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Here are all the ways that being a woman has improved in 2018.

If you look closely, cracks are showing, and those cracks will bring the whole patriarchy crashing down.

Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

It might feel like the world is on fire, both literally and figuratively. Sexism runs rampant on an institutional level. But if you look closely, cracks are showing, and those cracks will bring the whole patriarchy crashing down.


2018 was one giant leap for womankind. Don’t believe us? Check out these major ways 2018 was a great year to be a woman.

Women Made History During the 2018 Midterm Elections

Democrats gained control of the House, but the real winner of the 2018 midterm elections was women. A record number of women ran for office in 2018. Not surprisingly, a record number of women were voted into the U.S. House of Representatives, with 90 women headed to Washington. Women make up half the population. We’re getting closer to the day when women will make up 50% of legislators, too.

Individual women broke barriers too, especially women of color. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Talib became the first Muslim women elected to Congress. They will be joined by Deb Haaland and Sharice Davids, the first Native American women elected to Congress. On the gubernatorial front, Marsha Blackburn became Tennessee’s first female senator, and Kristi Noem is South Dakota’s first female governor. At 29, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest women to be elected to Congress. The future is female, and the future is now.

California Now Requires a Woman to Sit on Every Board of Directors

In September, California became the first state to require all federally traded companies headquartered in California to have a woman sitting on the board of directors. Hopefully, this will serve as a blow to Silicon Valley’s rampant sexism. Tech giants Facebook and Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc. both currently have two female board members, however, the new law will require both to add a third within the next few years.

California is the vanguard for the rest of the country, which means there’s a legitimate possibility other states could follow suit. Today, 18 percent of positions on corporate boards are held by women. Tomorrow, that changes.

10 States Have Gotten Rid of the Tampon Tax

During the mid-term elections, Nevada voted to eliminate the “pink tax,” which taxes feminine hygiene products such as pads and tampons. The items are now (like groceries and bandages) considered a necessity, and therefore, tax exempt. Nevada is now the 10th state to have eliminated the “pink tax,” the others being Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Only 40 more to go, Ladies!

Ireland Ended Their Ban on Abortion

In May one of the world’s strictest abortion bans was overturned when Ireland voted to repeal the Eighteenth Amendment of the Irish Constitution. An overwhelming majority of voters struck down the law, with 64 percent voter turnout. Just a few months after abortions were legalized, Irish lawmakers introduced legislation to make them free.

The Number of Women in the Workforce is on the Rise

The national unemployment rate is 3.7 percent, and 3.3 percent for women. After almost two decades of declining participation in the workforce, the trend has reversed and women are back on the job. In 1997, the number of women in the workforce peaked at 77.7 percent, then slowly fell. However, in the past three years, the number of U.S. women ages 25 to 54 in the workforce has risen from 73.3 percent to 75.2 percent.

2018 isn’t over yet. Let’s see how many more barriers women out there can break and head into 2019 with the momentum to make it the best year for women yet.

Articles
via Chela Horsdal / Twitter

Amazon's "The Man in the High Castle" debuted the first episode of its final season last week.

The show is loosely based on an alternative history novel by Philip K. Dick that postulates what would happen if Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan controlled the United States after being victorious in World War II.

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Politics
via Mike Mozart / Flickr

Chick-fil-A is the third-largest fast food chain in America, behind McDonald's and Starbucks, raking in over $10 billion a year.

But for years, the company has faced boycotts for supporting anti-LGBT charities, including the Salvation Army, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Paul Anderson Youth Home.

The Salvation Army faced criticism after a leader in the organization implied that gay people "deserve to die" and the company also came under fire after refusing to offer same-sex couples health insurance. But the organization swears it's evolving on such issues.

via Thomas Hawk / Flickr

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes explicitly announced it was anti gay marriage in a recent "Statement of Faith."

God instituted marriage between one man and one woman as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. For this reason, we believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one man and one woman.

The Paul Anderson Youth Home teaches boys that homosexuality is wrong and that same-sex marriage is "rage against Jesus Christ and His values."

RELATED: The 1975's singer bravely kissed a man at a Dubai concert to protest anti-LGBT oppression

In 2012, Chick-fil-A's CEO, Dan Cathy, made anti same-sex marriage comments on a radio broadcast:

I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, "We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage". I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.

But the chicken giant has now decided to change it's says its charitable donation strategy because it's bad for business...Not because being homophobic is wrong.

The company recently lost several bids to provide concessions in U.S. airports. A pop-up shop in England was told it would not be renewed after eight days following LGBTQ protests.

Chick-fil-A also has plans to expand to Boston, Massachusetts where its mayor, Thomas Menino, pledged to ban the restaurant from the city.

via Wikimedia Commons

"There's no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are," Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Tassopoulos told Bisnow. "There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message."

RELATED: Alan Turing will appear on the 50-pound note nearly 70 years after being persecuted for his sexuality

Instead, the Chick-fil-A Foundation plans to give $9 million to organizations that support education and fight homelessness. Which is commendable regardless of the company's troubled past.

"If Chick-Fil-A is serious about their pledge to stop holding hands with divisive anti-LGBTQ activists, then further transparency is needed regarding their deep ties to organizations like Focus on the Family, which exist purely to harm LGBTQ people and families," Drew Anderson, GLAAD's director of campaigns and rapid response, said in a statement.

Chick-fil-A's decision to back down from contributing to anti-LGBT charities shows the power that people have to fight back against companies by hitting them where it really hurts — the pocket book.

The question remains: If you previously avoided Chick-fil-A because it supported anti-LGBT organizations, is it now OK to eat there? Especially when Popeye's chicken sandwich is so good people will kill for it?

Lifestyle

Oh, irony. You are having quite a day.

The Italian region of Veneto, which includes the city of Venice, is currently experiencing historic flooding. Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has stated that the flooding is a direct result of climate change, with the tide measuring the highest level in 50 years. The city (which is actually a collection of 100 islands in a lagoon—hence its famous canal streets), is no stranger to regular flooding, but is currently on the brink of declaring a state of emergency as waters refuse to recede.

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The Planet
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr and nrkbeta / flickr

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) dropped a bombshell on Tuesday, announcing it had over 900 emails that White House aide Stephen Miller sent to former Breitbart writer and editor Katie McHugh.

According to the SPLC, in the emails, Miller aggressively "promoted white nationalist literature, pushed racist immigration stories and obsessed over the loss of Confederate symbols after Dylann Roof's murderous rampage."

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Politics
via Twitter / Bye,Bye Harley Davidson

The NRA likes to diminish the role that guns play in fatal shootings by saying, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."

Which is the same logic as, "Hammers don't build roofs, people build roofs." No duh. But it'd be nearly impossible to build a roof without a hammer.

So, shouldn't the people who manufacture guns share some responsibility when they are used for the purpose they're made: killing people? Especially when the manufacturers market the weapon for that exact purpose?

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Business