While Dr. Nadine Akkerman of Leiden University was examining letters sent by Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia (Google books preview) during her exile in the Hague, she discovered that some were filled with secret codes.... Akkerman was intrigued as to why the queen would require such covert correspondence. This was her first encounter with the 17th-century female spy.Within England, Dr. Akkerman uncovered a network of more than sixty female spies. [more inside]
The Testosterone Takeover of Southern Food Writing In which Kathleen Purvis asks why male voices have come to dominate big-market Southern food writing and pokes at the genre's resulting obsessions with "bourbon, barbecue and pork belly." From The Bitter Southerner.
A hundred years after the First World War, modern women demonstrate military prestige by donning vintage uniforms historically exclusive to men. Highlighting uniforms from the Second Industrial Revolution until the end of the Weimar Republic, Eve's Glory compares the ceremonial attitudes historically associated with the military to the proud independence of modern women. [more inside]
You see them everywhere—exhausted young women pouring all their spare energy into organising, encouraging and taking care of young men who resent them for doing it but resent them even harder when they don’t. You see them cringing for every crumb of affection before someone cracks and it all goes wrong and the grim cycle starts again. You can fritter away the whole of your youth that way. I know women who have. - Laurie Penny, Maybe you should just be single [SL NewStatesman]
Researchers find software repository GitHub approved code written by women at a higher rate than code written by men, but only if the gender was not disclosed. (slGrauniad) [more inside]
The Democratic Republic of Congo has a troubled history to say the least. Terrible crimes were committed against children, women, and men, but one woman rose up in response. Now, Rebecca Masika Katsuva has passed. Her words. Her story: Surviving Against the Odds, It's Not the End of the World.
On February 2, 2016, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control released new guidelines advising all sexually active women to abstain from alcohol unless they are on birth control. The recommendation and related infographic were quickly criticized. [more inside]
Reading a barrage of violent comments and threats doesn’t make me want to retaliate. It doesn’t make me want to fire back at those guys with the same hate and rage that they spewed my direction about me and the rest of my gender. It makes me want to censor myself. It makes me hesitant to write certain jokes. Could this tweet make hundreds of men tell me I belong locked in their closet? Will this idea I’m putting out there also end in threats of rape or murder?Is That a Threat?, by Alison Leiby for The Lighthouse.
A Colleague Drank My Breast Milk And Other Wall Street Tales I kept the conversation light. I shared a funny story about my first day on Wall Street, when I opened up a pizza box to find condoms instead of pepperoni slices. Unwrapped. I was “the new girl,” and the guys just wanted to see me blush. I did blush, and I lived. “It’s not that bad anymore,” I said with a laugh. [more inside]
Army and Marine Corps chiefs: It’s time for women to register for the draft The top officers in the Army and Marine Corps testified on Tuesday that they believe it is time for women to register for future military drafts, following the Pentagon’s recent decision to open all jobs in combat units to female service members.
Oregon Tilth's magazine, In Good Tilth:
Our inaugural issue of 2016 celebrates women farmers and food leaders. Stories include: An interview with Doria Robinson of Urban Tilth; a photo narrative by Audra Mulkern; an analysis of why women farmers have been invisible for so long; a look around the United States at female leaders in our good food movement; and more.(probably not mobile-friendly)
"The way these governments are handling the virus is foolish, highly unrealistic, and insensitive to women." But Zika Virus Isn't The First Disease To Spark A Debate About Abortion [more inside]
Jessica Harrison takes old ceramic statues of fancily-dressed women and decorates them with tattoos.
Yesterday the Coxless Crew, a team of four women, completed their unsupported row across the Pacific. It took them 257 days to travel 8446 miles in three stages - San Francisco to Hawaii, then to Samoa, and completing their journey at Cairns. They travelled in a 29-foot long pink boat called Doris. [more inside]
Her Story is a 6-episode new-media series that looks inside the dating lives of trans & queer women as they navigate the intersections of desire & identity.The show is co-written, co-produced, and co-starred by writer and One Billion Rising organizer Laura Zak and founder of The Trans 100 and We Happy Trans Jen Richards, and also stars Angelica Ross, founder of Trans Tech Social Enterprises. (CW: One of the side characters is hella transphobic, and there's smatterings of casual transphobia.)
It's Payback Time for Women - "Society is getting a free ride on our unrewarded contributions to the perpetuation of the human race." (via) [more inside]
The head of the festival that awards comics’ most prestigious prize – the Grand Prix – claimed that women don’t appear in the history of comics. He’s wrong.
“To the world, I am an attorney who had an abortion, and, to myself, I am an attorney because I had an abortion." The Center for Reproductive Rights and law firm Paul Weiss submitted an amicus brief [pdf] to the U.S. Supreme Court signed by 113 attorneys, detailing the importance of abortion rights in their own lives. [more inside]
Chad W. Post at Three Percent recently linked to World Literature Today's 75 Notable Translations of 2015 and went on a list-making tear to provide more structure and commentary: 7 books by women, 6 water-cooler fiction books, 6 university press books, 3 'funny' books, 4 books from underrepresented countries, and the best poetry I should read. The commentary often leads to further matters of interest, e.g. the Women in Translation Tumblr or Marianne Fritz and the translation challenges (scroll down) in her work.
A campaign called "Frame Her Right" have put out a short video compilation of violence against women in Bollywood films. What they want is for the Indian Censor Board to include a warning in films that contain violence against women and to reflect such violence in the film's age rating. The argument links to the broader debate about the extent to which Bollywood movies reinforce misogyny in India. (The BBC quotes Aamir Khan criticising how Bollywood movies sometimes glorify stalking and harassment, which shows how times have changed). However, the 80s and 90s seem to be something of a low point for sexualised violence in Bollywood, and there are better portrayals of women in more recent films.
At Philosop-her, Meena Krishnamurthy invites women in philosophy to introduce themselves and their work. For example, Elizabeth Barnes, "Confessions of a Bitter Cripple": "I have sat in philosophy seminars where it was asserted that I should be left to die on a desert island ... I have been told that, while it isn't bad for me to exist, it would've been better if my mother could've had a non-disabled child instead ... And these things weren't said as the conclusions of careful, extended argument ... They were the kind of thing you skip over without pause because it's the uncontroversial part of your talk." [more inside]
The holiday season is especially stressful for women. In rare occasions, that stress plus bad luck may actually contribute to heart problems. “We have seen more than a few cases of stress-induced cardiomyopathy around the holidays,” said Dr. Karla Kurrelmeyer, a cardiologist with Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center. “This occurs when women are under great amounts of stress for a short period of time and that stress is compounded with another traumatic event ... If it is ignored it can be fatal.” Yikes! Of course, men are hardly immune to seasonal hazards. In Canada (and elsewhere), men are the primary victims of Christmas décor trauma. Here's a brief guide to common holiday horrors and tips for staying safe and sane. [more inside]
Throughout our lives, women hear insidious, often-conflicting messages about what it means to be a woman, about how we should act, talk and look. [more inside]
An incredible story by ProPublica and The Marshall Project. What happens when police believe rape victims? What happens when they don't?
This is what happens when you photoshop all the men out of politics, media, music. (SLYT)
Women Try To Pose Like Female Comic Book Heroes... and their attempts are photoshoped to match the original.
On the heels of Canada's announcement of a national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women, CBC will be tweeting every 6 minutes over 24 hours the names, photos and cases of over 250 women under the hashtag #MMIW.
"That night, Soloway sat in the bathtub, while her husband, Bruce Gilbert, a music supervisor for film and television, brushed his teeth. She remembers telling him, “ ‘I don’t want to use the money to pay off our debt. I want to be a director, and I want to make a film with it and get into Sundance. I want to double down on me.’ And Bruce was, like, ‘O.K.’ ” Then, just as Soloway was making the leap to directing her own material, her father called one afternoon and came out as transgender." (SL New Yorker)
Being A Girl: A Brief Personal History of Violence [The Belle Jar]
For more than a decade, women’s rights advocate Julie Lalonde was stalked by an ex-boyfriend—and kept silent about it.
“The distance between the station and the train was accurately measured ... I was not nervous as it approached and I leaped without hesitation,” she recalled. She landed safely, but the rocking motion of the train rolled her straight toward the end of the car. Just before being pitched off, “I caught hold of an air vent and hung on.” Then, with a sense of the dramatic, silent film actress Helen Gibson let her body “dangle over the edge to increase the effect on the screen.” [more inside]
The beverages are consumed regularly by thirty-one per cent of kids between the ages of twelve and seventeen, and by thirty-four per cent of those aged eighteen to twenty-four. U.S. sales for energy drinks and shots now total more than twelve and a half billion dollars—a number that the market-research firm Packaged Facts predicts will grow by another nine billion dollars by 2017. A new study [note: behind paywall] , published in the November issue of Health Psychology, suggests that appeals by energy-drink companies to the thrill-thirsty male id are coming at a psychological and physical cost, however. -- Rachel Giese, How Energy-Drink Companies Prey on Male Insecurities
In 1739, an English washer-woman named Mary Collier published a long poem called "The Woman's Labour" about the difficulties faced by working women. Her poem was a response to The Thresher's Labour by Stephen Duck, which mocked the poetic conceit that agricultural workers spend a pleasant time in nature, and took a few pot shots at women along the way: "Ah! were their Hands so active as their Tongues/ How nimbly then would move the Rakes and Prongs?" Collier refutes Duck's criticisms and describes women's added labour: [more inside]
The Internet is blowing up over this 70's "radical lesbian separatist" shirt. i-D has the story. [more inside]
Caitlin Stasey talks about beauty and sexism in the entertainment industry. (SLYT) (NSFW swearing) [more inside]
Less than half of FIFA’s national federations have girls soccer programs. Those that do exist give a girl less access to facilities, less support, and poorer development pathways than her brother. She will play in competitions with less investment, minimal promotion, and consequently fewer fans than the all-important male versions. Media coverage will amplify this skew, battling age-old preconceptions and making her all but invisible in the mainstream. Administrators preoccupied with the men’s game will struggle to meet her needs. (SLNYT)
Ian McKellen gives an hour long presentation featuring some of the amazing women he's worked with over his 50 year acting career.
When Fiona Ingleby took to Twitter last April to vent about a journal’s peer-review process, she didn’t expect much of a response. With only around 100 followers on the social-media network, Ingleby — an evolutionary geneticist at the University of Sussex near Brighton, UK — guessed that she might receive a few messages of support or commiseration from close colleagues. What she got was an overwhelming wave of reaction. Social media has enabled an increasingly public discussion about the persistent problem of sexism in science.
I want to direct good stories. I don't care whether it's a guy fighting a giant freakish eagle or he's trying to decide what to do about his divorce. I don't know why women are marginalized to talk about love and fashion.The Women of Hollywood Speak Out (NYTMag).
Why men don't like funny women:
When they would ask men and women what they looked for in their long-term partners, both genders would say they wanted someone “with a good sense of humor.” It was only when researchers pressed their subjects on what they meant, specifically, by “sense of humor,” that the sex difference became clear. Women want men who will tell jokes; men want women who will laugh at theirs.
"Young women could now do more than read about feminist issues and discuss them in class; they could find communities of women on Twitter or Tumblr whose experiences they could relate to—or who could open up new vistas for them on what other women’s lives are like. They could participate in the creation of a new feminism—one that would be a far cry from Friedan’s. By 2011, the writer Flavia Dzodan was famously declaring on her blog: “My feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit.” Her words became a rallying cry."