Bleats

Cynthia Nixon's 'Be A Lady They Said' Video Should Make You Angry

It's starting a long overdue conversation.

This week, a video of Cynthia Nixon narrating a poem called ‘Be A Lady, They Said’ went viral on social media.

Listen to the GOAT team break down the whole thing on the latest ep of It’s Been A Big Day For…below:

The video, which has already been viewed millions of times, features Nixon reciting a list of all the contradictory statements women are exposed to on a daily basis. The statements are complemented by confronting imagery of extreme beauty measures, tabloid magazine covers, pop culture references, young girls in heels and makeup and more.

The powerful words were originally written in 2017 by poet Camille Rainville and include things like, “don’t be too fat, don’t be too thin. Eat up, slim down. Stop eating so much. Order a salad, don’t eat carbs. God, you look like a skeleton!”

If you’re a woman watching this, it’s hard to ignore the feeling of anger and sadness that stirs within. These kinds of harmful and conflicting messages are something most, if not all, women have experienced and continue to experience throughout their lives.

The Madonna-Whore dichotomy has become deeply ingrained in our culture. It’s an idea enforced by the patriarchy that women must be either perceived as “good, pure and wholesome” Madonnas, or “bad, promiscuous and seductive” whores – and there’s no in-between, or freedom to be both.

People have also responded to Cynthia Nixon’s ‘Be A Lady’ video with disdain because of its ties to Girls Girls Girls magazine. Throughout history, fashion magazines have had a tendency to enforce the very stereotypes and unrealistic expectations of femininity that this video is trying to break apart. 

However, instead of portraying fashion and beauty as something out-of-reach and only accessible to a select few, Girls Girls Girls magazine has made a conscious effort to shine a light on a wide range of body types, races, ages and life situations. Many of us will remember the magazine’s 2018 cover featuring Rachel McAdams wearing a breast pump. 

At the end of the day, it’s OK if watching Cynthia Nixon’s ‘Be A Lady’ video made you angry – in fact, it should. It might not make you pick up a copy of Girls Girls Girls, it might not make you look at Camille Rainville’s other incredible work, but it should start a conversation that is long overdue. Both men and women need to work together to change the harmful language we’ve all become so desensitised to – and this is a big step in the right direction.

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

Scotland's Bold New Bill For Sanitary Products Needs To Migrate To Aus ASAP

Scotland has just made history.

Scotland has just made history as the first country in the world to make sanitary products free for all people.

According to the ABC, The Period Products Scotland bill, proposed by Scottish MP Monica Lennon has passed its first vote in parliament. While the scheme is estimated to cost around $47.5 million, it will ensure items including tampons and sanitary pads are free and accessible in public places like community centres, youth clubs and pharmacies.

“These are not luxury items,” Lennon said during the debate. “They are indeed essential and no one in Scotland should have to go without period products.”

Lennon noted that passing the bill would be a “milestone moment for normalising menstruation in Scotland and sending out that real signal to people in this country about how seriously parliament takes gender equality.”

Fellow MP Alison Johnstone added that “being financially penalised for a natural bodily function is not equitable or just.”

SBS reports that the Scottish government originally opposed the plan for free period products, but changed its tune after “coming under pressure from campaigners.”

It’s not the first step Scotland has made towards gender equality. Since 2018, Scotland has been providing free sanitary products in schools, colleges and universities. 

Speaking of women’s rights, listen to the GOAT team breakdown Harvey Weinstein’s recent conviction on It’s Been A Big Day For…below:

“We are changing the culture and it’s really exciting that other countries right around the world are watching very closely to see what we do,” Lennon said, begging the question – when will Australia follow suit?

In October 2018 – and after an 18-year campaign – the 10% tax on tampons and pads was removed in Australia. The move was said to cost the state $30M a year, but was necessary considering the fact that other health products including condoms and Viagra are also exempt from GST.

Last year, the Victorian government took another step in the right direction by providing free sanitary products in government schools in the state – but what about the rest of Australia?

Of the 3.2M Australians currently living below the poverty line, 52% of them are women and young girls. Unfortunately, many of these women are experiencing ‘period poverty’ and are unable to afford sanitary products. 

That’s why organisations like Share the Dignity are so important. Last year, Woolworths agreed to donate five cents from every pack of sanitary items sold – including pads, tampons, liners and period briefs to the charity. These funds are used to install and maintain Pink Box Dignity Vending Machines that dispense free period packs to women and girls. 

Share the Dignity, those who donate to the cause and its corporate partners are doing amazing work but there is still a long way to go until sanitary products are free and accessible to Australians on a national scale. 

Scotland’s period products bill provides Australia with the motivation to remove the stigma associated with menstruation and fulfilling the basic rights of those in need.

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

Harvey Weinstein Conviction: How Did We Get Here And What's Next?

The jury has finally reached a verdict.

After a lengthy trial, the uprise of the #MeToo movement, and countless recounts of sexual abuse, disgraced Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein has finally faced his conviction.

After five days of deliberation, a jury of seven men and five women found Weinstein guilty of a criminal sex act in the first degree and rape in the third degree. While the accused now faces a minimum sentence of four years and a maximum sentence of 29 years, he was acquitted of three other charges – two of which included serious counts of predatory sexual assault carrying a life sentence. 

Many have regarded the Harvey Weinstein case, and his conviction, a ‘watershed moment’ for the #MeToo movement, however others are skeptical that justice has – or will be – completely served.

Listen to the GOAT team breakdown the whole thing on the latest ep of It’s Been A Big Day For…below:

How Did We Get Here? 

Allegations of sexual assault against Harvey Weinstein first surfaced in October 2017, when journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey published a groundbreaking report in the New York Times. 

Weinstein issued an apology acknowledging he had “caused a lot of pain,” but disputed the allegations. As time passed, more women came forward and more sexual assault accusations against the Hollywood producer emerged, spurring the #MeToo movement on social media.

Eventually, Harvey Weinstein was fired by the board of his company, expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and ‘cancelled’ from Hollywood. 

A criminal investigation was launched in New York in 2017, but Weinstein wasn’t charged until 2018, when he turned himself into police. He was later released on $1M bail, but was forced to surrender his passport and wear an ankle monitor with travel restricted to New York and Connecticut.

On January 6, 2020 his trial began. Over one month later and after five days of deliberation, Harvey Weinstein faced his conviction, was handcuffed and taken to jail. He is set to be sentenced on March 11th. 

What Happens Now?

As mentioned previously, Harvey Weinstein’s defence team plan to appeal the verdict with his attorney Arthur Aidala saying, “As sure as I’m a bald man, we will be appealing.” 

However, Weinstein still faces charges in Los Angeles, with authorities alleging he raped one woman and sexually assaulted another on back-to-back nights during Oscars week in 2013. For these charges, Weinstein faces up to 28 years in prison. 

We will just have to wait and see what happens when it comes to Harvey Weinstein’s sentencing, and the charges against him in Los Angeles, but one thing is clear: this verdict gives victims of sexual assault at least some hope that even a man with so much power and wealth is not above or beyond the law. 

This trial, and Weinstein’s conviction, has also highlighted the bravery of all the women who came forward to tell their stories and share their experiences. We can only hope that their fearlessness in the face of Harvey Weinstein, the media and his defence team will encourage other women to speak out and seek justice.

If you, or anyone you know is a victim of sexual assault, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or 1800 RESPECT for support services.

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

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