Robson on “Dressing Constitutionally”

Robson on “Dressing Constitutionally”.


Coming to your library soon!

At this time, this book is not published. Coming soon!

Brooklyn Museum: Writing Women Back Into History

Wikipedia has a gender problem. Alexandra Thom is heading up a project to add entries and substance to Wikipedia on all the women included in Judy Chicago’s “The Dinner Party” which is permanently installed in the Sackler Gallery at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York. Not only are entries on the women of history lacking but female editors to Wikipedia are also much fewer than non-female. What’s up? It’s no surprise that men write mostly about men. Well, ladies, start your engines.

Thom writes, “The Dinner Party is an icon of feminist art, which features the names of 1,038 women in history…”

She found many of the names had only “stub” entries and almost 100 others had no mention at all. You can follow Alexandra’s project through the Brooklyn Museum blog starting with the two links below.

Brooklyn Museum: Community: bloggers@brooklynmuseum » Writing Women Back Into History.

Ending the ongoing cycle of omission

Bravo, Ms. Thom! Wikipedia is so heavily used by folks around the world. How many more women will your work inspire to become editors of Wikipedia to fill out this gross omission. I know I’m on board.

Queen Bees, Princess Bees, and Phantom Bees

Going through my list of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Journals with close attention to the freely available and Open Access titles, I came upon this article on women working in Academia in the journal Advancing Women, Volume 32, 2012.


“The Queen Bee believes that she got to the top by her own fortitude and through being savvy. Queen Bees are non-mentors and non-supporting of other women. In this thinking they believe women get to the top on their own. The Queen Bee has achieved high rank on the job with associated high pay and social success. These women according to Staines et al (1974) are often popular with men, have looks going for them and are married. These women do not work for equality for other women and might even oppose programs that do. Mavin (2008, p. S75) identifies the Queen Bee as “a bitch who stings other women if her power is threatened”, as she prefers to work with men (Cherne, 2003).”

There was no equivalent description of a male counterpart. Cummins speaks of the “good old boys network” where the men rise the ladder together (and will retire together which may hold promise for women in the future) but there is a lack of a “good old girls network.”

Interesting article. Nothing earth shattering but it smacks of the truth. Please commiserate or thrill us with your positive stories in your work!

FORUM: 40 years later, classics of women’s movement endure- The New Haven Register – Serving New Haven, Connecticut

By Rhea Hirshman

IT’S the end of the semester, and I’m emerging from under piles of exams and papers. That bedraggled middle-aged woman who sneaked into in my bathroom mirror is looking considerably more chipper now that I’ve been getting a full night’s sleep and, after a few deep breaths, I’ll be thinking about next semester, when I’ll be teaching my upper-level course on the U.S. women’s movement.

Teaching about something you have lived is like looking through that mirror, seeing your younger self waving at you. That self grew up and into political awareness with Ms. magazine, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this month. With the conviction that American women had concerns beyond cooking and cosmetics, its founders developed ideas for a publication that would reflect the growing feminist movement.

On Dec. 20, 1971, the first Ms. appeared, as an insert in New York magazine. While detractors found the idea of a wide-circulation feminist magazine laughable — TV newsman Harry Reasoner scoffed, “I’ll give it six months before they run out of things to say” — the 300,000 copies sold out in eight days, and the publication received 26,000 subscription orders and more than 20,000 reader letters within a few weeks. The first stand-alone issue appeared the following July.

Feminist activists had long been critical of the traditional women’s magazines. In March of 1970, about 100 had targeted Ladies’ Home Journal, storming into the male editor’s office, presenting demands and sitting-in for 11 hours. While only a few demands were met, writer Vivian Gornick noted: “It was a watershed moment. It showed us … that we did, indeed, have a (women’s) movement.” That movement needed a new kind of magazine.

In 1971, you may remember, married women could not obtain credit in their own names; job listings were segregated by sex; “marital rape” was considered an oxymoron; employers could freely discriminate against pregnant women; and equal pay for equal work was a new concept. There were no shelters for battered women or rape crisis hot lines, the term “sexual harassment” was not in the lexicon, and there was no Title IX banning sex discrimination in educational institutions.

Ms. tackled these topics and more. True to its activist origins, it went beyond reporting: explaining and advocating for the Equal Rights Amendment; rating presidential candidates on women’s issues ranging from child care to Social Security policy to women in prison; commissioning and presenting a national study on date rape.

Today’s Ms. covers international women’s issues, reviews books and music and deals with such subjects as the environment and the gender politics of emerging technologies. For most of its history, Ms. has supported itself with subscriptions and donations, eschewing the advertising that is the lifeblood of most mainstream magazines.

Along with Ms., another ground-breaking publication celebrates its 40th anniversary this year: the book “Our Bodies, Ourselves.” It filled an enormous need for accurate, nonjudgmental information about all aspects of women’s health and sexuality; in a parallel to the response to Ms. magazine, the first edition sold 250,000 copies.

A nonprofit organization, also called Our Bodies Ourselves, grew out of the book’s publication. It went on to advocate for women’s health issues worldwide, with a mission of “advancing health and human rights within a framework of values shaped by women’s voices and a commitment to self-determination and equality.”

The book, now in its ninth edition, is published in 26 overseas editions that are attuned to local cultures. It has sold 4.5 million copies and was recently named by Time magazine one of the 100 best and most influential books written in English since 1923.

Through technology that we couldn’t have imagined four decades ago, I use the electronic version of Ms. in classes, and refer students to the Our Bodies Ourselves website.

As I will tell my students again next semester, another measure of the success of both Ms. and “Our Bodies Ourselves” is how often attempts have been made to ban them. But, they have endured and flourished and, along with them, the core feminist messages of equality, dignity and transformation.

Rhea Hirshman of New Haven is a freelance writer and adjunct professor at the Stamford branch of the University of Connecticut. Write to her in care of the Register, 40 Sargent Drive, New Haven 06511. Email:

via FORUM: 40 years later, classics of women’s movement endure- The New Haven Register – Serving New Haven, Connecticut.

A village of eternal bachelors | Photographers Blog

By Vivek Prakash

With the world’s population set to hit 7 billion on October 31, photographers in India have been on the move to tell stories that talk about what those numbers really mean in a country as large as India – with 1.2 billion people and counting, this is supposed to be the world’s largest democracy.

When you take a closer look at the statistics, you find some surprising and scary figures – the ratio of female children to males born actually declined here over the last 10 years – from 933 females for every thousand males in the 2001 census, to just 914 in 2011. The combination of cheap portable ultrasound technology and a decades-old preference for male babies — who are seen as breadwinners — has enabled sex-selective abortions and made worse female infanticide. In a place as wide and as vast as India, these are things that are hard to control, no matter how illegal.

Much more at the blog entry: A village of eternal bachelors | Photographers Blog.

States Enact Record Number of Abortion Restrictions in First Half of 2011

July 13, 2011

In the first six months of 2011, states enacted 162 new provisions related to reproductive health and rights. Fully 49% of these new laws seek to restrict access to abortion services, a sharp increase from 2010, when 26% of new laws restricted abortion. The 80 abortion restrictions enacted this year are more than double the previous record of 34 abortion restrictions enacted in 2005—and more than triple the 23 enacted in 2010. All of these new provisions were enacted in just 19 states.


In the US, women are being regulated -- to death.  Are we going back to hangers and back streets?

Read the article at the Guttmacher Institute media center: States Enact Record Number of Abortion Restrictions in First Half of 2011.

Pay equity : simple way to save tax dollars

Pay equity would have a tremendous impact on reducing poverty. Are you listening, politicians?

A report by the AFL-CIO and the Institute for Women’s Policy Research found that if women were paid fairly the income of single women would rise 13.4%, single mothers would earn 17% more, and married women would earn 6% more. These increases would lead to reductions in poverty of 84% for single women, 50% for single mothers, and 62%for married women.

See more at Professional Women: Vital Statistics produced by the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE).

The Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE)comprises 23 AFLCIO unions representing over four million people working in professional, technical and administrative support occupations. DPE-affiliated unions represent: teachers, college professors and school administrators; library workers; nurses, doctors and other health care professionals; engineers, scientists and IT workers; journalists and writers, broadcast technicians and communications specialists; performing and visual artists; professional athletes; professional firefighters; psychologists, social workers and many others. DPE was chartered by the AFL-CIO in 1977 in recognition of the rapidly-growing professional and technical occupations.

News: The Enduring Gender Gap in Pay – Inside Higher Ed

We are quickly approaching Equal Pay Day next Tuesday, April 12, 2011. This date symbolizes how far into 2011 women must work to earn what men earned in 2010. This is the national average. Depending on the woman’s economic status, race, ethnicity, age, and type of work, the date can move in either direction. The naysayers have similar points: women work less hours because they are taking care of children (put them first?), women take time off for longer lengths of time and thus don’t continue to climb that career ladder, or they choose the less demanding jobs. So many more. Discounting women. Ignoring the glass ceilings and slippery floors.

The report linked here deals with women in academia. A very harsh workplace. The writers find that even after accounting all the elements, women in academia are still paid less than comparable men.

News: The Enduring Gender Gap in Pay – Inside Higher Ed.

Protecting Life? New Bill Says Its OK to Let Women Die |

Protecting Life? New Bill Says Its OK to Let Women Die |

One hundred members of Congress (so far) have cosponsored a bill introduced by far right Congressman Joe Pitts (R-PA) called the “Protect Life Act.”

They want to “protect life” so much that they have written into the bill a new amendment that would override the requirement that emergency room doctors save every patient, regardless of status or ability to pay.  The law would carve out an exception for pregnant women; doctors and hospitalswill be allowed to let pregnant women die if interventions to save them will kill the fetus.

Yesterday, according to a report by NARAL Pro-Choice America, lawmakers inserted the  new provision onto page six of H.R.358, a bill that is already jam-packed with misogynistic anti-choice and anti-woman provisions.

According to the Congressional Research Service, HR 358:

  1. Amends the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) to prohibit federal funds from being to used to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion services. (Currently, federal funds cannot be used for abortion services and plans receiving federal funds must keep federal funds segregated from any funds for abortion services.)

I’m so disheartened by this and the previous post. Can we ride out this wave of insanity? You can read much more detail at Protecting Life? New Bill Says Its OK to Let Women Die.

“No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” H.R. 3

Don’t our House of Representatives have critically important issues about the economy and deficit and education and national safety to work on? Why this? Why not assistance to working mothers for childcare? Plans to educate a new work force? They are getting paid WAY TOO MUCH to be spending so much time on an issue that hinders instead of helps the country move forward.

Take Action with NOW.

Beyond Extreme: Defeat the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act


H.R. 3, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, represents a grave threat to safe, legal and accessible abortion. In addition to restricting the use of private funds paying for private health insurance plans that cover abortion care, it would permanently write into law an extremist approach to banning federal funding for abortion. Adding dangerous insult to injury, H.R. 3 would narrow rape and incest exceptions.


The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act would codify a collection of federal abortion funding restrictions referred to as the Hyde Amendment. Under the Hyde Amendment, federal funding for abortion care is segregated from all other forms of health care and severely restricted. This grave injustice puts women’s health and lives at risk and disproportionately harms women of color. Currently, these restrictions must be re-approved annually through the appropriations process. But H.R. 3 would establish Hyde as the law of the land. While groups like NOW campaign to repeal Hyde, leave it to the conservatives to try to make it permanent.

The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act would also restrict coverage of abortion care more radically than the new health insurance reform law does. If H.R. 3 passes, employers would incur tax penalties for providing health insurance that offers abortion coverage. In addition, individuals would incur tax penalties for carrying private insurance that includes abortion coverage.

Cruelly, H.R. 3 narrows rape exceptions currently present in the Hyde Amendment to only “forcible” rapes. Does the radical right believe “forcible” rape includes date rape, rape occurring as a result of being drugged by a perpetrator, while a woman is intoxicated or asleep, after consent has been withdrawn or while a woman does her best not to get further injured or killed? No, they don’t — and now they want to further attack women who have been sexually assaulted.

Update: Thanks to feminist outrage, sponsors of this legislation removed the word “forcible” from the rape exception. While we congratulate our activists for winning this initial victory, the remaining bill continues to pose an unacceptable threat to women’s ability to access abortion care and must be defeated.

Write your Representative!

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