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Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex. (Ian Vogler/Pool via REUTERS)

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The Week in Women: Which feminist issue that Meghan Markle once rallied against is Britain now acting on?

June 19, 2019

GLORIA REMEMBERED

“What an extraordinary life. What an incredible woman.”

From the moment she inherited her family’s fortune at just eighteen months of age, the late Gloria Vanderbilt’s every move took place in the public eye. Despite the obsessive scrutiny, Vanderbilt’s innate spark saw her lead an unparalleled life of countless loves, artistic creations, and – of course – fabulous jeans.

In her son Anderson Cooper’s moving video tribute, the CNN anchor reveals that in her final weeks they discovered they had the “exact same giggle.” Cooper also said he always viewed his mother as a “visitor from another world.” Blessedly, in 2017, Cooper persuaded his mother to join Instagram – her posts are a glorious insight into her wonderful mind.

YES, DUCHESS

Footage of a 12-year-old Meghan Markle calling for gender equality in advertising sent social media into a frenzy.

Now, right on cue, her kingdom is answering her call.

Starting this month, Britain has banned gender stereotyping in advertising. Among the scenarios you won’t see again: men struggling to change diapers, women struggling to park their cars, and ads that connect boys to bravery and girls to tenderness.

PLASTIC MAGIC

Thanks to Mastercard, trans and non-binary cardholders will be able to use their chosen name on their credit cards for the first time.

The company’s decision cited the fact that one in three of these customers have reported being harassed, denied services, or attacked when their card name didn’t match their appearance.

The video announcement, in which some trans and non-binary customers are presented with their new cards, is a joy to watch.

DEM STARS

Remember the name: Jessica Cisneros.

The 26-year-old Texas human rights attorney just became the first candidate backed by the Justice Democrats for the 2020 elections. You’ll remember Justice Democrats as the group who launched the congressional campaign of another young woman recently: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Over in California, Rep. Katie Porter just became the first Congresswoman from a swing district to call for impeachment proceedings to begin, an act of courage that is becoming the norm for this fearless freshman.

TWO PLACES AT ONCE

How can parents Jenga their schedules to both be there for their children and keep their jobs?

That’s the question ever-brilliant Jessica Grose asks in her new column about the urgent need for more flexible workplace policies.

Grose points out that mothering doesn’t stop once maternity leave is over.There’s still the afternoon school play, the monthly class breakfast, and constant calls from the school nurse: and yet most workplaces still force women to step out guiltily for these occasions, rather than embracing them as an essential part of life.

WE’RE ALSO TRACKING

Actress Bella Thorne thwarted a sick hacker by posting the same nude photos of herself the creep was threatening to leak.Still We Rise. Planned Parenthood is continuing construction on a new women’s clinic in Alabama, despite the state’s passage of a near-total ban on abortions.

Taylor Swift and Katy Perry ended their long-standing feud – and hugged it out while dressed delightfully in hamburger and fries costumes.

Harvey Weinstein’s legal “dream team” has fallen apart. The exits come less than three months before his trial is set to begin.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE WITW STAGE

At WITW 2014, Sarah Silverman observed how voter suppression was subtly rising in sync with attacks on women’s abortion rights.