9/29 – This Week In Women: Progress and Protest

9/29 – This Week In Women:

Progress and Protest

Photo Courtesy of TIME Magazine

This week carried momentum for women making moves nationally, internationally, across media and sports. From the first female to become a Marine infantry officer, to the ban on women drivers being lifted in Saudi Arabia, progression lives at the forefront of this week’s roundup.

First Female Marine Completes Infantry Officer Course

On Monday, The Marines announced that the first female Marine had completed the Infantry Officer Course. Although she “asked to keep her identity private,” Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller was still able to share his pride in the lieutenant by tweeting a geared-up image with the female marine at the forefront of the shot, to which Neller commented, “Proud of this officer & her fellow leaders. Now they can focus on what’s important: preparing to lead Marines in combat.” Out of 131 Marines who started the Officer Course, 88 graduated, with one of them being this female lieutenant. “She is the first female officer to successfully complete the course since the Marine Corps opened all military occupational specialties to women in April 2016,” reads the Marines’ press release. Not only is it a feat for a Marine to complete the 13-week course, but this lieutenant made history, while also setting precedence for future women officers. She takes on her first “follow-on assignment” at the 1st Marine Division in Camp Pendleton, California.

Photo Courtesy of Robert B. Neller
Cardi B Tops Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart

This week, Billboard’s Hot 100 chart witnessed its first female rapper climb to number one for the first time in 19 years. Cardi B released her single “Bodak Yellow” this summer, and it has since skyrocketed past more recent singles such as Taylor Swift’s “Look At What You Made Me Do.”. Billboard reported that Cardi B is only the second female rapper in history to achieve this status, “without any other billed artists,” since Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing),” in November 1998. 

Cardi B. Photo Courtesy of Mass Appeal

The 24-year-old with Dominican and Trinidadian roots, not only made history on the charts, but also made a name for herself with this first single, fiercely showing that she is not afraid to follow the suit of her male counterparts when it comes to lyric content, as well as unapologetically showing pride in how she was able to achieve hip-hop status by embracing her background, looks and accent.

In Saudi Arabia, Women are Granted the Right to Drive
Photo Courtesy of the New York Times

For decades, Saudi Arabian women spent much of their salaries on drivers or relied on male relatives to chauffer them around as they were denied the right to get behind the wheel. On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia announced that starting June 2018, women will officially be allowed to drive. While the world took a moment to celebrate this groundbreaking step forward for the oppressive nation (until now, Saudi Arabia was the only place in the world that banned women from driving), the media took the opportunity to point out what women still can’t do in Saudi Arabia to keep the conversation going. Many of these restrictions include what other parts of the world would consider standard daily activities, but for women in Saudi Arabia are rights they are still fighting for. Among the shortlist, women still cannot travel, marry, divorce, apply for a visa or national passport, engage in business or apply for a job without the permission of a male guardian.

Kara Lawson Joins Comcast SportsNet with Wizards

For the first time in 20 years, the broadcast team at Comcast SportsNet (CSN, soon to become NBC Sports Washington) made a major change by announcing the hire of Kara Lawson as a primary analyst for the Washington Wizards. Along with becoming one of the first female primary analysts for an NBA team, this role also reflects the second full-time color television analyst in the franchise’s history, and at 36-years-old, Lawson enters the market as one of the youngest broadcasters in the franchise. Lawson played college basketball for the University of Tennessee from 1999 to 2003, entering the WNBA draft in Round 1 as 5th overall pick. She went on to play for the USA Women’s national basketball team at the 2008 Beijing, China Olympics, where she picked up a gold medal in the USA’s game against Australia.

Kara Lawson. Photo Courtesy of ESPN
Amber Rose Prepares for Annual SlutWalk

This weekend (Sept. 30-Oct.1), model and activist Amber Rose will hit the streets of LA to celebrate women to mark her third annual SlutWalk. In an attempt to refocus the conversation around women, Rose aptly named the walk after what she is trying to change; breaking the stigma of derogatory words that surround women and their sexual expression.

This year, Rose worked alongside artist Maggie West to create nude portraits of 40 women who shared their experience with harassment, violence and discrimination; what Rose explains the SlutWalk was created to protest. One of the project’s subjects is writer Crissy Milazzo, who shared why she participated in the series, reinforcing the message of Sunday’s walk and the power all women hold when they embrace their sexuality.

“I think all women should be free to show whatever body parts they want without fear of being slut shamed; the SlutWalk is important because it’s a celebration of sexuality,” says Milazzo. The conference and walk are part of The Amber Rose Foundation, with a mission “All things women and arts empowerment.”

Jillian Dara

Jillian grew up an island girl but converted to city style after living in Boston, London, Santiago, and now, NYC. She is a writer, editor and content creator with a desire to share stories in the lifestyle genre. With a particular focus on travel and profiles, she prides herself on sharing the most authentic story for those who aren’t able to share their own.

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