Rule Breakers

7 Feminist Wins From August, From Kamala Harris To Naomi Osaka

More women than ever are running for Congress. Does representation alone count as feminism?


In a month that felt both uncannily quick and a lot like Groundhog Day, August provided some big feminist wins. Tap through for moments of representational media and people bucking expectations.

1. Joe Biden announces Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate.

On Aug. 11, Biden announced Harris as the Democratic candidate for vice president. She's the first Black woman and South Asian woman to be nominated for VP, and should they win in November, she'd be the first woman elected into the White House.

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2. The 19th amendment turns 100.

August marked 100 years since the ratification of the 19th amendment, granting women the right to vote. In the century since, activists have continued to fight de facto disenfranchisement and voter suppression.

Amy Sherald/Vanity Fair

3. September magazine covers honor Black women.

Both O: The Oprah Magazine and Vanity Fair featured the late Breonna Taylor on their covers, courtesy of artists Alexis Franklin and Amy Sherald. Vogue honored designer Aurora James, and ELLE profiled Cardi B.

California State Assembly

4. A California lawmaker brings her newborn to vote.

After being denied the option to vote remotely after giving birth, California legislator Buffy Wicks brought her newborn with her to the state capitol. Remote voting was only available to members at "high risk" for COVID-19. She supported a bill expanding paid family leave, which passed.

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5. Professional athletes strike.

After the police shooting of Jacob Blake, athletes in the NBA and WNBA used their platforms to advocate for racial justice by striking. Tennis star Naomi Osaka followed, pulling out of the Western & Southern Open semi-finals, and wrote an accompanying Instagram post about her decision.

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6. Cori Bush wins her primary.

As primary season wrapped up, Black Lives Matter activist Cori Bush won her St. Louis primary. As Missouri's first district leans heavily Democratic, it all but assures her place in the U.S. House of Representatives. If elected, she'll be the first Black congresswoman to represent Missouri.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images

7. More women than ever are running for Congress.

According to an August report from the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers University, at least 243 women have won their congressional primary elections — a record high. That includes more Republican women and women of color than ever.