Archive for November, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving from NWHM!

November 26th, 2013

We hope you’ll take a moment to watch this special video that explores the origin of  Thanksgiving and the work of Sarah Josepha Hale, the “Mother of Thanksgiving,” in establishing it!

Gobble, Gobble!

Historical Women Who Rocked: Ruby Bridges

November 19th, 2013

At just 6-years old young Ruby Bridges became the face of school integration.

Ruby Bridges was born on September 8, 1954. She was born to Lucille and Abon Bridges, who had four other children, giving Ruby three brothers and one sister. At age two, Ruby and her family moved from Tylertown, Mississippi, where her family had been sharecroppers, to New Orleans, Louisiana, because her parents sought better work opportunities.

In New Orleans, Ruby went to a segregated kindergarten. However, the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled in 1954, the year that Ruby was born, that all schools must desegregate.   The decision was made in the case of Brown vs. the Topeka Board of Education, when the parents of another grade-school girl, Linda Brown, sued the school system of Topeka, Kansas, because Linda had to attend an all-black school outside of the neighborhood where she lived.

The law was put into place in Louisiana at the beginning of Ruby’s first grade year. Ruby and five other African-American girls were given the opportunity to attend a school made up of only Caucasians, after they passed psychological and educational tests. Ruby’s parents were faced with a critical decision.

For this reason, Lucille wanted to send Ruby to the new school. Lucille wanted to give her daughter the opportunities she never had, but Abon, Ruby’s father, was not eager to send Ruby to the new school because he did not want to endanger his family. Over time, though, Lucille convinced Abon that sending Ruby to the new school would be the best thing to do. Read the rest of this entry »

#FoodieFriday: A 1950s Housewife’s Guide to Grocery Shopping

November 15th, 2013

This week’s #FoodieFriday takes us back to the 1950s and more specifically to an educational video that instructs women on how to shop for their families. This type of video would probably have been shown in a home economics class. Do you remember watching videos like these when you were growing up?

#ThrowbackThursday: Nellie Bly’s Investigative Journalism

November 14th, 2013

By: Emily McAfee, NWHM Intern

Elizabeth Jane Cochrane, known as “Nellie Bly,” reached international celebrity status when she traveled around the world by ship, train and burro in 72 days, 6 hours and 11 minutes, ahead of the fictional hero of Jules Verne’s popular book “Around the World in Eighty Days.” Her journey began today in 1889.

Bly’s big break, though, came two years before her round-the-world trip, when she faked insanity to study an asylum from the perspective of a patient. After months of rejection from editors on the basis of her sex, Bly received the opportunity to investigate the insane asylum from the New York World. Jean Marie Lutes, a scholar of women journalists, argues that Bly’s success with this story was, in part, due to her “female-ness.” Lutes suggests that because Bly was a woman, and therefore already outside the traditional image of a “reporter” in 1887, she was able to go beyond the limits of traditional reporting for her story:

“Bly’s reportage exulted in the concrete specifics of one individual’s experience and scorned the relative abstraction of disinterested observation. By adopting the hysteric’s hyperfemale, hyperexpressive body, she created her own story and claimed the right to tell it in her own way. Moreover, impersonating insanity allowed her to flaunt the very characteristics that were being used to bar women from city newsrooms: her female-ness, her emotional expressiveness, her physical—even her explicitly sexual—vulnerability.” (1)

On the basis of her diversity—by virtue of being, as a woman, an outsider to the profession—Bly was able to generate huge success. Her success was not just a personal achievement. Bly changed the field of reporting entirely with her innovative investigative techniques, and paved the way for important works of investigative journalism in the early 20th Century: for example, Ida Tarbell’s The History of the Standard Oil Company (1904) and Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle (1906). Nellie Bly’s career is a powerful example of how diversity in the workplace can strengthen a business (or, in this case, an entire profession) in unexpected ways.

Click here to read more about Nellie Bly.

(1) Lutes, Jean Marie. “Into the Madhouse with Nellie Bly: Girl Stunt Reporting in Late Nineteenth-Century America.” American Quarterly, Vol. 54, No. 2 (June 2002). Page 218. Emphasis added.

“To Flatten A Heroine: Artist Puts Disney Princess Filter On 10 Real Life Female Role Models”

November 8th, 2013

Check out his interesting spin on the “Disney Princess!” Read the original article here.

October 31, 2013 by
David Trumble_ Women Of The World Collection

Compliments of an invaluable introduction by WYSK Melissa Wardy, Women You Should Know had a chance to speak with David Trumble, an award-winning artist, cartoonist and illustrator about his prototype for Disney’s new “World of Women” collection. First unveiled in a May 2013 Huffington Post Parents blog, it features his princessified versions of ten of the world’s most inspiring women from past and present history. We love why he did it.

In addition to generously allowing Women You Should Know to run his original “World of Women” art, David also shared with us his reasons for drawing the thought-provoking cartoon, which he collaborated on, in part, with educational psychologist Lori Day. Here’s what he had to say (before & after images of each woman below).

“This was a response to the furor kicked up over the glossy ‘princessification’ of Pixar’s Merida character, both in image and doll form. I drew this picture because I wanted to analyze how unnecessary it is to collapse a heroine into one specific mold, to give them all the same sparkly fashion, the same tiny figures, and the same homogenized plastic smile.

So that was my intent, to demonstrate how ridiculous it is to paint an entire gender of heroes with one superficial brush. “My experience of female role models both in culture and in life has shown me that there is no mold for what makes someone a role model, and the whole point of Merida was that she was a step in the right direction, providing girls with an alternative kind of princess. Then they took two steps back, and painted her with the same glossy brush as the rest. So I decided to take 10 real-life female role models, from diverse experiences and backgrounds, and filter them through the Disney princess assembly line.

“The result was this cartoon, which earned equal parts praise and ire from readers. Some didn’t get the joke, some disagreed with it, others saw no harm in it at all and wanted to buy the doll versions of them… it was a polarizing image, but I suppose that’s the point. The statement I wanted to make was that it makes no sense to put these real-life women into one limited template, so why then are we doing it to our fictitious heroines?

“Fiction is the lens through which young children first perceive role models, so we have a responsibility to provide them with a diverse and eclectic selection of female archetypes. Now, I’m not even saying that girls shouldn’t have princesses in their lives, the archetype in and of itself is not innately wrong, but there should be more options to choose from. So that was my intent, to demonstrate how ridiculous it is to paint an entire gender of heroes with one superficial brush.

“But that’s just me.” – David Trumble

David’s Disney Princessified “World of Women”


Read the rest of this entry »

#FoodieFriday: Fast-Food Chain Invents ‘Burger Mask’ For Women?

November 8th, 2013

Read the original MSN article here.

8/11/2013 8:30:00 AM
The new Liberation wrapper (Freshness Burger / fbkorea)
The new Liberation wrapper (Freshness Burger / fbkorea)

A fast food restaurant chain has created a new face mask for Japanese women to use when eating one of their burgers to avoid a cultural faux pas.

In Japan, it is regarded as attractive to have what’s known as “ochobo’ – a small and modest mouth – and doing the opposite, such as eating a large meal, is frowned upon as rude and ugly.

So much so that one Japanese fast food chain, Freshness Burger, found their sales were plummeting because female customers did not want to be seen with their open mouths in public.

Freshness Burger, however, has create a simple solution called The Liberation Wrapper and sales have gone through the roof.

This wrapper is a paper napkin which holds the burger and covers the mouth with a picture of a polite smile.

But behind the napkin, the female customer can happily eat their burger without committing a social sin.

Dentsu East Japan, the company hired to come up with The Liberation Wrapper told the The Daily Mail “Their (Freshness Burger) largest and best-tasting Classic Burger was amongst the least chosen by their female customers.

“One of the major reasons seems to relate to Japanese manner…. It is good manner to cover their mouth when they have to largely open up their mouth [to eat].

“Our female customers had a frustration of not being able to do it.

“Freshness Burger decided to challenge convention, freeing women from the spell of Ochobo mouth.”

The company said sales have soared 213 per cent in just one month since introducing it.

#Throwback Thursday: “Peace is a Woman’s Job” and Republican Motherhood

November 7th, 2013

By: Emily McAfee, NWHM Intern

On this day in 1916, Jeannette Rankin was elected to the House of Representatives, becoming the first U.S. congresswoman. She represented Montana twice: from 1917-1919 and from 1941-1943. In Congress, Rankin was known for her pacifism. She was one of just 50 members of Congress to vote against entry into WWI in 1917, and the only Congressperson to oppose declaring war on Japan in 1941. This gave her the distinction of being the only person in Congress to vote against both world wars.

Rankin was a proponent of female participation in the government and the public sphere. This post will examine how Rankin advocated for this progressive cause by drawing on more conservative rhetoric: in particular, the argument of “Republican Motherhood.”

The phrase “Republican Motherhood” was developed in the late 20th century by historians to name a particular opinion about women’s roles that was influential from the colonial era through the early 20th century. It described the notion that motherhood was a civic duty, and that women’s primary responsibility was to impart ideals of republicanism onto the next generation. It imbued women’s work in the private sphere—childrearing, in particular—with meaning and significance to the nation, thereby rendering women’s political activism and work beyond the home superfluous. Read the rest of this entry »

Huffington Post Article: “Women, Unmarried Voters Key To McAuliffe’s Virginia Victory”

November 7th, 2013

The Huffington Post |  By

Check out the original article.

women mcauliffe victory

Virginia Gov.-Elect Terry McAuliffe (D), campaigns at the State Theater in Falls Church, Va., last month. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) | AP

Women and unmarried voters played a crucial role in Democratic businessman Terry McAuliffe’s surprisingly narrow win in the Virginia governor’s race over Republican state attorney general Ken Cuccinelli.

Polls throughout the race found Cuccinelli, a tea party-backed social conservative, lagging among women. While final exit poll results weren’t yet available, data late Tuesday showed McAuliffe leading Cuccinelli by 9 percentage points among women, 51 percent to 42 percent. Cuccinelli had a 3-point lead among men, 48 percent to 45 percent.

The division along the lines of marital status was especially stark.

Cuccinelli was ahead among married people of both genders, with a 6-point lead among married men and a 9-point lead among married women. But unmarried voters, especially women, preferred McAuliffe by wide margins. He beat Cuccinelli by 25 points among unmarried men and 42 points among unmarried women. Unmarried voters made up about a third of Tuesday’s electorate, according to polls. Read the rest of this entry »

Many Successful Women Plagued by the Imposter Syndrome

November 6th, 2013

A recent article from explores the disturbing trend of successful women in the workplace being more likely to think of themselves as less competent and worthy of the success they have achieved–a phenomenon known as imposter syndrome.

Do Women Everywhere Suck at Their Jobs?

184794261 Sheryl Sandberg, fake COO of a fake Internet company called Fakebook.

Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for FORTUNE

In the age of Lean In and female breadwinners and the polysemy of the work stiletto, we are all thinking a lot about professional women. And professional women are thinking a lot about themselves: In Pacific Standard, Ann Friedman looks at impostor syndrome, the phenomenon by which high-achieving careerists feel unqualified for their jobs, regardless of the positive feedback they earn. Impostorism is “a nervous undercurrent that runs through your day-to-day experience, unacknowledged, only to crop up in salary negotiations or in small phrases like, ‘It might just be me but….’ or ‘Not sure I know what I’m talking about,’ ” Friedman writes. While it is prevalent in women, it occurs in men too, especially minorities who fear they owe their success to affirmative action.

A lot of columnists have taken on impostor syndrome, to the point where a template has emerged. The writer leads with a shocking example (World Health Organization chief Dr. Margaret Chan thinks she’s a fraud! So did Sheryl Sandberg! So do three-quarters of Harvard Business School students!) and then offers up some facts (the informal impostor syndrome diagnosis goes back to a 1978 paper by psychologists Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes, who observed symptoms in more than 150 lady professionals). Questions are posed: What makes the modern workplace such a confidence desert? Are professional expectations unreasonably high? (“Wanted: a gifted communicator with fresh ideas, a stellar work ethic, mastery of all Microsoft and Internet technologies from 1970 until now, a pleasant demeanor, a proven track record in everything and anything, and no stinky lunches.”) Or do we all just suck at our jobs? Read the rest of this entry »

This Is What Inspires Girls In STEM

November 4th, 2013

Check out this fantastic article from the Huffington Post about what inspires girls in in the area of STEM.

The Huffington Post |  By

A question like that brings to mind clichés more fitting at a beauty pageant. Yet when you ask a STEM girl, the responses might well cause you to straighten up and pay attention.

The Huffington Post posed this question to the applicants of our Girls In STEM Mentorship Program. More than 1,000 young women responded to our call-outs last December, and amid all the different names, ages, locations, career motivations and educational backgrounds, we were blown away by the deep purpose each applicant found in her studies and future career.

So in celebration of International Day of the Girl Child and the quest to empower young women everywhere, we’ve compiled some of our favorite responses to this question in the following list. Hopefully they inspire you like they’ve inspired us.
What inspires you? What inspires your pursuit of STEM?

“Seeing my work impact a person’s life, no matter how small the action. I know my thoughts can transform into action.” – Phyllis, 21, Aspiring pharmacist

“I find the the research towards finding an AIDS vaccine fascinating.” - Taryn, 14, Aspiring Orthopaedic/Neurological surgeon

“My whole life, all I ever dreamed about when growing up is to help somebody in a powerful way. I want to make lives better or help move society forward to a future with less misunderstandings and ignorance. Women have been doing this throughout history, and if I could do something just half as good as them, I would be more than satisfied.” – Florencia, 20, Interested in a career in health physics

amy atwater
“It is interesting to learn about how everything comes together to create life and how life is sustained through these processes.” - Danielle, 19, Interested in research and lab work

“Showing a sixth grade girl how to use a dissecting microscope for the first time. Watching her get more excited about wearing gloves and goggles than whatever is in the dish.” - Jane, 21, Aspiring Genetics researcher Read the rest of this entry »