In this week’s Wednesday 5: Where are the women on Wikipedia?; a riveting image of stillness in a time of war; a campaign for one million men to rise up against violence against women; Picasso’s never-before-exhibited Portrait of a Lady; and Dame Maggie Smith talks aging.



Looking for the Women on Wikipedia?

So, not only are there very few women in the obituaries, but it turns out we’re relatively scarce on Wikipedia as well.  Claire Potter, who blogs for The Chronicle of Higher Education, is on a mission to tweet a historical fact about women each day during Women’s History Month. Her method—entering a date in Wikipedia and reveling in what comes up. What did she find?

“. . . very few items in these lists name women as historically significant figures.  Sometimes there are three or four women named; sometimes it is only one.  One day there were absolutely no women listed and I had to get creative . . .”

According to the Wikipedia Foundation, only one of ten contributors to Wikipedia is a woman. One of the theories accounting for this absence is that “the kinds of men who are motivated to write and edit articles want to maintain a traditional intellectual hierarchy that positions white men firmly at the center of world history.” Clearly, we need to get a Wikipedia gender-parity movement going.

Read more at “Prikipedia? Or, Looking for the Women on Wikipedia,” at The Chronicle for Higher Education.



“Drinking Tea in the Blitz”

Tea“Drinking Tea in the Blitz.” (Image via Retronaut)

When we saw this photograph, we HAD to share it with you. It’s a riveting image that speaks to the trauma of war, but, simultaneously, the indomitable human spirit that carries on. Not much is available about the image (yet), but we do know that it was taken in the 1940s in the United Kingdom during “The Blitz.” Between September 1940 and May 1941, 16 cities in the United Kingdom were subjected to major bombing raids by Germany.  One of those cities, London, was attacked 71 times. Tell us what you see in this woman’s face, her posture atop the wreckage, and the moment of stillness and peace she finds sipping tea amidst the chaos and carnage around her.



Men Against Violence Against Women

We all know that violence, in all forms (emotional, physical, and psychological) is not a woman’s issue, it’s a universal man-woman-child issue. And yet we are mostly exposed to women on the front lines who are vigorously fighting to end this. But there’s a tipping point occurring. The message is shifting from teaching women to protect themselves from rape to teaching men not to rape. Last week, on International Women’s Day, the Ring The Bell: One Million Men. One Million Promises campaign—a movement that calls on men and boys around the world to take a stand and make a promise to act to end violence against women—was launched by a company of men including Sir Patrick Stewart, Michael Bolton, Russell Simmons, Sir Richard Branson, Dallas mayor Michael Rawlings, and former NFL quarterback Don McPherson. In his remarks, Sir Patrick Stewart challenged:

Violence against women is learned. Each of us must examine—and change—the ways in which our own behavior might contribute to, enable, ignore or excuse all such forms of violence. I promise to do so, and to invite other men and allies to do the same.

Watch the video of the launch of Ring The Bell: One Million Men. One Million Promises



Picasso’s Never-Before-Exhibited “Portrait of A Lady” to Be Exhibited in Abu Dhabi

picassoladywebPablo Picasso, “Portrait of A Lady,” 1928

For the first time ever, Pablo Picasso’s collage Portrait of a Lady will be exhibited to the public—at the Louvre Abu Dhabi. Featured as part of the museum’s Birth of a Museum exhibition,  Portrait will go on view next month. It is believed to be  be a portrait of Natalie Paley, a 20th-century socialite, model, muse, and the granddaughter of Russian Tsar Alexander II. Although completed in 1928, Portrait has received very little attention—and that made it alluring to the Louvre.

Read more at “Picasso’s ‘Portrait of a Lady’ to be Shown for the First Time in Abu Dhabi,” The National



Maggie Smith

For this week’s dose of humor, enjoy a video of our favorite dowager countess, Dame Maggie Smith, as she talks with Today about the possibility of joining her castmates who  have been killed off of Downton Abbey. The 78-year-old  also shares how playing much older characters (she’s played a 93-year-old more than once) helps her embrace aging.


Dame Maggie Smith on the Today show.


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