This Week in Women: The Fergie Reboot Edition
The Emmys kicked off our week, giving us much to smile about—from Hulu series The Handmaid’s Tale cleaning up in multiple categories to Lena Waithe’s historic moment as the first African American woman to win in the best comedy series writer category. “Last but certainly not least, my L.G.B.Q.T.I.A. family,” Waithe remarked in her acceptance speech. “I see each and every one of you. The things that make us different. Those are our superpowers. Every day when you walk out the door, put on your imaginary cape and go out there and conquer the world, because the world would not be as beautiful as it is if we weren’t in it.”
Let’s explore more with This Week in Women!
Trump’s Male-Dominated Government
In a study that surprises no one, The Guardian issued a report this week that the Trump administration has hired a predominantly male-dominated government. In fact, men outnumber women on staff 4-to-1— a ratio that hasn’t been so skewed since the pre-Clinton era.
“It’s difficult for people to extrapolate beyond their life experiences to make good policy,” said Harvard University’s executive director of the Women and Public Policy Program, Victoria Budson, in The Guardian report. “And yet every member of the cabinet is responsible for making sure their policies are effective for the whole country. So you want a mix of experiences and background and talents and skills to help us solve the complex problems facing the country.”
While the numbers look bleak (and frankly, much has looked bleak for women since November 8, 2016), we are heartened to see a number of activist-hearted women considering or running campaigns for office. EMILY’s List has reported over 18,000 women contacting their offices with intention to run for some type of government office.
“Women candidates and women voters are stepping up at historic levels and will change the tide in states across the country this election cycle,” said EMILY’s List Executive Director Emily Cain in an official statement. “Voters know that women and families deserve better from their state elected officials than these legislators and officials, who have sought to drastically limit—and in some cases outright ban—reproductive health options, end critical workplace protections, and roll back voting rights.”
“It’s On Us” Viral Video Campaign
Statistics show that over 11 percent of female students will experience rape or sexual assault — in response, the Obama administration launched the educational campaign “It’s On Us” in 2014. This week, 101-North Marketing released a series of “It’s Illogical” YouTube videos in conjunction with the organization’s three-year anniversary that illustrate the cycle of victim-blaming.
Women are shown in different situations, blatantly disregarding rules and other peoples’ feelings, offering up explanations like a “biological urge that I can’t be expected to control” while peeing in a model toilet in a home store, or two women laughing and continuing to touch a piece of art, even when asked not to by a gallery employee. The significance is not lost on the viewer, as we see women act out and use explanations that are often used when sexual assault perpetrators try to explain away their behavior.
Two weeks ago, we wrote about how Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is actively pursuing the process of rolling back Title IX protections. These “It’s On Us” videos are sort of hilarious until you realize that perpetrators of sexual assault will be held less accountable if DeVos is successful. You can find more information about recognizing and intervening in non-consensual situations and helping making school environments safer with www.itsonus.org.
The Fergie Reboot We’ve Been Waiting For
It’s been over a decade since Fergie dropped The Dutchess on the world, making us all feel fergalicious. For her much-anticipated solo-return, Double Dutchess, out today, Fergie is exploring where she has been and where she is going with a decidedly complex, feminist vantage point.
Fergie explained the inspiration behind her song “A Little Work” to WWD as “a battle in your mind about overcoming negativity and anything that’s in your way, and just powering through that and finding your tools to overcome that, whatever they may be.”
Featured image via Billboard
Stay tuned to Milk for more of This Week in Women and check out our previous installments here.