The Wednesday Five

In this week’s Wednesday Five: Adele’s ‘Rolling Stone’ cover destroys the male gaze, Gloria Steinem on why those ’30 Under 30′ success lists are nonsense, a heartwarming documentary on girls who code, the lovely 97-year-old Margaret Thome Bekema receives her high school diploma, and Mexican conductor Alondra de la Parra makes history in the field of classical music.



How Adele’s ‘Rolling Stone’ Cover Destroys the Male Gaze


Notice anything novel about this recent cover of Rolling Stone magazine? Yep, Adele is fully dressed. Writing in Vice, Kat George rightfully asks: “What does it say about a culture when it’s considered “daring” to put a woman on a magazine cover without the pretense of sex?” The norm, the expectation, is a hyper-sexed and over-simplified representation of women in magazines. George adds, however, that artists like Adele are insisting their bodies are not for public consumption:

“Adele is not public property, and that’s not up for debate. When a woman puts herself in the public eye, there’s an immediate sense of entitlement to her body and her life. . . Adele is refusing to play into this. .  . This 27 year old completely obliterates the idea that women must be “seen” in order to be desired. Her whole comeback rests squarely on her merits as a singer/songwriter, rather than her visibility.”



Gloria Steinem on Why Those 30 Under 30 Success Lists are Bullsh*t

51AXya039gLIn a delightful interview with Elle magazine about her book My Life on the Road, Gloria Steinem weighs on the pressures she sees on younger women to succeed. Mattie Kahn of Elle asks her:

There is tremendous pressure right now to get a lot done when you’re still very young. It’s given rise to a whole genre of journalism. It’s created the 30-under-30 …

That is such bullshit. Listen, I am 81-years-old. I never expected to be even busier at 81, and doing more of what I love, than when I was 30. And your generation is going to live even longer, statistically speaking. You have even more time! It’s especially ridiculous to think you have to be successful when you’re so young. You should be able to adventure and not worry so much about achievement. Don’t you think it’s partly that young women think they have to have these big careers before they have a child? Don’t you think that’s part of it?

Yes, I suppose. It’s that sense that we need to “have it all.”

But nobody can have it all if it means doing it all. And anyway, who wants it all? Frankly, it sounds terrible. You’re a unique person. You should do what you’re suited to do. We all should. It’s the only way to be happy. That pressure is all outside. It’s external.

Read the full interview here.



New Documentary: CODEGIRL


Join high school-aged girls from around the world as they try to better their community through technology and collaboration in this thrilling, heartfelt documentary, CODEGIRL.

By 2017, the app market will be valued at $77 Billion. Over 80% of all these developers are male. From rural Moldova to urban Brazil to suburban Massachusetts, CodeGirl, by Lesley Chilcott, producer of An Inconvenient Truth, follows teams of girl app developers and programmers from around the world who dream of holding their own in one of the world’s fastest-growing technology industries.



A High-School Diplomat at 97

In this week’s dose of inspiration, we share with you the story of 97-year-old Margaret Thome Bekema who in 1932 dropped out of school to help her mother who was diagnosed with cancer. “I had to quit school to take over the family,” she told the local press. “It was hard, you have no idea how hard that was. I loved high school and I had lots of friends.”

This October, that school, Grand Rapids Catholic Central High School, gave Bekema an honorary high school diploma. Read more at Mashable about this incredible story of second chances.



Mexican Conductor Alondra de la Parra Makes History


Alondra de la Parra will be the first female chief conductor and musical director of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, one of Australia’s three largest orchestras. “The world of major symphony orchestras is still a heavily male dominated field,” writes Sandra for NBC News. “Just to give you the scope of the sizable gender gap, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s Marin Alsop became the first female conductor of a major American orchestra in 2007. Less than a dozen women lead major orchestras.”

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