There's been some noteworthy feminist news this week, including the announcement of noted women's rights warrior Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's upcoming memoir, My Own Words, which will hit bookstores in January 2017. The Twittersphere also found a new feminist hero in Kim Kardashian, who has become an unlikely symbol of empowerment and agency after the reality TV star posted a nude photo of herself. The photo sparked a Twitter beef between Kardashian and singer-actor-comedian Bette Midler, the latter of whom criticized Kardashian in not-so-nice words. Midler, for her part, is now urging Kardashian to put her tweet toward "a good cause," asking followers for donations to her theater foundation. What. A. Week.
But Kim Kardashian isn't the only feminist news story this week — here's the best feminist quotes you may have missed...
1. New U.N. Report Condemns Abusive Reproductive Rights Violations As Torture
The United Nations released a staggering new report on Thursday outlining how various reproductive rights abuses, including child marriage, forced pregnancy testing in schools and forced or coerced sterilization, are considered torture and must be outlawed globally. The report also called for looser abortion laws, chastising countries where abortion is still banned in all or most cases.
The Center for Reproductive Rights praised the U.N. for raising awareness of these reproductive justice issues, which tend to go unnoticed or are taken less seriously by government and religious institutions. Rebecca Brown, director of global advocacy at the Center for Reproductive Rights, said Thursday in a statement sent to Bustle:
Laws and policies that strip women and girls of their fundamental human right to make their own decisions about their reproductive health, lives and futures can absolutely amount to torture. The Special Rapporteur condemning these reproductive rights violations send a strong message to U.N. member states and should compel countries to amend restrictive abortion laws and eradicate discriminatory practices that violate women and girls' human rights.
2. Shondaland Gets Behind Hillary
Hillary Clinton's campaign released a surprising ad this week: It did not feature any high-profile politicians or ordinary American citizens, but women you may watch weekly on ABC. Yes, the women of Shondaland are behind Clinton, because as TV writer/showrunner Shonda Rhimes says in the ad, "I make television filled with the kinds of characters I imagine we all can be."
The ad not only features Rhimes, but also Scandal star Kerry Washington, How to Get Away With Murder leading lady Viola Davis, and Grey's Anatomy headliner Ellen Pompeo. All of the women throw their weight behind Clinton, saying she's the perfect real-life representative of their fictional characters.
"Every day I wake up and play a brilliant, complex, overqualified, get-it-done woman, who obsessively fights for justice, who cares, who gives a voice to the voiceless, who gets knocked down and always gets back up," the women say, though qualifying that "our characters are on television."
3. Women Of Color Writers Demand Action In Wake Of Sexual Assault Scandal
The literary community was rocked earlier this week by allegations of sexual assault and abuse from multiple poets and writers, most of whom are women of color, against a well-known poet. On Monday, VIDA: Women in Literary Arts published testimonies from women who allege that poet Thomas Sayers Ellis either raped, assaulted, or engaged them in a coercive relationship, and that he has been manipulating and abusing young women writers for years.
On Friday, the literary website The Offing published an open letter from a collective of women of color poets and writers demanding action and accountability as they try to create a safer literary community for women:
We must exercise care in our employment practices, and must withhold/rescind, from known abusers who have refused to change their behavior or seek help, opportunities to interact with community members, in particular with students and young people.
Our goal is a world in which abusers can no longer victimize us, or make unsafe the community spaces where we live, work, and create. To accomplish this, abusers must be denied access, starting now. We ask that our community's organizations — institutions, collectives, retreats, workshops, event series, conferences, and other groups — in which known abusers are participants or leaders, take swift action to discipline and remove them.
4. Amber Rose Shuts Down Slut-Shamers
Model and SlutWalk promoter Amber Rose came out in defense of Kim Kardashian this week, once again shutting down slut-shamers in an interview that aired on ABC's Nightline. Rose, who's been schooling men and women on consent and boundaries over the last year, told the news show:
If any sexy guy posted a nude picture with a little black strip over his private areas, everybody would be like, "Damn, he is hot, he's sexy, look at that body. Oh, he's a dad too?" It's just a double standard.
5. Film Community Speaks Out About Hollywood's Notorious Gender Problem
A new film series exploring why Hollywood's gender disparity among directors still persists premiered this week on International Women's Day. The 4%: Film's Gender Problem features directors, writers, actors, cinematographers, and even critics voicing their views and frustrations on why and how Hollywood needs to change.
Choice quote from writer-director Amy Heckerling: "They keep saying 'woman' like, you know, like you're some sort of strange animal."
Watch a trailer of the series below: