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The Week in Women: How Brie Larson Defied the Naysayers

Brie Larson attends the UK Gala Screening of "Captain Marvel" at The Curzon Mayfair in London on February 27, 2019. (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

BRIE DELIVERS THE GOODS
Marvel’s first ever female-fronted superhero movie has just smashed opening weekend records for 2019.

Hauling in $153 million nationally and $455 million globally — the sixth-best start for a movie ever — Captain Marvel, led by the unstoppable Brie Larson, is sending a clear message to the skeptics who said a woman can’t carry an action movie. The film is the second-biggest Marvel Comics debut after Black Panther, another blockbuster hit that proved to Hollywood that the world is thirsty for superheroes of many different stripes.

You’ll be able to toast female heroes everywhere and see Brie Larson herself at the upcoming Women in the World summit. Get your tickets here.

NOT READY, NOT EVER
A Dutch researcher has stumbled across a concerning file in one of China’s open databases: the personal data of almost 2 million women, which includes whether they’re something called “BreedReady.”

The researcher, Victor Gevers, believes the chart has something to do with the country’s low birth rate. His findings show that while some girls in the database are as young as 15, the only ones with “BreedReady” status are 18 and older — and none are married.

At this point, it’s unclear whether this is a sinister example of social engineering or a tone-deaf dating app survey. All we know is that it’s creepy — and that we’ll probably never know what it really means.

IT’S MACRON, BTW
Saturday Night Live comedian Pete Davidson has the perfect response to questions about the 20-year age gap between himself and his new girlfriend, actress Kate Beckinsale.

Davidson says that before asking him about it, journalists should ask — and we quote — “Leonardo DiCaprio, Jason Statham, Michael Douglas, Richard Gere, Jeff Goldblum, Scott Disick, Dane Cook, Derek Jeter, Bruce Willis, Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee, Alec Baldwin, Sean Penn and whoever the president of France is. Mel Gibson, Billy Joel, Mick Jagger, Sylvester Stallone, Eddie Murphy, Kelsey Grammer, Larry King, Larry King, Larry King, Rod Stewart and Donald Trump.”

A DEVASTATING BLOW
An Iranian human rights lawyer who has spent her life defending a woman’s right to remove her hijab in public has been sentenced to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes.

Nasrin Sotoudeh’s sentence is the harshest against a human rights defender in Iran in recent memory, according to Amnesty International, and international observers are concerned that this is a sign of Iran’s new, far more aggressive stance on dissent.

The reasons for their concern are clear: Sotoudeh was charged with seven crimes (including that she herself appeared in public without a hijab) and given the highest sentence for each of them.

BLESS THESE BOYS
Matt Chen and Matias Benitez are the two boys who earned kudos for starting a feminist club at their all-boys school. While we hope that one day this is unremarkable enough to leave off our newsletter, for now the concept is borderline revolutionary and has sparked an outpouring of media attention.

The club attended this year’s Women’s March, threw a trivia party to celebrate International Women’s Day, and has plans to attend the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women later this month. Meanwhile, back at school, they host discussions on toxic masculinity, street harassment, and the glaring omission of women in history textbooks. Here’s hoping other all-boys schools follow their lead.

AND THERE’S MORE
Stay Classy: A New York real estate magnate has plastered a 42-foot image of his new wife on the outside of the same building his ex-wife planned to move into, just to taunt her.

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez drew a bigger crowd at SXSW than any 2020 presidential candidate.

The U.S. Women’s National Team has filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation, their official governing body.

When the New York Times asked women in the U.S. Army to share their experiences, more than 650 did. Read some of their responses here.

Prepare for a new phone background: NASA has announced that the world’s first ever all-woman spacewalk will occur on March 29 — an epic finale to Women’s History Month.

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