The Fem Word Vol. 34

curating stories of bold women in creative spaces.

weekly dose of female excellence ahead xx


1. Saudi Arabia is racing towards gender the derby. The Saudi Cup is welcoming female riders this year, and Prince Bandar has said that “men and women will be treated equally.” In a country that has been criticized for gender inequality, and a sport that is often guilty of the same, this is definitely a step in the right direction. Full Story

2. “In a month everything has changed in Italy.” Women are taking the political stage in Italy, and occupying more offices and higher ranks than ever before. At the new cabinet inauguration last week, the new Agricultural Minister Teresa Bellanova wore an electric blue dress. Negative comments were quickly quelled, and Bellanova tagged her look as #qualcosadiblu...something blue. Full Story

3. Succession is receiving lots of praise for avoiding easy tropes with women on television. No one gets naked. Instead, women are portrayed as powerful characters in their own right, navigating the tricky waters of the gender double bind in a male-dominated world. Through the lens of #MeToo, Succession shows their leading ladies getting down to business...and we are loving (binging) it. Full Story

4. Trans women are not hiding anymore. In fact, they’re asking questions and demanding answers. Angelica Ross (Pose and American Horror Story) made history last week as the first trans person to host a presidential forum. The forum focused on LGBTQ+ issues, and asked Democratic candidates questions about the trans and queer communities. Full Story

5. Back-to-School Essentials, Sandy Hook’s recent PSA on gun violence, shook hearts across the nation. The PSA was released by Sandy Hook Promise, a group cofounded by Nicole Hockley, who lost her son during the shooting at Sandy Hook in 2012. Hockley stated that “I’m doing this to keep kids alive and keep families intact.” Full Story

6. Geena Davis was upset when she watched TV with her daughter fifteen years ago. She couldn’t find enough women and girls in the shows her daughter loved. So, she made an algorithm to track women’s screen time for children’s TV. Today, the “GD-IQ” (Geena Davis Inclusion Quotient) registers women and girls having parity with male roles for screen time in lead roles and speaking parts in 50 children’s programs. Full Story

7. In Khayelitsha, a township outside of Cape Town, South Africa, drag queens are forming a sisterhood and a place to express themselves. The stunning photographic series #BlackDragMagic by Lee-Ann Olwage for NPR shows the residents in all their glory with outfits of their own design. Belinda Qaqamba Ka-Fassie, a resident of the township, stated that in a society that largely does not accept her, “drag became the therapist I never had.” Full Series


Girls Who Code is taking over the internet on October 11th, with the cyber #MarchForSisterhood. The goal is two-fold: continue to close the gender gap in technology, and become the first ever digital global-march. The march calls for international participation without requiring physical presence, and hopes to show the power of sisterhood vibrantly splashed across your timeline. Get Involved


“For many of us, the testimonies of migrant and ethnic minority women marked a turning point. They described levels of multiple discrimination that most of us had hoped didn't exist in Iceland.” Katrin Jakobsdóttir, prime minister of Iceland, is tackling gender inequality head on. This statement about the progression of the #MeToo movement in her country stands as a call to action. For Jakobsdóttir, the next step is recognizing and understanding how race plays a role. Learn More 

In an increasing global trend, twelve year old Ralyn Saditanasarn (aka Lilly) is taking to the streets of her country Thailand and putting in the work to save our planet. Thailand is the sixth global contributor of plastic waste, and Lilly is working hard to change that, persuading local businesses to cut down on plastic bag usage. She aims to change things on a corporate scale, despite large challenges. Learn More 


Swaye’ Tea in Milwaukee is making a space for healing and tea lovers in the area. Owned by partners Aisha and Shiree Henry, the shop was formed due to Shiree’s personal health issues. She often had issues with acid reflux, and found relief in herbal remedies and tea blends. Now, she sells multiple in-house blends (with Aisha’s help packaging!) to others in the area. Learn More


Megan Fox has recently been featured in multiple articles about her son Noah’s choice to wear dresses, but one article from Paper makes a different point...that we all let Megan Fox down in the early 2000s. Fox was ostracized from Hollywood society for speaking out about the objectification she faced on the set of Transformers and Jennifer’s Body, saying it was a very difficult time for her, and that many women rebuffed her as well as men. In light of the #MeToo movement, we have to agree that we could and should have done better by Megan Fox. Full Article


Farthest North, a chartered group charged with promoting and organizing Girl Scouts in Alaska, recently won an appeal against The Girl Scouts of America for raising membership fees without proper approval, and separating the overages into a separate account. Farthest North refused to collect any overages from members, and proved that the actions taken by Girl Scouts were not in accordance with membership regulations. Learn More

Ms. Media