The Week in Women: the Black Mambas, a record-breaking monarch, and the collision of two (metaphoric) queens

We give out A’s for effort, but let’s face it: there’s nothing better than making it to the top. Fortunately, the past week’s news cycle was graced by a slew of women who have climbed to the heights of their respective fields. So without further ado, let’s take a look back.

South Africa’s mostly-female Black Mambas Anti-Poaching Unit was recently honored by the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) with its highest prize – the Champions of the Earth Award. The Black Mambas patrol the Balule Private Game Reserve to protect wildlife from poachers, and are said to know the terrain so well that even a stone out of place alerts them to poacher activity. Given the recent debacle involving a certain beloved lion of Zimbabwe, we imagine that the Black Mambas will also be on the lookout for trigger-happy dentists.

It seems very likely that a woman will become president of Taiwan for the first time. The country will hold presidential elections in January, and two of the three leading party candidates are women. The current front-runner is the 59-year old Tsai Ing-wen. Her chief opponent is the current vice-president, 67-year old Hung Hsiu-chu. Thanks to governmental quotas, Taiwan has one of the world’s best track records when it comes to electing women to political office. For what it’s worth, the country’s porn stars are also well-represented in public life.

Queen Elizabeth II set a new record on Wednesday when she became the longest reigning monarch in U.K. history. The previous record-holder was her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria, who sat on the throne for 63 years and seven months. It was also revealed this week that the British monarchy currently holds assets worth 22.8 billion pounds. It might seem like a lot of money, but purebred corgis and monochromatic ensembles don’t come cheap these days.

And speaking of queens: Queen Bey (also known by her common name, Beyoncé) recently gave a nod to Ronda Rousey, the reigning champion of the UFC. During a performance this past weekend, the singer played a clip of Rousey referring to her muscular physique as “femininely badass” and explaining that she has no interest in being “the type of chick who just tries to be pretty and be taken care of by somebody else.” In response to the shoutout, Rousey had this to say: “To be honest, it’s a[n] honor to have a real powerhouse of a woman like Beyoncé just recognize my existence.” All hail both these ladies.

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