Last week, Argentina gave citizens the freedom to change their legal and physical gender without having to undergo medical, psychiatric, or judicial procedures. Along with eliminating patronizing barriers to swapping an "M" for an "F" on a driver's license, the law gives Argentinians a freedom you won't find anywhere else: gender self-determination.
Today's entry is the first in the series to focus on the work of a female director. In the coming weeks, we'll discuss contributions from filmmakers like Jane Campion, Catherine Breillat, Deepa Mehta, Rachel Raimist, G.B. Jones, Lynne Ramsay, Julie Dash, and Courtney Hunt, among others. But Argentinian writer-director Lucrecia Martel more than deserves her place in that list of auspicious talent, as she demonstrates with 2008's haunting La mujer sin cabeza.
Having been denied a marriage license in Buenos Aires this past April, Argentinian couple Jose Maria Di Bello and Alex Freyre sued the city on the grounds that the denial was violating their constitutional rights. Although civil unions are available in some cities, including Buenos Aires, the union does not afford couples all of the rights granted to those who can marry--such as a shared health insurance policy and inheritance rights. In this week's ruling on the case, Judge Gabriela Seijas said, "The law should treat everyone with the same respect according to their singularities, without the need to understand or regulate them," and granted a marriage license to Di Bello and Freyre--the first state-sanctioned gay marriage in Latin America.
Argentinian Banco Provincia is attempting to blow minds, y'all. In what might be the first mainstream commercial to normalize transpeople, this minute-long television spot shows the Argentinian bank not just acknowledging transpeople's non-stereotypical existence, but making the statement that discrimination against transpeople is unjust and comes from a place of fear and ignorance.