In this week’s Wednesday 5: Patt Morrison says goodbye to Southern California talk radio; the war on suffragist women, waged in postcards; women fare worse in post-revolution Egypt; Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is one of Glamour magazine’s Women of the Year; and one man struggles to persuade the United Nations that rape is not “just” a woman’s issue, but a global security issue.


An Regretful Goodbye to Journalist Patt Morrison

Patt Morrison, the Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and radio host of Patt Morrison, a two-hour weekday interview-talk program on NPR affiliate KPCC in Southern California, is no longer on air. Carol Muse-Dukes, professor at the University of Southern California and former poet laureate of California, writes in the Huffington Post that the way Morrison’s show was canceled (after six years on-air) is part of a growing trend in media to opt for “global news” over “local news”:

Patt put forward the complexities of life: the ongoing civic life and culture of Los Angeles. Patt’s reporter-trained powers of observation and commentary were on steady display—acute and engaging, as she drew her callers out.

We all know that the landscape for women journalists over 40 can be a minefield. For every woman we celebrate, more recently Candy Crowley’s and Martha Raddatz’s prowess in the presidential debates, there is a Patt Morrison whose brand of discourse is increasingly seen as replaceable. As Muse-Dukes writes, “We, the listeners, do not need more global ‘crawl’ or ‘personality’ programming—we need what Patt has under her hat—and, until recently, shared on the air-waves. That famous hat is now sitting in the ring. Who will pick it up?”

Read more: Patt in the Hat, Not Coming Back?? at The Huffington Post. 


War on Women, Waged in Postcards

Remember a few days ago when CNN pulled, after an explosion of backlash via blogs and social media, the article that questioned “Do Hormones Drive Women’s Votes?” According to Lisa Hix, the article was reminiscent of a time warp, harkening back to the days of the suffragists when women were ridiculed in their struggle for the right to vote. In War on Women, Waged in Postcards: Memes From the Suffragist Era, Hix unearths a collection of postcards that are remarkable for the level of vitriol they depict and often heartbreaking as they demonize wives who “abandon” their husbands and children for the struggle; trivialize the experiences of imprisoned suffragists on hunger strikes who were often force-fed by their jailers; mock “masculine women”; and portray women seeking the right to vote as scandalous and sexually available. It’s a stunning collection of imagery that reflects the culture of denigration these women endured for the right to vote.

The women here are smoking, playing poker, and eating chocolate while the man cleans and tends to the baby. Palczewski Suffrage Postcard Archive. University of Northern Iowa. Cedar Falls, IA. Courtesy of Collectors Weekly.

Read more: War on Women, Waged in Postcards: Memes From the Suffragist Era at Collectors Weekly.


Women Worse off After Egyptian Revolution

When we reported on the status of women in Egypt after Mohamed Morsi, who represents the Muslim Brotherhood, claimed victory in the Egyptian presidential election in June, we weren’t hopeful: the culture of sexual assaults against women was getting stronger. Cam McGrath tells us in a recent article for Truthout that the situation for women and women’s rights is getting exponentially worse.

After the revolution, most of Egyptian society—and especially the Islamists—began attacking women’s rights,” says Azza Kamel, a prominent women’s rights activist. “They started to claw back rights that women had fought for and gained before the revolution, and are trying to change divorce and custody laws, push FGM (female genital mutilation), and reduce the age of marriage from 18 to 9 years old.

Read on: Women Worse Off After Egyptian Revolution at


Woman of the Year: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

We are loving Glamour magazine’s recent profile of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The editors have named her one of their “Women of the Year 2012” and laud her for being a transformational figure, a trailblazer, a bridge-builder, and a staunch fighter for women’s rights. At 79 years old, Ginsburg is the second female justice ever in America’s history—yes ever! (Clearly, we have much more progress to make.) But we commend Glamour for choosing Ginsburg and recognizing her for the quiet yet steely brand of leadership she possesses.  According to Rachel Maddow,  “Every time she reads a dissent from the bench, I’m struck by how much she transcends her diminutive physical stature. She’s a giant up there.”

Read on: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The Supreme Force at Glamour.


Teaching UN Forces How to Stop Rape

Patrick Cammaert, former United Nations official, is on a mission—to persuade UN peacekeepers that protecting civilians from sexual violence is part of their job. According to Cammaert, “it is now more dangerous to be a woman than it is to be a soldier in war” and “UN peacekeepers the world over turn away when they witness rape.” Part of the issue, says Michele Lent Hirsch of the Women Under Siege Project, is that the predominant culture of thought is that rape is a women’s issue. Cammaert’s platform says no, “This is a security issue.”

Read on: One Man’s Struggle to Teach UN Forces How to Stop Rape at the Women Under Siege Project.




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