As spring slunk in, blogs were crunching numbers on women in media, gawking at high fashion in Beijing, and rocking out to the coolest Women’s History Month video of them all.
- We’ve worried before about whether the new voter-ID laws should concern us, but Ronni Bennett at Time Goes By makes the threat plain, now that 14 states have passed such laws. It’s especially challenging, she writes, for non-drivers: ”Some states with new ID requirements to vote now issue non-driving IDs, but it is not easy for people to gather the documents, such as birth certificates, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, etc. and there are always fees for copies of them. Plus, some elders, born at home or whose births were attended by midwives, have no birth certificates. And, women who live in one of these states: If you changed your name when you married and it, therefore, does not match the name on your birth certificate, be prepared to go through many hoops to prove that you, Mary Jones, are the same person as Mary Smith before your wedding day.” Click over for a detailed explanation and analysis from NYU, facts on the rarity of voter fraud (the alleged reason for the new laws), and video clips, including one of a World War II veteran denied access to the voting booth.
- WVFC contributor Judith A. Ross shares a lovely meditation on memory, art, and love in “Inside a Potter’s Studio, A Daughter Finds Answers.” Startlingly beautiful photographs greet the reader as Ross recounts how she met the work pictured, when “on a wet, snowy Thursday, a new friend and I visited Elizabeth Cohen’s pottery studio. Art was everywhere, beginning with her front steps.” Feeling that art, Ross reflects on how the work mitigates loss, even as it is a reminder of it in the passage of time. “It occurred to me, as it did when I married my husband, and birthed my children, that here was yet another event that I wouldn’t share with my mother. I’d never witness her body’s natural aging process—her bones becoming brittle, her hair turning white. She would again be absent, not there to show me the way. Indeed, I am already seven years older than she was when she died.” Click over and breathe in deeply the peace Ross found.
- Fashion Week may be long over, but perhaps not in the People’s Republic of China, according to Beijing’s bloggers. ”I don’t know when it started, but the national political assemblies we all pay attention to have turned into ‘Beijing Fashion Week,’” leads a summary at Chinasmack. “It all reminds me of the colourful, bold Louis Vuitton scarf Song Zuying wore last year! The 2012 People’s PCC began on the 3rd March in Beijing, with many famous people participating in the conference as representatives. The representatives were bedecked in gold and silver and not without the world’s top luxury brands on hand. I, for one, am sure these aren’t shanzhai goods!” One blogger captions a photo “Councillor Zheng Mingming carries fresh flowers and a Hermes Birkin bag. Due to Zheng Mingming fame in the beauty world, changing Hermes bags is quite normal. The Birkin needs no introduction, it’s the favourite bag of celebrities and rich women. The rectangular Birkin retails for more than 100,000 RMB.” (We wonder what rogue journalist Hu Shuli is saying about that.) Another notes that “when the wife of the US President participates in national conferences, she just wears regular, second-rate or third-rate brands like J.Crew. It’s easy to then see that the quality of life and taste of our kingdom’s people’s representatives are leading the world!” Or at least that some are taking to get rich is glorious extremely literally.
- “Where are the women?”, our the cry after the Oscars, was heard last week from Catalyst.org to Congress, with many laments about the lack of women in top journalism slots. At Feministing.com, Phly.inc CEO Doreen Bloch described The Gender Gap in Business Journalism, while Amy Tennery at Mediaite’s The Jane Dough brought the rest of the bad news, quoting Erin Siegal at Columbia Journalism Review. “According to the data Siegal compiled (sourced from VIDA: Women in Literary Arts), women wrote just 64 articles in The Atlantic last year, compared to 184 from men. And at Harper’s women accounted for just 16.66 percent of bylines,” Tennery writes. “The vast majority of big-time publications follow suit. It’s no wonder that a man calling a woman a ‘slut‘ became a catalyzing moment for women and politics this year. There weren’t enough of us to catalyze on our own.” This past Monday, Tennery was featured in a panel discussion on the topic, and in honor of Women’s History Month, at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum: Let us know if you were there, and/or what you think we can do about the hard-to-close gender gap.
- Speaking of Women’s History Month, we couldn’t resist sharing this from Kay Steiger at Raw Story; to the tune of Lady Gaga’s song Bad Romance comes a very-unexpected tribute to suffragist Alice Paul and the rest of the Iron Jawed Angels. ”The actors, dressed in turn-of-the-century suffragette gear, sung lyrics that call back the days before women had the right to vote,” writes Steiger: “It’s gotten ugly / They passed the 15th / Still women have no right / Nor guarantee / To liberty / Child, health, wealth / Or property…. Soomo Publishing said the video was produced as ‘a parody music video paying homage to Alice Paul and the generations of brave women who joined together in the fight to pass the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote in 1920.’” Whatever your taste in music, we dare you not to love this one. (Bonus points for readers who get the visual reference, in the video, to that movie in which Hilary Swank played Alice Paul.)