Archive for the ‘Press’ Category

More Star Power for NWHM

June 13th, 2012

We are happy to report a new flood of support from some of the entertainment world’s most accomplished and beloved women. Please follow this link to the Washington Post’s Style blog to find out not only who they are, but also some exciting news on the effort to spread the word about NWHM:

Geena Davis and Kate Walsh join effort for a National Women’s History Museum


Powerful Support from the Washington Post “She the People” Blog

May 11th, 2012

“If only it were possible this Mother’s Day …

I would thank Sojourner Truth and Harriett Tubman for their work in the anti-slavery and women’s rights movements of their time.

I would thank Susan B. Anthony and Victoria Woodhull for their dedication to women’s suffrage and strong opposition to violence against women.

I would thank Madam C.J. Walker for her work as a businesswoman, black hair care entrepreneur and philanthropist.”

To read the entire post, Click here.

Fantastic xoJane Article and Interview with Joan Wages

May 11th, 2012

“The Huffington Post swung a rusty hatchet at the National Women’s History Museum earlier this month, with a piece titled “National Women’s History Museum Makes Little Progress After 16 Years.” . . . But the critics have skimmed past (or outright ignored) many of the facts willingly provided by Joan Wages, who then rebounded from the hit-job with a thorough rebuttal on the Museum’s website.” To read the full article, Click here.

Giving Women’s History a Home

March 5th, 2012

Giving Women’s History a Home

By Marianne Schnall | March 5, 2012

NWHM supporters Madeleine Albright (left)
and Meryl Streep with Joan Wages, NWHM president and CEO
Perhaps this year’s Women’s History Month will mark the success of a push for a National Women’s History Museum, a campaign that has built up an impressive history of its own.

March is Women’s History Month, when we celebrate the contributions of extraordinary women of the past. But while a month provides a meaningful focus for honoring women’s history, that awareness should be threaded into our culture and educational systems year-round.  Such a goal is behind a movement to build a museum in Washington, D.C., organized by a group called the National Women’s History Museum (NWHM). Read the rest of this entry »

Comcast’s Coverage of the de Pizan Honors

December 28th, 2011

Share the excitement of the de Pizan Honors held on Nov. 16, 2011 in Washington, DC, as Comcast Newsmakers airs interviews with attendees at the gala reception. The clip airs for two weeks, starting the week of December 26th! The video segment will be a great treat for both members and friends of the Museum who were unable to attend. Comcast Newsmakers airs at 25 and 55 minutes past the hour on CNN. The video is also available to watch at Be sure to check it out!

Meryl Streep Interviewed on CBS’s 60 Minutes

December 19th, 2011

Check out Meryl Streep’s interview on 60 Minutes for her portrayal as former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the film “The Iron Lady:”

Meryl Streep Makes Mention of National Women’s History Museum in Phillippine Daily Inquirer Interview

December 12th, 2011

Meryl on ‘Streep Tease’ and Margaret Thatcher

By: Ruben Nepales
Philippine Daily Inquirer

December 10, 2011
MERYL Streep: “I’ve always had empathy for older people.” Photo by Ruben Nepales 

LOS ANGELES– Meryl Streep, beautiful in a red cowl neck sweater and black pants, preferred to stand up for most of our interview in a New York hotel.

“I am so precariously placed because of my traveling,” the legendary actress explained. With a smile and that mellifluous voice, she said, “I was at the Kennedy Center till 3 o’clock in the morning, drinking with De Niro and all these bad, bad men so I’m sorry.” Looming over us, and with a majestic chandelier above her, Meryl seemed larger than life.

She gives a stunning performance as Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady,” an intimate portrait of the first and only female prime minister of the United Kingdom. Phyllida Lloyd, who directed Meryl in “Mamma Mia!,” is also behind “The Iron Lady,” which features Jim Broadbent and Olivia Colman as Margaret Thatcher’s husband and daughter, Denis and Carol, respectively. Abi Morgan wrote the screenplay which also shows Thatcher’s struggle with dementia in her later years. Read the rest of this entry »

Meryl Streep on women, history and museums: Kennedy Center Honors Watch

November 18th, 2011

(This article appears in the Washington Post Lifestyle Section:


Meryl Streep, sitting in a hotel conference room and later at a podium at the Ronald Reagan Building, says her personal history has led her to join the effort to establish a National Women’s History Museum.

“My grandmother had three children and she couldn’t vote in the school board election. She gave my grandfather the piece of paper with her choices,” Streep related. Personal stories, unknown bravery, everyday life and the epic personalities should all be part of a building, she argued,in a honeyed voice so familiar after 35 years.

Meryl Streep speaks at the Christine De Pizan Honors Gala hosted by The National Women’s History Museum in Washington Wednesday night. (Larry French – GETTY IMAGES)

“We need a museum. By their monumentality, they claim a place in your heart,” she said, gesturing at some large place in the air, now invisible.

She has found local stories,with universal messages. Near her home is a house where Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman, who sued for her freedom, worked for the Ashley family and was abused by the wife. “She heard the discussion about ‘everyman is born free.’ And she was serving tea and stoking the fire,” said Streep. Freeman’s sister was attacked by Mrs. Ashley, but Freeman stepped in front to take the blow from the fireplace shovel. “She was burned on her arm,” said Streep, pushing up her sleeve for emphasis. “But just as interesting is the story of her mistress. If you look at it, both were unpaid workers.”

She shakes her head for emphasis: “Elizabeth Freeman sued for her freedom in 1781. She is up there and more important than Davey Crockett.”
Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher in the upcoming “The Iron Lady.” (Alex Bailey/The Weinstein Company)

At the museum’s event she discussed the long fight to get the museum authorized by Congress. The museum will be financed by private funds, according to the organizers. “We’ve got to pull together girls and get this done,” said Streep, whose next movie is about former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Using a British accent, she told the museum audience; “As Margaret Thatcher said if you want something spoken about, ask a man, if you want something done, ask a woman.” That brought applause and a standing ovation.

Last year she surprised the Women’s Museum audience by pledging $1 million for the effort. Was she planning to add to that Wednesday night? She laughed, the same warm chuckled she threw at Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin in “It’s Complicated.” She said, “Oh that was Margaret Thatcher money. I have to make another movie!”

After she left for a trip to China with fellow Kennedy Center Honoree Yo-Yo Ma, the group presented several awards named for Christine de Pizan, considered the first woman writer of Western women, as well as other pioneering men and women. Honored were former U.S. Senator John Warner; media businesswoman Cathy Hughes; robotics developer Helen Greiner and Google designer Marissa Mayer.

In addition to Streep and Ma, the Kennedy Center is honoring Sonny Rollins, Barbara Cook and Neil Diamond.

NWHM President & CEO Interviewed on NBC

November 15th, 2011

Click here to view the video of NWHM President Joan Wages beign interviewed by Barbara Harrison of NBC.!/on-air/as-seen-on/National-Womens-History-Museum-Honors-3-Women-From-the-Past/133572348

NWHM President & CEO, Joan Wages, Shares Comments on “The Deep Black Hole of Women’s History”

September 20th, 2011
Check out NWHM President & CEO, Joan Wage’s comments on an article about women’s history featured on The Women’s Media Center website.

Exclusive: The Deep Black Hole of Women’s History

By Louise Bernikow

September 19, 2011

On Tuesday (8 PM, EST), “History Detectives” on PBS  will feature a ”Votes for Women” segment in which author Louise Bernikow helps the crew unearth the origins of an early 20th century purple and gold banner. Her experience provoked the following thoughts about women’s history, the media and where we are now.

Picture this: New York harbor, October, 1886. Dignitaries, including President Grover Cleveland, elbow each other on the Bedloe’s Island platform, huge crowds crane their necks toward a tall draped Statue of Liberty about to be revealed. In the water, flag-flying steamers, tugboats, rowboats.  Look closely and you see a barge carrying some well dressed white ladies holding signs: “American Women Have No Liberty. Give us the vote.”

Lillie Devereux Blake and her companions set the stage for an even more daring event three decades later. In December, 1916, women piloting small bi-planes and dropping “Votes for Women” leaflets hovered over President Woodrow Wilson’s yacht as he sailed down the Hudson River to preside over the electrical floodlighting of the statue.

Now that’s American history. I’d love to see these troublemakers in textbooks and documentaries, but I don’t think it likely. Too provocative.

Pundits and politicians lament the ignorance of our young about their own country’s history and pass educational standards to address it, but I fear they are doomed if they don’t learn more about women and repair their thinking on the subject.

Every March, I get my hopes up. March is Women’s History Month, with apparently mandatory programming. Some TV stations know they must do “something about women,” but they don’t appear to know what “history” means. I’m not being the fuss-budget who insists we call it “herstory,” because I firmly believe that women’s history is American history. Still, Women’s History Month means you tell audiences something about female people and the past. Instead, year after year, I see individual, contemporary “outstanding women” profiled in March. Often they are corporate leaders. Duty fulfilled.

Not so fast.

We are, I suppose, a nation of individualists. Our reigning myth is the Lone Ranger—who was not, I remind you, “lone” because all his feats were accomplished with the help of Tonto, who doesn’t count because he was not a white man. When it comes to women, the telling of history in popular media follows the same pattern, focusing on “leaders” or “outstanding women,” always  “lone.” Even Ken Burn’s “Not For Ourselves Alone,” perhaps the most elaborate television telling of an aspect of women’s history in our time, stinted on showing the movement around Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony—the others who inspired them, challenged them or thwarted them, carried their ideas forward, passed it on. Every woman whose name has made it into our consciousness has had others, who go unmentioned, with her.

Thankfully, the women we do see from the past are no longer just the white women. Some people actually know that Shirley Chisholm ran for president in 1972 or that Rosa Parks was part of a cadre of activists, including a large number of black women, who had been trying for some time to challenge segregation on public transportation. But those stories, you know, belong in February, which is Black History Month. If Harriet Tubman showed up at suffrage meetings, which she did, where, in this divided telling of America’s past, does that story go?

So I am caught in a historical nightmare in which it’s 1970 and many people, activists, writers, academics, students, are asking loudly, “Where are the women?” Our school textbooks, college curricula and public entertainment had so few. Because we asked the question, and were doing the work to answer it, things changed. A better, more balanced view of the country’s present and its past began to emerge, one with women, all kinds of women, in it. And now it’s faded again.

We are left with an obligatory nod to women’s history—events in March, the odd segment on a cable show, the single female commentator in history programming. Media people consider they have “done women” when they’ve put 30 minutes on the air. All women, only women, any women, merely women—that’s the attitude that came through a few months ago when the New York Times Book Reviewran a half-page photograph of a delegation holding “Peace” signs arriving at a 1916 international women’s conference to illustrate a book about opposition to World War One. “Women” was how the caption writer identified Jane Addams, Carrie Chapman Catt, Mary Heaton Vorse and several others. It reminded me of the difficulty of finding and writing women’s history at all when, researching the suffrage movement, I uncovered photographs in newspaper archives captioned “suffs leaving prison” or “suffs on a rooftop.”

Others may call this carelessness, but I call it disdain.

The suffrage movement was not a bunch of old fashioned old ladies reeking of camphor talking about an irrelevancy called The Vote. We have not exhausted the possibilities of this and all the other rich stories in our history and I, for one, hope we will not let them fade.