There are many reasons I think strong women can be intimidating. I think it’s even more rare to show the complexities and vulnerabilities of women that are initially perceived as strong. And it’s kind of lovely to play someone like Peggy who tries to explore that in a still very male dominated world.

But the essential way of seeing women, the
essential use to which their images are put, has not changed.
Women are depicted in a quite different way from men - not
because the feminine is different from the masculine - but
because the ’ideal" spectator is always assumed to be male
and the image of the woman is designed to flatter him. If you
have any doubt that this is so, make the following experiment.
Choose from this book an image of a traditional nude.
Transform the woman into a man. Either in your mind’s eye or
by drawing on the reproduction. Then notice the violence
which that transformation does. Not to the image, but to the
assumptions of a likely viewer.
—  John Berger; Ways of Seeing, pg 64

reminds me of what the Hawkeye Initiative do

Native American Women Finally Gain More Protection From Rape and Abuse Thanks to VAWA

Thanks to the latest reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the U.S. government is beginning to take steps to strengthen protections for victims of domestic violence within American Indian tribes. On Thursday, the Justice Department announced that three tribes will participate in a pilot program that will allow them to prosecute non-Native­ men for abuse against Native American women, an initiative that will eventually be expanded to additional tribes.

#BestGiftEver: Initial Jewelry

Personalize your gift to her with a dainty letter charm

When looking for the perfect thoughtful and timeless gift for her, you can never go wrong with a nice piece of jewelry. Look for something small and dainty, and make it extra special with a custom initial stamp, because every girl needs a standby, signature accessory. Take a look at our favorite initial necklaces, rings and earrings below, and choose something that suits her personal style - chances are, she’ll never take it off!


Initial Bar Pendant

A Initial Necklace

Gold Initial “S” Necklace

‘Alphabet’ Initial Pendant Necklace

14k-Gold Fill Heart Disc, Moonstone & Pink Quartz Initial Necklace


Initial Ring

AEO S Initial Ring

Silver Shea Linked Initial Rings

T Initial Midi Ring

JA Alphabet Letter Initial Waif Ring


Jennifer Zeuner Gold Initial Earring, Left

MAMAN ET SOPHIE letter pendant earring

Letter & Stone Posts

Maya Brenner® 14k gold letter earring

Block-Letter Monogrammed Acrylic Stud Earrings

ON WEDNESDAY, Marvel Comics will debut its relaunch of Ms. Marvel — in which she’s introduced as a Muslim American teenager from Jersey City — as part of a broader women’s initiative that the publisher is calling “Characters and Creators.”

With tomorrow’s debut of Kamala Khan, Marvel Comics seeks a greater diversity of readers. As part of the initiative, Black Widow, Elektra and She-Hulk will be spotlighted in their own books, and X-Men and Captain Marvel will see a new emphasis on women.

Even as Ms. Marvel takes a big step forward for diversity in comics, the “Characters and Creators” initiative has broader implications, as it aims to speak directly to an audience that long was not the target for superhero comic books in America: women and girls.

Axel Alonso, Marvel’s editor-in-chief, tells Comic Riffs that the stars of these new books “are not the big-breasted, scantily clad women that perhaps have become the comic-book cliché. They are women with rich interior lives, interesting careers and complicated families who are defined by many things—least of all their looks.”

—  Sabaa Tahir, Washington Post: Comic Riffs
Random Funny Facts
  1. A baby octopus is about the size of a flea when it is born.
  2. A sheep, a duck and a rooster were the first passengers in a hot air balloon.
  3. In Uganda, 50% of the population is under 15 years of age.
  4. Hitler’s mother considered abortion but the doctor persuaded her to keep the baby.
  5. Arab women can initiate a divorce if their husbands don’t pour coffee for them.
  6. Recycling one glass jar saves enough energy to watch TV for 3 hours.
  7. Smearing a small amount of dog feces on an insect bite will relieve the itching and swelling.
  8. Catfish are the only animals that naturally have an odd number of whiskers.
  9. Facebook, Skype and Twitter are all banned in China.
  10. 95% of people text things they could never say in person.
  11. The Titanic was the first ship to use the SOS signal.
  12. In Poole, ‘Pound World’ went out of business because of a store across the road called ’99p Stores’, which was selling the same products but for just 1 pence cheaper.
  13. About 8,000 Americans are injured by musical instruments each year.
  14. The French language has seventeen different words for ‘surrender’.
  15. Nearly three percent of the ice in Antarctic glaciers is penguin urine.
  16. Bob Dylan’s real name is Robert Zimmerman.
  17. A crocodile can’t poke its tongue out :p
  18. Sea otters hold hands when they sleep so they don’t drift away from each other.
  19. A small child could swim through the veins of a blue whale.
  20. Bin Laden’s death was announced on 1st May 2011. Hitler’s death was announced on 1st May 1945.



[Members of Girls for Gender Equity in Brooklyn, left to right: Sharone Holloman holding Patsy Matsu Takemoto Mink, Charisma Barrington holding Sojourner Truth, Miasia Clark holding Anita Hill, Feria Morisset Noé holding Myriam Merlet, Joanne Smith, Zainab Abdemula holding Vandana Shiva, Fariha Farzana holding Dr. Mae Carol Jemison, Shenese Patterson holding Shirley Chisolm. Portraits by muralist Crystal Clarity. Photo by Jane Feldman.]

When Feminism Includes Race and Gender, Everyone Wins

Joanne Smith’s understanding of feminism is shaped in large part by her grandmother’s story. The now-deceased matriarch, then employed as a nurse in Haiti, wrote to President John F. Kennedy in the early 1960s seeking a way out of the country for her family during the turbulent reign of Haitian President François “Papa Doc” Duvalier. Kennedy responded, awarding Smith’s engineer grandfather a fellowship in Tunisia. But while in the North African country ahead of his wife and children, the man started a new family. Smith’s grandmother was undeterred by the betrayal and found a way to the United States and work that allowed her to eventually send for the children she’d left with relatives in Haiti.

Smith, who leads an organization in Brooklyn called Girls for Gender Equity, said that she remembers being told about her grandmother while growing up: “She got your grandfather the job. She accessed politics. She was educated.” That example now informs the work Smith does supporting the 11- to 24-year-olds who come to her organization for training in community organizing. “Her leadership shaped everything that I know about feminism and Black feminism,” Smith said.

Smith’s own identity is rich and layered. She is a Black woman, a Lesbian, a first-generation Haitian American, and one of three daughters raised by a single mother who earned a bachelor’s degree at the age of 50. These and other aspects of her identity figure into how she understands and lives feminism. In other words, she embodies what’s often called intersectional feminism. Through her organization’s work with the New York City Council’s Young Women’s Initiative and the White House Council on Women and Girls, Smith is one of many voices exposing new audiences to this intersectional approach. In the process, she often finds herself making a critical point: While her feminism—a feminism that takes into account the totality of a person’s identity and experience—may be a new concept for some, there’s nothing new about it.

Read More

About 60,000 people are homeless in New York City, the highest number since the Great Depression, according to Care for the Homeless, a New York City organization that operates more than 25 clinics for the homeless across four boroughs.

Since 2008, 25 percent more women than men have become homeless — 59,000 women compared to 45,000 men, according to the National Health Care for the Homeless Council’s statistics of homeless patients seen at health centers.

But service providers haven’t caught up with the changing needs of the increasingly female homeless population, residents and advocates at shelters have noted a lack of feminine hygiene products.

Breaking one of Canada’s best kept secrets: MMIW

Audrey Huntley will be speaking at the Nobel Women’s Initiative conference on the Defence of Women Human Rights Defenders, April 24-26, The Hague.  
Canada is not often seen as a place where widespread human rights violations against the indigenous population occur on a regular basis.

Much of the international community’s perception of this country is still that of pristine nature and polite inhabitants with health care.

In fact, Canada’s indigenous population is over-policed and under-protected, both men and women are incarcerated at rates much higher than the non-indigenous population and face police violence and deaths in custody all too often.

Yet our own mainstream media is finally no longer able to ignore one of this settler colonial country’s best-kept secrets: Ongoing genocidal violence against the indigenous population — and more specifically the targeting of indigenous women, girls, transgender and two-spirited people.

Continue Reading.

Ada Lovelace was a British Analyst, Metaphysician, and Founder of Scientific Computing.

Lovelace was born Ada Gordon in 1815. Her father, George Gordon, Lord Byron and her mother Annabella Milbanke separated when she was a month old. A few months later, Lord Byron left England and never saw Ada again. Lovelace’s mother raised her under a strict regimen of science, logic, and mathematics so that she would not succumb to her father’s ‘poetic madness’. Lovelace was also forced to lie still for extended periods of time in the hope that it would help her develop self-control.

Lovelace was talented with numbers and language from an early age and was fascinated with machines, she poured over diagrams of new inventions of the Industrial Revolution that filled the scientific magazines. Lovelace was taught by William Frend, a social reformer; William King, the family’s doctor; and Mary Somerville, a Scottish astronomer and mathematician. Somerville was one of the first women to be admitted into the Royal Astronomical Society.

At the age of 17, Lovelace met Charles Babbage, Lucasian professor of mathematics at Cambridge. He was known as the inventor of the Difference Engine, an elaborate calculating machine that operated by the method of finite differences. Babbage became a mentor to Lovelace and through him, she began studying advanced mathematics with University of London professor Augustus de Morgan. At 19 Lovelace married William King, an aristocrat ten years her senior. King was made Earl of Lovelace in 1838 and Lovelace became Lady Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, although she is simply known as Ada Lovelace.

In 1834 Babbage had created plans for a new kind of calculating machine called an Analytical Engine but he had not at that point finished his Difference Engine. He gained support for his project abroad and in 1842 the Italian mathematician, Louis Menebrea, published a memoir in French on the subject of the Analytical Engine. Lovelace translated the short article describing the Analytical Engine so that it could be published in England. She was asked to elaborate on the article as she understood the subject so well, her notes, thoughts and other additions expanded the article to three times the length of the original. Her insights included several early 'computer programs’ including a method for calculating a sequence of Bernoulli numbers with the Engine. Her plan would have run correctly if the Analytical engine had been built and is recognised as the world’s first computer program. Her ideas were the first to be published on the matter and so she is thought of as “the first computer programmer.” She also noted her observations on the potential uses of of the machine, including the manipulation of symbols and creation of music.

Lovelace did not get recognition for her work during her lifetime but in the 1940’s Lovelace’s notes became one of the critical documents to inspire Alan Turing’s work on the first modern computers. In the 1950’s her notes were republished in Faster Than Thought: A Symposium on Digital Computing Machines in 1953 bringing her recognition and leading to her recieving many posthumour honors for her work.

In the 1980’s the U.S. Department of Defense named a newly developed computer language “Ada,” after Lovelace and since 1998 the British Computer Society has awarded a medal in her name and in 2008 they initiated an annual competition for women students of computer. Ada Lovelace has inspired “Ada Lovelace Day” an annual event to raise the profile of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. There is also a non-profit organisation edicated to increasing the involvement of women in the free culture and open source movements named after her called 'The Ada Initiative’.

Sources here, here, here and here


Karen Walker is the latest brand to team up with the UN’s International Trade Centre’s (ITC) Ethical Fashion Initiative.  Her new eyewear campaign, dubbed Visible, Karen Walker is using her shades to highlight and celebrate Kenyan artisans.  Her new Spring 20114 range, creating a series of screen-printed pouches that will accompany any eyewear purchase.  Photographer Derek Henderson lensed the artisans for the new campaign. 

The initiative seeks to fight poverty and promote ethical fashion through it’s motto of Not Charity, Just Work. Karen Walker has commissioned artisans in Kenya to create pouches for her new eyewear collection. The screen printed pouches will be included with every pair of glasses from the Summer 2014 collection available through over 500 global stockists.

View complete collection.