The Violence Pyramid, by Artist  Ashley Fairbanks

The Violence Pyramid, by Artist Ashley Fairbanks

Words Matter

Words that demean and objectify women - like slut + whore - (used by both men and women) contribute to rape culture and should be wiped from our vocabulary. Anytime you hear someone use that language, do your part for feminism and shut that shit down. 

Vigdis Finnbogadottir , President of Iceland, 1980-1996

Vigdis Finnbogadottir, President of Iceland, 1980-1996

In the 1980's, Iceland became the first country in the world to democratically elect a female President 

"If the world can be saved, it will be by women...they do not do it with war, they do it with words." - Vigis Finnbogadottir, the world's first female president to be elected by democratic/popular vote. She was also a divorced single mom when elected - and at age 41, the first single woman allowed to adopt a child. She's also the longest-serving elected female head of state of any country to date. 

Religion is not a thing in Iceland 

Religion...is not a thing in Iceland (speaking of ehhem peace). Iceland is one of the top 10 atheist populations in the world. Although the majority of the population is Lutheran, 31% of Icelanders say they aren't religious and 10% label themselves atheist. Catholicism only makes up 3.8% (no madonna/whore complex here✖️ 👰🏻💃🏻). The Church of Iceland is the officially established Christian church in Iceland, and what do you know!! the Bishop of Iceland is currently a woman- Agnes Siguroardottir - the 1st woman to hold this position. There are female ministers and same sex marriages are allowed ❤️🇮🇸👭❤️. Photo by @wakeupreykjavik (the pictures I took of this church made it look like the penis museum).

Pornography is Banned in Iceland

Pornography has been illegal in Iceland since 1869. Iceland has legally defined porn as the "aggressive representation of sex to make money, without love, tenderness or responsibility". Vs erotica which is defined as "the sexual art of literary or artistic expression of love." Of course online porn exists, but pornographic images aren't ever present in Icelandic billboards/magazines/tv/movies/media- creating a thinking and responsible media environment that isn't quick to objectify women. Love this photo by Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson, who studied Feminist art and currently has an exhibit at the Reykjavik art museum. 👙🚬Here's to women smoking in bikinis and not being objectified or sexualized via the male gaze. Check out this article to read more around the porn debate, published by the Icelandic Women's Rights association (we interviewed the author, Brynhildur- more on her later!)

Respect + Rights for Sex Workers in Amsterdam

Prostitution is legal in Amsterdam and to learn more, I took a tour of the Red Light district with Lilly who works at the PIC (Prostitution Information center). The center was created by a former sex worker, Mariska, to educate and inform the public. Our tour guide Lilly, has her masters in sociology and studied gender studies and the performance of race in prostitution. She is also currently a sex worker. Lilly told us that sex workers in Amsterdam want rights, not rescue. While she admits that some women are trafficked and brought into sex work against their will, there are many others who choose this as a profession. Lilly told us the average number of clients she sees daily is usually 6-8 (but can be 0). From a business perspective, sex workers spend around 75-150 euros to rent a room for the day and charge 50-100 euros for vaginal/oral sex per client. Most of the sex workers in the red light district come from Eastern Europe and Latin America, few are Dutch. The average time spent with clients is 6 minutes- this includes taking off clothes, chatting a bit and maybe smoking a cigarette. 😳😳😳That's probably the most shocking information I heard on the tour.

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The homicide rate for women murdered by men in Alaska is nearly 3 people per 100k

Half of the women I interviewed in Alaska had been victims of domestic violence. This article, while grim, does not come as a surprise. The homicide rate for women murdered by men in Alaska is nearly 3 people per 100k. According to the survey - which is nationwide - 93% of women killed by men know the assailant. Nevada came in second, Louisiana 3rd.

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A Peaceful Society 

Iceland is the most peaceful country in the 🌎 (according to the 2017 Global Peace Index, Iceland ranked 1 out of 163 nations surveyed, while the US ranked 114.) It's not a coincidence that a country that respects women, respects all of humanity. Iceland's murder rate is nearly non-existent with an annual murder rate of 1.8 murders a year, and for many years the rate has been 0. To prove how peaceful Iceland is- here is a picture of something pretty common- a baby asleep in a stroller outside of a museum (and restaurants and shops), while parents are inside enjoying themselves. YES there is a baby in here (I checked and it was very cute) 🙏✌️🌍🇮🇸👶🏼💙

Strike for Your Rights

The Icelandic women's strike in 1975 was a game changer for gender equality for the country. In 1975 women who worked outside of the home earned 60% less then men (wtf). Icelandic women said 'fuck that' and went on strike on October 24th 1975. 90% of ladies in Iceland went on strike for the day (this included stay at home moms). The result? Telephone service shut down, newspapers weren't printed, schools closed, flights were canceled and fish factories were shut down. A year after, parliament passed a law guaranteeing equal rights for men and women and the strike paved the way for the first female president, elected 5 years later. Strike on ladies.

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Over 1.5M American Indian and Native Alaskan Women Have Experienced Violence in Their Lifetime

According to Astho (a national nonprofit representing public health agencies in the US) there are 566 American Indian and Alaska Native tribes, with an estimated population of 3.4 million. They are an at risk population - Alaska Natives die of alcoholism at a 514% higher rate than other Americans, they have a 92% higher rate in homicides and 82% higher rate in suicides. According to the National Institute of Justice the stats for American Indian and Alaskan Native women are grim. "More than 4 in 5 women (84.3%) have experienced violence in their lifetime, this includes 56% who have experienced sexual violence, 55% who have experienced physical violence by an intimate partner, 48% who have experienced stalking, and 66% who have experienced psychological aggression by an intimate partner. Overall, more than 1.5 million American Indian and Alaska Native women have experienced violence in their lifetime." Ending cycles of substance abuse and violence is not a simple task, but raising awareness is a start.

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Grit Under Pressure

“She showed grace under pressure.” “She handled him with such grace.” Women are conditioned from a young age to show grace and compassion in times of stress or conflict. Men are conditioned to show strength or ‘courage under fire’. According to Merriam Webster GRACE implies a benign attitude and a willingness to grant favors or make concessions. Well y’all Fuck showing GRACE under pressure. I’m replacing it with GRIT under pressure. Grit is defined as “firmness of mind or spirit: unyielding courage in the face of hardship or danger.” Merriam-Webster also has an interesting synonym discussion of GRACE: “MERCY, CHARITY, CLEMENCY, GRACE, LENIENCY mean a disposition to show kindness or compassion. MERCY implies compassion that forbears punishing even when justice demands it. CHARITY stresses benevolence and goodwill shown in broad understanding and tolerance of others. CLEMENCY implies mild or merciful disposition in one having the power or duty of punishing. GRACE implies a benign attitude and a willingness to grant favors and make concessions. LENIENCY implies lack of severity in punishing.” There’s a time and place for grace for all of humanity. But conditioning women to act gracefully in situations where it would benefit them to disagree, not show mercy and not make concessions ain’t helping humanity progress. Here’s to showing more grit not grace.