Posts tagged with "Feminism"

BeBe Shopp illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Miss America Partners with Rowan University

Miss America Partners with Rowan University for 100th Anniversary Archival Project

With an eye on history and ideals of beauty, students digitize Miss America archives

“There she is…”

One hundred years of artifacts from the Miss America Competition—from jeweled crowns and velvet capes to programs, photographs, judges’ books, oil paintings, films, and business records—tell more than the story of the competition.

They also provide a rich look at both American and New Jersey history and help illustrate how ideas surrounding beauty and women’s roles in society have changed over a century. 

Now, through a unique partnership with the Miss America Organization, Rowan University students are sifting through the organization’s expansive archives and digitizing the artifacts. Their work, currently underway in the Digital Scholarship Center at Campbell Library, will be the cornerstone of the new Rowan Digital Collections.

Scholars worldwide eventually will have access to the artifacts through the archive, hosted by Rowan Libraries.

Currently, the massive Miss America collection is tucked away in storage in South Jersey. The storage contains a treasure trove of floor-to-ceiling artifacts from the competition.

The Miss America Organization will continue to retain the physical artifacts. But the digitization, which began with program books and some oil paintings of former winners, will ensure the artifacts are categorized and documented–and available widely to future scholars.

The preservation partnership was orchestrated by University administrators, who were approached by the Miss America Organization.

‘An enduring feature of American culture’

“We’re excited Rowan is doing this, and we’re thrilled the University sees value in this project,” says Shantel Krebs, chair of the board and interim president and CEO of the Miss America Organization.

“This is New Jersey history. The digitization project will help others learn more about the quintessential competition and its evolution from a ‘bather’s revue’ into a nationally recognized non-profit that offers scholarship assistance and helps thousands of young women from America to improve their communities through service.”

The project will be a crucial resource to scholars and students, notes College of Humanities & Social Sciences Dean Nawal Ammar.  

“The Miss America competition has been an enduring feature of American culture, producing idealized images of female beauty and achievement,” says Ammar.

“However, the pageant also has been a space to challenge those images, both inside and outside the competition hall. This collection will be an invaluable source for the study of American history, culture, women’s history, business history, media studies, and many other topics.”

Project manager Katie Turner, a professor of history and American Studies, says Rowan students working on digitization are gaining first-hand experience of the archival process. 

“This is a great opportunity for our students to get their hands on history and to really see what goes into making a collection,” adds Turner. “Everything today is digitized for students. They often don’t get to see and touch historical documents. When you sift through paper and do research in an archive, there’s a real commitment to the work.”

Founded as a bather’s revue by businessmen in 1921 as a gimmick to lengthen the summer tourist season in Atlantic City by capitalizing on popular American ideals of female beauty, the competition in its early years was often a steppingstone for women who wanted to pursue show business careers. More than 100,000 people swarmed onto the Atlantic City Boardwalk the first year to watch 16-year-old Margaret Gorman be crowned.

Candidates in the 1920s were rated by judges on everything from the construction of their heads to their “grace of bearing” to their eyes, hair, torso, and hands. Every measurement—from ankles to biceps to head—was recorded by judges and assessed on a points system.

By the 1950s, the competition, under the leadership of Lenora Slaughter, the program’s director for more than 25 years, had been transformed into a source of scholarships for contestants. In 1958, more than $200,000 in scholarships were awarded.

A crown jewel for Atlantic City.

But the competition, a crown jewel for Atlantic City, has not been devoid of controversy. In 1968, it was the site of the first major women’s liberation protest in the United States, when the New York Radical Women, some 400 strong, protested on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. They maintained that the competition objectified women and upheld female stereotypes.

Protestors through the years also objected to the program’s exclusion of women of color. The first Black Miss America, Vanessa Williams, was crowned in 1983—more than 60 years after the competition’s founding.

That isn’t lost on Rowan senior English and writing arts major Destiny Hall, who is working on digitization. She started with the 1984 Miss America magazine, where Williams is featured prominently. Hall, a women’s and gender studies minor, says work on the project has been eye-opening as she explores her own views of feminism.

“Part of being a feminist is allowing women to be whatever they want to be. I have a complicated history with Miss America. In the beginning, I saw it as sexist. Now, I see it as a celebration of womanhood. Many of these women compete to further their careers,” says Hall, 22, who will attend graduate school at Columbia University in the fall as she pursues a career writing fiction for women.

“Through this project, I feel like I’m preserving history and I really appreciate that. It’s important to have this information and to have access to it.”

Freshman English major Grace Fox, who is pursuing the Thomas N. Bantivoglio Honors Concentration in the Honors College, is digitizing program books.

“I’m hoping I’ll find one nugget…something nobody knows about,” says Fox. “I’m definitely looking at the advertisements, the kinds of products they marketed, the images of fashion. There’s so much value in this work. It’s so applicable to things we talk about in class, including how societal views on women’s bodies are enmeshed in the culture we see.”

Robert Hilliker, interim associate provost and director of research engagement and scholarship at Rowan Libraries, and Michael Benson, digital scholarship specialist, are overseeing the digitization work. Additionally, Center for the Advancement of Women in Communication Director Julie Haynes, whose research focuses on depictions of gender in popular culture, is involved in the project.

About the collection

While programs, photos, and other ephemera are being scanned, other artifacts, such as crowns, trophies, and a Waterford scepter carried by winners, will be photographed. Scores of oil paintings and sketches of winners, including some sketches by renowned portrait artist Everett Kintsler, whose work includes official White House portraits of Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan, will be digitized under the guidance of Rowan art historians.

Rowan’s Department of Radio/Television/Film may assist in digitizing hundreds of films and slides, some of which were donated by shore-area residents who religiously attended the annual Miss America parade on the Boardwalk.

“Prioritization of the digitization will be quite a project,” Hilliker notes. “The collection is so special from an archivist’s standpoint because it contains varied materials. That will make for some interesting research projects, but it also presents a lot of technical challenges. For our students, this project certainly will be an excellent apprenticeship in digital preservation.”

The collection is an eclectic mix.

The same storage that currently houses the unwieldy Golden Mermaid trophy, presented in the early 1920s to the winner, also includes the crown of 1955 winner Lee Meriwether, who went on to a successful television career. Then Miss California, Meriwether was the first Miss America to be crowned on television, an event that drew 27 million viewers.

Stars flocked to the competition over the years. Grace Kelly was a judge. Marilyn Monroe was the grand marshal of the parade in 1952. Eddie Fischer was a host before Bert Parks, famed singer of the “There She Is” Miss America theme, emceed for 24 years.

The collection also includes Slaughter’s personal scrapbooks. Some of her other papers are housed at the Smithsonian Institution.

Some of the artifacts, such as the film of Meriwether being crowned, were lost during an Atlantic City Nor’easter some years ago. That makes the digitization project particularly valuable, Krebs notes.

BeBe Shopp, Miss America 1948, says she’s delighted Rowan students are preserving Miss America’s legacy.

“This will make it easier for anyone to view our history and learn how Miss America has grown and become even more vital to young women today,” says Shopp, who represented Minnesota in the competition. “This is important. What an experience the students must be having combing through hundreds of thousands of documents and learning about our past. At my age, I’m thrilled that they are going to preserve me for ages to come.”

Supporting the archival work

The Miss America Organization has established a campaign to help fund the digitization project and preserve the thousands of artifacts in the organization’s 100-year history. Visit the organization’s funding site to learn more about supporting the work.

Victoria Selbach for UNRAVELED Confronting The Fabric of Fiber Art. For use by 360 Magazine

UNRAVELED: Confronting The Fabric of Fiber Art

A Group Show Curated by Indira Cesarine

OPENING RECEPTION: April 17, 2021

VIP Preview 1pm – 3pm // Opening Reception 3pm – 8pm

EXHIBITION ON VIEW: April 17 – May 28, 2021

45 Lispenard Street, NYC 10013

The Untitled Space is pleased to present “UNRAVELED: Confronting The Fabric of Fiber Art” group show opening on April 17 and on view through May 28, 2021. Curated by Indira Cesarine, the exhibition will feature textile and fiber-based artworks by 40 contemporary women artists. “UNRAVELED: Confronting The Fabric of Fiber Art” explores in depth the themes and techniques of the medium through the works of female-identifying artists working with natural and synthetic fiber, fabric, and yarn. The exhibition presents figurative and abstract works that address our lived experience and history through the lens of women weaving, knotting, twining, plaiting, coiling, pleating, lashing, and interlacing. Narratives of self-identification, race, religion, gen­­der, sexuality, our shared experience, as well as protest and the patriarchy are literally “unraveled” through embroidery, felt, woven and hooked rugs, braided and sewn hair, sewn fabrics, discarded clothing, cross-stitching, repurposed materials and more.

Exhibiting Artists: Amber Doe, Carol Scavotto, Caroline Wayne, Christy O’Connor, Daniela Puliti, Delaney Conner, Dominique Vitali, Elise Drake, Elizabeth Miller, Hera Haesoo Kim, Indira Cesarine, Jamia Weir, Jody MacDonald, Julia Brandão, Kathy Sirico, Katie Cercone, Katie Commodore, Katrina Majkut, Katy Itter, Kelly Boehmer, Linda Friedman Schmidt, Lisa Federici, Marianne Fairbanks, Mary Tooley Parker, Melanie Fischer, Melissa Zexter, Mychaelyn Michalec, Mz Icar, Orly Cogan, Robin Kang, Rosemary Meza-DesPlas, Ruta Naujalyte, Sally Hewett, Sarah Blanchette, Sooo-z Mastopietro, Sophie Boggis-Rolfe, Stacy Isenbarger, Stephanie Eche, Victoria Selbach, and Winnie van der Rijn.

Curatorial Statement:

unravel [ uhn-rav-uhl ] to separate or disentangle the threads of (a woven or knitted fabric, a rope, etc.). to free from complication or difficulty; make plain or clear; solve: to unravel a situation; to unravel a mystery.

“UNRAVELED: Confronting the Fabric of Fiber Art” investigates the narratives of contemporary fiber artists. The exhibition brings together a diverse group of artists who each address through their own personal vision, materials, and methods, works that are deeply rooted in the history of feminism, in the intersection of art and craft, addressing our living experiences and personal languages. We live in a world of extremes – on one hand, the pandemic has brought forth an intensity on digital and online programming peaking with the emergence of NFT art, and on the opposite end of the spectrum we are seeing a return to the comforts of the home and along with it a renaissance of organic and handmade artworks that embody that spirit. The laborious and repetitive methods required to create one work of fiber art can take hundreds of hours, yet equally the creation process is often referred to as a mediative act of healing, allowing for an expressive personal and cultural interrogation.

Fibers have been an integral part of human civilization for thousands of years. Textile art is one of the oldest art forms, dating back to prehistoric times. Despite early works of textiles such as embroideries and tapestries having been made by both men and women, the tradition of textiles and needlework evolved into that of “women’s work” and was not only dismissed as not “important” but was literally banned from the high art world by the Royal Academy in the 18th century (circa 1769). With the rise of the women’s movement as well as technological advances, women reclaimed the medium, subverted its history as a lesser art form, and transformed it into a tool of expression, of protest, of personality. From early suffrage movement embroidered banners to the groundbreaking exhibitions and works of female pioneers such as Bauhaus weaver Anni Alber’s momentous solo show at the Museum of Modern Art in 1949, Lenore Tawney’s exhibition at the Staten Island Museum in 1961 to Judy Chicago’s groundbreaking 1979 work “The Dinner Party”, we have seen the medium evolve and inspire new generations of fiber artists.

“UNRAVELED: Confronting the Fabric of Fiber Art” explores this new wave of female-identifying artists who are using materials ranging from thread and yarn to human hair, fabrics, and discarded clothing, among a range of other components to unravel the “language of thread” with works that provoke and interrogate. Whether drawn from a deeply personal narrative, or rooted in political motivation, each artist weaves, spins, sews, and hooks the viewer with their detailed and intricate textures that communicate and empower. The exhibition presents two and three-dimensional pieces that explore with gravity and humor our contemporary culture, its beauty, flaws, and idiosyncrasies through murals, assemblages, fragile and gestural threads, meditative, and metaphorical fibers. “UNRAVELED: Confronting the Fabric of Fiber Art” pushes the boundaries, investigates ancient as well as new materials and techniques, and presents a contemporary universe of the language of women and their interwoven, progressive vocabulary.”– Curator Indira Cesarine

“To know the history of embroidery is to know the history of women.” – Rozsika Parker author of “The Subversive Stitch” (1984)

“I am a multimedia artist who uses sculpture and performance to bear witness to the experiences of black women even as American society aims to render us and our lives as invisible and meaningless. Despite the prevalent “urban black” narrative, my experience is tied to the natural world, and I use materials that reference my desert environment and my lived experience as a black woman with Indigenous roots.” – Artist Amber Doe

“I mix subversion with flirtation, humor with power, and intimacy with frivolity. My subject matter is frank and provocative, dealing with issues of fertility, sexuality, self-image, isolation, vulnerability, indulgence, and beauty in the mundane, which are designed to challenge social stereotypes embedded within childhood fairytales. My work explores the many flavors of feminism.” – Artist Orly Cogan

“I pull from my autobiography to illustrate stories of trauma, sexuality, intimacy, and growth. Detailed beading and cyclical patterning emphasize the consistent labor in the repetitive motion of handsewing, that which mirrors the emotional and psychic labor expended in order to manage the suffering a body can accumulate over time. My sculptures translate the life experience of a survivor of complex trauma through the lens of glittering beadwork in order to recount deeply traumatic stories for the same cultural collective that due to repression, denial, censorship and deliberate silencing…” –Artist Caroline Wayne

“This body of work scrutinizes the amalgamation of victim shaming tropes that men and women are taught throughout their lives, both passively and actively, through social norms, pop culture, our educational and legal systems, religious establishments, and familial influences and upbringing.” – Artist Christy O’Connor

“My work focuses on my personal experience living within the confines of a female body, exploring sexuality, religion, and body image. The shared narratives of childbirth, menstruation, dysmorphia, sexual violation, and societal scrutiny all come into play and find connections with the viewers in their shared commonality.” – Artist Dominique Vitali

“My textile works are hand-sewn, fabric based sculptural pieces made from recycled materials that have multiple uses as ritual talismans, wearables, ecstatic birth blankets, dreamcatchers and traveling altars”. – Artist Katie Cercone

“Discarded clothing is my paint. I give second chances to the worn, the damaged, the mistreated, the abandoned, the unwanted, and to myself. My emotional narrative portraits and figurative artworks examine the human condition through my own lived experience. The violence of cutting and deconstruction make way for the reconstruction and refashioning of a broken past.” – Artist Linda Friedman Schmidt

“We are drawn to the grand gesture, the loud assured voice, the bold move, the aggressive brush stroke. I celebrate the opposite: the small moments in our lives – the unremarkable… as Covid-19 took over, some of the things I was celebrating became even more pertinent; toilet paper, soap, hand sanitizer. These objects became signs of hope, of safety, of comfort.” – Artist Melanie Fischer

ABOUT THE UNTITLED SPACE

The Untitled Space is an art gallery located in Tribeca, New York in a landmark building on Lispenard Street. Founded in 2015 by artist Indira Cesarine, the gallery features an ongoing curation of exhibits of emerging and established contemporary artists exploring conceptual framework and boundary-pushing ideology through mediums of painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, video and performance art. The gallery is committing to exploring new ideas vis-à-vis traditional and new mediums and highlights a program of women in art. Since launching The Untitled Space gallery, Cesarine has curated over 40 exhibitions and has exhibited artwork by more than 450 artists. Her curatorial for The Untitled Space includes solo shows for artists Sarah Maple, Rebecca Leveille, Alison Jackson, Fahren Feingold, Jessica Lichtenstein, Tom Smith, Loren Erdrich, Kat Toronto aka Miss Meatface, Katie Commodore, and Jeanette Hayes among many others. Notable group shows include “Art4Equality x Life, Liberty & The Pursuit of Happiness” public art exhibition and group show presented in collaboration with Save Art Space, “IRL: Investigating Reality,” “BODY BEAUTIFUL,” “SHE INSPIRES,” Special Projects “EDEN” and “(HOTEL) XX” at SPRING/BREAK Art Show, and internationally celebrated group shows “UPRISE/ANGRY WOMEN,” and “ONE YEAR OF RESISTANCE” responding to the political climate in America, as well as numerous other critically-acclaimed exhibitions. Recent press on Indira Cesarine & The Untitled Space includes Vogue (US), Vogue Italia, CNN, Forbes, Newsweek, W Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, Teen Vogue, New York Magazine, i-D Magazine, Dazed and Confused, and The New York Times among many others.

*Featured image artwork by Victoria Selbach for UNRAVELED: Confronting The Fabric of Fiber Art. 

artwork by  Elise Drake, UNRAVELED Confronting The Fabric of Fiber Art. For use by 360 Magazine

Artwork by Elise Drake, UNRAVELED Confronting The Fabric of Fiber Art.

artwork by Indira Cesarine, for UNRAVELED Confronting The Fabric of Fiber Art. For use by 360 Magazine

Artwork by Mary Tooley Parker, UNRAVELED Confronting The Fabric of Fiber Art.

Women's Month 360 Magazine by Heather Skovlund

Celebrating the Women of Mango

Writing women back into history has been a top priority at Mango Media since day one. With the majority of our authors being women- including best selling authors Marlene Wagman-Geller, M.J. Fievre and Becca Anderson, we pride ourselves in amplifying the female narrative. From experiencing zero gravity with Kellie Gerardi to finding out that the first recorded poet was a woman from Becca Anderson, we have all learned so much from the powerful women we have surrounded ourselves with. If you are interested in receiving a book for review or interviewing one of our authors, please reach out and join us in the discovery and advocacy of HERstory.

Happy Women’s History Month!

Women Events to Empower

Women & Environment Workshop

March 21 – 9 am PST/12 pm EST

Join author of Like a Tree, Jean Shinoda Bolen and The General Congress of Women for this monthly workshop where women come together to use their knowledge and voices to elevate each of the 12 Interrelated Critical Areas of Concern through the lens of our interdependence.

Living the Faery Life Workshop

March 21 – 4 pm PST/ 7 pm EST

Join Kac Young for her Living the Faery Life Workshop hosted by New Renaissance Bookshop! Learn all about the magical world of faeries and how to bring the magic into everyday.

Recharge this Spring with Polly Campbell

March 31 – 12 pm PST/ 3 pm EST

Join Polly Campbell, author of You, Recharge, to bring in the spring with renewed energy and learn practical strategies to recharge yourself for overall well-being. Check out this event with New Renaissance Bookshop!

Not Necessarily Rocket Science
April 10 at 11 am PST/ 2 pm EST

Join Kellie Gerardi, author of Not Necessarily Rocket Science, with The Museum of Flight as she takes us on a tour of this unique window in history. The event offers an inside look into the commercial spaceflight industry and all those working to democratize access to space and tee up a golden age of spaceflight for scientists, students, and tourists alike!

Inspiring Mango Authors

When Women Run the World Sh&t Gets Done: Celebrating the Power of Women Now by Shelly Rachanow

Packed with stories of ordinary women doing extraordinary things, this book is a must-have for any woman who has ever dreamt of a better world. Shelly Rachanow’s book is full of powerful, courageous women who are getting vitally important sh*t done. Dive into this empowering narrative and read about a trauma surgeon working to stem the epidemic of gun violence, a professor who ran for office to provide a better role model for her sons, an educator raising India’s poorest girls out of poverty, teens fighting for clean water to inspiring future generations, a group of firefighters training to trek across Antarctica to raise awareness for mental health and show young girls that they are strong and can be anything they choose, and activists from around the world fighting the injustices of inequality and patriarchy. One small action can inspire a movement. As these women have shown, a movement can change minds…and ultimately the world. Get to know this amazing author and view this book on Amazon!

Women of Interest: The Ultimate Book of Women’s Trivia by Alicia Alvrez

 One of the most fascinating trivia books for women. Did you know that women outnumber men by five to one in shoplifting convictions? Or that researchers at Northwestern University found that men change their minds two to three times more than women? Women of Interest spans history, crosses cultures, ranges from the silly to the salacious to the truly useful, and back again. Designed to delight the feminist in you, this outrageously funny book is organized into ten trivia-filled chapters covering all sorts of humorous histories and fun facts. Ideal for trivia games for adults or feminist gifts, now women really can know everything.

Feminist, funny gifts for women. It’s time to challenge that know-it-all girlfriend, or grab the ultimate bathroom reader for your feminist BFF. Whether you’re searching for feminist books or trivia books, Women of Interest makes a wonderful addition to trivia games and bookshelves alike. Get to know this amazing author and view this book on Amazon!

Empowered Black Girl: Joyful Affirmations and Words of Resilience by M.J. Fivevre

Even strong, fearless, and badass Black girls and Black women need affirmations. Now more than ever, we need to practice the art of self-care and give our minds and bodies the TLC they deserve. Author of Badass Black Girl and Happy, Okay? M.J. Fievre brings you inspirational words of wisdom through fabulous Black female trailblazers who have changed the world including Audre Lorde, Lupita Nyong’o and Angela Davis.

Take a deep breath. We don’t always have to be strong. Sometimes, taking a break to focus on our mental health is bravery in itself. We find ourselves needing reminders that we are incredible and more than enough. Get to know this amazing author and view this book on Amazon!

Badass Black Girl: Questions, Quotes, and Affirmations for Teens by M.J. Fivevre

Affirmations for strong, fearless Black girls. Wisdom from Badass Black female trailblazers who accomplished remarkable things in literature, entertainment, education, STEM, business, military and government services, politics and law, activism, sports, spirituality, and more.

Explore the many facets of your identity through hundreds of big and small questions. In this journal designed for teenage Black girls, MJ Fievre tackles topics such as family and friends, school and careers, body image, and stereotypes. By reflecting on these topics, you confront the issues that can hold you back from living your best life and discovering your Black girl bliss. Get to know this amazing author and view this book on Amazon!

Raising the Resistance: A Mother’s Guide to Practical Activism by Farrah Alexander

On the intersection of feminism and motherhood. Mothers are a force to be reckoned with. After the Women’s March and midterm elections, moms have surely secured their spot in today’s feminist movement. But for those who aren’t ready to make a bid for the presidency, the way forward can seem daunting and unclear. Whether it’s correcting a misinformed family member about gender equality or running for political office, this bold and accessible primer presents active parents with different types of activism they can incorporate into their parenting, no matter how big or small. Get to know this amazing author and view this book on Amazon!

Dads for Daughters: How Fathers Can Give their Daughters a Better, Brighter, Fairer Future by Michelle Travis

Today’s dads are raising confident, empowered daughters who believe they can achieve anything. But the world is still profoundly unequal, with workplaces built by men, a massive gender pay gap, and deeply-ingrained gender stereotypes. Dads For Daughters: How Fathers Can Give Girls a Better, Brighter, Fairer Future offers father’s guidance for building a more equal world for their daughters.

Invest in your daughter’s future. Inspired by their daughters, dads are uniquely positioned to become powerful allies for girls and women. That’s where Dads For Daughters can help. With this book, you’ll find concrete strategies for creating a better tomorrow for the girls and women in your life. The text includes inspiring stories from dads of daughters who are already having an impact. Get resources for becoming a stronger male ally in your workplace and community, and advice for engaging other men in gender equality efforts. Get to know this amazing author and view this book on Amazon!

The Book of Awesome Women: Boundary Breakers, Freedom Fighters, Sheroes and Female Firsts by Becca Anderson

Discover some of the most awesome women in history. Now is the time to acknowledge the greatness of women! Sheroes. Women hold up half the sky and, most days, do even more of the heavy lifting including childbearing and child-rearing. All after a long day at the office. Women have always been strong, true sheroes, oftentimes unacknowledged. As we shake off the last traces of a major patriarchal hangover, women are coming into their own. In the twenty first century, all women can fully embrace their fiery fempower and celebrate their no-holds-barred individuality. It is time to acknowledge the successful women of the world.

From the foremothers who blazed trails and broke barriers, to today’s women warriors in sports, science, cyberspace, city hall, the lecture hall, and the silver screen, The Book of Awesome Women paints 200 portraits of powerful and inspiring role models for women and girls poised to become the super women of the future. Get to know this amazing author and view this book on Amazon!

Book of Awesome Women Writers: Medieval Mystics, Pioneering Poets, Fierce Feminists and First Ladies of Literature by Becca Anderson
A packed timeline of the greatest women writers. From the first recorded writer to current bestsellers, Becca Anderson takes us through time and highlights women who have left their mark on the literary world. This expansive compilation of women writers is a chance to delve deeper into the lives and works of renowned authors, and learn about some lesser known greats as well. Some of the many women writers you will love learning about are: Maya Angelou, Jane Austen, Judy Blume, Rachel Carson, Nadine Gordimer, Margaret Mead, Joyce Carol Oates, and many, many more.

Explore every subject and literary form women writers have to offer. The works of these awesome women writers vary greatly―each is as unique and significant as the women who penned them. With the help of writers, editors, librarians, booksellers, and more, Anderson has crafted a must-read book for women of every background. Get to know this amazing author and view this book on Amazon!

Fabulous Female Firsts: The Trailblazers Who Led the Way by Marlene Wagman-Geller

Societal mores of sexism and misogyny have kept generations of women on the sidelines of history. But in every era, there are women who refuse to sit back in the shadows. Fabulous Female Firsts is a celebration of those women―the role models who proved that with enough daring and tenacity, the impossible can become possible.

Enough is Not Enough. That’s what she said. From rebel girls who refused to let their wings be clipped to the suffragettes who claimed new space for women, each trailblazer in this collection of biographies pushed the boundaries for what was possible for women in their time, even if it meant being seen as stubborn, improper, or a trainwreck. This book is in praise of “difficult women” who made the world a better place. Get to know this amazing author and view this book on Amazon!

Fabulous Women in STEM

Not Necessarily Rocket Science: A Beginner’s Guide to Life in the Space Age by Kellie Gerardi

Follow aerospace science professional Kellie Gerardi’s non-traditional path in the space industry as she guides and encourages anyone who has ever dreamed about stars, the solar system, and the galaxies in space.

Ever wondered what it’s like to work in outer space? In this candid science memoir and career guide, Gerardi offers an inside look into the industry beginning to eclipse Silicon Valley. Whether you have a space science degree or are looking to learn about stars, Not Necessarily Rocket Science proves there’s room for anyone who is passionate about exploration. Get to know this amazing author and view this book on Amazon!

She’s Building a Robot by Mick Liubinskas 

AZ is a young girl who finds herself in a robot building competition. Can she use girl power to overcome crashes, explosions, and hackers to beat the school bully and three-time champ, Dalk? Smart and strong is the new pretty. In this funny, action-packed book about robots for kids, talented AZ fights gender and learns tough lessons on leadership. With the help of her quirky friends, Li and 10, the team builds a feisty robot named Ada. Together, they work hard, solve puzzles, grow in confidence, and learn the importance of friendship and collaboration.

All science girls welcome! Written to raise awareness about the challenges faced by women in science and engineering, She’s Building a Robot celebrates voices from diverse socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds. Perfect for bedtime stories or girls who code, She’s Building a Robot gives young women the opportunity to relate to smart characters, promotes girl empowerment, and shows that there’s room in STEM for girls. Get to know this amazing author and view this book on Amazon!

The Future of Science is Female: The Brilliant Minds Shaping the 21st Century by Zara Stone

From saving the oceans to improving the rehabilitation and job prospects of people struggling in prison, these badass female scientists and entrepreneurs are changing the world.

Take a look at what the future holds—and how women are making it better. In The Future of Science is Female, author and award-winning journalist Zara Stone shares the fascinating, complicated stories of how a diverse group of powerful women got started—from the perspective of those still working it out as they go along. Take 22-year old Dominique Barnes, a female hero of the oceans. She was worried about all the dolphins and whales killed during shrimp farming, so the marine biologist created a tasty, affordable plant-based shrimp alternative. And she’s just one of the sheroes you will discover in The Future of Science is Female. Get to know this amazing author and view this book on Amazon!

 

 

 

Business woman article illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Isn’t it Time to Smash the Myths of Women in Business?

By Andi Simon, Ph.D.

How many times have you heard something said about women that was just not “true?”  The myths seem to be everywhere, even as women penetrate areas that seemed out of bounds in the past.

What do we hear? Women aren’t great leaders. They aren’t decisive or they are too collaborative or too caring. Then you watch Angela Merkel or Kamala Harris, or all the other women today who are leading the way forward in challenging times.

Maybe you are a young woman dreaming of becoming a surgeon, like my granddaughter wants to be, and your teacher suggests you might consider being a pediatrician instead. They might tell you that women don’t make great surgeons, except on “Grey’s Anatomy.” 
 
Maybe you just have great ideas about the fashion industry like so many of those women graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology—and the graduates are almost all women. Those women look around wondering how to smash the ceilings holding them back when they see men running most of the major fashion companies. Women don’t run the companies as well as men do, or so you are told. Women do the work, create great fashion designs, while the men run the companies.

You aren’t even sure that becoming an attorney is the right career for you when you see that 40% of the lawyers are women today but only 19% of equity partners are women and women are less likely to get to the first level of partnership than their male counterparts. You aren’t sure why being a lady lawyer is going to be so tough for you. It is much the same in accounting firms where women are more than 61% of all accountants and auditors, yet less than a third are partners and principals.  

As a woman you feel your boldness emerging. You see the dreams that are becoming realities. You feel a sea change in public and private stories that are being told about what women can do and are doing. But you realize that we are not there yet. We still have a lot of myth-smashing to go before people expect women to be those leaders, surgeons, and great CEOs.

I bet that all you heard from others through much of your life is that your dreams “will never, or might never, happen.” In reply, you might have asked, “Why?” Well, they would tell you something like “that’s not what women do” or “women are meant to have and raise the children, not start their own business.”  You might have been encouraged to study IT, only to find that the world of coding is filled with men who are not particularly encouraging to you and your dreams. You find that, indeed, most surgeons are men, and women are discouraged from going into surgery, are rarely welcome, and often are held  to a higher standard than the men are. 

In the entrepreneurial arena, 40% of the businesses in the U.S. before the COVID-19 pandemic were owned and run by women. Yet less than 3% of the venture-capital investments were in women-owned businesses. The women were going to start and grow their businesses, and hope to succeed, by relying on family, friends, and revenue to underwrite their growth. If we dug deeper, we would find that their markets, often controlled by men, were not particularly supportive of those women-owned businesses, and neither bought from them nor helped them build their businesses. 

The gap between the achievements of women and the culture in which they are trying to succeed reflects the myths that men have created over centuries and reluctantly modified in more recent times. What is a myth? Think about the stories that we tell each other, our children, our friends, about what we believe to be those “sacred ways we do things” in our societies. 

As people, the secret of our success is in those imagined realities that we create to give meaning to our daily lives. Our cultural myths have driven how we believe our lives should be lived. Once we give these stories, these mythical “truths,” almost “godlike” power, these myths become what we believe are immutable realities. Are they “real”? Yes and no. They are what the stories in our minds believe to be our “reality.” But they can change, if we collaborate with our minds, change our stories, and share those new ones so our shared stories can change as well. This is not a solo act, even though it might feel that way.

These are myths that need to be smashed if we are going to change how men and women relate to each other, how women can succeed, and how organizations of all sizes and in all industries can find greatness in the women with whom they work and live. 

None of this is happening to diminish the value or importance of men. Many men are great mentors and coaches to their women employees.  It is just time for men to shift over and enable, encourage and empower women so both men and women can create better societies, businesses, schools, hospitals, and everything that is so important in our lives. Let’s change those men’s clubs enough to let women in without the men fleeing them. 

It is time to get past the gender fatigue that men are feeling about having to actually address the inclusion, equity and need for diversity in their workplaces, in their organizations, and in our government. The times demand it. Women are ready for it. And the shift is happening, despite the brick walls, the glass ceilings, the enduring men’s clubs. These are important times to rethink our myths about what women can do and what men will allow them to achieve. It is time for men and women to rewrite these myths so women can thrive, and our society can become the best that it can be. 

Andi Simon, Ph.D., author of the new book Rethink: Smashing the Myths of Women in Business, is a corporate anthropologist and founder of Simon Associates Management Consultants. A trained practitioner in Blue Ocean Strategy®, Simon has conducted several hundred workshops and speeches on the topic as well as consulted with a wide range of clients across the globe. She also is the author of the award-winning book On the Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights. Simon has a successful podcast, On the Brink with Andi Simon, that has more than 125,000 monthly listeners, and is ranked among the top 20 Futurist podcasts and top 200 business podcasts. In addition, Global Advisory Experts named Simons’ firm the Corporate Anthropology Consultancy Firm of the Year in New York – 2020. She has been on Good Morning, America and Bloomberg, and is widely published in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Forbes, Business Week, Becker’s, and American Banker, among others. She has been a guest blogger for Forbes.com, Huffington Post, and Fierce Health.

Justice illustration

Lucid Celebrates Women

In honor of International Women’s Day, meet the successful founders behind Lucid Communications’ incredible roster of women-led brands

This International Women’s Day (March 8th, 2021), Toronto/LA-based PR firm Lucid Communications is celebrating the victories and contributions of our incredible clients. We are proud to have women from all walks of life on our roster who continue to shape their respective industries, showing us time and time again how powerful women are.

Each one of our thought leaders is highly skilled and trained in their field. These women boast extensive knowledge and wisdom in areas such as mindfulness, movement, natural beauty, home decor & organization, and sustainable lifestyle. Today, we share their extraordinary journeys to success.

Check out the strong, inspirational, and intelligent women behind Mindful Collective Co (B Yoga & Halfmoon), Province Apothecary, Okoko Cosmetiques, Flax Sleep, Lorette Lingerie, NEAT Method Toronto, The Bare Home, and Pretty in the City.

Andrea Morris of Mindful Collective Co (parent company of B Yoga and Halfmoon)

As the Founder & CEO of Mindful Collective Co— the parent company of sister brands B Yoga and Halfmoon— Andrea Morris’ mission is simple: to support people everywhere in living their best and most balanced lives.

Morris’ passion for yoga began in Sydney, Australia, while she was completing a Masters Degree in International Business. She knew she would someday make yoga her career, but she wasn’t sure what that would look like. Fast-forward 9 years and Morris found herself employed at The Stewart Group, her family’s fifth-generation manufacturing and technology company. She was working with an innovative type of rubber and quickly realized that the material’s distinctive qualities—durability, sustainability, and a grippy surface— could make the perfect yoga mat.

After endlessly prototyping and fine-tuning The B MAT, B Yoga was born in 2014. Sparked by The B MAT’s success, B Yoga continued to grow beyond just mats, creating elevated, performance-driven essentials for all kinds of movement and meditation.

In spring 2018, Morris and B Yoga acquired Halfmoon, another female-founded, Canadian yoga and meditation brand. Where B Yoga speaks to the contemporary yogi, Halfmoon is rooted in tradition, making each brand a perfect complement for the other.

Morris currently resides in her hometown of Toronto, ON, with her husband, Fraser, and two daughters, Madison and Everly. As she helps B Yoga and Halfmoon grow across North America and internationally, she knows she’s fulfilling her vision of inspiring all people to live their yoga.

B Yoga’s products can be shopped online or purchased through their various retailers.

Halfmoon’s products can be shopped online or purchased through their various retailers.

Julie Clark of Province Apothecary

After struggling with allergies and eczema all her life, Julie Clark began crafting natural, organic beauty products out of her kitchen. Despite her busy schedule as a costume designer and stylist, Julie found herself drawn to holistic skincare, using her time off to experiment with oils, waxes, and herbs— all in pursuit of the perfect skincare regime. In 2010, Julie began studying Aromatherapy, Holistic Health, and Esthetics in Toronto. Here she formed the foundation of her skincare expertise, experimenting with raw materials and natural ingredients.

For Julie, natural beauty goes beyond simply organic ingredients; natural beauty means a pledge to helping clients feel good in their own skin. “I gather so much inspiration from my clients, the weather, and the seasons,” says Julie, of her individually-tailored approach to skincare. Her facial treatments often include hand-blended masks using local produce and seasonally appropriate, farmer-friendly ingredients. While PA has long outgrown the kitchen, Julie’s devotion to fresh, seasonal, and organic beauty continues. Now a certified holistic esthetician and aromatherapist, Julie remains committed to innovation, sustainability, and small-batch skincare of the highest quality.

Province Apothecary is available at 175+ retailers in Canada and the US, as well as online. They have been featured internationally in print and online by POOSH, Vogue, goop, Refinery 29, CBC, and more. They have also expanded their Holistic Skincare Clinic in Toronto, offering Custom Organic Facials and Full Brow + Lash Treatments. With a highly skilled team of experts and a stunning new space, PA’s clinic is a vestige of calm in the ever-hectic city.

Oyéta Kokoroko of Okoko Cosmétiques

Oyéta Kokoroko is an experienced cosmetic formulator, product designer, and creator of eco-luxury cosmetics from Montréal, Canada. She moved to Vancouver, British Columbia in 2016, where she founded her company Okoko Cosmétiques. Okoko is built on Oyéta’s passion for combining high-level formulations, luxurious textures, and delicate scents to beautify and rejuvenate any complexion.

Oyéta is inspired by the spectacular mountains, exquisite fauna, and extraordinary power of the Pacific Ocean, which together define the lush nature of the West Coast rainforest. Her product formulations also benefit from her multicultural heritage and sophisticated French-Canadian style. The result is Okoko Cosmétiques, a luxury skincare brand that creates sustainably-sourced, high-performance, and science-backed products.

Transparent labeling, ingredient purity, and environmental consciousness are at the core of Okoko’s mission. From sourcing to production, they invest in research and development to bring you products that are both sustainable and effective. Using only the purest botanical extracts and oils, many of which are sustainably wildcrafted, the Okoko range is rich in high-quality and precious ingredients that will work to transform your skin. No exaggerated claims or cheap fillers here!

While paving the way in green beauty, Oyéta has taken her years of knowledge and skills to launch OKOKO House Of Brands. This platform is dedicated to mentoring like-minded indie brands who are ready to take their business to the next level. To learn more about OKOKO house of brands, visit okokohouseofbrands.com.

Okoko Cosmétiques can be shopped online and shipped internationally, or purchased in person at any of their various stockists.

Anna Heyd, Oana Papuac, and Vivian McCormick of Flax Sleep

Originally in the fields of law and hospitality, these three passionate businesswomen made the switch to entrepreneurship in the fall of 2017 with the founding of Flax Sleep. Anna, Oana, and Vivian came together to share their appreciation of beautiful things, ethical business practice, and fantastic sleep. They saw a gap in the Canadian marketplace when it came to buying simple bedding online at accessible prices, and felt inspired to fill that void.

Quality materials, high production standards, and ethical manufacturing practices were their top priorities when they set out to find a factory with which to partner. Once they identified the perfect manufacturing partner, they traveled to Shenzhen to learn about the process of turning beautiful linen into the most amazing sheets, to see the quality of the working conditions for the craftsmen and women that are responsible for production, and to establish a long term partnership with their factory. From here, Flax Sleep was Born.

In addition to offering you luxurious linen bedding, the women behind Flax Sleep believe in providing #ASafePlacetoSleep to women and children in need. That’s why they are committed to donating part of their proceeds (and all returned goods) to Atira Women’s Resource Society. In doing so, they are reducing waste and providing essential products to members of their community that need it most. As ethical manufacturing is also a top priority, Flax Sleep actively partners with modern manufacturers to ensure clean and safe working conditions for all.

Laure Stromboni of Lorette Lingerie

Laure Stromboni is a Parisian designer and the creator of Lorette Lingerie. Founded in 2017, her Toronto-based intimates brand was created to empower women with the freedom to express themselves unapologetically. Their luxurious and small-batch intimates are inspired by Laure’s french heritage, blending contemporary cuts with unique embroidery techniques that weave a story into every garment. Offering a diverse range of bralettes, panties, bodysuits, camisoles, and more, Lorette invites women everywhere to revel in their unique feminine expression and self-confidence.

Lorette’s collections are designed in collaboration with female illustrators and graphic designers and are handmade locally by an all-female staff in Toronto. Each embroidery is thoughtfully chosen to represent symbols, concepts, and archetypes that resonate with women everywhere.

In addition to exceptional design, superior craftsmanship and environmental consciousness are central to Lorette’s ethos. Their hand-made garments are created using deluxe overstock material from Canadian and Parisian couture houses, ensuring superior quality without waste. By making the conscious decision not to outsource production or transport new materials, Lorette is able to offer a fair living wage to everyone involved in their garments’ development, all while reducing their carbon footprint.

Lorette Lingerie can be shopped online and shipped internationally, and local pick-ups are available for Toronto-based customers.

Jen Rowe of NEAT Method Toronto

NEAT Method Toronto is the organizing company that will transform your home or office from chaos to composed. Specializing in organizing, unpacking, and downsizing homes & offices across Toronto, they make the spaces you have functional for the life you live by focusing on creating uniquely personalized systems.

Jen Rowe, Owner of NEAT Method Toronto, offers an honest approach, a sharp eye for detail, and a personal sense of refined style. While Jen has spent the better part of her nearly 20-year career in corporate communications, she has always been a passionate organizer at heart. After becoming a parent to her now 5 and 7-year-old children, Jen began to dive deeper into the best ways to maintain a neat home— even during the most chaotic phases of life. She started to expertly maximize the space in her family’s East end home, making it highly efficient for their lifestyle. In 2019, she parlayed this skill set into a career with NEAT Method and now uses her extraordinary talents to help others live clutter-free.

Ashley James of the Bare Home

The Bare Home started as a passion project. Ashley remembers becoming very conscious of sustainable living during her time in Germany. She loved the simple things people were doing in their daily lives to be more environmentally conscious and quickly began to adopt this “new” way of life.

After 7 years, Ashley and her husband decided to move back to Canada with their young family. She knew Canada was going to be much different than what she had become accustomed to in Europe and was feeling inspired and excited to bring some of that lifestyle home with her. She had caught the entrepreneurial bug around that time and was actively looking to start her own business— but it had to be something that she could truly feel passionate and good about.

At first, the Bare Home was more than cleaning products. Ashley was offering a variety of fair trade foods and other zero-waste products. However, she quickly noticed that customers were most interested in the refilling options for her laundry and cleaning products. From here, the Bare Home was born.

The Bare Home is now Canada’s premier destination for sustainable, environmentally friendly, and beautifully-scented cleaning products. They are proud producers of eco-cleaners and natural soaps that are safe for you, your home, and the earth. The Bare Home’s products are made with only the highest quality organic essential oils, and feature unique at-home refill stations. Boasting a wide range of basic yet beautiful dish soaps, hand soaps, all-purpose cleaners, laundry essentials and more, The Bare Home provides clean convenience that you and your family can feel good about.

The Bare Home’s full range of eco-friendly cleaners can be shopped online here, and shipped to both the US and Canada. Be sure to use their store locator to check out their various North American stockists for in-person shopping!

Nathaly Nairn of Windfall Cider

Windfall Cider is Canada’s newest urban cidery based in Vancouver, BC. Created by Nathaly Nairn and her husband Jeff Nairn, Windfall is here to turn the world of cider on its head. They find the best BC apples, the purest juice, and experiment with old-world techniques to create a one-of-a-kind cider like you’ve never tasted before. Windfall stays true to their local roots, using only fruits and botanicals native to the Pacific Northwest. The result is a diverse roster of crisp, distinct, and playful ciders that you’ll want to drink year-round. Like a little sip of good fortune in every can.

Windfall was founded after a trip to Mexico City, where Nathaly and her husband fell in love with Spanish cider. After exploring cider-making as a hobby for several years, Nathaly and Jeff took the plunge and established their very own cidery, Windfall Cider. In an industry overrun with sweet and general ciders, Nathaly set out to create crisp, refreshing, and unique blends. After learning what she could from old-world methods passed down by generations of cider makers, Windfall experimented until their cider was just right— and entirely different than anything else in Canada.

Windfall’s bright and playful ciders can be shopped online and shipped to BC residents, or delivered across Vancouver,  or purchased at select restaurants and private liquor stores. 

Veronica Tran

Pretty in the City Founder, Veronica Tran, is one of the first estheticians in Toronto to train in the art of eyelash extensions in both Toronto and New York. She holds several certifications in various techniques, a diploma as a Skin Care Technician and Permanent Make-Up Technician, as well as several certificates for infection control. Attending workshops, seminars, and conferences on an annual basis, Veronica is always up to date with the newest innovations and industry standards. Her latest accomplishments include several master classes for Volume Eyelash Extensions and Microblading with well-regarded industry professionals such as Irina Levchuk, Daria Chuprys, and Branko Babic. Veronica is also one of the first in Canada to be certified with PhiBrows.

Veronica established Pretty in the City, Toronto’s most trusted lash and brow bar, in 2005. She believes that quality work takes time, and therefore, every appointment at PIC allows for individual customization, proper implementation of skilled techniques, and sanitation protocols. At Pretty in the City, Veronica ensures that customers experience unparalleled expertise and professionalism in a friendly and relaxed environment. It comes as no surprise that PIC has been named as one of the best places in Canada for microblading by Fashion Magazine online, one of the best places for microblading in Toronto by BlogTo, and one of the top salons for lash extensions in Toronto by Narcity Toronto.

Veronica’s work has been featured in many high profile publications including Flare, FASHION, Elle Canada, Elevate, and Best Health.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 MAGAZINE.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

By Cassandra Yany

Ruth Bader Ginsburg died Friday after her long battle with cancer. The 87-year-old Supreme Court justice was a trailblazer who continuously worked to end gender discrimination and preserve our civil liberties. 

The Supreme Court announced Friday that Ginsburg passed away at her Washington D.C. home due to complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer. She had previously overcome lung, liver and colon cancer. In July, she revealed that the cancer had returned, but that she would continue to serve on the Supreme Court.

Ginsburg’s revolutionary career started when she graduated at the top of her class from Cornell University, earning a Bachelor’s degree in government. Two years later, she attended Harvard Law School with her husband, Martin Ginsburg. There, she was one of only nine women in her class of over 500 students, according to NPR.

During their time at Harvard, Martin was diagnosed with testicular cancer, so Ruth would take notes for the two of them and help him with his work, all while trying to juggle being a new mom. When Martin landed a job at a firm in New York, the family packed up and Ruth finished her education at Columbia University. 

Once Ginsburg finished school, she began to experience the discrimination that came with being a female lawyer. According to TIME, she was unable to secure a position at a premier law firm or one of the Supreme Court clerkships, regardless of the fact that she had been the first students to serve on both the Harvard and Columbia Law reviews, and graduated at the top of her class. These jobs were instead easily given to males who had ranked lower than her in school. This led her to work a lower court clerkship and teach at the Rutgers Law Newark campus.

At Rutgers, she co-founded the Women’s Rights Law Reporter. While she was there, she learned that she wasn’t earning the same wage as one of her male counterparts. The dean attributed this pay disparity to the fact that the male professor had a family to support, while Ginsburg’s husband already had a good-paying job. This type of discrimination caused her to hide her second pregnancy.

After her son was born, Ginsburg began teaching at Columbia, becoming the university’s first tenured female professor. There, she also co-authored the first case book on discrimination law. She later went on to co-found the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union in 1972.

During her work as a lawyer, Ginsburg established that equal protection under the law, as stated in the 14th Amendment, should extend to gender. She won five out of the six cases that she argued before the Supreme Court on gender discrimination. She often chose to find this prejudice in cases where males were the plaintiffs being discriminated against, as seen in the 2018 film On the Basis of Sex. 

In 1980, Jimmy Carter appointed Ginsburg as a judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. She became the second woman on the Supreme Court, and the first Jewish justice since 1969 when she was appointed by Bill Clinton in 1993. During her time, she eliminated almost 200 laws that discriminated against women. 

Ginsburg also fought for the rights of immigrants, the mentally ill, and members of the LGBTQ+ community. She approved gay marriage in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, stating that if you can’t deny a 70-year-old couple the right to marriage due to their inability to procreate, you can’t deny a gay couple of that right either.

Ginsburg supported women’s reproductive rights, fighting for the coverage of contraceptives despite anyone’s religious beliefs. At the time of Roe v. Wade, she litigated a case where a pregnant Air Force captain was told she would have to have an abortion in order to return to her job. She noted the hypocrisy present in this case— that the U.S. government was encouraging abortion – and found that it served as a clear example of why women should have the right to make their own life decisions.

Ginsburg’s passing gives Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Trump the ability to appoint a new justice, despite her dying wish to not be replaced until after a new president is elected. This opportunity could make the Supreme Court more right-leaning and jeopardize cases like Roe v. Wade that are at the forefront of equal rights movements. 

This comes four years after McConnell’s 11-month Republican blockade of President Obama’s nominee for the court, where he argued “that a president shouldn’t be able to seat a new justice in the final year of their term.” Obama noted this in a statement released early Saturday, where he said “A basic principle of law— and of everyday fairness— is that we apply rules with consistency, and not based on what’s convenient or advantageous in the moment.”

After the news broke Friday night of Ginsburg’s death, hundreds of people gathered outside the Supreme Court to pay tribute and create a memorial on the building’s steps. Many signs have since been left outside of the court honoring her legacy.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday morning that there will be a statue built in Ginsburg’s hometown of Brooklyn to “serve as a physical reminder of her many contributions to the America we know today…”

Trump issued a proclamation Saturday ordering flags to be flown at half-staff until sunset on the day of interment “As a mark of respect for Ruth Bader Ginsburg…”

RBG will be dearly missed by Americans on both sides of the aisle. We have lost a longtime champion of equal rights, but her legacy will never be forgotten.

Sing Illustration by Mina Tocalini

Learning from Lizzo

By Sandi Curtis, author of “Music for Women (Survivors of Violence)”

We can learn a lot from Lizzo and other strong female singer/songwriters. In “Truth Hurts,” Lizzo tells it as she sees it on men, break ups, and self-respect: “Why men great ‘til they gotta be great. I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m a hundred percent that bitch.” Hers is a strong, confident song coming from her own experiences. When we listen, it becomes our strong, confident song.

Fans turn to their favorite songs for consolation, inspiration, and motivation. They know there’s something about music and they’re right. My many years of music therapy practice and research show that music can be an incredible resource for healing and empowerment. Music is unique and powerful in how it moves us physically, emotionally, cognitively, and spiritually. Music in combination with words and images is all the more powerful.

Many turn to music on their own. Others use a rich variety of music making experiences for deeper personal exploration in consultation with a music therapist. These therapists have the musical and therapeutic training that makes it possible to take full advantage of the powers of music.

In my work with women survivors of violence, I’ve seen women find healing, build resilience, and re-gain self-acceptance through music. In listening together to the songs of female singer/songwriters, we explore the sociopolitical factors that constrain the lives of women and men. We hear women’s stories about male violence, but also about love, relationships, gender, power, and control. In singing these songs together, we internalize them and make them our own. In writing songs, we are able to give voice to our own experiences. In recording these songs, we are able to reclaim our voices – and this can be so important for abused women whose voices have been silenced for so long, by so many. Not just the abuser, but also those who fail to help them – those who blame, shame, or disbelieve them.

I’ve found that “Praying” by Kesha, is a powerful song for those recovering from male violence. Kesha wrote it for herself, as part of her healing after sexual assault by her music producer and the silencing that followed. Kesha also wrote it for every woman survivor who listens to it. Her response to the violence is complex, complicated, and authentic. It confirms that every woman’s response is right, it reflects their own authentic journey to healing. The song also leads the way for other women to put their own journey to song.

A lot can also be learned from “Not Ready to Make Nice” by The Chicks who experienced a very powerful and public silencing of women. Because of political comments made about former President Bush, they were blacklisted by many in the music industry and received considerable hateful and violent messages for many years. “Not Ready to Make Nice” reflects women’s righteous anger in response to silencing and violence. It’s the perfect you-can-kiss-my-ass song for the current times where women are “mad as hell” and not going to take it anymore.

There are so many great songs out there now by strong women singer/songwriters that touch on so many important issues in our lives. We can listen to them alone or with company. Used independently or in consultation with a music therapist, they hold great potential for our personal growth and transformation. They’re all out there waiting, so dive in.

Verónica Gago (Ni Una Menos) illustration by Mina Tocalini

Verónica Gago – Feminist International

Recent years have seen massive feminist mobilizations in virtually every continent, overturning social mores and repressive legislation. In this brilliant and original look at the emerging feminist international, Verónica Gago explores how the women’s strike, as both a concept and collective experience, may be transforming the boundaries of politics as we know it.

At once a gripping political analysis and a theoretically charged manifesto, Feminist International draws on the author’s rich experience with radical movements to enter into ongoing debates in feminist and Marxist theory: from social reproduction and domestic work to the intertwining of financial and gender violence, as well as controversies surrounding the neo-extractivist model of development, the possibilities and limits of left populism, and the ever-vexed nexus of gender-race-class. Gago asks what another theory of power might look like, one premised on our desire to change everything.

Verónica Gago is a leader in Argentina’s #NiUnaMenos movement (Not One More!), as both a theoretician and an activist. She is a Professor of Social Sciences at the University of Buenos Aires, Professor at the Instituto de Altos Estudios, Universidad Nacional de San Martín, and Assistant Researcher at the National Council of Research (CONICET). Her work is deeply influenced by active participation in the experience of Colectivo Situaciones, who recorded the Argentine social movements around the 2001 debt crisis with remarkable acuity.

Follow Veros Books: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr 

Mina Tocalini, 360 Magazine, GirlTrek

GirlTrek Finale

More than 100,000 Black women and allies have participated in GirlTrek’s #BlackHistoryBootCamp, a 21-day walking challenge that celebrates a different Black woman of historic significance each day and the podcast has been downloaded nearly 225,000 times. The finale is June 30th.

Revolutionary Black women such as Stagecoach Mary, Rosetta Tharpe, Mamie Till-Mobley, Dovey Johnson Roundtree, Ida B. Wells and Ella Baker have been among those featured by GirlTrek cofounders T. Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison who co-lead the #BlackHistoryBootCamp discussions. Thousands listen in live and walk in solidarity as the two not only honor these little-known champions of Black culture and womanhood with rich and lively conversation, but share reading resources, speeches and a specially-curated playlist of songs dedicated to each hero highlighted.

“For three weeks straight, you have studied Black women, walked in their footsteps, and danced in the daily celebration of their lives –all of this– in the midst of a world that says you don’t matter,” Dixon said.

The accompanying #BlackHistoryBootCamp podcast has been downloaded nearly 220,000 times across Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Buzzsprout platforms. The most listened to episode features Audre Lorde, a beloved inspiration to GirlTrek’s very mission to inspire Black women to lead healthier, happier lives through radical self-care that starts with daily walking.  

The #BlackHistoryBootCamp has been covered by outlets such as  NPR, Essence, and Parade.

Listen to the 21st and final #BlackHistoryBootCamp call on Tuesday, June 30th at noon EST. The call-in info is 1 (646) 876-9923, code: 734464325.

With nearly 800,000 members and counting, GirlTrek as profiled on CNN, is the largest health movement and nonprofit for Black women and girls in the country. GirlTrek encourages Black women to use radical self-care and walking as the first practical step to leading healthier, more fulfilled lives. GirlTrek is on a mission to inspire one million Black women to walk in the direction of their healthiest, most fulfilled lives by the end of 2020 and it all starts with taking the pledge at GirlTrek.org.

Follow GirlTrek: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Online Harassment and Digital Threats to Journalists

Newsroom executives need to better protect journalists from online abuse and harassment if they are to retain women and people of color in media, according to a Women’s Media Center report released March 5.

The report, “What Online Harassment Tells Us About Our Newsrooms: From Individuals to Institutions,” looks at online harassment and systemic bias in U.S. newsrooms. The report analyzes the most recent studies and findings regarding online hostility to journalists and concludes with recommendations for newsroom leaders, including committing to understanding the relationship of inclusivity, online harassment, and free speech in their newsrooms; acknowledging bias and engineering around it; and making journalists’ safety a company-wide priority.

“Taking online harassment seriously is at the core of an inclusive newsroom and a critical step toward ensuring free speech for all,” said Julie Burton, WMC president and CEO. “News leaders and managers must be in the vanguard in combating both harassment and the internal biases that exacerbate that harassment.”

The report examines the ever-expanding digital threats to journalists and includes insights gleaned from industry research and from three news leaders whom the nonprofit organization convened for a special symposium in New Orleans in October: Nicole Carroll, editor-in-chief, USA Today; Mitra Kalita, senior vice president, news, opinion, and programming, CNN Digital; and Raju Narisetti, who has overseen news operations at The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Gizmodo Media Group and is founder of India’s Mint newspaper.

Kalita said women are telling their stories and voicing their opinions despite the harassment they face. Opinion writers that she works with won’t be silenced. “They write again,” said Kalita, adding that it’s really important to her that women “feel that they’re supported along the way.”

Studies consistently show that for women; ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities; as well as gender-nonconforming people, online harassment is more frequent and intense and likelier to result in self-censoring, according to the report. Journalists are usually responsible, as individuals, for “staying safe” online, and a long-standing journalistic tradition urging journalists to “grow a thicker skin” frequently inhibits genuine understanding of the dynamics of abuse. The report’s authors contend that this approach creates an imbalance that results in organizations persistently ill-prepared for the virulence of online hate and harassment.

“We want newsrooms to take online harassment seriously, not as a matter of women’s personal safety, but as central to their commitment to inclusivity and journalistic ethics,” said Soraya Chemaly, an award-winning writer and media critic and the co-founder and director of WMC’s Speech Project, which raises public and media awareness of online harassment. “Understanding the dynamics of online harassment and hate gives newsrooms a genuine opportunity to commit to inclusivity, in virtually any way you look at it.”

Kalita and Carroll said that the safety and security of their journalists is a top concern at their organizations, which they said have instituted safety and security measures to protect journalists. For example, Kalita said she works closely with CNN’s security team. Carroll said Gannett, USA Today’s parent company, has an internal harassment policy with clear steps to be taken, such as documenting it with screenshots and referring it to human resources.

“Newsroom leadership must commit to providing better protection for all journalists, but especially for women; ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities; and gender-nonconforming people,” said Pat Mitchell, WMC
co-chair.

According to the report, in addition to clearly influencing how journalists work, online harassment also affects organizations’ ability to recruit, retain, and reward diverse staff and cultivate inclusive media environments and leadership. In an environment that rewards visibility and audience engagement, women and minorities, who as a result of being targeted reduce their social media presence, may lower their chances of career advancement, according to the report.

“Inclusion is really not only an important moral issue, but has to be seen as a business problem, as a quality of our journalism problem, as a trust issue, as both an organizational and a legal issue,” said Narisetti.

The WMC report also includes separate interviews with Soraya Nadia McDonald, culture critic at The Undefeated; Jill Filipovic, contributing opinion writer for The New York Times and freelance writer; and Katelyn Burns, freelance writer for Rewire and Vox, who discuss their challenges in navigating an increasingly vitriolic online arena.

The report can be downloaded HERE

About the Women’s Media Center

The Women’s Media Center, co-founded by Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan, and Gloria Steinem, is an inclusive and feminist organization that works to raise the visibility, viability, and decision-making power of women and girls in media to ensure that their stories get told and their voices are heard. We do this by researching and monitoring media; creating and modeling original online, print, and podcast content; training women and girls to be effective in media, and promoting women experts in all fields.