Wednesday 5: The Good, the Bad, and the Absurd

In this week’s Wednesday 5—the first for 2015—we’ve got a mixed bag of the good, the bad, and the absurd in politics, global women’s rights, tech, social media, and women’s-restroom politics.



Why D.C.’s Matriarchy Matters

mbowser-7944-sm-resize-e1395152291461Muriel Bowser. Image via

First of all, isn’t it nice to have the above headline in The Washington Post?  In case you missed it, the nation’s capital has its first female mayor, Muriel Bowser. But there’s more, writes .

The nation’s capital didn’t wait for 2016 to make political history.

We started the year with three women in the District’s most high-profile jobs—mayor, police chief and schools chancellor—the only big city in the country to have such prominent female leadership.

Now, Washington, D.C. is being looked at as a model for leadership for the rest of the country and other global metropolises. Read the full article here.



What Women Around the World Are Facing in 2015

ICPImage via

While it’s important that we celebrate the successes of women, like those above, it’s also important that we remain vigilant about the struggles and challenges women around the globe still face.

In Take Ten, a new exhibition at the International Center of Photography in New York, ten female photographers explore critical issues facing women and children today, including sex trafficking in Eastern Europe and racial and digital identity in Africa and the United States.

“Women’s engagement with photography goes back to the origins of the process and women photographers made crucial contributions to photojournalistic practice from its beginnings,” says co-curator Alison Morley. From Jessie Tarbox Beals to Dorothea Lange and Margaret Bourke-White, women demonstrated the tenacity and dedication required to envision and carry out long-form reportage, whether their subject was the Dust Bowl or prison life or war.” The show opens on January 16. Read more about the 10 photographers and the exhibition here.  .  . 3.

The Everyday Sexism That Creates Long Waits for Women in Public Toilet Lines

3192562637_788584568c_zIt’s a common complaint that most women share—long lines at the restrooms in public places. Media critic for TIME Soraya Chemaly is taking the issue beyond complaint, however, and instead looks at it from a point of view of  legislation and public policy. In response to her tweet about the long (for women) vs. empty (for men) lines at a visit to the British Museum, Chemaly was hit with a sour retort: “How on god’s green earth did you arrive at the conclusion that this was sexist?”

Her response is a historical and legal analysis of the many ways it is actually sexist. She writes:


Legislation to address the design and provision of public restrooms in new construction often requires more space for women’s rooms. But that has hardly made a dent in many of our oldest and most used public spaces. This is especially true in powerful institutions, such as schools and government complexes, where old buildings, and their gendered legacies, dominate. In the United States, for example, women in the House of Representatives didn’t get a bathroom near the Speaker’s Lobby until 2011. Prior to that, the nearest women’s room was so far away that the time it took women to get to the bathroom and back exceeded session break times. The nearby men’s room, meanwhile, had a fireplace, a shoeshine stand, and televised floor proceedings.”

Read the full article here.

Image from Flickr via.



“The Bletchley Girls,” by Tessa Dunlop


Purchase on and help fund Women’s Voices‘ nonprofit mission.

First came the hit series The Bletchley Circle; now comes the book!  The Bletchley women possessed the extraordinary ability to break codes—skills they honed during World War II, when they worked undercover at Bletchley Park, site of the United Kingdom’s main decryption establishment. A new book, The Bletchley Girls, by Tessa Dunlop, explores the lives of 15  women who worked at the Park and are still alive to tell their stories. She says, “These women were born in an era when they did what they were told. They were second fiddles to men. They weren’t expected to have a career. And yet they found themselves in this job they couldn’t even talk about. The women of Bletchley weren’t the stars –they were the worker ants.”(Bletchley: the women’s story, The Telegraph)






Whom to Follow on Instagram?

Screen-Shot-2014-12-30-at-10.56.11-AM-copy-1Image via @lauraenever

If one of your resolutions this year was to become more social media savvy, we’ve found a dynamic list of women to follow on Instagram. The list, put together by the folks at, includes “kickass” women like:

  • @lucyfloresnv – Nevada Assemblywoman Lucy Flores (and her Instagram account) are breaking the mold of what a politician is supposed to look like, act like, and be.
  • @lauraenever – It’s easy to get lost in surfer Laura Enever’s transfixing photos of her riding waves in the most beautiful of locales.
  • @nnadibynature – As’s Fashion Director, Chioma Nnadi shares a curated, yet quirky, perspective on life, love, art, and fashion.

See the full list here and start following!


Join the conversation

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Andrea January 7, 2015 at 7:52 am

    This is exactly what WVFC is all about: celebrating strong smart women and their accomplishments !