Do the disingenuous brand tweets about International Women's Day make you wish you were dead? Keep your chin up, and read about these great women who got through worse things.
At Broadly, we believe that every day is International Women's Day; however, in honor of today's observance, we have decided to highlight some of the most fascinating, determined, and genius women that we've featured on the site in the past few months.
Photo by Christopher Bethell.
Rokudenashiko and some of her work.
Megumi Igarashi—also known as Rokudenashiko, or "bastard child"—gained international notoriety in 2014 after Japanese authorities seized a vulva-shaped kayak she had 3D printed and arrested her on charges of distributing obscene materials. For over a year, she has been undergoing a slow-moving trial but refuses to back down; her goal, she says, is to normalize the vagina in Japanese society. We visited her gallery in Tokyo to learn more about her art and her activism.
Screencap via YouTube user Peralta Colleges
Photo courtesy of Nicole Eisenman.
Michele Wallace on the cover of Ms. magazine in 1979.
Michele Wallace is a prolific scholar, author, feminist, and champion for black women. She might be best known for her first book, Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman, which eviscerates the trope of the bold, sassy black woman—denied her own narrative—and crusades for something that we should all have: visibility. Her work is as salient today as it was 30 years ago, making Wallace as enduring as she is smart. Broadly spoke to her about how the black patriarchy has been ignoring black women since the civil rights movement, and why young black feminists give her hope.
Photo by Luke Gilford.
From Chicago, to Paris and Las Vegas, Mia Isabella transformed herself from fashion focused, straight-A student to the queen at the helm of a transgender porn empire. She splashed onto tabloids in 2015 when an anonymous source exposed an alleged sex scandal between she and Kylie Jenner's rapper boyfriend Tyga. In an interview with Broadly, Mia opened up about transphobia, survival, and how she took over the adult entertainment industry.
Virginie Despentes (left) and a friend. Photo courtesy of Virginie Despentes.
For those who have read her incisive memoir/manifesto King Kong Theory, the radical French writer and filmmaker Virginie Despentes—whose violent rape at the age of 17 forms the basis of much of her work—needs no introduction. For everyone else, we interviewed her.
Photo by Alfredo Pecastre courtesy of Coffee House Press.
The Mexican writer Valeria Luiselli has captivated both academics and layreaders with her erudite yet eminently funny brilliance. This month, the 32-year-old is the second Mexican author ever to be nominated for a National Book Critic's Circle award, for her acclaimed postmodern novel The Story of My Teeth. We got coffee with her to discuss grad school (bad), personal essays (usually bad), and her work (great).
Photo courtesy of Dawn Porter.
Dawn Porter is an award-winning documentary filmmaker. This year, her documentary TRAPPED—which focuses on abortion providers in the South and Midwest struggling to remain open due to onerous and medically unnecessary restrictions placed on them by conservative politicians—won the Special Jury Award for Social Impact Filmmaking at Sundance. She spoke to Broadly about the process of making the film, releasing a staunchly pro-choice documentary in an age of increasing extremism, and how things are really not fine.
Amanda Nguyen (right) with Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. Image via Twitter.
After Amanda Nguyen learned that her rape kit had an expiration date—in Massachusetts, where she was sexually assaulted, untested rape kits are only kept for six months, unless the survivor requests to extend the cutoff—she set out to fix the confusing and often ineffective way that US law enforcement deals with sexual violence. Her non-profit, Rise, now advocates for systematic legal protections for victims of sexual assault. We spoke to her about her advocacy and the broken criminal justice system.
Photo by Amy Lombard.
Theresa Rebeck created Smash, wrote the first scripts for Harriet the Spy and Catwoman, and has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Hollywood insiders have called her "stubborn," which is film industry lingo for incredibly successful woman. We visited her at her home in Brooklyn.
When it comes to diversity, Academy Members are living in La La Land.Feb 21, 2017
"There may be something about having equal rights—even if they have no immediate plans to take advantage of them—that makes students feel less stigmatized and more hopeful for the future."Feb 21, 2017
After numerous press events in which he'd vaguely condemned bigotry without directly mentioning anti-Semitism, Trump went on the record to say that he denounces anti-Semitism whenever he gets the chance.Feb 21, 2017
The expected action would undo President Obama's former guidance, which protected trans kids in school under Title IX.Feb 21, 2017
In an exclusive interview, videographer Daniel “Dano” Ramos tells us why he’s decided to sell the umbrella on the ten-year anniversary of the incident that made headlines.Feb 21, 2017
Although there's no policy prohibiting women from spending an afternoon at the theater, Afghanistan's cinemas have long been considered off-limits for them.Feb 21, 2017
Rio's first "Day of Fat People on the Beach" celebrated bikinis and body positivity on one the city's most beloved tourist spots.Feb 21, 2017
Producer Inga Lind Karlsdóttir says that many mocked the idea of a TV program starring kittens, but "all the people who were laughing then aren't laughing now."Feb 21, 2017
Though some people may think the job involves more shushing than rallying, many librarians consider "making America read again" to be a radical political proposition.Feb 20, 2017
Happy President's Day, or as most of us would like to think of it, Not My Overspending President's Day.Feb 20, 2017