Feminists to the Front.
Every fortnight, WinWin subscribers receive Feminists to the Front, our newsletter on everything essential and intersectional. Here is our quarterly round-up, with some updates. There’s a lot going on. Subscribe here to get ahead of it.
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CW: mentions violence and abuse
— Note from the Editor —
Over the course of the last few months, we’ve watched the death toll continue to rise as a result of violence against women. At date of publication, 44 women have been killed in Australia in 2019. Usually by someone they know.
That’s more than the oft-quoted one per week.
It’s an epidemic, and like Destroy The Joint, we are keeping count.
Respect for women must be greater.
Women must be a priority for policy-makers.
Men must fundamentally be involved in change.
We’ll be getting into more depth on all this in coming Editions.
Send us your comments and questions.
This month marks two years since the monumental #MeToo movement spread its way through Hollywood, and even just the past few months have seen some huge advances towards equality and ending sexual abuse in multiple industries. From models in the U.S to protesters in Hong Kong, #MeToo continues to make its way around the world.
— #ProtestToo —
Hong Kong has been in unrest during recent months with a series of protests and demonstrations over the anti-extradition bill (get caught up here). The repercussions have been felt around the world, with clashes between pro-Hong Kong and pro-Beijing supporters at universities and beyond. In Hong Kong itself, women taking part in these demonstrations have experienced threats of rape and violence and are being trolled online. Following allegations of police misconduct against women, the Hong Kong Women’s Coalition on Equal Opportunities organised #ProtestToo in solidarity. It’s no surprise that women are moving to the forefront of the protest movement: from the country’s 22% wage gap to the mothers of the Tiananmen victims, who have become increasingly outspoken about the “state of terror”. Now new footage has been leaked of police groping women as they dragged them out of the protest. Women have a lot to be angry about and #ProtestToo is just another addition to the equality agenda.
— #MeToo x models —
Fashion watchdog Diet Prada expanded their scope from calling out copycat brands to breaking #MeToo stories in July. The month has seen a number of aspiring and established models like Sunnaya Nash come forward to call out celebrity photographers Marcus Hyde and Timur Emek. The story has a somewhat incomplete ending, with neither perpetrator being brought to justice – which seems to be a common thread weaving its way through the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. Social media platforms give these predators the opportunity to thrive — often without backlash. But huge cases mean these men will be added to a blacklist by many modelling agencies, highlighting the problematic power dynamics within the industry. The New Republic did a deep dive into issues plaguing the industry, from sexual harassment to pay discrepancies and body image issues.
Let’s hope it’s only up from here…
Around the world with WinWin
Our favourite wins for womankind from countries around the world: from Poland to Indonesia and into China’s history — the power of women worldwide.
— Girl power in Poland —
A small Polish town called Miejsce Odrzanskie — population 212 — has seen only girls born in the past ten years. The town hit the spotlight in August when a powerhouse group of young volunteer firefighters put the village on the map after winning a regional competition with their all-girl team. The town’s mayor has offered a reward for the next couple that gives birth to a baby boy, but ten-year-old Malwina Kicler, who has been training on the team for three years, isn’t fussed by the absence of boys (honestly, same). Girls run the world, starting with this one-road town.
— Marriage is not where girls belong —
In September, a leap towards eradicating childhood and forced marriage was made when Indonesia raised the minimum age of marriage for girls to 19. The law previously allowed girls 16 or younger to be married, while for men, it was 19. The country currently has the eighth highest number of child brides in the world, with 14% of Indonesian girls married before 18 and 1% married before they turn 15. The marriage law had been in effect for 45 years, and the amendment was welcomed warmly by the country’s Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection Minister, Yohana Yembise: “Finally, after 45 years. This is a present for Indonesian children.”
— Inequality in China —
On September 30, Aljazeera released an interesting piece on women’s equality in China. You may have heard of China’s now defunct one-child policy, enacted from 1980 until 2016 in an effort to curb excessive population numbers. This policy was widely criticised, but perhaps its effects are greater than we thought. Women now account for 50% of higher education students, compared to just 30% in 2008. But hope is not lost, according to activist Lü Pin:
Women always find a way to resist – especially the new generation. They’re more aware than any generation before them. We just need time.
~ Lü Pin
Quote of the quarter:
The next time a woman … tells you what she needs in order to do her job, listen to her. Believe her. Because one day she might stand in front of you and say thank you for allowing her to succeed because of her workplace environment and not in spite of it.
~ Michelle Williams
Women to know.
Last but not least, we reflect on powerhouse young women who are changing the world as we know it. These two bold women are a reminder of just how powerful we can be — no matter our age or background. They are certainly on our radar for women to watch!
— Her name is Chanel Miller —
Remember the 2016 Stanford rape case that made headlines around the world for its controversial victim-blaming edge and the raw and moving impact statement given by “Emily Doe”? Well, Emily’s real name is Chanel Miller and she has stepped into the light to share her story in a newly-released book, Know My Name. In the U.S., 1 in 16 women say that their first sexual experience was rape, so it is more important now than ever — with the #MeToo movement gaining even more momentum — that Miller shares her story and reclaims her identity. The book is currently no.5 on the New York Times Best Seller list and is being hailed as “unapologetically large, asking others to reckon with its author’s dazzling, undiminishable presence.” We’ve added it to our to-read list!
— Greta mobilises youth activism —
The four and a half minute speech she delivered to the UN Climate Action Summit on September 23 took over headlines around the world (and literally moved us to tears!). Her speech garnered the usual middle-aged white men haters — we’re looking at you Trump, ScoMo, Andrew Bolt — but they were drowned out by the resonating power of Greta’s words. She makes us proud to be young women. She gives hope to fellow Gen Z-ers and Millennials who are doing everything in their power to shift the paradigm from economic to ecological.
You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing.
~ Greta Thunberg