It’s February again! The shortest month of the year is host to several celebrations including Black History Month. I suspect this year people will wonder, “Don’t we all know by now the contributions of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr.?” “Aren’t we living in the post-racial era?” “Isn’t it all good now that we have a Black President?”
No, unfortunately it is not. Racial, class, and gender injustice still operate in America. However, we have the opportunity to better confront injustice, if we take our Black History Month lessons more seriously.
Thanks to Black History Month, some of us know the contributions, struggles, and victories of a handful of prominent people of African descent. We know the battles of civil rights warriors who put their lives on the line to change this nation to one that operates more closely within its proclaimed tenets and ideals. Certainly ‘liberty and justice for all’ was not something that Blacks or other people of color could readily expect or count on when Dr. Carter G. Woodson, a Harvard Ph.D., started Black History month in 1926 by instituting the first ‘Negro History Week.’ He chose the 2nd week in February for the celebration, acknowledging the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, two men who were instrumental in removing the chains of slavery from Black Americans.
Woodhull Fellow Tiffany Shlain premiered her new feature documentary “Connected: An Autoblogography about Love, Death & Technology” at the Sundance Film Festival. The reaction to the film was overwhleming! Connected won the Women In Film Award (by National Geographic All Roads Film Grant), and received high praise from reviewers (including Al Gore).
Find out more about the film at connectedthefilm.com
Read reviews after the jump! –>
A poem by Tara Sophia Mohr, Woodhull Alumna
Originally posted to WiseLivingBlog.com on February 2nd.
In the end
you won’t be known
for the things you did,
or what you built,
or what you said.
You won’t even be known
for the love given
or the hearts saved,
because in the end you won’t be known.
You won’t be asked, by a vast creator full of light:
What did you do to be known?
by Suzanne Grossman, Woodhull Alumna
Originally posted to LYJ: Love Your Job on February 9th.
A friend of mine is close to a job offer that would increase not only her salary but also her management and leadership responsibilities. However, the job would require her to relocate across the country and is not fully aligned with her longer-term career goals. She’d be leaving behind her relationship and creative side projects but would be gaining new colleagues and an exciting city to explore. Many of us have faced a choice like this. It can feel agonizing, even if we’re happy to receive an offer.
Here are a few strategies for making these tough career choices with confidence:
Originally posted to ReelGirl on February 9th.
The grassroots women’s literary group VIDA just released some frightening statistics about gender bias in publishing.
The New York Review of Books has 462 male bylines to 79 female, about a 6-to-1 ratio.
The New Republic has 32 women to 160 men.
The Atlantic published 154 male bylines and 55 female.
The New Yorker reviewed 36 books by men and 9 by women.
Harper’s reviewed more than twice as many books by men as by women.
The New York Times Book Review had 1.5 men to 1 woman (438 compared to 295) and an authors-reviewed ratio of 1.9 to 1 (524 compared to 283).
VIDA’s report has ignited the blogosphere with many commentators wondering, as Patricia Cohen does in the New York Times: Why? “What the numbers don’t explain is whether men write more books (and book proposals) than women or whether they more frequently and aggressively ask magazine editors for assignments.”
But this isn’t an either/ or situation; women face challenges at both ends: publishers and editors are biased to think that men’s stories are the best and most important ones, deserving of publication and reviews; and, women writers, socialized to those same beliefs, agree and don’t try hard or often enough to get published.
This double-challenge doesn’t only affect women writers; it muzzles women’s voices across all media.
Originally posted to The Huffington Post on February 3rd.
Fans of Bravo’s Top Chef know: the women keep losing.
Each season starts off with a roughly equal number of male and female contestants. All have been through the same rigorous selection process. Yet as the competition goes on, the women simply don’t perform as well as the men. Or so it seems.
A closer look reveals that Bravo’s Top Chef isn’t meritocratic at all. It’s strongly biased in favor of the men — for three surprising reasons.
First, the judges are influenced by gender stereotypes, and not because they are sexist jerks. They aren’t. They’ve stated that they would love for women to do better on the show, and I believe them. But unfortunately, egalitarian views and a desire to support women have nothing to do with bias. Research has shown that bias operates largely unconsciously, and it is based not on one’s conscious ideas about a particular group, but on the stereotypes to which one has been exposed. People who work in the food world — like the judges — have been conditioned, over and over again, to think of culinary geniuses as male. Whether they like it or not, that will color their perception of the dishes, the very taste of the food in their mouths.
Last week I finally got around to seeing “The Social Network” which my campus was screening at no cost to students. I sat down, one of two people in the small room, excited to be alone and seeing a movie I had been excited about for so long. Midway through I started to be irked by what I was seeing. Trying to brush it aside I focused on what was going on. But the more I tried to ignore the representation of women in the movie the more the problem rose to the surface. Why wasn’t I seeing a single positive portrayal? According to the movie women are strange, on the sideline, and/or psycho. Many scenes showcased the “stupid slut” archetype sometimes combining it with underage. Others showed females in a more positive light, if you consider barely present and barely paid attention to positive.
Originally posted to BarbaraVictor.com on February 8th.
After doing numerous radio interviews in the past several days on the situation in Egypt, and getting such diverse reaction from listeners, and from my last Blog, Freedom Is Just Another Word for Nothing Left To Lose, I realized it was important to explain several inalienable facts that had somehow eluded me.
One of those facts is to provide the historical impact of the Muslim Brotherhood not only on Egypt but on the entire Arab world. The other is to understand that like it or not, any discussion, debate, uprising, or war in the Arab world directly affects Israel. And, what affects Israel is taken into serious political consideration in the United States.
Beginning with Israel, the question often arises as to why we, in the United States, are prone to support Middle East dictators and absolute monarchs who, while not the paragons of human rights, have been willing to maintain peace accords with Israel. Even more pointed is why we, in the United States, have our fate and our moral compass so intrinsically entwined with that Spartan little democracy in the middle of the Arab world.
by Karon Jolna, Woodhull Alumna
Originally published in the Winter 2011 Issue of Ms. Magazine.
When women’s studies was created as a curriculum in universities across the U.S. in the late 1960s and early 1970s, “leadership”—the art and science of motivating and managing people and organizations was not considered a relevant topic. Why? Because women were mostly absent in leadership positions—from politics to business, from media to science, from higher education to nonprofit organizations.
Now, 40 years later, women have led the U.S. Department of State, the House of Representatives and major universities. Women serve on the Supreme Court, anchor the evening news and run businesses as never before. Yet only a handful of the more than 650 women’s studies programs at colleges and universities in the U.S. provide practical and theoretical knowledge necessary for the next generation to make a significant impact on their communities and world.
Continue to Read the Full Article Here!