This Week in Women: The Gov't Gets it Right...And Wrong (Again)
As America gets ready to inaugurate its most unpopular president-elect ever, women are facing a myriad of complex issues relating to their physical and emotional well-being. While the Ohio legislature presented a bill to walk back progress on abortion access, the state of Illinois passed first-of-its-kind legislation to identify and assist victims of domestic violence. Lady Gaga spoke up about her struggles with PTSD, and the “Imperfectly Perfect” exhibit explored individuality, diversity, and womanhood. Today, we’re examining post-election 2016 as women’s issues come to the forefront of the national conversation. It’s time for This Week in Women!
Illinois takes a step forward & Ohio takes a step backward
Beauty professionals in Illinois will now undergo training to identify signs of domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as how to respond and refer suspected victims to the proper places. Illinois demonstrated how government bodies can work across the aisle on important issues, overwhelmingly passing this amendment to the Barber, Cosmetology, Esthetics, Hair Braiding, and Nail Technology Act, which Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law, taking effect on January 1st. “The more the public recognizes what domestic violence and sexual assault looks like, the more we are all likely to be able to say, ‘This is not your fault, there is help you can get, you don’t have to live like this,’” said Vickie Smith, executive director of the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence. “It’s a form of prevention.”
Ohio’s state legislature shook the confidence of pro-choice advocates this week when it passed the “Heartbeat Bill,” outlawing abortions from the moment a fetus can be detected (approximately six weeks). The bill has gone to Governor John Kasich for consideration. This bill outlaws abortion access, even in the case of rape or incest, and undermines the constitutional healthcare guidelines from the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio is ready to go to battle against the pending legislation, but the full effect of this bill and others like it remains to be seen.
Lady Gaga reveals her mental health challenges
On Monday’s Today Show, Lady Gaga dropped a bombshell, revealing that she suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). According to the singer, her PTSD stems from being a victim of rape at the age of 19, in addition to experiencing huge emotional and physical tolls during years of heavy touring.
In an open letter published on the Born This Way Foundation’s website this week, Gaga explored the causes and effects of her PTSD and the science behind the diagnosis. Gaga’s revelation and discussion moves the needle on the importance of mental health conversation and awareness. “No one’s invisible pain should go unnoticed,” she said.
Rebecca Moses’ mannequin exhibit and celebration of individuality
Rebecca Moses and Ralph Pucci worked together to open a show featuring 29 diversely dressed mannequins, called, “Imperfectly Perfect,” that pushed aside notions of basic beauty and presented a forward-thinking presentation that took over Ralph Pucci International. “Imperfectly Perfect” is a multimedia installation that combines small-scale portraits, large illustrations, and a sprawling mural, accompanied by mannequins each with their own back story and individualized aesthetics. According to Moses, these mannequins have a rallying cry for women: “I am undefinable. Undefinable and indescribable.”
Featured image via Thomas Iannaccone for WWD
Stay tuned to Milk for more of This Week in Women and check out our previous installments here.