Malala Yousafzai has been co-awarded this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, making her the youngest-ever Nobel Laureate at 17 years old, and the first Pakistani citizen to win the Peace Prize, as well. Malala, an activist who champions childrens’ rights and education, has traveled the world calling attention to the global welfare of minors (check this amazing speech she gave at the United Nations last year if you want your socks knocked resolutely the fuck off), particularly those whose lives and livelihoods are threatened by the Taliban, as hers was when she was shot in the head two years ago by gunmen who tried to silence her after she protested the regime that was keeping her and her peers out of schools and forbidding ANY women or girls to even leave the house.
Malala is still standing up for her rights, and so many others’ around the world, which is a lucky place for having her in it. I cannot think of a more deserving recipient for this accolade, a fact reconfirmed to me in her acceptance speech, above, when she says:
I want to tell other children all around the world that they should stand up for their rights. They should not wait for someone else. And their voices are more powerful. It would seem that they’re weak, but at a time when no one speaks, your voice gets so loud that everyone has to listen to it. Everyone has to hear it. […] This award is for all those children who are voiceless.
Malala shares the prize with her fellow children’s rights advocate, Kailash Satyarthi, who has agitated against child slavery and labor, among many other human rights causes, in his home country of India and abroad since 1980. I am THRILLED that these two have been honored by such a hugely public institution; their causes deserve the highest magnitude of attention and support, and this recognition will undoubtedly contribute to that.
In a shocking reversal of roles, BLONDIE BIT MY STYLE FOR ONCE. What, you’re going to tell me that this article where Debbie Harry tells the story of her life through her T-shirt collection isn’t a DIRECT RIP-OFF of the first-ever article I wrote for Rookie about my own closet autobiography way back when?! Naw, I wish, but no one can discompose the sunny camaraderie I felt with my heroine when I read this, however much I’m reaching here (and, boy, am I straining my arms out as far as they’ll go; I know).
Finally: I’ve never seen this show, but I know a lot of you galzzz love it, so I thought I’d mention that Twin Peaks is coming back to television in 2016! Agent Cooper will eat a donut once again, or something!! Laura Palmer is alive!!! (I have no idea what I’m talking about here.)
In celebration of the show’s return, let’s take a moment to celebrate the many sweaters of Twin Peaks. Maybe it’s time to bring out your “dramatic elbow region” sweater, just like the Log Lady.
This piece highlights a ton of black speculative/Afrofuturist movies and filmmakers that are revolutionizing their field. Pay especially close attention if you love sci-fi and horror! Bonus: A lot of these works are available to watch for free on YouTube (like Noise Gate, just above)!
Merrill Garbus, aka tUnE-yArDs, released a holy gorgeous whizbanger of a new song this week with “Real Thing,” paired with a video that’s reminiscent of Shaye St. John and rails on the crisis of body image in a capitalist, colonialist world obsessed with seeking out inauthenticity in female artists.
Merrill also met with the legendary Laurie Anderson for a conversation in podcast form on The Talkhouse where they discuss their approaches to technology, fame, and more. She’s an unstoppable force, and hearing her in conversation with Anderson will make you want to drop everything, sing at the top of your lungs, and make really good art.
Girlpool is the coolest band in the world; just ask literally anyone. This premiere of their new single, “Blah Blah Blah,” and interview should be proof enough! I think they sound like the Wipers without drums, but way better. Their interviews are voraciously smart—they have a combined IQ of 4,986 and smash all the stereotypes people might have about whether or not punk can be smart and/or cute. And I’m pretty sure there’s never been a better lyric than, “You like me better in my underwear/When I try to kiss you, you get scared.”
17-year-old Joshua Wong is the leader of the new Hong Kong student group called Scholarism which is outlined in this TIME article. Scholarism advocates against the implementation of a new Chinese education policy that excludes information about the tragic, student-led Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, which were rooted in social equality and led to an unknown number of at least a few hundred deaths at the hands of the Chinese government, and encourages loyalty to the Communist Party of China in history classes. Wong considers this overt political propaganda unacceptable, and Hong Kong’s youth is concerned that it’s only the beginning of even more troubling political censorship over the next 33 years, until Hong Kong is finally subjected to totalitarian restrictions on its citizen’s lives under Chinese governance.
I can’t imagine what it must be like to know that your country will soon have a government that has historically shown itself to be controlling, brutal, and non-representative of China’s population. I admire Joshua Wong and his principled, brave stance for democracy.
The way Rookie contributor Roxane writes—about her body and her love for Ina Garten; feminism; the tiny details of working (lots of downtime in hotel rooms and television)—invites you into her life and thoughts with such grace and honesty, making her one of my favorite people to read. Roxane brought those qualities to an essay called “The Price of Black Ambition“ about being both black and ambitious, and the success of her two books, Bad Feminist and An Untamed State. When I was younger, I didn’t know anyone who worked in publishing or as a writer, let alone anyone of the same race as me who had a literary job. This essay, which explores the racism Roxane has experienced at the same time as she has been hardworking and professionally successful, is so important.
So I can't believe this happened. I am still in shock and disbelief that I got to share this moment with my feminist idol #bellhooks. I still don't feel worthy but wow! Thanks @alialahloux for the photo "Love, community, James Baldwin, orange is the new black, beauty standards, high heels, money, academia, invisibility blues, love as risk-taking, imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy, decolonizing our minds and practicing freedom. They hit it all, and were fierce and fabulous. Double star struck. #lavernecox #bellhooks #oitnb" via @PhotoRepost_app
Watch this conversation between bell hooks and Laverne Cox at the New School! It’s a great talk about pop culture, feminism, representation, and the show on which Laverne acts, Orange Is the New Black. I had the privilege of attending the past few days of bell hook’s events at the college, and being in their presence for this was electrifying. I wish I could watch them EVERY DAY.
Growing up, I loved to bury time capsules in my backyard and fantasize about girls in the distant future trying to make sense of my life and times from the Bazooka comics and old keys I hid inside. So you can bet I was pretty swoony for the latest in time-capsule news: Archivists opened a century-plus-year-old copper box found in the body of a lion (!) decorating the Old State House in downtown Boston. They’ve yet to reveal what historical gems it holds. I can’t wait to find out what chewing gum wrappers made it in.
Read about the remarkably important contributions of Ada Lovelace, the world’s first computer programmer, at NPR, and remember that although women in tech still have a long way to go, many of us are the ones who are going to get there! Go forth, young Lovelaces!
The City Council of Seattle (my own personal home, if I may brag) has announced that the second Monday in October, federally recognized as Columbus Day, will be known in Seattle as Indigenous People’s Day. According to this article, Minneapolis has already done the same, and South Dakota has recognized Native American’s Day on this date since 1989! While the indigenous peoples of America have suffered centuries of irreparable damage to their societies for the sake of the construction of ours, I hope moves towards acknowledgement and recognition will offer a bit of healing. So on Monday, no matter what your city celebrates, consider taking a couple minutes to Google what indigenous tribes were present during the time of your town’s settlement. Honor this day and their struggle by absorbing some history. I’ll do it with you!
This week, two more women (in the news, anyway) were violently attacked after they rejected sexual advances from strange men. Mary Spears was fatally shot when she chose not to give out her number, while another woman is in stable condition after getting her throat slashed… because she wouldn’t talk to a dude. Although we have a right to reject romantic interest and to walk wherever we damn please, it seems that even the slightest shake of a head can cause a life-altering (or -ending) situation. This terrifies me as a girl living in this world and I’m sure for other women inside and outside of my community. As a friend (ahem, Suzy!) asked in response to this week’s news: “Can more people please take male entitlement seriously now?”
Fellow Rook Arabelle wrote about the whitewashing that took place during the different fashion weeks. She has the perfect response to the herald over and over again: “It’s not a ‘new start’ if it’s the same basic tenets of beauty that have been pushed for for hundreds of years, you know?”
Oh! Speaking of which, I liked this essay that critiques how Elle informed us of a hot new trend: Timberland boots. I know what you’re thinking: Wait, wait weren’t those a staple in ’90s hip-hop culture? Isn’t that like the basis of producer Timbaland’s name? Yeah, I feel you. The criticism mostly surrounds the fact that Elle marketed the shoe as the “new fashion shoe for fall,” which completely disregards the major fashion moment they had years and years before. But to go down that road, maybe we would also have to bring up the fact that Timbs have a deep cultural history even before the 1990s, and outside of hip-hop.
If you’re anything like me, the entirety of your Netflix Instant queue has been watched and rewatched at least a dozen times already. Luckily, Laura Jane Grace’s new reality web series, True Trans, premiered this week, and there are four episodes following her through her day-to-day life and music career (LJG is a solo artist and the frontwoman of Against Me!). I can’t wait to curl up with my dog and binge-watch them all.
Weyes Blood’s new album The Innocents is my most anticipated record of the year, and the video for “Some Winters” makes me even more excited for its October 21 release. It’s set in an ethereal forest world with beautifully mellow colors and surreal imagery.
Surely here is no one better qualified to help you navigate the perils of the online dating world than Walter Mercado, the TV psychic with legendarily sultry charisma and iconic outfits of brooches and brocade who has now started a dating site. Who wouldn’t trust his powerful mysticism to lead them to love? This news may also interest: people who are in the market for prosperity-promising body lotion, which is also available for purchase on the site.
Rookie’s own Bianca did an interview with Kim Dylla, aka Gwar’s new frontperson, Vulvatron, on Dylla’s clothing line, feminism, and her best tactics for handling stress. I was primarily familiar with Vulvatron’s fake blood–spouting prosthetic nipples before this interview and, happily, have many more equally rad reasons to admire her after reading this. ♦