It’s International Women’s Day


It’s International Women’s Day!

Well, “International” in the sense of “it’s a major holiday in many countries, conveniently excluding the United States, where we are far more interested in celebrating mothers than women who do other kinds of boring ol’ work beyond our romanticized notion of women as angelic baby factories.”

So first, here are some International Women’s Day links for your enjoyment:

  • The inimitable Sarah Haskins asks,  what’s birth control for anyway?  Let’s ask television advertising!

Good thing birth control is not for preventing women from having unwanted children so they are free to have more sexual agency.  That would make them sluts.

  • 1902 French trading cards:  Women of the Future.  Now, I realize that to the creator, these were probably the equivalent of that lady who dresses babies up like vegetables:  “Aw, isn’t it cute, a baby dressed like a rutabaga lady dressed like a firefighter!  Adorable!” with maybe a little “nudge nudge, wink wink” thrown in for good measure.  But it wouldn’t be long before women held most of the careers pictured, and look how amazing some of them look!

If only Google had taken the time to really do some data mining on the ornamental vegetation preferences of all women everywhere, this could have been avoided.  (Pro tip:  For IWD, I would personally like to receive a TA to help me grade all my papers.  And universal health care in the United States, so I would not feel coerced by my dependency on my employer-provided benefits should I decide to follow the recommendations of the American public and engage in job creation by becoming a small business owner. And an end to sexual repression and violence against women and girls worldwide. But those things are hard to put in a Google Doodle, I know.)

  • The inimitable Kitchen Sisters production team have two new hours of radio out, hosted by Tina Fey:  The Hidden World of Girls.  I got home last night right as hour 1 was starting, and had to seriously weigh the drawbacks of sitting in my car for two hours before I could convince myself to come inside with my groceries and listen later on.  Here’s a video blog they did on photographer Shadi Ghadirian:

  • Also from my recent life, I went to the Comic Arts Museum to see an exhibit on The Wizard of Oz, but was actually captivated by a single page from Nell Brinkley, a cartoonist and illustrator whose 40-year career included her creation of “The Brinkley Girl,” a more modern, independent, dynamic contrast to the still-remembered “Gibson Girl.”  What I loved about her drawing was the lavish detail given to the clothing and hair, details often thought of by male readers and illustrators as irrelevant and girly (like all femme skills), but incredibly difficult to capture well without looking like you’re drawing fashion mannequins.  Instead Brinkley’s women have fantastic characterization… AND stunning fashion, which as a woman who likes to attend period costuming events, I value tremendously.  And she was politically conscious too:  “Uncle Sam’s Girl Shower” was… well let me quote from several art catalogs:  World War I drawing shows a shower of lovely girls floating down around Uncle Sam to offer their services for work in Washington. On the side, however, three girls show the problems they are encountering. One sleeps in a chair; one encounters a sign reading “Apartments, No Dogs, Children or Girls”; and one sleeps against a lamp post. Nell Brinkley’s delicate drawings of girls with masses of curly hair made her one of the most widely published illustrators of the early years of the century, but she frequently focused on the problems confronting working women. Girls flocked to Washington during the first World War to support the war effort, but they found a housing shortage and landlords reluctant to rent to them.I think I may have to write a “Wednesday Geek Women” post about her, maybe on my quarter break.

So there’s my links for International Women’s Day.  If I can get some papers graded, I’d like to write a bit about the issue of women in Marriage and Family Therapy both as practitioners and clients… here’s hoping I get some time to enjoy rest from my personal labors!


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