7 Women with Disabilities who You Should Know

By Makayla Sundquist

Bada** and disabled? Can those two words coincide? Oh, they most definitely can. Even though women with disabilities are typically portrayed negatively in the media, real life women are combating ableism (discriminating against persons with disabilities) and making history. Here are 7 women with disabilities whose names and stories you need to learn…

  Melissa Stockwell

Althete Melissa Stockwell celebrates her victory holding an American flag. She has an amputated leg and competes in triathlons
Stockwell celebrates a victory in Auckland, New Zealand. Photo via her website

Melissa Stockwell is a Paralympic athlete who competes for the United States as a triathlete. She has won gold in multiple world championships. However, Stockwell was famous long before her athlete career. She was the first American female soldier to lose a limb in the Iraq war. Her left leg was amputated after a car bomb in 2004. She started competing in triathlons after having her leg amputated. Talk about bada**!

            Judy Heumann

Huemann sits in her automized wheelchair giving a TEDx talk.
Huemann gives a TEDx talk describing the need to continue fighting for disability rights. Photo via youtube.

Next on the list of totally awesome disabled women is Judy Heumann. Heumann became the first teacher in New York City to teach in a wheelchair. She also played a critical role in the passing of Section 504, the first civil rights protection for people with disabilities. What Section 504 does is prohibit programs that receive federal funding to discriminate against people with disabilities. She currently works as a Special Advisor for International Disability Rights. Go Judy!

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Engineering at the University of Idaho: A Gender Gap

Picture of young woman working on engineering homework that includes finding the force necessary to move two circuits.
Makynzie Zimmer works on her machine component design homework between classes.

By Makayla Sundquist

It is not surprising that the University of Idaho has more men in engineering compared to women, in fact nearly every undergraduate university has more males in their engineering programs compared to females. However, the University of Idaho is slightly above the national average for male dominance in engineering programs; currently, the national average is 81% of all engineering programs are comprised of males; compared to the University of Idaho which has 86%. Even though the number of women in STEM fields are increasing, men still outnumber women quite substantially.

It makes sense really. Children are placed into gender roles from the moment they are born. Take a walk down any toy store and you will see boy’s toys encouraging building and exploring, while girl’s toys encourage communication and imagination. Growing up, little girls learn that they are supposed to be caretakers. Playing dolls and house and using Easy Bake ovens create the sense that women belong in professions that have an emphasis in caretaking. This is why most women choose degrees in the helping professions or education. And I am not saying that being a woman in education is negative. I have many female friends pursuing education and I know that they will best amazing teachers, and change the lives of their students. However, I also know many men who would have been amazing teachers, and many women who would have been successful engineers. I think it is important to open up traditional gender roles and allow those expectations to be more fluid across genders.

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The Rise of Strong Women in Pop Music

Black and white photo of a woman from the neck up. Her face is blurred. There is a box centered on the woman's head with the text "CONFIDENCE" and three black arrows pointing up toward the text.
Confidence Boost

By Brianna Love

In 2017, we saw a rise of strong feminist women in the Pop music genre. Women such as Hailee Steinfeld, Meghan Trainor, Miley Cyrus, Kesha, and Bea Miller, did some amazing acts to promote feminism. The acts don’t seem to go unnoticed by the young women who listen to this particular genre. From independent women to adolescent girls, the influence of these women in the spotlight promotes strength and love.

On April 28, 2017, Hailee Steinfeld released a song titled “Most Girls.” This song promotes being comfortable in who you are as a woman and appreciating the other women around us. Hailee sings: “Most girls are smart and strong and beautiful. Most girls work hard, go far we are unstoppable. Most girls, our fight to make every day, no two are the same. I wanna be like, I wanna be like most girls.” In the music video, Hailee makes it clear that the song is in response to the common saying “you’re not like most girls.” Instead of turning against each other and judging each other as a female population, “Most Girls” promotes being proud of who we are as a community of women.

Meghan Trainor’s song “I’m a Lady” complements “Most Girls” perfectly. Meghan sings: “And I don’t look like them (But I ain’t worried about it). I don’t talk like them (But I ain’t worried about it). I know I’m a gem. I ain’t worried about it, I ain’t worried about it ‘Cause I’m a lady.” There’s no need to worry if you’re not the same as someone else because that is the beauty of it all. We are not the same, but we stand together. My favorite part of this song is the lyric:

“I know I laugh too loud
And I might cry too much (come on).
To all those judgy eyes
I got a whole lotta love.” -Meghan Trainor, I’m a Lady

These are common stereotypes of women. We laugh too loud and that’s “unacceptable.” We cry too much and that’s “annoying.” We attempt to force ourselves into a tiny box that society has made for us just to fit in. Meghan is saying I’m done with that. This is who I am. So what if it’s “unacceptable” in your eyes. I’m proud to be this woman and you can no longer put me in that box. She sings: “All my girls, show them you’re a lady.
Tell the world, say that you’re proud to be a lady.”

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A Picture of the American Sex Worker

A diverse group of protests advocating for sex workers rights. Front group holding a sign that says “sex workers rights = human rights.” By Rosemary Anderson

As I write this article, I want to make it known that the sex industry is not always positive for women and girls. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, sex workers around the world have a 45 to 75 percent chance of experiencing violence during their careers.

When sex workers do experience violence, they are not protected by rape shield laws and are not eligible for compensation funds.

Many see sex workers as objects, non-human, and second-rate members of society. This makes sex workers even more prone to being victims of violence.

Women are forced into sex work without their consent, others are forced into sex work because of financial situations, and some choose sex work as their profession.

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My Measurements Are . . .

Women in glittering gold cocktail dresses, stand before the audience giving statistics, rather than their waist measurements.
At the Miss Peru 2018 competition, competitors gave statistics on violence against women, rather than the measurements of their waist. Photo Credit: Maine Public

By Lindsey Heflin 

“My name is Luciana Fernández and I represent the city of Huánuco, and my measurements are: 13,000 girls suffer sexual abuse in our country.”

“My name is Bélgica Guerra and I represent Chincha. My measurements are: the 65% of university women who are assaulted by their partners.”

“My name is Melody Calderon and I represent La Libertad and my figures are: 81 percent of attacks on girls under 5 years old are [committed by] people close to the family.”

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The Women of the Alt-Right

A previously posted open-sourced photograph of Lana Lokteff was removed because she did not consent to her image being published in association with this article.

By Rosemary Anderson

The American alt-right movement wants to strip women of the right to vote, allow men to use violent tactics to “keep women in line,” and force women back into the home–but alt-right men are not the only ones who support these statements. Women do too.

With the rise of the alt-right, increasingly more women have become involved in the movement.

Racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, anti-Semitism, antifeminism: all are words that can describe the alt-right. So how do people get involved in the first place? Specifically, how do women get involved?

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Title Nine – The Story Behind the Store

Seven women, in various Title Nine clothing skiing, climbing, swimming and doing all kinds of active and fun activities.
Title Nine’s models in action. Photo credit: titlenine.com

By Lindsey Heflin

“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” – Title IX, Education Amendment of 1972

In 1972, Title IX, one of the most pivotal pieces of legislation to pass in congress, changed the course of history for women in the world of sports.

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