Monday, September 24, 2012

Women in Advertising

In the "Mad Men" view of the world, women were just beginning to make headway in the industry in the 1960s and Peggy Olson was an anomaly for a gender stuck in the steno pool. While it may be true that women's presence was limited in the ad world during that era, it's also true that they played a huge part in the development of the U.S. industry far earlier.

"Nothing is more proof that women are important in advertising than the plain fact that they have been in advertising, in one capacity or another, almost from the very beginning of the profession," said Christine Frederick, the founder of Advertising Women of New York.

That was in a speech Ms. Frederick gave in 1938.

In fact, though AWNY was founded a century ago, the first female-owned agency predates the organization by decades. Mathilde C. Weil opened the M.C. Weil agency in New York in 1880. She divided her clients into three categories: entertainment, education and profitable proprietary medicines.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Women Warriors of Mossad

From Globes:

They are one of the State of Israel's most important assets. If we sleep soundly at night, it's in large part thanks to them. If we win the next war, they will have a considerable share in the victory. Our security is entrusted to their hands, but, despite their importance to the country, you won't read about them in the newspapers, you won't see them on television, you can't applaud them. Recognition and glory are not their lot. You can't identify them, because they operate under cover. The women of the shadows.

Their brains invent daring and ingenious operations that make the difference between success and failure. They bring to bear a capacity to improvise, rare expertise, sophisticated weaponry, command of languages, and psychological insight. They have to get inside the mind of the other.

These women working in secret are senior operatives of Israel's intelligence agency, the Mossad, an organization that needs no wordy introductions about the cunning and boldness of its operations.

They live under threat to their lives, to their families, and to their freedom. They disappear from their homes, emerge under various identities, conceal themselves, rub shoulders with the enemy. It's hard to grasp the price they pay. A spy who is captured in an enemy country can expect tough interrogation, torture, and execution.

See also:

Sarah Losh: Forgotten Heroine

In The Pinecone: The Story of Sarah Losh, Forgotten Romantic Heroine—Antiquarian, Architect and Visionary, Jenny Uglow has brilliantly researched web of connections—of friends and family, ideas and influences. Losh left little of herself beyond the stone, wood and glass of her astonishing church and a few other local structures—a mausoleum, a cross, the schoolhouse, some cottages. Ms Uglow believes a diary will emerge one day.

From Amazon:
In the village of Wreay, near Carlisle, stands the strangest and most magical church in Victorian England. Jenny Uglow’s The Pinecone tells the story of its builder, Sarah Losh, strong-willed and passionate and unusual in every way. Born into an old Cumbrian family, heiress to an industrial fortune, Losh combined a zest for progress with a love of the past. In the church, her masterpiece, she let her imagination flower—there are carvings of ammonites, scarabs, and poppies; an arrow pierces the wall as if shot from a bow; a tortoise gargoyle launches itself into the air. And everywhere there are pinecones, her signature in stone. The church is a dramatic rendering of the power of myth and the great natural cycles of life, death, and rebirth.

Losh’s story is also that of her radical family—friends of Wordsworth and Coleridge; of the love between sisters, and the life of a village; of the struggle of weavers, the coming of railways, the findings of geology, and the fate of a young northern soldier in the Anglo-Afghan War. Above all, though, it is about the joy of making and the skill of unsung local craftsmen.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Hunger Fuels Child Marriage

In Hawkantaki, it is the rhythm of the land that shapes the cycle of life, including the time of marriage.  The size of the harvest determines not only if a father can feed his family, but also if he can afford to  keep his daughter under his roof.
Even at the best of times, one out of every three girls in Niger marries before her 15th birthday, a rate of  child marriage among the highest in the world, according to a UNICEF survey.
Now this custom is being layered on top of a crisis. At times of severe drought, parents pushed to the wall  by poverty and hunger are marrying their daughters at even younger ages.
A girl married off is one less mouth to feed, and the dowry money she brings in goes to feed others.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tikva Levi & Mizrahi

From Haaretz:
Tikva Levi was only 52 when she died on August 1, but during her short lifetime she wielded a great influence on Israeli society. She was an active presence on a variety of important battlefronts: feminist, Mizrahi, educational, political.

"The ability to combine these battles, the awareness of the fact that they are not separate from one another, was one of the things I admired and loved about her," says Prof. Ella Shohat, a preeminent cultural studies scholar and Levi's fellow traveler and soulmate.

Levi is now recognized as one of the prime movers who managed to connect issues concerning Mizrahim, feminists and Palestinians. Indeed, as far as Shohat is concerned, "Tikva is a metonymy for these battles and a metaphor for a different future space. I admired her ability to connect ideas and to connect to people, and to try to convey these ideas even to those from whom there was presumably no such expectation - those who had been rejected, whether by the left or by feminism.

Further links:- Interview with Rachel Smith

WWII Female Marine Honoured

After training at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, Campbell was sent to Camp Pendleton in San Diego, where women Marines operated the military bases while every able-bodied Marine man was engaged in combat.

“Without women stepping up to the plate in WWII, there was no way those stations could have stayed open,” James said.

During the WWII era, women soldiers had catchy nicknames like “WACS” or “WAVES,” which are both acronyms for women in the Army and Navy respectively.

Campbell was one of the 18,000 women Marines who were enlisted during WWII between 1943 and 1946, James Martin said.

That number was reduced to just a few thousand near the end of the war, until 1948 when Congress voted to give women “full-fledged status in the military,” he said.

Three Women & Hadassah

A hundred years ago, New Yorker Henrietta Szold traveled to Palestine and saw they had no access to medical care. She returned to the United States and started Hadassah, now the largest Jewish women’s organization in the world.
More recently, when Marlene Levine moved from Columbus, Ohio, to Minnesota for her husband’s job, she called on the Hadassah membership to help her make friends. After a move to Naperville, she is now the president of the DuPage/Will Hadassah chapter.
And Melanie Benjamin wanted to, “Tell the stories of strong women, who tried, but not always succeeded to live the lives they were told they couldn’t live because of their gender, the time or their condition.”

Obit: Joan Uebelhoer

From the News Sentinel:
When no one else spoke against inequality, Joan Uebelhoer did. Uebelhoer, longtime activist for the rights of women and the poor, died Saturday at 83 years old. Formerly a petite woman who did not appear as one to stir up debate, Uebelhoer often marched herself into battle for the rights of others.

Some of Uebelhoer’s platforms included advocating a woman’s right to have an abortion, legalizing birth-control pills, and fighting for equal pay among men and women.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

History of Nylon Stockings

From Threaded:

Nylon stockings made their debut in my hometown, Wilmington, Delaware, on October 24, 1939. That’s because Wallace Hume Carothers, the chemist who invented the synthetic material in 1935, worked for the DuPont company, which is headquartered there. In fact, the first test sale to DuPont employees’ wives took place at the company’s experimental station, just up the street from my childhood home. Not long before the 4,000 pairs of stockings sold out—in only three hours!—DuPont had had women modeling nylon hosiery at the 1939 New York World’s Fair, touting nylon as a synthetic fabric made of “carbon, water and air.” A prototype of that initial run (get it?) can be found in the Smithsonian’s collection.

First Female Kiowa Leader

While Kiowa women have always been integral to the workings of the tribe in political, cultural, and social spectrums (regardless of their at times absence from some historical and contemporary records), 37 year old Ah-Keen-Geah-Ah-Lay (Charging After the Enemy) was recently sworn in as the tribe’s first female leader.  Her legal name is Amber Toppah and she is the great-great-great granddaughter of Chief Satanta (White Bear).  Ah-Keen-Geah-Ah-Lay is the daughter of Carol Bearbow Toppah (Kiowa/Cheyenne) and the late Byron Toppah (Kiowa). She is one of a growing number of younger Kiowas to be obtaining higher education degrees and choosing to work within the at times difficult field of tribal governance.