In this week’s Wednesday 5: a mother teaches her daughter about “true” role models, a film counters the stories of women instrumentalists in the jazz movement, Marie Dutton Brown traces her journey in the publishing world over the last 43 years, Dr. Jackson Katz argues that violence against women should be reframed as a man’s isssue, and more than 10 million YouTube views—and counting—meet the Internet’s “Cutest Couple Ever.”



Real Women: Forget the Disney Princesses

Jaime-Moore-006Image via [F Stop Lounge]

For this week’s dose of inspiration we share with you the work of mom and photographer Jaime Moore, who, when at a loss as to a unique birthday present for her 5-year-old daughter Emma, decided to take images of her daughter in the likeness of Susan B. Anthony, Coco Chanel, Amelia Earhart, Helen Keller, and Jane Goodall. Moore’s process:

I noticed quite a pattern of so many young girls dressing up as beautiful Disney Princesses; no matter where I looked, 95% of the “ideas” were the “How to’s” of  how to dress your little girl like a Disney Princess . . . . It started me thinking about all the REAL women for my daughter to know about and look up to, REAL women who without ever meeting Emma have changed her life for the better.

Above, Emma adopts the forthright gaze of Amelia Earhart. See Emma in her other distinguished guises in the link above. Our favorite is little Emma as a representation of herself. A powerful statement that we are our best role models!



‘Women in Jazz’ Day

Preview, The Girls in the Band

Last Friday, May 10, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg declared the day “Women in Jazz” Day. The honor was inspired by the film The Girls in the Band, which traces the “untold stories of female jazz and big band instrumentalists and their fascinating, groundbreaking journeys from the late 30′s to the present day.” The film meets a critical need—there is a dearth of scholarship and in-depth information about women instrumentalists in the jazz movement, who were largely marginalized and objectified.



Marie Dutton Brown—a Powerhouse in the Publishing World

Marie D. Brown (a wonderful supporter of Women’s Voices for Change) is a powerhouse in the publishing world and one of the few black women who are literary agents. Recently, to honor her accomplishments, her alma mater, Penn State, chronicled her journey from following in her father’s footsteps (he graduated from Penn State’s College of Engineering in 1933) to finding her foundation at the university to becoming a literary agent. Since the 40 years since her college days at Penn State, Brown has transformed her life: She is now president of Marie Brown Associates, a literary services agency, and “remains part of a small group of African American literary agents and publishing consultants.” Watch her story here.



Violence Against Women Is a Man’s Issue

In light of the news we are still hearing about the three Cleveland women kept captive by Ariel Castro, we are reminded that gender violence and sexual trauma continue to be pervasive in our society, in our own neighborhoods, literally next door. Anti-sexist activist Jackson Katz, Ph.D., recently opened his TEDxFidiWomen talk with “Gender violence issues have been seen as women’s issues that some good men help out with. But I have a problem with that frame. I don’t accept it. I don’t see it as women’s issues that some good men help out with. In fact, I see them as men’s issues.” Here he talks about the “bystander approach,” where the goal is to get men who are not abusive “to interrupt each other,” to challenge the men who are abusive to women. There’s been too much silence, says Katz—not by women, but by men—about this culture of violence.



Cutest Couple Ever

We love happy people, and, even more, we love to see happy couples. Will and Monifa Sims, married for 12 years, were caught in a Jay Leno show on-camera prank. And boy, did they rise to the occasion. For this week’s dose of laughter and joy, we share with you a video that will surely make you laugh, and you’ll see why it has already surpassed 10 million views on YouTube, earning the Simses the coveted “Cutest Couple Ever” Internet award! 

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  • Faith May 15, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Kudos to Marie Brown, one of our living treasures. She’s a force in publishing, purposeful, insightful, intelligent, and a keeper of the industry’s institutional memory. An astonishing array of literary work, much of it by memorable voices, has come to us through her efforts. Long may she reign.