Women’s Rights At The Heart of Women’s World Cup, and Imposter Syndrome and Women in Politics

Women’s Rights At The Heart of Women’s World Cup - Openletr feminist news.jpg

Women’s Rights At The Heart of Women’s World Cup

Last week FIFA apologized for removing two fans in political shirts campaigning for the right of women to enter soccer stadiums in Iran. The fans were removed from the game during Canada's 2-0 victory over New Zealand. “Stadium security officials intervened in Grenoble during Saturday’s game when they spotted t-shirts campaigning for women’s rights in Iran,” reports the AP via South China Morning Post. “(FIFA) believes that the message to allow women into football stadiums in Iran is a social, not political, matter and so the message on the front of the T-shirts worn by two fans is not against the (FIFA) rules, which rules always need to be applied with a sense of proportion.”

“In a country where football was traditionally seen as a man’s sport, I was a passionate football fan. For Iranians, it was considered not just strange but taboo that a young Iranian girl be into football the way I was while growing up […]” excerpt from Iranian Women Demanded ‘Open Stadiums’ for a Long Time (read here). In Iran, the term ‘Open Stadiums’ is a movement that has been around for more than a decade, but is just gaining international steam. FIFA has been under pressure from Iranian sports fans for quite some time to get involved, but now we are at a turning point. The bad move by the governing body may have ignited a firestorm in women’s soccer.

Women’s Soccer Outearning Men’s

Over the last three years, according to the Wall Street Journal, women’s soccer games have out earned mens’ in terms of revenue. “The event revenue from the [U.S. women's team] demonstrates the potential that can be realized when investment is made,” Becca Roux, the executive director of the team's players association, told the Journal. “While there is still a long way to go, I applaud U.S. Soccer, their partners, and our partners for the new marketing initiatives over the past couple of years," she continued.

And yet, men soccer players in the US are paid more than women. A wage discrimination suit was filed in 2016 by five members of the US national women’s soccer team. Hillary Clinton, at the time, tweeted support for the discrimination suit. According to ESPN, which reported on the EEOC filing, the women would earn $99,000 each if they won 20 “friendlies,” the minimum number of games they play in a year. Men, by contrast, would earn approximately $263,320 each for the same number of wins, but, in addition, would get $100,000 even if they lost all 20 games.

Taylor Swift: Taking The Equality Act into Her Latest Video


Feminist Taylor Swift is one of the biggest names in the entertainment industry putting her showbiz clout behind the Equality Act. Her latest music video “You Need To Calm Down,” highlights her alliance with the LGBTQ community. She started a change.org petition for Senate support of the Equality Act demanding equal treatment of all US Citizen. The petition can be found at the end of the video or here. “H.R. 5 and S. 788, better known as the Equality Act, is a piece of legislation currently being discussed in Congress that would create federal protections for LGBTQ Americans against discrimination on the basis of ‘sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity,’ specifically in areas including housing, employment, access to public accommodations (restaurants, bathrooms, etc.) and more,” explains Stephen Daw of Billboard. “The bill in its current form was officially introduced in the House of Representatives and in the Senate on March 13, 2019, although a version of the bill has been making its way around Congress since July 2015.”

A New Survey Released on Women in Indie Films

A new survey examined the percentages of women working in Independent Films. Dr. Martha M. Lauzen, the executive director of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University compiled The Indie Women survey. More than 970 films and 10,700 credits were examined from 2018 to 2019 and over 80,000 credits on almost 8,000 films from 2008 to 2019 were examined in all. "The latest Indie Women study found that women achieved record-setting levels as directors (33 percent), writers (32 percent), producers (37 percent), executive producers (32 percent), and editors (29 percent) […]” Kate Erbland writes for IndieWIRE. “‘After many years of tracking stubbornly stagnant numbers, this year women achieved healthy gains in a number of key behind-the-scenes roles,’ Dr. Lauzen said in an official statement. ‘Despite these increases, it is important to note that women remain dramatically underrepresented, with independent films employing more than twice as many men as women in these roles.’”

Abortion Laws And Men

Abortion has become a touchstone issue across the country in the battle for equal rights. It should be noted that men don’t face any consequence in the slate of new punitive anti-choice restrictions popping up around the country, despite their equal participation in the pregnancy. Five caucasian men and lawmakers in an eastern town of Texas at the border of Louisiana proclaimed Waskom as a “sanctuary city for the unborn.” While there are currently no abortion clinics in their town, these five men emphasized that “prohibiting abortion was necessary as a preventive measure,” notes Isaac Stanley-Becker in the Washington Post. “Applause broke out in the chambers of the city council when all five local lawmakers raised their hands to signal their approval. They were cheered by antiabortion activists who are fearful that a strict abortion ban in Louisiana — signed into law last month by the state’s Democratic governor, John Bel Edwards — might cause a facility that offers the procedure in Shreveport, about 20 miles east of Waskom, to move across the border.” Despite abortion in Texas being already prohibited after 20 weeks, a new bill that has yet to be signed might require doctors to provide care to a child born alive after an abortion. Further, it is not inconceivable that Missouri might become the first state in 45 years to completely ban the medical procedure. “Currently, there are six states that have only one abortion clinic left: Mississippi, North and South Dakota, Kentucky, West Virginia and Missouri,” notes Julie Burkhart in an Op Ed for TheHill. “Since 2008, four clinics in Missouri have closed due to punitive anti-choice laws passed by the Missouri legislature, some of which have been targeted regulations against abortion providers.”

Cover photo via the AP