The Sad State of America’s Aging Sisters
: Why are there so few nuns today?
You may wonder whether the global church the sisters belong to is interested in keeping the convents open. It sure seems like it isn't. By 2005, the Catholic Church had spent $1 billion on legal fees and settlements stemming from priests sexually abusing children. Yet church leaders have allocated no funds to take care of elderly sisters, and while priests’ retirement funds are covered by the church, the sisters have no such safety net. When their orders run out of money, that’s it. [more inside]
posted by flex
on Aug 31, 2014 -
“Why would you want to be a nun if the archdiocese is going to treat you like they do?” Ann Frey at the Wartburg said. “Their whole lives they’ve been obedient and done what they were asked to do, and now nobody is helping them?”
Just 3 days before they would go into effect, Federal Judge Lee Yeakel struck
down the admitting-privileges and ambulatory surgical center requirements of Texas's recently passed HB2 (remember the one with the filibuster?
), finding that they placed an undue burden on women, especially those in the Rio Grande Valley and El Paso. [more inside]
posted by LizBoBiz
on Aug 30, 2014 -
"The abrasiveness trap: High-achieving men and women are described differently in reviews"
A study of 248 performance reviews of 180 people found that women received a much higher ratio of critical feedback than men. Moreover, the reviews of women were much more likely to contain criticisms of their personalities in addition to constructive criticism. According to the article:
"This kind of negative personality criticism—watch your tone! step back! stop being so judgmental!—shows up twice in the 83 critical reviews received by men. It shows up in 71 of the 94 critical reviews received by women."
posted by jazzbaby
on Aug 28, 2014 -
WYNC's Manoush Zomorodi investigates the gender gap in tech and computer science
, and finds a number of people working towards bridging that gap, from childhood to university: completely restructuring a required computer science course
to make it more welcoming to female university students
, celebrating women in computing history
(and recognizing that computer science wasn't so male-dominated
, and making children's books
!) for kids to explore programming concepts on their own. She also noticed that the majority of female computer science students in the US had grown up overseas - possibly because computer science isn't a common subject in American high schools
. This is slated to change: a new AP Computer Science subject is in the works
, with efforts to get 10,000 highly-trained computer science teachers in 10,000 high schools across the US
If you want to join Mindy Kaling
in supporting young girls
entering computer science, tech, and coding
, there's a lot [more inside]
posted by divabat
on Aug 16, 2014 -
Jenée Desmond-Harris, associate editor of features for The Root
, answers a reader who wrote in wondering if his compliment of a stranger's Afro was out of line. Though acknowledging that some women won't want to hear a compliment, regardless, Desmond-Harris elucidates three points on how to compliment a black woman's hair without being a jerk
: 1) Hands to yourself. 2) Compliment, don't query. 3) Consider the context.
posted by girlmightlive
on Aug 14, 2014 -
Editor’s note: We don’t publish many anonymous pieces on Forbes.com, but this compelling first-person account of sexism in the startup world merits an exception. I met the author several months ago and was floored by the stories she had to tell about her dealings with mostly male investors. Like many men (as she writes), I knew women in tech faced a certain degree of chauvinism and harassment, but I’d had no idea it was so barefaced and routine, in an industry that thinks of itself as egalitarian and forward-looking. After much persuading, she agreed to write about her experiences but asked that I omit her name, for several reasons. First (again, as she writes), the startup community is a small one, and founders rely heavily on social capital and goodwill to navigate it. Speaking up carries big risks. But fear of retribution wasn’t her only concern. While putting an individual human face on an issue, it can also be a way for critics to short circuit the discussion by engaging in ad hominem attacks. ”I don’t want it to be about me, but about the issue at hand,” the author says. “When we get into a witch hunt around particular personalities, we lose sight of the problem we should be tackling.
Read on to learn more about that problem.
posted by Blasdelb
on Aug 8, 2014 -
Recently I overheard a man say at a yoga class, "Yeah, well, you get two women together and it's like bitch central." I could have told him he only needed one, in fact, and that would be me, but it also made me realize how much people diminish and poo-poo the real power and strength of female friendship, especially between women, which is either supposed to descend into some kind of male lesbian love scene porn fantasy or be dismissed as meaningless or be re-written as a story of competition.
Transformation and Transcendence: The Power of Female Friendship
Here's the truth: friendships between women are often the deepest and most profound love stories, but they are often discussed as if they are ancillary, "bonus" relationships to the truly important ones. Women's friendships outlast jobs, parents, husbands, boyfriends, lovers, and sometimes children.
, an essay by Emily Rapp
posted by divined by radio
on Aug 5, 2014 -
Channeling Elizabeth: Recreating a Family Heirloom
: The sweater was threadbare and holey, but it had clearly been much loved - and, as it turned out, it had been knit by one of the greatest knitters of all time. Elizabeth Zimmermann (1999 NY Times Obituary
) popularized knitting in the round, re-introduced the continental method of knitting to the US, and was dedicated to greater clarity
in knitting instructions. She also came up with a much-used formula for sizing proportions (EPS), the I-cord, and encouraged knitters to experiment and be creative. [more inside]
posted by julen
on Aug 4, 2014 -
(autoplaying video) is a singer, rapper, songwriter and actress who is known for her outlandish outfits, makeup, and wigs
, and gutsy, lyrically skilled rapping. She creates personas or "masks"
in her music and videos to communicate her message. Recently, she released an album cover online to promote her new release, Anaconda
, and to create buzz. Boy did it.
(All links NSFW.) [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome
on Jul 29, 2014 -
Sarah McKinley and Violeta Duncan for Community Wealth: Worker Cooperatives Address Low-Wage Work and the Feminization of Poverty
Women of color working low-wage jobs must often navigate unregulated work conditions, as much of their work is domestic labor—caregiving, house cleaning, child care—an industry that, historically, is not only low-paid but also exploitative. The National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), a 10,000 membership-based organization for nannies, housecleaners, and caregivers, describes, in its 2012 Home Economics: The Invisible and Unregulated World of Domestic Work [PDF] report, the substandard conditions of domestic work, including lack of employment benefits, meager wages, exposure to toxic chemicals, and physical abuse.
posted by divined by radio
on Jul 22, 2014 -
Such unhealthy work environments and insufficient pay have led a number of these low-wage women to take matters in to their own hands. Many have formed women-owned worker cooperatives that ensure good pay and healthy working conditions, help women overcome the isolation and vulnerability of domestic work, and empower women to build wealth for themselves, their families, and their communities.
Touching the Art
"Ovation’s newest digital series tackles the contemporary art world’s least favorite subject – art. Host Casey Jane Ellison asks her panel of insiders all the dumb questions, so you don’t have to." [more inside]
posted by danabanana
on Jul 20, 2014 -
Rebecca Traister writes at the New Republic
on being tired of women's choices, accomplishments, and existence being measured by barometers which are "calibrated to dude," as exemplified by a recent Esquire piece. [more inside]
posted by Stacey
on Jul 17, 2014 -
The infamous letter denying women creative work at Disney Animation in the 1930s (previously)
has an interesting addendum in a 1941 announcement by Walt Disney
that the studio would be starting to admit women into the animation training program. Disney ends with a shoutout to "little Rhetta Scott, of whom you will hear more when you see Bambi."Rhetta Scott
was to be the first credited female animator at Disney and drew the complex sequence of attacking hounds
.Women's progress in the industry since has been slow but is recently accelerating quickly, so here is a random roundup of dazzling hand-drawn animated shorts by women: [more inside]
posted by Erasmouse
on Jul 14, 2014 -
is a celebration of women archaeologists, palaeontologists and geologists who have been doing awesome work for far longer, and in far greater numbers, than most people realize." [via
posted by brundlefly
on Jul 7, 2014 -
Frustrated with the modern toy market's focus on female characters with uncomfortable costumes, uninspiring back stories, and unrealistic body proportions -- "most are created for the adult male collector, decidedly more Hooters than heroine
" -- Wellesley alumnae Julie Kerwin and Dawn Nadeau joined forces with the legendary creative team at EleventyPlex
a new line of fierce, Joan of Arc-inspired action figures, designed to encourage girls to embrace their inner strengths and imagine themselves as self-made superheroes: I Am Elemental
. [more inside]
posted by divined by radio
on Jul 7, 2014 -
Did Hollywood Give the 1920s a Boob Job? 'Gatsby' Costume Designer Tells All
Breasts are everywhere in 2013’s new "Gatsby"… They’re pushed up to create cleavage, peeping out of frocks and fringed flapper dresses, and hugged tightly by clothes cut to show off curves. As Daisy Buchanan, Carey Mulligan is clearly wearing some sort of shapewear or bra under even her most modest clothes, to make her breasts seem perfectly perky. [more inside]
posted by Lexica
on Jul 4, 2014 -
Catherine Martin, the producer, production designer, and costume designer of "The Great Gatsby," says that she simply took the styles of the 1920s and amped up the sexy quotient—and made the dresses fit more like the designers intended.…
"Frankly, I am a bit shocked by Martin’s quotes regarding the 1920s—that she considers the clothes frumpy looking," [co-founder of the Fashion History Museum Jonathan] Walford says. "She was the wrong costumer to get the job if she can’t see the beauty in the real 1920s silhouette."