March is out the door – and with that, we’re starting the second quarter of the year. Let’s not forget to look back at the women in the news who captured our attention through brave protests or outstanding achievements. Meet our Lionesses this Month.
Standing strong in the face of oppression
The invasion of Ukraine continues to horrify the world. What complicates the situation is rampant misinformation and press suppression in Russia, where the war is a “special military operation”. Pushing back on that narrative can lead to severe consequences. Despite that, some journalists want to tell the truth as a form of protest.
Channel One television editor Marina Ovsyannikova made the impossible choice to speak up. She rushed onto the set during the normal evening news, shouting, “Stop the war. No to war.” She kept going, even as the anchor tried to speak over her. In her hands was a sign reading, “Don’t believe the propaganda. They’re lying to you here … Russians against the war.”
In another pre-recorded video message, Ovsyannikova lamented her previous work on Channel One, calling it part of the “Kremlin propaganda.”
“What is happening in Ukraine is a crime and Russia is the aggressor,” she said in her video. “The responsibility of this aggression lies on the shoulders of only one person: Vladimir Putin.”
“Only we have the power to stop all this madness. Go to the protests. Don’t be afraid of anything. They can’t imprison us all.”
West Side Stor(ies)
For all of the glitz and intense drama of award ceremonies, we can’t underestimate their historical relevance. In 1962, Rita Moreno won an Oscar for best supporting actress, based on her role as Anita in “West Side Story”. She was the first Latina to win an Academy Award for her acting.
And on Sunday, March 27, Ariana DeBose took home the Oscar for best-supporting actress – also for her performance as Anita. Just like Moreno’s win, this was a history-making moment. DeBose, who is Afro-Latina and queer, knew that it would be empowering and inspiring for other viewers.
“Imagine this little girl in the back seat of a white Ford Focus. When you look into her eyes, you see an openly queer woman of color, an Afro-Latina, who found her strength in life through art. And that’s what I believe we’re here to celebrate,” DeBose said. “So to anybody who’s ever questioned your identity ever, ever, ever, or you find yourself living in the gray spaces, I promise you this: there is indeed a place for us.”
“Scrappy” steps up to the plate
It’s time to “change the face” of professional baseball.
Catcher Alexis “Scrappy” Hopkins is now the first woman drafted into a professional baseball team in the United States. She’ll be playing for the Kentucky Wild Health Genomes, part of the Atlantic League. This is only one step below Major League Baseball, and there’s certainly room for advancement. The Atlantic League partners with MLB and usually facilitates the sale of over 50 player contracts per year.
This is an amazing opportunity for Hopkins, who wanted to pursue professional baseball but felt that it was impossible.
“Here we are today making a dream come alive,” she said.
More women in the news this month:
- Looking at the Oscars again – Jane Campion became the third woman to win best director for her film “The Power of the Dog.”
- Jockey Rachael Blackmore was the first woman to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup, a prestigious race and feature event at the annual Cheltenham Festival.
- New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art is getting a revamp. Frida Escobedo will be the first woman to design a wing of the Met, focusing specifically on the modern and contemporary galleries.
- The Juno Awards feature prolific Candian artists, songwriters, music video producers and other talents within the music industry. Hill Kourkoutis was the first woman nominated for recording engineer of the year.
Miss our Lionesses this Month from February? Check out more women in the news here!