Badass women: 13 October 2016
Author Kelly Oxford, young Anna Lehane, ballerina Gabi Shull, actress Eva Longoria and Frida Farrell are taking a stand for women this week
You can thank Twitter-famous author and screenwriter Kelly Oxford for the #NotOkay hashtag movement that started on Twitter last week. After Donald Trump's "locker room talk" video was released, Kelly went online and urged women to come forward with their stories of sexual assault.
Women: tweet me your first assaults. they aren't just stats. I'll go first:— kelly oxford (@kellyoxford) October 7, 2016
Old man on city bus grabs my "pussy" and smiles at me, I'm 12.
Since then, Kelly has received thousands of tweets in response. "It was such a personal question," Kelly said. "I thought, 'No one is going to share anything on Twitter.'" But many did, and Kelly has done an amazing job in getting women to come forward and helping each other realise that they're not alone.
Anna Lehane, 18, turned up at Donald Trump's rally in Pennsylvania earlier this week in a T-shirt with the message: "Grab my pussy, I dare you" printed on it. Like Kelly, Anna's move came in response to Trump's locker talk when he commented about grabbing women "by the pussy".
"I felt disillusioned then with the opinions of [Trump] and any woman who supports him," she told ELLE.com. "You can't control how I vote by grabbing my whatever. The fact that I'm a woman doesn't mean that I'm easily influenced or controllable or someone who shouldn’t be taken seriously."
"I hope people will take away that the opinion of every person matters. It doesn't matter your race, gender, or age, whatever," Anna added. "You need to value yourself and what you're trying to say and you can't let anybody, no matter how powerful they may seem, quiet you."
Also at Trump rally: teenage protestors. Anna Lehane displays homemade shirt, says it was "civic duty" to speak out. pic.twitter.com/U7UXzdnddE— Laura McCrystal (@LMcCrystal) October 10, 2016
Young Gabi Shull is a 15-year-old cancer survivor. She had to have part of her leg amputated due to osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer that affected her knee, when she was just 9 years old. Surgeons removed her knee joint in an operation called rotationplasty and reattached her foot to her upper leg to allow her to use her ankle as a knee.
"It's a unique surgery," Gabi said. "Not for everybody, but it was worth it for me."
Now, with a custom-made prosthetic pointe foot, Gabi has learned to is able to dance on pointe. She also takes up tap, hip-hop, jazz, contemporary and lyrical, and even dances competitively. Did we mention that she's a national spokesperson for a children's cancer awareness organisation called The Truth 365? Yep. What a star. Keep on dancing, Gabi!
Actress Eva Longoria is not going to sit quiet while racist politicians refer to her and her people as "that Mexican thing" which was what vice presidential candidate Mike Pence said last week while referring to Trump's comments that Mexico is "not sending their best" people and "they're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, they're rapists."
"Governor Pence – we are not a thing," she said. "We are proud American citizens. We are mothers and fathers working for a better future for our kids. And we are children studying hard and dreaming of giving back to the United States that we love. And most importantly, Governor Pence, we will be voting this November."
Frida Farrell was in her early 20s when she was tricked, kidnapped and then forced into sex by her captor. Luckily, Frida managed to escape and now she has made a film called Selling Isobel, in which she also stars in, to tell the story that she's kept a secret for 14 years. The film won Best Indie Film Award at the Raindance Film Festival.
"I was silent about it for so many years," she told The Telegraph. "I didn't want to talk about it at all. But then my husband convinced me that I should not only write it down, but write a film to help other women. Helping other women was more of a drive than being silent about it."
"If I say 'Imagine a sex trafficking victim', you often think of someone from Eastern Europe who doesn't speak the language," she added. "But it can happen to anyone walking down the street. I'm Swedish, but I speak good English and I wasn't struggling for money."