🏍 3,500 women from 79 countries, 6 continents, and a year of riding through sleet and monsoons, cities and villages. Just a few days ago, the Women Riders World Relay celebrated the end of its year long trip around the world, inspiring motorcyclists “to show themselves and each other what they are capable of.” Some of them rode a few hours, others spent days or months, and a lot of them didn’t even speak the same language. But together, they broke new ground and forged personal connections as the baton was passed from rider to rider on a journey that spanned six continents.
🔥Portrait of a “Lady on Fire” is the year’s most erotic film: a meditation on passion, art and feminism.
🎤Ethiopian-American novelist Maaza Mengiste reflects on the Italian invasion of 1935 in Ethiopia, a pivotal moment in Ethiopia’s history, and how the Ethiopian women who helped fight the invasion were written out of history.
💡Elle magazine launches a fascinating new interview series on the clothing choices of the most powerful women in the world—and explores why fashion is often on the front lines of communication. The latest: an interview with New York Times foreign correspondent Rukmini Callimachi to find out what she wears to interview the world's most dangerous terrorists.
🐒Scientists work to protect Ecuador's endangered spider monkeys while supporting local women: Primatologist Citlalli Morelos-Juarez is leading a conservation project in the Ecuadorian region of the Choco rainforest, one of the last coastal rainforests in the world. Key to her success has been setting up a programme that empowers local women to learn about sustainability for the benefit of their communities.
🎥Emma Parker worked as a stripper for 11 years to save up enough money to start “Playful Promises”, an inclusive lingerie brand. For their anniversary shoot, Emma invites Leyna Bloom, an outspoken trans model who recently called out Victoria’s Secret for their exclusionary practices, to be the face of her latest release.
🎨This artist shocked 17th-century Italy with her work: Artemisia Gentileschi's paintings were bold, vibrant, and sometimes violent. Her undeniable talent helped overcome prejudice to secure her legacy.
💋Real orgasms and transcendent pleasure: How women are reigniting desire.
👑An all-woman jury chose a 35-year-old mother and entrepreneur as 2020's Miss Germany winner.
📊 Which countries have laws preventing gender-based violence? Which legislate for gender equality? And which countries allow abortion? Using World Bank and UN data this interactive animation offers a really useful snapshot of women's rights across the globe. Select a region and hover over a country to see how it has legislated for violence, harassment, abortion, property and employment rights, discrimination and equality. And bonus: you can click on a country to tweet a message on the figures!
🔴A useful collection of reviews on the latest period products by real people–and allow me to quickly add: for any of you who have not yet experimented with products other than pads and tampons, definitely check this article out, it could be life (and wallet!!) changing for the better.
💊More on reproductive health… Here's an interesting podcast on birth control, and how to make a decision on what birth control to use.
🌳Since National Geographic’s founding in 1888, women have contributed in science and exploration, often with only fleeting recognition. They mapped the ocean floor, conquered the highest peaks, unearthed ancient civilisations, set deep-sea diving records, and flew around the world. They talked their way onto wars’ front lines and traveled across continents. Yet in the magazine women were often a side note, overshadowed by famous husbands. The magazine has now begun to bring to light the marginalised stories and contributions of women explorers.
🧠Brain food: One of the most unexpected places I find inspiration and wisdom is in this TED talk on pickpocketing. In the video, Apollo Robbins, hailed as the greatest pickpocket in the world, demonstrates in a matter of seconds to his audience just how easy it is to snag something from a person. The secret, Robbins shares, is that “the things right in front of us are often the hardest to see, the things that you look at every day that you’re blinded to.” Essentially, it is our comfort with the everyday things and objects that define us that can be a dangerous point of vulnerability. In sharing a recipe for successful pickpocketing, Robbins’ TED talk also sheds light on why it is so important to be more fully present with our surroundings, and just how easy it can be to strengthen that awareness, beginning with our everyday objects and scenarios. So here’s a little Sunday challenge for you, and one that has personally helped me strengthen my listening abilities: If you can, take a seat outside, preferably somewhere familiar to you, for just a few minutes. Try to identify four to five different sounds. Once you have observed those sounds, repeat this with your sight. Whether or not you observe something new, practicing this moment of stillness to sit and observe is a valuable way to strengthen your sensitivity to your surroundings–and, who knows, it might just help you keep a few possessions along the way!