Legally Blonde has a subversively empowering message for women. On the surface, it looks like a movie about a vapid blonde, but it secretly tells women that they can do anything, even if they like pink. However, one of the stories behind the movie isn't as empowering. In fact, it's downright sexist and holds up the cliché that even an actress playing as nun has to come off as bangable in some way.
If you're a woman, you're going to have to wade through some sexist bull, no matter where you are in your career. Even if you're at the top of your game, like Taylor Swift. Swift received Billboard's Woman of the Decade award on her 30th birthday, and did not hold back in her 15-minute acceptance speech. She used the opportunity to signal boost other female artists, call out institutionalized sexism in the music industry, and describe what toxic male privilege looks like.
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Women might face more obstacles and double standards. But ultimately challenges are what we make of them, and more obstacles mean more opportunity for growth. It's that old case of "whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger," or in Swift's case, makes you the woman of the decade. "Female artists in music have dominated this decade in growth, streaming, record and ticket sales, and critical acclaim. So why are we doing so well? Because we have to grow fast, we have to work this hard, we have to prove that we deserve this, and we have to top our last achievements," she said in her speech.
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Protests seem to be sweeping the planet, from Hong Kong to Iran to Chile, over issues from democracy to gas prices to social and economic inequality. Recently, amidst other protests, a powerful feminist movement showed up on the streets of Chile to highlight the issue of sexual violence.
Fourteen-year-old Alaina Gassler had noticed her mother struggling with blind spots while driving their family's car. Though not even old enough to drive herself, the Pennsylvania middle schooler designed a system that uses a webcam to display obstacles blocking a driver's line of sight to make driving safer.
Last week, that design project earned Gassler the $25,000 Samueli Foundation Prize, the top award in the 2019 Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology, and Engineering for Rising Stars) competition.