LGBTQIA+ History Coronavirus The World

50 years later, the legacy of Pride lives on

The New York City Pride parade has been cancelled for the first time since its origin 50 years ago. In-person events that were scheduled to take place June 14-28, 2020 are in the process of being reimagined virtually as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Pride is a staple in New York City, as it has been since the Stonewall Riots prompted a revolution in June of 1969. The fight for gay-rights as we know it was born and catalyzed here. America in the 1960’s, and in the decades that came before it, was not at all welcoming for those in LGBTQIA+ community. In New York, any inclination of sexual activity between people of the same sex in public was considered illegal. That is, hand holding, kissing, or even dancing. This antiquated and ridiculous law was not overturned until 1980 when the People v. Ronald Onofre case was decided. 

These times were also riddled with discrimination and a series of raids among other forms of abuse on prominent gay bars and clubs in Greenwich village. Such spaces were some of the only places where members of the community could seek refuge and were finally able to express themselves openly without worry. Nonetheless, police brutality on the basis of sexual orientation and just plain bigotry was awfully common during these raids.  

On the night of June 28, 1969 obvious tensions arose between the two groups, and the patrons bravely decided to fight back against the police at the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar that was one of the few of its kind that opened its doors to drag queens. Notably, the first bottle of the uprising, which lasted six whole days, was thrown by a Black transgender woman, Marsha P. Johnson. The protesters were met time and time again with tear-gas and physical altercations with the police, but they persisted. Those in the street are said to have been singing slogans similar to the ones that we hear today like “gay power” and “we shall overcome.” 

It would be an injustice to ignore the contributions of the Black community to this iconic moment that started a resistance.

This moment sparked the beginning of a modern resistance that is beautifully laced with love and versatility. 

It would be an injustice, however, to ignore the coincidences of this past that align with the current civil rights demonstrations happening across the world, declaring defiantly that Black lives matter. Both movements continue to feature a spotlight on recognizing basic human rights while also condemning police practices that terrorize the communities they are meant “to serve and protect.” So much of American history is patterned with this same struggle, consistency, and perseverance. Not to mention that it was, in fact, Black women who spearheaded this revolution 51 years ago, and 51 years later Black women are again at the forefront of a movement seeking to eradicate systemic inequality. We must not let this go unnoticed.

The year after what has come to be known as the Stonewall riots, June of 1970, marked the first ever Pride parade in New York City. Though it took a long time to come, the LGBTQIA+ community has certainly overcome much of the hate and marginalization that has been thrown its way. But, they’re still fighting. To this day, new non-discrimination protections are being fought for and passed all because of their constant effort and strength. 

Since then, New York City and its Pride parade has been a proven safe-haven for vulnerable and battered communities alike. It is a time for people to come together and celebrate themselves as phoenixes who have risen way above the ashes while also acknowledging the slashed history that they are eternally attached to. 

Just last year, New York City hosted world WorldPride and some 2 million people were in attendance. This in and of itself is a testament to the impact that the revolution has had, and continues to have, all over the world. Such ever-clear and unrelenting perseverance is nothing less of an inspiration. 

Today, as the coronavirus runs its raging course throughout the United States, New York City has been noticeably hit the hardest. With nearly 212,000 confirmed cases and over 20,000 deaths thus far in the City alone, New Yorkers are being urged to remain full of the hope and drive that makes us so thick-skinned in the first place. But, this is not an easy feat, especially given the turmoil that seems to be slowly encapsulating every bit of our daily lives. Once again, we have set out in a movement that looks to challenge history and change it for good. For the LGBTQIA+ community, that anxiety is heightened tremendously. 

The absence of the iconic Pride parade will certainly have a dramatic financial impact on the people and businesses that have come to rely on it. Not to mention the mental toll that will surely come along without a break from mobilizing, resource, or strategy efforts concerning the ongoing, and seemingly never-ending, fight for equal rights. It is certainly an all-hands-on-deck sort of thing. This fight is fought every single day, with the smallest actions sometimes making the most noise, and none of it should go unnoticed. 

The contributions that the LGBTQIA+ community has made to both the City and to the greater struggle for equality are undeniable. So, the decision to cancel Pride this year was not easy. But, it was definitely necessary. However, just because the pandemic prevents us from physically coming together this year, it does not mean that the spirit of Pride in New York City won’t be felt just the same.

An online Global Pride will be broadcasted for 24-hours straight on June 27, starting in the east and moving west. Each local or participating pride chapter is hoped to have an allotment of 15-minutes of airtime each, depending on individual time zones, for performances and speeches by grand marshals. This is a community that has always come together in the face of adversity and this year is no different. My wish is for this to be yet another example of the LGBTQIA+ communities resilience that should be honored and remembered, especially in a context of human rights.

Editor's Picks Gender & Identity Gender Inequality

Too many women still support attackers and the patriarchy. Will that ever change?

In 2012, December was my first month back in New Delhi as a single, financially independent woman. Having spent three years in the capital for my undergraduate studies, the city was familiar and a second home. However, returning to it as an adult was comforting and unnerving at the same time.

Primarily because Delhi is notorious for being unsafe for women; a statistic that continues to rank the city highest in India.

This was also the month when 23-year-old Jyoti Singh was brutally raped and assaulted by six assailants in the city. The inhumane violence she suffered at the hands of her perpetrators sent shivers across the country and the capital was engulfed in protests. Referred to as Nirbhaya, the fearless one, her case brought the issue of women’s safety right in the heart of political and societal discourse.

My parents began making regular calls for me to return home.

I convinced them that fleeing the city was not the solution, rather fighting for justice and making this city safe for everyone. While my parents grappled with the fear, I sensed a disturbing insensitivity existing within my relatives regarding women’s choices and behavior.

“Why was the girl out that late? If she had stayed at home and not gone to watch a film with a male friend, nothing would have happened,” a female relative said in the aftermath of Nirbhaya’s case.

I stared at her in disbelief and disgust. I wanted to scream at her but was held back by my cousin. We were supposed to respect our elders, she reminded me. Fuming, I walked out of the room, promising myself never to engage with her again.

It’s important to understand that while institutions created by men have given birth to the present patriarchal traditions, these continue to be upheld by countless women who silently or vocally support them.

These are our mothers, aunts, grandmothers, sisters, in-laws, and neighborhood aunties who choose to side with patriarchy, eventually choosing to side with oppression.

Early on, girls are silenced by female family members from speaking about their sexual, physical or emotional abuse at the hands of men.

What begins with rules like: “Do not talk to boys. Do not wear short dresses. Do not stay out late at night,” eventually turns into: “Learn to adjust with an abusive husband. Learn to stay at home and become a better homemaker. Learn to listen to your in-laws. Learn to understand the importance as a mother, career is secondary.”

In feminist theory, this form of behavior is called a patriarchal bargain, where women in order to uphold their limited authority under patriarchy, exercise it onto other women. A classic example is the case of mothers-in-law who try to govern the lives of their daughters-in-law. There are several accounts of Indian women where their mother-in-laws’ insecurity issues with them led to power struggles within families.

With every undesired act viewed as rebellion and considered a transgression, young girls are morally policed by women who then internalize the misogyny and continue this vicious cycle of oppression.

This behavior was reflected during the recent #MeToo movement in India, by senior female journalist and author, Tavleen Singh. While defending a celebrity consultant, Suhel Seth, who was accused of sexual misconduct, she stated, “Why did you go to Suhel’s house? Surely even an ‘innocent’ young girl like you should have known not to go alone to a strange man’s house alone?”

Statements like these reflect the entrenched patriarchal patterns in the existing urban society of India, and generally across South Asia.

One reason for this form of exertion is the need to gain whatever amount of authority is available in a patriarchal household. The other reason is the fear of societal repercussions for going against the community standards because making choices as an independent woman is not a feature that patriarchy recognizes or respects.

Six years to that episode, and my battle with women who enable patriarchy continues.

I have asked uncomfortable questions to women in my family, and have been called a bra-burning feminist for it. What I have also received in return are messages of solidarity from girls in my family. Cousins have thanked me for standing up to mistreatment. Raising my voice has evoked strength in others to be heard too and irrevocably encouraged me to continue fighting this battle.

And that is the hope that feminism carries forward. To enable women to find their voices and develop the courage to fight injustice.

When women support women, sisterhood is nurtured within families and societies. Abusive patterns are recognized and redressed. Otherwise, the cycle of patriarchy and misogyny continues.

The #MeToo movement is a spark that lights that fire of sisterhood harmony. It should not be blown out by a few misinformed women.

Gender Policy Inequality

After stalling for four decades, the Equal Rights Amendment has been revived thanks in part to the #MeToo movement

Last week Illinois became the 37th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment that would equally protect the constitutional rights of citizens regardless of their sex. The approval— more than 30 years past the deadline— could help the ERA be implemented into the U.S. Constitution, a landmark win for the women’s rights movement. 

At the height of the movement, Congress passed the ERA in 1972 and presented it to the states in a seven-year deadline that would ultimately fail to secure the necessary 38 state approval for it to be added to the Constitution. An extension was granted in 1982, but the ERA fell three states short after opposition led by conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly, argued that the ERA would lead to an America where men wouldn’t be required to support their wives, unisex bathrooms, a women’s draft, and the legalizing of same-sex marriage. The amendment would shortly lose some traction, setting back the movement. However, the ERA didn’t peter out completely, as women’s rights groups continued to stoke the fire by working to keep the amendment alive through a “three-state strategy”  to ensure it’s validity if and when it had the necessary state backing.

Nevada would ratify in 2017, followed by Illinois. Meaning they are one state short of the possibly amending the Constitution. Thirteen of mostly southern states, including Arkansas, Florida, and Georgia could make all the difference.

A common misperception, according to the ERA Coalition, is that the Constitution already guarantees that both men and women have equal-rights protections. However, the protections given to women are at a state level with each state implementing their own version of the ERA into their constitutions. Advocates argue that passing the ERA is more than a symbol of a feminist awakening, but would help secure the rights of women, particularly in reproductive rights debates and workplace security.

While it’s hard to say what triggered these states to take action in the last year, you cannot deny the impact the recent wave of women activism through the Women’s March and #MeToo Movement has had in our country. Thousands of women and allies marched in protest in Washington the day following the inauguration of President Trump. Survivors of sexual misconduct have spoken out against their abusers, most of whom are powerful men like producer Harvey Weinstein, and are toppling down a system that has long condoned sexual harassment, assault, and discrimination against women.

“The #MeToo movement was such a powerful phenomenon because for far too long women have not felt heard,” actress and political activist Alyssa Milano said. “It’s hard to empower women when they are not recognized as part of our constitution. It’s simple, we need the ERA to protect women’s rights.”

Women are tired of fighting for their jobs, their right to be viewed as a human, and their right to live. By ratifying the Constitution to include the Equal Rights Amendment, we not only lift the burden from women’s backs right now but also secures a safe and equal future for our girls.

“If I could choose an amendment to add to the Constitution, it would be the Equal Rights Amendment,” said Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg during the 2014 National Press Club. “I think we have achieved that through legislation, but legislation can be repealed, it can be altered. So I would like my granddaughters, when they pick up the Constitution, to see that notion – that women and men are persons of equal stature – I’d like them to see that it’s a basic principle of our society.”

Gender & Identity Life

Today, we need feminism more than ever

Before I started university, I was excited at the prospect of getting to know people who were just as interested in women’s rights as I was. University, and especially the Women Studies courses that I took, allowed me to meet feminists. I was able to engage in conversations with other students on things I had experienced; I learned about experiences that others had but I had never gone through. It was finally a space for me to explore more on a subject that was so near and dear to my heart.

But I quickly realized that there was also a number of people on campus who had a lot of misconceptions about what feminism is.  Some thought it was a movement that wanted to strip away the rights of men completely and give women complete power. Others believed that feminism was too much of a western concept to be applied everywhere and that there just wasn’t room for what they had seen on mainstream media for the Middle East.

A few people I met in university even believed that we didn’t need feminism at all anymore. They can be classified as post-feminists. In other words, they believe that we must move beyond fighting for women’s rights because, in their point of view, we’d already achieved enough equality. They went to school and had female peers. Their teachers and professors were often women.  And wherever they go, they see female employees across different fields.

While my first instinct is to yell, “you have no idea what you’re talking about,” I think it’s important to try to understand where they’re coming from. An open and healthy discussion can fuel a better understanding of why they feel this way.

I try to remind them that we are more privileged than most. It is not the women who currently have equal opportunities that need feminism the most, it is the ones who don’t. And as people who have those opportunities, we must use our privilege to ensure that we are doing everything we possibly can so that everyone can have them too. A professor of mine once told me, “I am a feminist because I am privileged” and that stuck with me ever since.

I think it can be very easy to dismiss all the things we need to fight for when we look at how much we’ve achieved already. But there isn’t a single place on earth, in my opinion, that’s completely egalitarian. If feminism was a thing of the past, then gender-based violence wouldn’t exist. Movements like the #MeToo campaign and the Lebanese equivalent #MeshBasita would only be a lie. The gender wage gap that continues everywhere would be non-existent. We wouldn’t have discussions worldwide about women’s reproductive rights. Minorities around the world would not be fighting for the right to live in a world where they are not beaten, raped, and/or killed for belonging to a particular group. But we know that that is simply not the case.

Equal rights and opportunities go beyond the ability to go to school and get a job. It is the ability for people to see you as a human being and as more than just your sex, gender, race, ethnicity, and so on. We still have a long way to go, and we can start by recognizing our own privilege.

We need to educate ourselves on what we’re lacking in our own societies. Start discussions with your friends and family members on important issues. Read more about what feminists from your own countries are doing to challenge the status of women there. Learn about movements taking place all over the world to combat different problems. Maybe there’s an initiative on your campus you can be a part of, or if there isn’t one, start your own.

Read. Write. Learn. If that’s the only way you can contribute to making a change, it is enough! Once we recognize that the world is not as black and white as we think it is, we can begin to aid change.

Love Wellness

When my boyfriend came with me to the OB/GYN, nobody listened to me

Like most women, Jen* needed to go in for her annual exam with a gynecologist.

Due to positive reviews, she found online, she chose an OB/GYN practicing in NYC, the city she resides in. It was supposed to simply be the typical routine annual exam.

She went in. She sat down and filled out her paperwork. She was called in, and she put her feet in the stirrups. They did the routine check-up exams such as a Pap smear, STI check, check for cancerous/precancerous cells, etc.

She had no qualms about this appointment and saw it as a regular exam.

But two weeks later, shit hit the fan.

She received a frightening phone call from the doctor’s office claiming that her test results had come in, and she needed to come in for a follow-up appointment. As per regulations, the receptionist could not give her any information over the phone. Completely stressed out (as any woman would be upon hearing this ambiguous news), she made a follow-up appointment immediately.

Now, this is where it gets interesting.

The day of the follow-up, Jen and Mark* arrived early for Jen’s appointment.

She was nervous and had to wait an excruciating 70 minutes before she was called back for her appointment – despite showing up early. When she was finally called back, she indicated to the nurse that she did not want to be told what her weight was – she has, after all, struggled with an eating disorder for many years.

And after six years of not knowing her weight, this particular nurse made sure that Jen finally found out – despite Jen’s requests. In this instance, a medical professional did not respect her wishes and was completely inappropriate. This blatant disregard, Jen has stated, was “emotionally traumatizing, ignorant, and insensitive. This oversight was careless and incredibly damaging to me.”

After her weight was taken, Jen was sent back to the waiting room for another hour before being called in to speak with the doctor. In a statement shared with The Tempest, she shared the details of the experience.

“When we were finally called in, I told him how upsetting the interaction was with the nurse and how unprofessional I found her bedside manner. Instead of being apologetic, he made light of the situation and belittled my feelings.

When I tried to change the direction of the conversation to discuss what the issue was with my test results, he continued to talk to me about the nature of my eating disorder, pressing me for information I was not comfortable sharing, like what my weight was at the height of my disorder and when I was at my heaviest – all this after I had just finished explaining how difficult it is for me to discuss my weight.

He then inquired about my psychological care and insisted that I must have unresolved issues that I should address with regular counseling sessions. I politely indicated that I do have a good system and various coping skills in place for myself after being in recovery for so many years and that asking not to hear the number on the scale when being weighed while at the doctor is one of them. My boyfriend even tried to jump in and help clarify why this was so upsetting to me, but we were both brushed off and not listened to.

Again, I tried to steer the conversation toward my test results. He reluctantly began walking me through each result one by one – all coming up negative, but he paused occasionally to ask what I thought the problem was. Frustrated at this point and near tears, I told him I did not know and begged him to let me know at last what was wrong. He then told me there was no issue and that I was in the “top 5% of Americans with such perfect test results.”

Dumbfounded and confused, I asked why it had been necessary for me to come into the office in the first place since customarily, negative results don’t warrant a phone call or a follow-up with the doctor – only problematic/positive ones do. Completely ignoring this fact, he reverted and spoke some more about how he thought I might benefit from counseling and acknowledged how supportive my boyfriend was as we got up to leave.

He ended the meeting by turning to my boyfriend and stating “don’t leave her, the poor girl” – as if I wasn’t standing right in front of him.

Completely dumbfounded, our only response was to wander down the hall while our rage at his chauvinistic attitude and comments started to push our shock aside. As we were making our exit, the same nurse who violated my request for a blind weight informed me the visit would be a $25 copay.”

Jen was completely undermined and ignored throughout this entire process. This is problematic because a gynecologist is a doctor that specifically works with women and should listen to his or her patient, but that obviously didn’t happen.

Hell, even Mark got a handshake while Jen was the one who was put down, even though she was a complete badass for beating her eating disorder.

Unfortunately, this is the reality many women face when confronted with men in positions of authority.

Men are constantly trying to create laws governing women’s bodies and accessibility to contraceptives. A man may feel comfortable walking home alone at night while a woman does not have that option, or if she does walk and gets raped, then it was her fault for walking alone – and we see this countlessly in our justice system!

Men can wear their clothes differently while women are scrutinized and blamed for being a distraction for the boys. Men always seem to have the upper hand in this world and assume that they know everything.

And well, this doctor did not know everything here. He hurt Jen and caused her suffering that was completely unneeded. He could have even set her back on her recovery path from her eating disorder and causing irreparable damage.

You are a woman of the world. Do not wait for Jen’s story to become yours as well.

*The names have been changed to protect the privacy of the subjects interviewed.

Politics The World

Here are Phyllis Schlafly’s 10 most controversial moments

Conservative and anti-feminist icon Phyllis Schlafly passed away this week in her home state of Missouri. During her lifetime, Schlafly was most well-known for her leadership of the anti-Equal Rights Amendment movement and outspoken beliefs about women’s rights, Communism, and modern politics. Whether you agree with her ideas or not, one thing is for certain, Phyllis Schlafly had an undeniably powerful influence on politics and the feminist movement.

Here are 10 of her most iconic moments, beliefs, and achievements. She might not have been a feminist, but she accomplished an awful lot during her 92 years.

1. Organized the STOP ERA campaign

Phyllis Schlafly is perhaps best known for leading the STOP ERA campaign during the 1970s. STOP ERA, which stood for “Stop Taking Our Privileges” and “Equal Rights Amendment,” prevented the Equal Rights Amendment from passing through congress. As a staunch conservative and housewife, Schlafly believed that the ERA would force women into the workforce, take away the benefits wives and widows enjoyed from their husbands’ salaries, take away male and female restrooms, and lead to the drafting of women into the army.

2. Emphasized that she was a housewife first and foremost

Even though Schlafly had immense political influence, she always emphasized that she was, above all else, a housewife. While campaigning for ERA and running for political office, Schlafly always listened to her husband’s wishes. If he thought that she had been away from the home for too long, she’d return. Over the course of her long career, Schlafly even raised 6 children. Some feminists, like Betty Friedan, argued that even if Schlafly claimed to be anti-feminist, her political activism made her a liberated woman.

3. Wrote the bestseller A Choice Not an Echo

Published in 1964, A Choice Not an Echo sold over 3 million copies. The book spread in popularity when it was distributed during Barry Goldwater’s 1964 presidential campaign. In the book, Schlafly argued that liberal Republicans, which she called “Rockefeller Republicans,” had to be stopped by more conservative Republicans. Schlafly explained that liberal Republicans were responsible for failed presidential candidates in the past, and that only truly conservative Republicans could guarantee a successful President.

4. Opposed the idea of rape within marriage

As an anti-feminist, Schlafly spoke out against common feminist ideas, such as the idea of rape within marriage. While many feminists believed that a husband could rape his wife if his wife did not consent to intercourse, Schlafly argued otherwise. In a March 2007 speech at Bates College, Schlafly stated, “By getting married, the woman has consented to sex, and I don’t think you can call it rape.”

5. Founded the Eagle Forum

In 1972, Schlafly founded the Eagle Forum, a conservative and pro-family interest group. A renaming of the original STOP ERA campaign, the Eagle Forum has supported pro-family, anti-immigration, and anti-globalization policies.

6. Published The Phyllis Schlafly Report

Beginning in 1967, Schlafly begain publishing a newsletter called The Phyllis Schlafly Report. The report ran throughout Schlafly’s life and demonstrated her immense influence in conservative politics.

7. Strongly opposed abortion

As a conservative and pro-family politician, it’s no surprise that Schlafly opposed abortion. She spoke out against liberal policies related to women’s rights throughout her career. Following Roe v. Wade, she said that the Court’s choice was “responsible for the killing of millions of unborn babies.”

8. Fought against same-sex marriage

Schlafly opposed same-sex marriage and believed it attacked “the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.” She also argued that the Equal Rights Amendment would promote LGBT causes and same-sex marriage–which is partially why she fought against the amendment.

9. Condemned the UN and globalization

Eagle Forum
Eagle Forum

Schlafly strongly condemned globalization, immigration, and other policies that she believed interfered with U.S. sovereignty. Throughout her work with the Eagle Forum, Schalfly opposed the United Nations and fought against the opening of U.S. borders to Canada or Mexico. Speaking about the World Trade Organization, Schlafly stated that globalization is a “direct attack on American sovereignty, independence, jobs, and economy … any country that must change its laws to obey rulings of a world organization has sacrificed its sovereignty.”

10. Endorsed Donald Trump

Most recently, Schlafly endorsed Donald Trump as a candidate for president. However, her personal support of Trump caused turmoil within the Eagle Form. Many of the Eagle Forum’s board members instead supported Ted Cruz, and so Schlafly asked those board members to resign.

During her many years as a political activist, Phyllis Schlafly made just as many friends as enemies. However she is remembered, one thing is certain: she will be remembered.

Gender & Identity Life

10 incredible women they should have taught us about in history class

History tells an augmented truth. We all know that the history told in history books is not the whole truth, as historians either highlight or subdue different aspects of history that fit better with a more comfortable narrative. We know, as the skeptics that we are, that there is more to the story than that.

These women are the warriors and rulers that fought great wars and ruled powerful nations. Some may say that history is written by the winner, but these women were definitely winners.

1. Queen Hatshepsut


Around 4,500 years ago Queen Hatshepsut took the throne as the pharaoh of Egypt. Hatshepsut was the longest running female pharaoh of Egypt, securing the role after her husband Thutmose II died. Her reign, which began in 1478 BCE, marks one of the longest periods of prosperity during a pharaoh’s rule, which left a legacy as one of the most successful pharaohs. She carried out great construction projects in Lower and Upper Egypt.

2. Triệu Thị Trinh


When 43 C.E. came around, the Chinese Han dynasty took control over Vietnam. For centuries, the Vietnamese people had tried again and again to fight against the Chinese people, who wanted to “civilize” these “savages.” She successfully defended her people against the Eastern Wu state in the third century. She’s been called the Vietnamese Joan of Arc, but let’s be real—Joan of Arc is the French Triệu.

2. Queen Nzingha


In the early days of what is now modern-day Angola, the biggest threat to the Ndongo and Matamba peoples was Portugal. During the 1500s, the Portuguese people began to take slaves from Angola, and in the 1600s, Nzingha rose to power after her father. Her legacy remains as having fought off the Portuguese for 40 years, and eventually defeated them. A great warrior, field commander, and decisive ruler, Nzingha was the first ruler of the Mbundu people and an important ruler to remember.

3. Empress Dowager Cíxǐ


Although Empress Dowager Cíxǐ’s time of rule is considered to be one of upheaval and distress, her reign explicated an incredible level of strength. She ruled the Qing dynasty during the time of the Boxer Uprising and multiple other uprisings around the country. She was considered ruthless to some but maintained the strength of the country through the Self-Strengthening Movement and the Hundred Days’ Reforms.

4. Buffalo Calf Road

The 1800s in the United States were a dark and disturbing time, and Buffalo Calf Road was a key woman in the fight against the colonization, oppression, and murder of the indigenous peoples of America. As a member of the Northern Cheyenne tribe, she fought in the Battle of the Rosebud and saved her brother, which led to their victory. She also fought tirelessly and bravely during the Battle of Little Big Horn. When her camp was viciously raided and attacked by soldiers, she guided the Cheyenne people to safety without blankets, food or water. While other Cheyennes surrendered, this powerful woman refused to do so. Although she died before she could see her people make their way to southeastern Montana, her legacy lives on.

5. Queen Manduhai the Wise


Queen Manduhai showed everyone in 15th century Mongolia how tough a woman could be. When she was 19 she married Dayan Khan, she was much more experienced than her husband, holding great influence and clout over the country and cabinet. With the court and military on her side, she reunited Mongolia from the eastern region of the empire. During her time as ruler, she defended her country not only in as a great Khatan (the female version of “Khan”) but as a warrior, personally fighting against adversaries.

6. Queen Liliʻuokalani


Queen Lili’uokalani is known as the only and last monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaii, as she witnessed her country’s sovereignty disappear in the late 1890s when her reign was overthrown by Americans and Europeans. While this was ultimately a  loss to her, Queen Lili’uokalani fought for her people legislatively before that. She drafted a constitution that would restore voting rights to Native Hawaiians and Asians that had been barred from voting. While this new Constitution angered Western powers, Lili’uokalani stood by it.

7.  Sayyida al Hurra

In the dangerous 16th century, pirates were everywhere. While we’d like to think that pirates were primarily male, Sayyid al-Hurra was a great pirate queen during her day. As the last person in Islamic history to receive the title of Queen (al-Hurra), she had all of the western Mediterranean Sea under her control. A great negotiator, a fierce pirate, and renowned woman, everyone accepted Sayyida al-Hurra as the ruler of the seas, and she is certainly a woman to remember.

8. Yaa Asantewaa


Yaa Asantewaa’s role in the fight against British colonialism was so renowned the rebellion was named after her: the Yaa Asantewaa war. Also known as the War of the Golden Stool, Yaa Asantewaa, as queen mother, fought endlessly to fight the British invasion of Ejisu in the Ashanti Empire. The rebellion began when the British governor of the Golden Coast demanded the symbol of the Asante nation, the Golden Stool. Yaa Asantewaa refused, leading the rebellion and her people, defending their pride and their land.

9. Queen Zenobia


When Zenobia became Queen of the Palmyrene Empire in the 3rd century, her empire was competing with many others. Ten years after she took the throne, her husband and sons were assassinated, and she remained queen alone,  conquering new territories and honoring the legacy of her husband and sons. She fought many battles in her conquests, most notably against Egypt and Anatolia. Her most renowned act was revolting against the Roman Empire.

10. Queen Tarabai


The Martha empire of India lasted from 1674 to 1818. When its rule began in the late 17th century, Tarabai Bhonsle was the queen of the son of Shivaji, the found of the empire. During this time, the powerful Mughal empire was conquering a vast majority of the lands in South Asia and eventually came to the doorstep of Martha. However, Tarabai is most well known for her successful resistance for her nation. After her husband died, Tarabai was left to reign and defend when the Mughals came. She is most well known for her successful resistance against them, and the Martha Empire became known as one of the key factors that lead to the demise of the Mughal rule.

As we’ve seen, there are amazing women in history, they’re  just not mentioned very often. These women fought great wars, defended great nations, and were all around badasses.

Politics The World

We need to protect our soldiers before we expect them to protect us

Even though Don’t ask, Don’t tell was repealed in 2011 by President Obama, the ban on transgender troops has been upheld – until now. In a historic move to equalize the Pentagon, the ban on transgender people in the military is set to be lifted on July 1, 2016.

Transgender troops will now be free to openly serve in the military. Currently, there’s an estimated 15,500 trans people serving in secrecy. While the ban will be lifted in early July, it’s expected to take a year or possibly more to fully integrate the lift into the military.

This development comes at the heels of many progressive changes at the Pentagon. Just last year, women were finally permitted to serve in every position of the military, including all combat positions, which they were previously barred from.

The acceptance of women into all levels of the military and the lift on the ban of transgender people are monumental changes to our military. However, the protection of our citizens against discrimination, especially in relation to transgender people, is not nation-wide. 

North Carolina recently made headlines when Governor Pat McCrory signed a bill restricting transgender people from using the bathroom of their choosing. This law is discriminatory, and nothing more than an infringement on the rights of citizens. While the Department of Justice had warned North Carolina of the law’s disregard for equal rights and filed a civil rights lawsuit against the state, action will be a long time from now.

The “bathroom debate” doesn’t end in one southern state; this is becoming a nationwide conversation. Target’s statement that it will allow transgender people to use the bathroom they choose recently sparked a boycott of the chain. At its core, the bathroom debate is simply dehumanizing. I wonder how those who oppose free bathroom rights would feel if there was a national controversy over their choice of bathroom. But they will never know what that feels like.

What concerns me most, however, is the treatment that transgender people will receive in the military when they are openly allowed to serve. I worry that there will be a “bathroom debate” here. I worry transgender people will be discriminated against, rather than protected, even as they proudly and courageously protect our country.

Similarly, I worry about hate crimes and sexual assault. Currently, transgender people are one of the most victimized groups in the U.S. One in two transgender people are sexually abused and assaulted at some point in their lives, according to the Office for Victims of Crime—that is half of trans people. Other studies show those numbers could be as high as 66%.

While members of the LGBT community are the most likely to experience hate crimes, they are rarely convicted as such. Although the conviction process in the military is much different from the states’, I am skeptical that much will be different. The military has, for years, been less than proactive in the prosecuting officers who commit sexual violence. Sexual assault and rape are significantly more common in the military: 50% higher for women and over 100% higher for men.

I worry about the safety of those who will now be legally protected to be openly transgender in the military—but only barely. A greater level of protection, enforcement, and support must be given to transgender people and women in the military against these acts of violence before policymakers expect them to protect the country.

The integration and full acceptance of transgender people into the military will be a difficult one, but extremely necessary. Transgender people deserve equal rights and must be protected against violence and hate in all forms.


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Politics The World

These 10 numbers on the Latina wage gap are incredibly pathetic

Hispanic Heritage Month is coming to close, but Latinx activists aren’t about to let America off easy. Much of the month was filled with celebrations and commemorations of Latinx and South American history.

But today, on #LatinaEqualPayDay, they set off a Twitter firestorm, pulling out facts and figures let and right to make an indisputable call for strong and swift state protections for Latina women.

Because no one should have to choose between putting food on the table and paying for health care.

1. According to the American Fed. of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations:

2. According to AFL-CIO’s secretary-treasurer:

3. According to No Teen Shame founder:

4. According to Fort Worth-Dallas’s elected representative:

5. According to the American Fed. of State, County & Municipal Employees:

6. According to the National Women’s Law Center:

7. According to the American Assoc. of University Women:

8. According to the Shriver Center on Poverty Law:

9. According to

10. According to the National Partnership for Women & Families:

In most states, Latina women suffer the worst from the wage gap. So…where’s the action, Congress?