When I was a student at Cambridge I remember an anthropology professor holding up a picture of a bone with 28 incisions carved in it. ‘This is often considered to be man’s first attempt at a calendar,’ she explained.
She paused as we dutifully wrote this down. ‘My question to you is this – what man needs to mark 28 days? I would suggest to you that this is woman’s first attempt at a calendar.’
It was a moment that changed my life. In that second I stopped to question almost everything I had been taught about the past. How often had I overlooked women’s contributions? How often had I sped past them as I learned of male achievement and men’s place in the history books?
I knew I needed to look again. History is full of fabulous females who have been systematically ignored, forgotten or simply written out of the records. They’re not all saints, they’re not all geniuses, but they do deserve remembering.
The Copenhagen police said on Sunday that they had shot and killed a man they believed carried out two attacks that left two people dead, one at a cafe and one outside a synagogue, and wounded at least five policemen.
The first attack took place on Saturday, when a gunman sprayed bullets into the cafe where a Swedish cartoonist who had caricatured the Prophet Muhammad was speaking, killing one man. Hours later, early Sunday, a man was shot and killed outside the city’s main synagogue, according to the police.
Dan Rosenberg Asmussen, a leader of Denmark’s Jewish community, told the Danish public broadcaster DR that the victim at the synagogue was a young Jewish man who was guarding the entrance of a building adjacent to the synagogue. He said that some 80 people were inside the synagogue at the time, celebrating a Bat Mitzvah, and that the police had been asked to provide protection after the cafe shooting.
The dual attacks in Copenhagen had a copycat resemblance to last month’s attacks in Paris, which began with gunshots aimed at cartoonists and followed with gunshots aimed at a Jewish target.
Later Sunday, Jorgen Skov, a police inspector, said at a news conference in Copenhagen that the police had shot and killed the suspect after he opened fire on officers near the Norreport train and subway station in the Norrebro neighborhood. The shooter was confronted by the police as he returned to an address that they were keeping under surveillance, Mr. Skov said, suspecting that the man had been involved in the killings. The police have no indication for the moment that other suspects were involved, he said.
Torben Moelgaard Jensen, a senior police official, said: “We believe the same man was behind both shootings and we also believe that the perpetrator who was shot by the police action force at Norrebro station is the person behind the two attacks.”
It was a dramatic day in Copenhagen, with 30 shots fired Saturday afternoon into a cafe at a public seminar on “Art, Blasphemy and Freedom of Expression,” intended to discuss the January attack in Paris on the offices of Charlie Hebdo, the satirical newspaper that had reprinted Danish cartoons of Muhammad. The event featured a Swedish cartoonist, Lars Vilks, 68, who had drawn a 2007 cartoon of Muhammad as a dog at a traffic circle and was on a “death list” drawn up by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, as was the murdered editor of Charlie Hebdo, Stéphane Charbonnier.
One man, 55, and still unidentified by the authorities, was killed in the cafe attack and three police officers were wounded. Mr. Vilks, who is under 24-hour police guard, was well-protected by both the Swedish and Danish police who prevented the gunman, who had shot up the front of the cafe, from entering it. The man escaped in a small Volkswagen, later abandoned, and hours later, just after midnight, the Jewish man was shot in the head and killed in central Copenhagen, near the synagogue. Two more police officers were wounded and again the gunman escaped, this time on foot.