Today is the 150th birthday of Elizabeth Jane Seaman, née Cochran -- best known by her pen name Nellie Bly. She is perhaps most famous for her re-creation of Jules Verne's epic Around the World in 80 Days, but this real-life Phileas Fogg did it in a record-breaking 72 days, 6 hours, and 11 minutes, and wrote a book about her adventure. She was a pioneering investigative journalist, brave enough to get herself committed to an insane asylum to expose its practices, which resulted in the book Ten Days in a Mad-House. As she wrote, "I was too impatient to work at the usual duties assigned women on newspapers." [more inside]
Talking gender to Africa
International donors have sought to improve the social, political and economic position of women in Africa through an approach known as “gender”. This donor-driven strategy is failing. The jargon of gender programmes is ambiguous and easily misunderstood. It fosters inaction and lip service on the part of patriarchal African governments and civil servants. Gender has become the preserve of the educated elite. The voices of African women have been lost.[more inside]
A young woman with hirsuteness caused by PCOS talks about living as a "bearded lady." Previously: another young woman with a beard who observes the Sikh practice of kesh (uncut hair).
Growing Out My Bush is a fascinating Tumblr where one woman explores the perception of the female body by first shaving and then photographing the re-growth of her pubic hair. Especially interesting are "The Reality of Nude Photos" and "How Breasts Can Look."
A Reference Of Female-Fronted Punk Rock: 1977-89 is a set of 12 downloadable mix CDs collecting more than 360 punk songs sung by women.
'Feminism' has often been seen as a Western concept, but African women are increasingly redefining it to suit their own purposes. This, in turn, is influencing the rest of the world.
Donald Trump trumpets the integrity of the Miss USA pageant. The truth is a bit different.
Christianne Harder on why Jessica Dorrell's actions hurt all women trying to work in college football.
Women are often referred to as crazy when remembered by exes. A magazine article propagating this view was forcefully rebutted. Have the times changed for women with a wide range of emotions?
Amnesty International first reported in March that Egyptian authorities were conducting "virginity tests" on female protestors. Today, military authorities admitted that these tests took place and tried to defend the practice.
Obstetricians and gynecologists are meeting the increased demand for cosmetic vaginal surgery (NSFW)
A young woman writes about her breast reduction.
Over Christmas, Johnson & Johnson decided to stop carrying their popular brand of o.b. tampons. This elicited an immediate and frenzied response from women who used the product. Told that their tampon of choice was permanently discontinued, ladies took to eBay and other outlets to get the last few boxes. In a turnaround, however, J&J is now claiming they were experiencing a "temporary supply interruption". To everyone's relief, the product will soon be back in stores.
Jillian Lauren recently wrote a book about her experiences as a harem girl in Brunei. LA Weekly also went in-depth into her story.> [more inside]
When a person graduates high school as one of the top students, all sorts of grand predictions are made for the person's future. But how many of them end up doing the things predicted of them? The Buffalo News did a feature in 2007 on what the top students in the Buffalo area from 1987 ended up doing after high school. Some of them have done remarkable things, while others have made their mark in smaller ways, all are interesting in their own way.
What a pretty little outfit, good girl! Look at you, wow, you're not just a pretty face! Now come over here, stand close to me.
What do women want? A post-feminist look at female desire.
Donations appreciated... "The male species is doomed, says Bryan Sykes, professor of human genetics at Oxford University. And a woman-only world is possible." More here, and here.