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Things are changing for the women of 'Game of Thrones' this season. Finally.

Who runs the Westeros world? GIRLS!WARNING: 'Game of Thrones' spoilers below.

Things are changing for the women of 'Game of Thrones' this season. Finally.

If you thought the big reveal of "Game of Thrones" season six was John Snow not being dead, you haven't been paying attention.

The real news this season is that the ladies of Westeros are taking their rightful places as the badass conquerors, and no man — living or white walker — can stop them.


GIF from "Game of Thrones"/HBO.

There've been moments of badass women wielding power peppered throughout the series, but now the women of "Game of Thrones" are taking center stage like never before.

After many, many, many seasons of seeing female characters degraded and used as props and naked background decoration, we're finally seeing these amazing women get what's coming to them — namely, positions of high power, revenge, and most importantly, female solidarity.

It's like "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" but instead of chant circles and mint juleps, we have bloody body piles and dragon-scorched boats.

Ya-Ya! GIF from "Game of Thrones"/HBO.

Sansa Stark has transformed from a terrified prisoner into a military strategist.

This is perhaps the most exciting character journey of the season — Sansa has come a long way in just nine episodes and won't let anyone stand in the way of reclaiming her own autonomy and her home.

GIF from "Game of Thrones"/HBO.

Not only did Sansa manage to escape the clutches of the unnervingly evil Ramsay Bolton, but with the help of Brienne of Tarth, she made it all the way to her brother John Snow at Castle Black where she promptly schooled him on how to build an army. Of course, he didn't listen to her — because even the John Snows of Westeros can be pig-headed.

In the most recent episode, "Battle of the Bastards," rather than let her brother die (again), Sansa went behind his back to save his (and everyone else's) skin using her Aery army connections.

Of course, she does wait until the very last minute to teach her big brother the most important lesson: When dealing with a sadistic psychopath, you should always listen to his former wife.

Well-seasoned conqueror, Daenerys Targaryen, aka Khaleesi, aka the Mother of Dragons, may have begun this season working alone, but now she's aligned herself with another powerful woman: Yara of Ironborn.

GIF from "Game of Thrones"/HBO.

True, Daenerys has been burning her name into all the eastern kingdoms for several seasons now, but in season 6, she's really coming into her own. At the beginning of this season, she sought fiery revenge on the Dothraki leaders, took the remaining people under her command, and subdued the slave leaders with her dragon children.

In "Battle of the Bastards," Daenerys raised her dominating lady power to the nth degree when she combined forces with everyone's favorite sea-based ruler — Yara of Ironborn.

Boom! Solidarity sister mic drop! GIF from "Game of Thrones"/HBO.

This union is the feminist equivalent of the Ghostbusters crossing proton streams: Despite the fear of world implosion, we'll end up better and safer on the other side.

As if in response to all the public outcry against how the show handles rape, Daenerys explicitly called for an end to it, along with "reaving, roving, and raiding" in her pact with Yara.


Lyanna Mormont of Bear Island, who made her first appearance this season, is proof that even 10-year-old girls can lead armies.

Image from "Game of Thrones"/HBO.

We all instantly fell in love with her because she's sassy (“Lady Sansa is a Bolton ... or is she a Lannister?”), but when it came down to it, she was willing to stand strong with her brethren and fight the ultimate battle.

And while Sansa, Daenarys, Yara, and Lyanna are all out there leading their people, they aren't the only female characters owning their power this season.

Margaery of Tyrell has spent this season proving that sometimes you can fight without physical weapons and still win major battles.

GIF from "Game of Thrones"/HBO.

After all, she's been dealing with a powerful religious fanatic (*cough* cult leader *cough*) who's taken control of King's Landing. Under such circumstances, she's had to play her hand close to the chest, but so far, it appears to be working.

And, lastly, having spent two seasons trying to become a girl with no name — Arya Stark is now ready to embrace the power that comes with owning her identity.

GIF from "Game of Thrones"/HBO.

Arya's training with, and subsequent epic fight against, the Waif in a series of terminator-style face offs demonstrate how size, gender, and age truly do not matter when it comes to being able to deliver heart-pounding action sequences.

Slick fighting skills are far from the only thing that's turned Arya into a pillar of strength, however. Her encounter with the playhouse actress, Lady Crane, taught her to trust her own judgement rather than leave her fate in the hands of the many-faced god.

According to HBO, this six-season journey toward Westeros' feminist future has been part of the plan all along.

"It’s the women that are the hope that we’re watching as the chess pieces move this season, and it’s very exciting,” HBO programming president Michael Lombardo told Entertainment Weekly.

Given that for six seasons audiences have tuned in to see women being raped, tortured, blinded, and married off to horrible men over and over again — simply put, this shift is both incredibly welcome and long overdue.

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After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

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via Seresto

A disturbing joint report by USA Today and the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting found that tens of thousands of pets have been harmed by Seresto flea and tick collars. Seresto was developed by Bayer and is now sold by Elanco.

Since Seresto flea collars were introduced in 2012, the EPA has received incident reports of at least 1,698 pet deaths linked to the product. Through June 2020, the EPA has received over 75,000 incident reports relating to the collars with over 1,000 involving human harm.

The EPA has known the collars are harming humans and their pets but failed to tell the public about the dangers.

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We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

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You know that feeling you get when you walk into a classroom and see someone else's stuff on your desk?

OK, sure, there are no assigned seats, but you've been sitting at the same desk since the first day and everyone knows it.

So why does the guy who sits next to you put his phone, his book, his charger, his lunch, and his laptop in the space that's rightfully yours? It's annoying!

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Over my own 20+ years of motherhood, I've written a lot about breastfeeding. My mom was a lactation consultant, I breastfed all three of my children through toddlerhood, and I've engaged in many lengthy debates about breastfeeding in public.

But in all that time, I've never seen a video that encapsulates the reality of the early days of breastfeeding like the Frida Mom ad that aired on NBC during the Golden Globes. And I've never seen a more perfect depiction of the full, raw reality of it than the uncensored version that bares too much full breast to be aired on network television.

The 30-second for-TV version is great and can be seen in this clip from ET Canada. The commentary that accompanies it is refreshing as well. We do need to normalize breastfeeding. We do need to see breasts in a context other than a sexualized one that caters to the male gaze. We do need to let new moms know they are not the only ones feeling the way they feel.


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