Visible Women

From Brie Larson to female football fans: the women making waves this week

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Moya Crockett
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Dropping every Friday, Women Making Waves is a new series highlighting the women who rocked the boat, pushed for change and made history around the world this week.

Women launch campaign to redefine image of female football fans

Women photographed at Wembley for the #WeAreFemaleFans campaign

On Tuesday (12 June), photographer Amy Drucquer — the force behind football community This Fan Girl — launched a campaign to change the online image of female football fans.

Drucquer had realised that when you search for information about female football fans on the internet, search engines often deliver “over-sexualised and non-representative” images of young, slim white women that pander to a heterosexual male gaze.

In response, This Fan Girl went to Wembley — with the support of drinks company Carabao — to take photos of a diverse range of women watching a recent England game. They are asking their supporters to share news stories about the campaign using the hashtag #WeAreFemaleFans, which will help push their pictures up Google’s search rankings. 

“This week the World Cup will kick off and be watched by millions of fans, male and female, yet it won’t be long before the cameras are focusing gratuitously on female fans in the crowd and soon those images will feature online,” said Anna Cooke, Carabao’s brand manager. 

“Our campaign wants to tackle this and profile all female football fans, whatever their age, shape or size.”

San Francisco gets its first black female mayor

London Breed after winning San Francisco’s mayoral election 

London Breed became the first black female mayor of San Francisco on Thursday (14 June), after winning just over 50% of the vote.

Breed, a 43-year-old community activist who grew up in social housing, is now the only woman to serve as mayor in the 15 largest cities in the US.

Her status as an African American politician from a working-class background is significant in San Francisco, which has undergone swift and sometimes brutal gentrification in recent years thanks to its proximity to Silicon Valley. Skyrocketing property prices have driven many working families out of the Californian city, and just 5% of San Francisco residents are now African American.

Breed pledged to focus on assuaging the city’s housing crisis and tackling its chronic homelessness problem.

“No matter where you come from, no matter what you decide to do in life, you can do anything you want to do,” she said after her victory. “Never let your circumstances determine your outcome in life.”

Brie Larson ruffles feathers

Brie Larson has also called out the lack of diversity in film criticism 

At an awards ceremony on Wednesday (13 June), Oscar winning actress Brie Larson called for more diversity in film criticism.

“I don’t need a 40-year-old white dude to tell me what didn’t work about A Wrinkle in Time,” Larson, who was at the Women in Film Crystal + Lucy Awards to accept a gong, said. “It wasn’t made for him! I want to know what it meant to women of colour, biracial women, to teen women of colour, to teens that are biracial.”

Larson continued: “Am I saying I hate white dudes? No, I am not. What I am saying is if you make a movie that is a love letter to women of colour, there is an insanely low chance a woman of colour will have a chance to see your movie, and review your movie.”

Larson was referring to a study, published on Monday (11 June), which showed that white men wrote more than 60% of reviews of 2017’s biggest films. Just 4.1%, in contrast, were written by women of colour.

After asking film studios to give access to critics from underrepresented communities, Larson announced that the Sundance Film Festival would be allocating at least 20% of its top-level press passes to critics who are women and people of colour.

“This issue has a solution that each one of us in this room can participate in,” she said.

Teenage cricketer sets new world record

New Zealand cricketer Amelia Kerr

Also on Wednesday, Amelia Kerr — a 17-year-old cricketer from New Zealand — started trending on Twitter after she set a new world batting record in women’s one-day cricket.

The teenager scored a “blistering” 232 not out against Ireland during a match in Dublin. It is the third-highest individual score by any player of any age — male or female — in ODI (One Day International) cricket history.

“It’s pretty surreal,” Kerr told cricket site ESPNcricinfo after the match. “I had no idea [of the record]. I think I heard them say stuff on the speaker but I didn’t hear them because everyone was clapping.”

When asked how she would celebrate breaking a world record for women’s cricket, Kerr replied: “Bit of recovery and watch some quality TV in Love Island! Recoupling tonight, so it’s going to be a good episode.” A woman after our own hearts. 

Women Making Waves is part of Stylist’s Visible Women campaign to raise awareness of women who’ve made a difference. See more Visible Women stories here.  

Images: Getty Images / This Fan Girl