Welcome to Edition 26 of Our Take; a place for us to discuss things that inspire us, captivate us, move us… and sometimes weird us out.
This week, we bow down to the incredible Irish sportswomen blazing the hottest trail, celebrate a queer library, are inspired by a clever and powerful domestic abuse campaign, highlight a brave stand by a transportation company and laugh at some of the cutest animals on the planet.
The shining lights of Irish Sport
Last week, the FAI announced that the men’s and women’s senior international teams will now receive the same match fees while on international duty. Heralded as an historic three-way agreement between the men’s and women’s teams involving respective captains Katie McCabe and Seamus Coleman, this is a huge step in the right direction. This news came on an eventful week for McCabe, who was presented with Arsenal’s Player of the Year award after they enjoyed a 3-2 win over defending champions Chelsea.
Another recent Irish success is Leona Maguire. A wildcard pick in her first Solheim Cup, Leona was the star of the show, winning four-and-a-half points from five matches, and becoming the most successful rookie of all time as she helped Europe clinch the trophy.
On top of this, Katie Taylor defended her undisputed world lightweight title with a dominant win to continue her unbeaten professional record.
And with Kellie Harrington, Rachel Blackmore and Ellen Keane (to name but a few) reaching the pinnacle of their sports, it’s been a great year for Irish sportswomen.
Who better to inspire the next generation?
A Library to be Proud of
With London Pride cancelled for the second consecutive year, skincare brand Aesop has come up with one of our favourite ideas of the year, transforming two of its London-based stores into queer libraries, filled with titles from authors within the LGBTQIA+ community.
The stores, based in Soho and Borough, are filled with 3,500 books purchased from the oldest queer bookstore in the U.K., Gay’s The Word, as well as 3,000 more volumes donated by Penguin Random House. In total, the library offers 80 different titles spanning fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, with many supporting or being produced by BIPOC authors and the trans community, such as Bernardine Evaristo, Mohsin Zaidi, and Shon Faye.
We LOVE bookstores, and these two truly fill us with pride.
Lyft takes a stand
There was a noticeable, angry surge on our social feeds over the past week, following the newest law change in Texas restricting women’s reproductive rights. While the law itself has caused outcry, some large US corporations have reacted bravely.
Lyft, one of the largest ride-sharing services in the US, announced that they would cover any legal costs incurred by their drivers for the ‘crime’ of driving a woman to a more tolerant jurisdiction. They also donated $1 million to Planned Parenthood ‘to ensure that transportation is never a barrier to healthcare access’ and have called upon other companies to follow suit.
And many have, including some with headquarters in Texas. Bumble announced it has created a relief fund for reproductive rights for anyone seeking an abortion in Texas and GoDaddy, an American Internet domain registrar, took down a website that allowed the posting of tip-offs about possible abortions in the state.
While more and more brands are engaging with social activism, it is very unusual to see a company stand up squarely against a government and a law, and back it up with such commitment. Abortion and healthcare in the US is a politically fraught area that most big brands will shy away from, so it takes courage and vision to take the stance that Lyft have done. Bravo.
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic there was a significant rise in domestic abuse cases reported across the UK and Ireland. In many of these cases the abuse isn’t just physical, as mental abuse and coercive behaviour are alarmingly on the rise.
To help increase awareness of this crisis, Women’s Aid has released a super smart advertising campaign to educate young women on coercive behaviour in relationships. The campaign mimics the format of fashion magazines, but instead of the usual list of stylists and brands, the credits reveal how all decisions are made by the model’s partner, cleverly revealing a backstory of controlling behaviour and abuse.
For those who recognise similar patterns within their own relationships, the ad includes direct lines to help and guidance.
For more information on Ireland’s domestic abuse helplines, visit Safe Ireland.
And finally, the award for Best Awards goes to…
The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.
Take a look. It’ll brighten up your day.