The Interlude Celebrates: International Women’s Day
Women like Stacey Abrams, Abby Phillip, and Cardi B inspired us throughout an unforgettable year.
In an unforgettably tragic year, women have worked to expand voting rights, provided relief for those affected by the pandemic, and fought Covid-19 on the frontlines. In the last year, we elected our first woman Vice President, celebrated the youngest inaugural poet ever, and mourned the loss of titans like Cicely Tyson. Today, The Interlude honors just a few of the countless women who changed an otherwise-terrible year for the better.
Dolly Parton has always been a national treasure, giving us both incredible music and serving the greater good by supporting early childhood literacy and providing monthly stipends to families affected by a Great Smoky Mountains wildfire in 2016, among other endeavors. This past year, Parton took it upon herself to donate $1 million to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center to support the development of the Moderna vaccine, which is now one of three Covid-19 vaccines available to the American public. The queen got vaccinated herself just last week — in a strategic cold-shoulder top, no less — and encouraged others to get their shot once eligible with a vaccine-remix of “Jolene.” Thanks, Dolly!
— Natasha Roy, politics editor
Stacey Abrams was monumental in turning Georgia blue and that not only helped elect a Democratic president but flipped the Senate blue, which is the only reason some legislation, including the latest $1.9 trillion Covid relief package, passed. Her years-long work on the ground arguably got the country to this point.
— Megi Meskhi, lifestyle & social editor
Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar is a multifaceted woman. She is a chart-topping rapper, presidential history buff, and passionate advocate for her beliefs. Last summer, she interviewed Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in a viral campaign video, asking Sanders questions about human rights, police brutality, and economic inequality. She’s also interviewed Joe Biden, shut down the haters with creative comebacks, and encouraged political engagement by posting videos of her live commentary throughout the presidential debates. She has rapped about her impoverished background and work as a stripper, remaining defiantly herself in the face of slut-shaming and condescension. Cardi B represents authenticity as an imperfect woman who has never claimed to be otherwise, reminding us that it is okay to learn and grow. She has taught us that we are all constant works-in-progress and that this does not preclude us from using our voices to speak up for what we believe. Nobody does it like Bardi.
— Anita Ramaswamy, contributing writer
The woman I admired this year was Abby Phillip, a political correspondent and weekend anchor for CNN. I greatly appreciated hearing her refreshing opinions during the election season and thereafter. Phillip remains a class act with her thoughtful coverage and reporting. I look forward to hearing more from her now that she’s anchoring Insider Politics Sunday.
— Andie Kanaras, pop culture editor
American history is endlessly fascinating, but so much of it gets omitted from our education by racism, anti-LGBTQ gatekeeping, and anti-indigenous erasure. Blair Imani, a historian, educator and social activist, does the good work of revealing those prejudices and the stories they obscured with accessible language and creative videos. She lives “at the intersections of Black, Queer, and Muslim identity” and has written two books so far — Making Our Way Home: The Great Migration and the Black American Dream and Modern HERstory: Stories of Women and Nonbinary People Rewriting History. Her forthcoming book is set to debut in fall 2021 and is based on her “Smarter in Seconds” series posted on Instagram Reels. Seriously, watch her speedily deconstruct mainstream narratives about Abraham Lincoln or the British monarchy, complete with artful costuming, right now.
— Maggie Chirdo, copy editor