Following a week of abhorrent gun violence, haunting memories from Hurricane Katrina, and Dr. Ben Carson (no explanation needed there), we need a little pick-me-up. And when is a better time to take a look at some of the most feminist statements than the tail end of the week that marked the 95th anniversary of the 19th Amendment? Yes, Women's Equality Day floated to the top of Facebook newsfeeds this week, and while we always enjoy a good feminist Facebook rant, your digital profile wasn't the only place where feminism rose above the violence, misogyny, and Donald Trump's comb-over. Here's some of the best feminist quotes from this week:
President Obama's Equality Proclamation
Wednesday, Aug. 26 marked Women's Equality Day, which celebrates the 19th Amendment that gave (white) women in America the lawful right to vote. To commemorate the groundbreaking amendment (kinda crazy that allowing women to cast a vote was groundbreaking, right?), President Obama released an official "Presidential Proclamation" reaffirming his administration's dedication to evening out the playing field between the sexes. That includes ensuring American women have everything from pay equity and health care that's not only affordable but comprehensive, to paid family leave and stronger anti-sexual assault legislation.
"As we celebrate 95 years since the certification of the 19th Amendment, let us demonstrate our commitment to the belief that we are all entitled to equal treatment by supporting policies that help women succeed and thrive," the president wrote.
The following is just a snippet of the proclamation. You can read Obama's full proclamation at the White House website:
Since this historic achievement, our country has made great progress in building a freer and fairer society, and we continue striving to fully realize justice and equality for all. There is still more to do to secure the promise of our Nation for everyone, including ensuring that women have equal opportunities to participate in the classroom, the economy, the workplace, and our democracy. From day one, my Administration has carried forward the torch of gender equality, working tirelessly to ensure that all of America's daughters have the same rights as her sons.
"He Named Me Malala"
The trailer for an upcoming documentary about Pakistani activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai premiered online this week, and it already has us wishing Yousafzai can win the Nobel Prize for the next 80 years. He Named Me Malala goes behind the scenes on Yousafzai's already well-documented life, showing us what's it like to be an ordinary teenage girl who's simultaneously a target of the Taliban and the global symbol of the right to education for girls and young women.
"There's a moment where you have to choose whether to be silent, or to stand up," she says in the trailer. "I want people to learn from the experience I had. My father only gave me the name, 'Malala.' He didn't make me Malala."
No, those aren't tears. I'm not at all crying. Watch the trailer below and you won't be crying, too.
Carly Fiorina Wants A Place At The Podium
Carly Fiorina was the MVP of the Fox News GOP presidential forum, which raised her campaign profile and sparked a number of "Why Fiorina Deserves To Be With The Big Boys" think pieces. But Fiorina won't partake in the next debate, hosted by CNN, per the network's guidelines. Although Fiorina is now polling in the middle of the GOP pack, her polling numbers prior to the Fox News debate were so low that they push her out of CNN's top 10 list.
Fiorina isn't giving up. The former Hewlett-Packard CEO wrote in an email to The Wall Street Journal: "Based on every meaningful metric, I’ve earned a place on the main stage."
And we want to see her there.
Directors Guild Of America Wants More Diversity Behind The Camera
The Directors Guild of America released a troubling report this week that found that diversity behind the camera is still severely lacking when it comes to almost all of your favorite TV shows. According to the DGA, women directed just 16 percent of all 3,900 television episodes that aired in the 2014-2015 season. It's a slight uptick from the previous season, which had women calling the shots for 14 percent of all episodes aired, but it's hardly a figure that symbolizes gender parity in Hollywood.
DGA President Paris Barclay said in a statement:
The uptick in the number of episodes directed by women — modest but hopeful — is just a drop in the bucket of what needs to be done by studios, networks and showrunners before we can begin to realize equal opportunities in television for our members. With so many more episodes and work opportunities, employers should seize the opportunity for diversity with their choices, especially when it comes to first-time episodic directors. Without employers making a concerted effort to bringing a more diverse mix of new entrants to the hiring pool, we won’t see meaningful and lasting change.
Matt McGorry Is Our Perfect Ally
Speaking of TV, Orange is the New Black heartthrob Matt McGorry is not shy about being a feminist ally. This week, he crafted a handy little quiz for those unabashed, card-carrying anti-feminists (or are they called "meninists" these days?) to test their opposition to gender equality. Why aren't you a feminist? It's either A) or B) ...
... or C) I'm a confused cat.
This Whole 'Advocate' Interview With Lily Tomlin
Lily Tomlin is a feminist national treasure. It seems like not an interview goes by where Tomlin doesn't quip, "I'm a feminist. I'm a lesbian. Deal with it." In an interview with LGBT magazine The Advocate this week, Tomlin became emotional over same-sex marriage, expounds on society's treatment of "women of a certain age," and dismisses the anti-abortion crowd when discussing her new film, Grandma, which centers around a teenager's abortion. The whole interview is worth the read, but here's some choice Tomlin quotes:
On the evolution of LGBT rights in America:
The last 10 to 15 years it’s been sort of stunning. This generation has been out of this world. I want to say it’s because of everyone who came before them who did whatever they tried to do. They may not realize it, but they’ve been the beneficiaries of that activism, like my friend [activist-writer] Vito Russo and what he endured, and he’s not really here to see it.
On being an actress over 70 and heading a Netflix show (Grace & Frankie) with lifelong pal and fellow feminist Jane Fonda:
We want the older women to be as real as possible in a half-hour television show, and we want them to deal with “women of a certain age” issues. And it creeps in, like us being ignored when we’re trying to buy cigarettes.
On the women performers who inspired her:
I was inspired by the old television stars — Gracie Allen, Imogene Coca, Gale Storm, Ann Sothern, Jean Carroll, who was a stand-up … Lucy!