your shopping carts.” Yes, yes, yes, and yes. We will. And finally, we can’t forget the chorus: “Don’t play stupid / Don’t play dumb / Vagina’s where you’re really from.”
Icelandic Women Walk Out To Protest Pay Gap
Our lady compatriots in Iceland took action this week, walking out of work early (2:38 pm) to protest the disproportionate gender pay gap. 2:38 signified the time women workers technically stopped getting paid compared to their male counterparts. As The New York Times noted, “Even in Iceland, the country many experts consider the world’s leader in gender equity, the gender pay gap persists. Women employees make 14 to 18 percent less than men in Iceland.”
“No one puts up with waiting 50 years to reach a goal. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a gender pay gap or any other pay gap. It’s just unacceptable to say we’ll correct this in 50 years. That’s a lifetime,” Gylfi Arnbjörnsson, president of ASÍ, the Icelandic Confederation of Labour, said in a statement to RUV. And to that, we say: preach.
Megyn Kelly And Gloria Allred Go To Bat Against Trump And His Surrogates
Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, continued to deny any groping wrongdoing after adult film actress, Jessica Drake, spoke out publicly this week, claiming that Trump had kissed and groped her against her will and invited her to his hotel room for money. To which Trump replied, “She’s a porn star. You know, this one that came out recently, ‘he grabbed me and he grabbed me on the arm.’ Oh, I’m sure she’s never been grabbed before.”
“I say to Mr. Trump, put up or shut up,” Drake’s attorney, Gloria Allred, said. “You are nothing but a fourth rate politician and a fifth rate human being who is losing this election and lashing out at the women who accuse you.”
During an interview with Megyn Kelly on Tuesday night, Trump surrogate, Newt Gingrich, debated the impact of Trump’s now infamous Access Hollywood leaked tapes and its subsequent media coverage. “If Trump is a sexual predator…,” Kelly began, spurring Gingrich into a verbal shitstorm.
“I mean, do you want to go back through the tapes on your show recently?” Gingrich ranted. “You are fascinated with sex, and you don’t care about public policy.”
“You know what, Mr. Speaker? I’m not fascinated by sex, but I am fascinated by the protection of women and understanding what we’re getting in the Oval Office,” Kelly retorted.
Looks like somebody got burned. And that somebody certainly isn’t Mr. Gingrich.
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) October 26, 2016
Images via The Independent and Indiwire. Lead graphic by Ashley Britton.
Stay tuned to Milk for more of This Week in Women and check out our previous installments here.