Tuesday’s State of the Union was pregnant with symbolism, from Trump’s first words (“Madame Speaker”) to the rows of Congresswomen dressed in white, honoring the suffragettes. But hidden behind those headlines, you may have missed some more subtle highlights.
Commentators have assumed that Tiffany Trump’s decision to also wear white doesn’t make her a member of the resistance, but frankly, we’re not so sure. Ivanka and Melania made their position clear by wearing all black, but that could also have been a portent: after all, this could be Donald’s final State of the Union address.
Male congressional allies showed their support for gender equality by wearing white ribbons on their lapels, while some Democratic congresswomen used theirs to affix an image of Jakelin Caal, the seven-year-old Guatemalan girl who died at the border in December.
While we loved Ilhan Omar’s patriotic blue headscarf-red sleeve-white vest combination, the night’s greatest sight was without a doubt the unexpected dance party that broke out among the newly elected congresswomen when the President reported that women’s employment had gone up. The New Yorker described it best, heralding it a “Screw the d.j., but he’s playing our song” moment. Later in the evening, Nancy Pelosi couldn’t stop raving about it in her post-speech interviews.
FROM VICTIM TO VIGILANTE
Jogging in a park in 2013, Lauren Clark was attacked by a man who forced his hand between her legs, threw her to the ground, and punched her in the face when she resisted.
His court sentence? Ten days of jail time, to be served two days a week so as not to interrupt his burgeoning career as a chef.
Appalled and unsafe, Clark boldly took matters into her own hands, plastering posters of the man around town to warn women that an attacker was walking their streets (and cooking their meals.) Her posters resulted in a slew of other victims coming forward.
NOTHING VENTURED …
Venture Capital firms are losing money by ignoring women’s pitches and choosing to instead trust male founders who oversell their business and inflate their numbers.
As the Financial Times reports, for every dollar given by investors, women-led start-ups generated 78 cents compared to 31 cents at companies founded by men.
The study concluded that firms should be placing more of their funding in the hands of women, who “consistently under promise, and over deliver.” Of course, we could have told the researchers all this for free.
The British Government may intervene to ensure the country’s financial institutions make good on their pledge to put more women in top jobs.
Pope Francis has admitted that priests and bishops in the Catholic Church have been sexually abusing nuns.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg didn’t attend the SOTU, but she did make her first public appearance this week following lung cancer surgery.
Free to Run uses adventure sports to help women and girls in conflict zones improve their well-being, regain public space, and develop into community leaders. The organization is currently in Afghanistan teaching girls from war-damaged Bamyan to ski in the neighboring mountains: this joyous video of the ladies careening down the slopes will make your day.