The Week in Women: video game models, sartorial submariners, and the perils of saying “sorry”

Happy New Year! It’s a glorious time of fresh starts and fervent promises of self-improvement. Yes, we know that most resolutions fail to stand tall in the face of questionable habits (long live pizza). But while the rosy glow of optimism persists, we have curated a selection of recent headlines that celebrate new beginnings and new ideas. Let’s take a look back:

For the first time in US military history, women will be integrated into the crew of a Navy submarine. Starting in the new year, four women who completed an intensive training course will report for duty on the guided missile submarine “Michigan.” Officials are still working through the kinks of the integration, which appears to be something of a challenge. “We are revising our instruction that was — no kidding — 49 pages long of excruciating detail on what you wear on the treadmill,” said Force Master Chief Wes Koshoffer. Because the primary concern while hurtling missiles through the ocean is, of course, the appropriate length of one’s gym shorts.

A new political party in Brazil known as the “Party of the Brazilian Woman” aims to increase the representation of women in the country’s Congress, which counts only 53 women among its 513 members. Unfortunately, all but two of the party’s officers are men. Also, it is explicitly non-feminist and anti-abortion. Oh, and among the party’s supporters is a senator who decamped from another political faction after being accused of sexually abusing his niece. Suêd Haidar, the party’s founder and president, has said that she is working hard to recruit more female candidates. Until that happens, “Party of the Brazilian Woman” may want to consider changing its name to … well, anything else.

It was revealed this week that the newest face of Louis Vuitton is … a video game character? The famous French fashion house has featured Lightning, the pink-haired heroine of the massively popular Final Fantasy game series, in its 2016 Spring campaign. Designer Nicolas Ghesquière unveiled images from the new collection on his Instagram, in which Lightning can be seen sporting a crop top, shorts, and a multi-colored purse. Ghesquière also posted a video of Lightning wielding handbags like some sort of weapon, which may or may not be a metaphor for the carnage that Louis Vuitton purses can inflict upon your bank account.

A recently-released Chrome application seeks to help women avoid phrases like “just,” “sorry,” and “I think,” which—according to the app’s creator Tami Reiss—make e-mails sound less authoritative and professional. The “Just Not Sorry” extension will underline self-demeaning phrases (“I’m no expert”) and qualifying words (“actually”), as if they were spelling errors. Reiss, who is the CEO of a consulting firm that specializes in women-led companies, was inspired to create the app after witnessing female entrepreneurs inadvertently undermine their opinions with one too many “sorry.” The product is, as a result, geared towards women. And possibly Justin Bieber.

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