I had a doozy of a Wednesday, so did not get this up in time. But here we go!
Hearty congratulations to Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith for being tapped to replace Al Franken in the US Senate. MRP reports that “Smith has been at the forefront on several administration priorities, including rural broadband expansion, early childhood education and economic development. She leads the Destination Medical Center initiative, a public-private economic development partnership in Rochester, Minn.”
Previous #WCW Sister Rosetta Tharpe will be inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the “Award for Early Influence”!!!!
@xnulz on Twitter was unfortunate enough to send out this question to the masses and boy oh boy, did the masses not disappoint in their answers. Below are some of my favorites:
“Hedy Lamarr, considered the most beautiful actress of the 1930s/40s and the inspiration for Catwoman and Disney’s Snow White, perfected a radio system to throw Nazi torpedoes off course during WWII, which formed the basis of cellphone, WiFi and bluetooth technology. https://t.co/JRLhtyOj0b
— Music Box Theatre (@musicboxtheatre) December 3, 2017”
“Mariya Vasilyevna Oktyabrskaya: her husband was killed by the Nazis in 1941 during Operation Barbarossa. She went to the Soviet gov’t and demanded to get a tank to kill Nazis. The gov’t relented and she killed Nazis with her tank. pic.twitter.com/9Iinz8ndxx
— (╯°□°）╯︵ ┻━┻ (@shonan_naminori) December 2, 2017”
“My mom. She opened and set up domestic abuse and rape crisis centers across the country and faces down pissed off hubbies known for hitting women. She was 5’, 95 lbs and fearless.
— Nick Thompson (@VeblensBeard1) December 3, 2017”
“Lyudmila Pavlichenko. Russian sniper who killed over 300 Nazis including dozens of officers. When on a tour of the US, she was asked how many men she had killed, and responded, “No men, just fascists.” Woody Guthrie wrote a song about her. https://t.co/koJUbG2r0b
— Buzzfeed Guy Debord (@BuzzfeedGDebord) December 2, 2017”
“Franceska Mann, the Polish ballerina, who, while being led to the gas chamber, stole a Nazi guard’s gun, shot him dead, and started a female-led riot that gave hope to all of the prisoners of Auschwitz in the face of certain death https://t.co/s7yM6MDYT5
— Hollywood Histories (@moviehistories) December 2, 2017”
“Elsie MacGill overcame polio, became the worlds first female aeronautical engineer and lead the manufacturing of fighter aircraft during WWII in Canada earning the nickname “Queen of the Hurricanes.” #badderthantaylor https://t.co/JdSZshbFWa
— Brock Macdonald (@brockmacdonald) December 4, 2017”
BONUS: TIME Person of the Year
TIME’s Person of the Year for 2017 turned out to be a group of people: those that were brave enough to come out and speak about their experiences with sexual assault and harassment.
Cards Against Humanity (yeah, them) have funded a full-tuition scholarship for women pursuing an undergraduate STEM degree. The deadline for submissions is quickly approaching (December 11th), so spread the word to your favorite Women “Crushin’ it in STEM” Wednesday friends and family! Link below:
Fan of Card’s Against Humanity but don’t know any baddass women pursuing a STEM degree? The scholarship is paid for by their Science Pack Expansion (available here)
Are you someone of high taste and think CAH is a terrible, terrible game whose makers and players should be ashamed of themselves and would never buy the game, let alone an expansion? Maybe instead look into DonorsChoose.org, who CAH and the Scholarship Fund donated $5,000 dollars this year to help fund STEM projects and field trips for classrooms across the country.
For the three of you keeping score, November 23rd 2016 was my first #WCW post. It’s been a full year! And while I’ve certainly learned about the stories of women that were being overlooked, stories of women that went viral, and stories of women that were important to me, I’ve also learned a lot about social media and Google analytics. I found that at first I had look up stories on my own, or to go off of recommendations given to me by some pretty dope friends. It wasn’t hard, per say. I just had to make a conscious effort to seek stories out, as they weren’t showing up on my Facebook timeline, “Recommended for You” Goodreads lists, and so forth. But the more I clicked around, the more books I read or marked as “to-read”, the more I liked and followed pages and people that promoted strong and amazing women… I was suddenly bombarded by awesome content. It’s wonderful.
This next year promises more of the same. More uplifting stories of women in government (who seem to be the only ones making rational decisions right now), more sharing of stories of historical women who were instrumental in shaping society but were relegated to footnotes, more self-assessment on what it means to be an Ally. So here’s a list of pages or people whose content I’ve really enjoyed. And then I’ll get to today’s #WCW submission, which is the most important one for me to date.
My mother has always played an incredibly large role in my life, and my earliest memories about lessons in morality are from her. Most of these memories are wonderful; her reading bedtime stories of books that had obvious teachings about right and wrong, her not being angry AT ALL when I got in trouble for fighting on the playground when I was defending my younger brother from a bully, etc. Other memories were not so pleasant, but have burned into my memory.
The most vivid one: I can’t remember how old I was, but I was with my mother as she was going around town running errands and doing shopping. One of the trips was to the bank, where she had to make a withdrawal from her and my father’s joint checking account. They wouldn’t let her… They told her that she needed permission from my dad or that he needed to be there with her in order to take out the funds, again, from their JOINT account. My mother made it back to the car before she started to cry. That was my first vivid memory of gender discrimination. Even that young, I had no doubt that my father would not have needed my mother’s permission to withdraw the money and the WRONGNESS of it, combined with my mother’s tears, made me nauseous. She took a moment, called my father (who was also pissed), and then went about her day because She. Had. Shit. To. Do. and wasn’t about to let this blatant wrong stop her. She was a badass.
And still is. Today, Theresa is a loving and amazing foster parent. Since they started, my parents have fostered 14 children and have had many others under their roof for respite care. What’s especially amazing is that even though some of the children have stayed for longer than a year, all of them either go back to their families after their parents have cleaned up, or get adopted by other families if deemed appropriate by the courts. I think most people would hold back a little of themselves during care, lest they get too attached to these amazing kids. Not Theresa. She dives in emphatically and without reservation. She showers these kids with love and goes above and beyond what is normally expected of foster parents, making sure they have everything they need (even at Christmas, when foster parents are not given a stipend or are expected to give presents, you best believe that these kids have things under the tree). And when the children leave, it’s HARD. There are tears, and it honestly feels like part of her heart leaves with them, that’s how involved she is in these children’s lives. She’s upset for a while, but then she sets her shoulders and gets right back in it, because She. Has. Shit. To. Do. and there are many more children that need her. I can’t think of a better Woman “Crushin’ it” Wednesday for this blog’s 1 year anniversary.
Another post stemming from Wednesday night trivia (as well as an official request from my mother. Hi mom!)
Trivia question: Nicknamed the ‘Mother of Thanksgiving,’ this prominent editor and writer wrote a letter urging President Lincoln to proclaim a national day of Thanksgiving on the last Thursday in November. Bonus points if you can name her famous nursery rhyme.
Answer: Sarah Josepha Buell Hale and “Mary Had a Little Lamb”
What I didn’t know until after, was that Sarah Josepha Hale was one of the first American Woman Novelists, and was also one of the first novelists to tackle slavery in her book Northwood: Life North and South. Although Sarah did not believe in Women’s Suffrage, she was incredibly influential promoting stories that opposed slavery and the importance of preserving the union. She was also a very strong and early advocate of higher education for women.
EVERY. ELECTION. MATTERS.
This may honestly be my favorite #WCW submission yet, because of both the historical nature of the election, as well as her opponent in the race.
Meet Danica Roem, who yesterday became the first openly transgender state lawmaker in Virginia, winning her election for the 13th House of Delegates. The victory was especially sweet (so…so sweet) in that she beat out republican Bob Marshall, who referred to himself as Virginia’s “chief homophobe” in 2006 when co-sponsoring a Virginia constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, and who also introduced a bathroom bill against transgender public school students. Don’t let the door hit ya on the way out, Bob!
Major kudos to the contestants of this year’s Miss Peru beauty pageant, who took a section of the competition and turn it completely on its head. Apparently, each woman was supposed to declare her “measurements” (waist and bust size…..). Instead, they decided to share some alarming statistics about violence against women and to bring further visibility to the #NiUnaMenos movement in South America.
“My name is Camila Canicoba and I represent the department of Lima. My measurements are: 2,202 cases of femicide reported in the last nine years in my country”
“My name is Karen Cueto and I represent Lima and my measurements are: 82 femicides and 156 attempted femicides so far this year”
“Greetings from Almendra Marroquín. I represent Cañete, and my measurements are: more than 25% of girls and teenagers are abused in their schools”
“My name is Romina Lozano. I represent the constitutional province of Callaomy and my measurements are: 3,114 women victims of trafficking up until 2014.”
It’s been a different story every day since the Harvey Weinstein news dropped. Whether it’s been additional (and appalling) details of Weinstein and his textbook predator pattern of behavior, to news of other men in power who are now losing their jobs left and right because of the bravery of women coming forward. I just wanted to commend everyone who participated in the #MeToo campaign, and that the follow up conversations surrounding it resonated with me that there are some concrete and immediate responses that I can do personally, and promise to do so:
- Shut down cat-calling when I hear it
- Push back on sexist or condescending “jokes” when I hear them
- Continue to seek out and share women-driven stories and content that I come across
CreditJesse Dittmar for The New York Times
— xoxo, Gaga (@ladygaga) October 25, 2017
BONUS #WCW CONTENT BECAUSE I MISSED LAST WEEK:
High school senior Claire Jeffress, who not only rocks it on the soccer field, but has also kicked game-winning field goals and extra points for her high school football team in Texas. Oh yeah, and she was voted Homecoming Queen as well.
Living in Cleveland means hearing all the coverage every year surrounding the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees and winners (I’ve yet to actually go to the museum, but fear not, it’s on my Cleveland bucket list). This year’s nominees included regular occupiers of my playlists Radiohead and Rage Against the Machine, but it also finally included Sister Rosetta Tharpe, whose absence until this year was one of the biggest reoccurring snubs.
“The Original Soul-Sister” and “The Godmother of Rock and Roll”, popular in the 30’s and 40’s, was known for her masterful blend of Gospel, Blues, and Rock. Her 1944 “Down by the Riverside” was selected for the National Recording Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress in 2004 and shows Rosetta absolutely shredding it at around the 1min30s mark. Here’s to hoping that she gets in this year, she certainly deserves it!
When I received an email with that as the header from my Alma Mater The University of Dayton, I was instantly keyed in. Currently (October 4-7), UD is hosting the 2017 Feminisms and Rhetorics Conference. It’s FemRhet’s 20th anniversary and this is the first time that it has taken place on a Catholic university campus. Over 400 scholars, activists, and advocates for feminism will descend on campus, with Claudia Rankine giving the Keynote on Friday, October 6th.
Claudia Rankine is a Professor of Poetry at Yale University and author of five collections of poetry, two plays, and several edited anthologies. She has received multiple awards for her works including the 2016 MacArthur “Genius” Award and the NAACP Image Award. Cool fact, her book Citizen: An American Lyric is the ONLY book to be doubly nominated for the National Book Award in cultural criticism and poetry. It was also selected by NPR as a Best Book of 2014: “This collection examines everyday encounters with racism in the second person, forcing the reader—regardless of identity—to engage a narrative haunted by the deaths of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, and Renisha McBride.” I’ve already added it to my Goodreads list =)