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.

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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.

“QUEEN BEES AND MOMMY TRACKING: HOW’S AN ACADEMIC WOMAN SUPPOSED TO GET AHEAD? by DR. HELENE A. CUMMINS

“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!

AKIMBO — After Rio+20, Women’s Voices Loud and Clear

I recently encountered an organization new to me — the International Women’s Health Coalition whose offices are on 7th Ave in New York City. They seem well positioned, well thought out, and very engaged in their work. In the section on who we are, it says:

We are passionate and tenacious professionals who, together with our international Board of visionaries and leaders, work with hundreds of partners worldwide to secure every woman’s right to a just and healthy life. We are funded by private foundations, UN agencies, European governments, individuals and corporations. We do not accept funding from the U.S. government. (emphasis mine)

As you can see from my little “shout out” of the last line, I was very surprised at that statement and had never seen it stated so bluntly before. If any of my readers know of other organizations that refuse money from the US gov’t, please let me know. Of course, I can understand this. The strings attached and the control over actions that come with “Bush” money were outrageous and lacking in a sense of the world and human rights. But is that still in effect now? This puzzles me.

The IWHC has a blog — AKIMBO. Most recently, Alex Garita covered the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (“Rio+20″) held in June of 2012 and I offer you a short excerpt which shows the quality of the blog and its clarity of thought:

Since the inter-governmental negotiations began in December 2011, feminist organizations were told by key countries, including Brazil and South Africa, that the Group of 77 (a group that represents “developing countries” in United Nations negotiations) would not break over differences of position on “controversial issues” such as gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights because “more important issues were at stake”.

Disappointingly, this was Brazil’s consistent position throughout the process as it sought to affirm its leadership within the Economic South and obtain gains on other issues such as the green economy and trade. Our allies remained vocal throughout the process and helped secure the language that we will use for enshrining reproductive health and human rights in future development agreements. These critical positions came from: Peru, Bolivia, Uruguay, Argentina, the United States, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia, Israel and Mexico.

If you would like to read the final document, see “The Future We Want”.

via Akimbo — Standing Strong for a Woman’s Right to a Just and Healthy Life.

From Transgender to Transhuman: Fascinating reading on our “Apartheid of Sex”

Billions of Sexes (Part 1)


Martine Rothblatt

Martine Rothblatt
From Transgender to Transhuman

Posted: Mar 12, 2012

There are two sexes, male and female, right? Wrong! In fact, there is a continuum of sex types, ranging from very male to very female, with countless variations in between.

This startling new notion is just now beginning to emerge from feminist thinking, scientific research, and a grass-roots movement called “transgenderism.” In the future, labeling people at birth as “male” or “female” will be considered just as unfair as South Africa’s now-abolished practice of stamping “black” or “white” on people’s ID cards.

Two parts are located at Part 1 and Part 2 on the Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies.

 

Gender Evaluation Methodology (GEM): Is your project really improving women’s lives?

Working since 2002, GEM has provided groups working on improving the lives of women and children with ways to evaluate the effectiveness of their initiatives. In Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin American, GEM has assisted organizations which are working  to change gender power relations and help women fully participate in economic development while providing them with means to care for their families and themselves. See the video below and get more documentation at their web site.

Bravo, GEM!

Gender Evaluation Methodology (GEM)

By LC for APCNews

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, 08 February 2012

The APC has been refining its Gender Evaluation Metholodolgy (GEM) since it was first elaborated in 2001. GEM can help you determine whether your project or initiative is really improving the lives of women and promoting positive change in the community you are working in.

Visit GEM’s new site, where you can find basic information about this innovative methodology and the team behind it, tips and answers to frequent questions, read about lessons learnt, stories of change it produced and even download guides and other materials.

(END/2012)

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: rheahirshman@gmail.com.

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

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.

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