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daily feminist news: 29.08.13

Yesterday (28th August) was the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech

Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, where Martin Luther King gave his iconic ‘I have a dream’ speech. In the years following King’s speech the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act were signed, outlawing discrimination in America. US President Barack Obama spoke in the same place to commemorate the event, reflecting on King’s legacy. Speaking of the time when King gave his speech, Obama stated that ‘There were couples in love who couldn’t marry. Soldiers who fought for freedom abroad but couldn’t find any at home.’

Target stands firm against homophobic complaints

The new face of Target, Gok Wan, has come under fire with homophobic complaints about his being the face of the store. Much of the complaints have been in response to Target’s recent ad for bras, in which Wan refers to women’s breasts as ‘bangers;’ however the underlying complaint is that Target, a “family store” is featuring an openly gay personality as their figurehead. In response to the complaints, Target made this great statement:
‘Gok Wan was chosen as a brand ambassador for Target because of his personality and reputation, not his sexuality. He feels good about who he is as he is. He is playfully irreverent, colourful and fun. He has a great capacity for making other people feel good about themselves too. Target strongly believes that a person’s sexuality is irrelevant to their worth as a person. Target makes no apology for using a gay man in its advertising and we do not believe that this should be grounds for upholding a complaint.’

Young women in Iran use fashion to influence politics
In Iran, veiling is mandatory for women; however, many are subversively expressing themselves in new ways within these rules, with designers introducing bright colours, patterns and styles that would pass for high fashion in the West. These new fashion trends have influenced the outcome of the recent election, with moderate reformer, Hassan Rouhani winning the vote with the support of progressive, young female voters for whom ‘women’s right to wear’ was a theme of the election.

Artist flees Russia after painting of Putin in negligee seized by authorities

Artist, Konstantin Altunin, has fled Russia after police seized his painting, ‘Travesty,’ which featured President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in women’s lingerie.

Germany becomes first European country to recognise ‘undetermined’ sex
Germany has become the first European nation to allow babies born with no clear gender-determining characteristics to be legally recognised as neither male nor female. This decision is great news for transgender and intersex Germans, who previously had to tick either male or female boxes even if they did not really identify as either/or.  According to the constitutional court that influenced the decision, legal recognition of a person’s experienced and lived gender is a personal human right.

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