Monday, September 30, 2013

Women's Rights in Saudi Arabia

I found a fascinating article about women's rights in Saudi Arabia. Last January, King Abdullah appointed 30 women to the Shura Council (the article describes it as being similar to a parliament). It was a historic act in a country where women have faced unbelievable oppression. King Abdullah has initiated a number of changes in Saudi society that have improved the lives of women in recent years. For instance, women must now be given national identification cards which is a step towards acknowledging them as human beings rather than the property of their fathers and husbands. While this is a step in the right direction, there is still a tremendous amount that needs to be accomplished in Saudi Arabia to liberate women and provide them with fundamental human rights. Women are still not permitted to drive in the country and their "male guardian" is sent a text message every time they leave Saudi Arabia. Thus, enormous problems still exist in the country that practically enslave women. Hopefully the newly appointed female politicians will be treated as equals and can initiate changes that will improve the lives of women in Saudi Arabia. Here is the link to the article:

I also discovered a news segment on CNN that discusses a historic moment that occurred in 2011. King Abdullah announced that women would be given the right to vote in the 2015 elections. This was a huge moment in the fight for women's rights in Saudi Arabia. I think it is important for us to remember that as we study the women's suffrage movement in the United States, there are still women in the world who have never had the right to vote. We have discussed how horrible it is that such injustices occurred in our own nation in past decades--but it is remarkable to think that these same human rights violations CONTINUE to happen every day in other parts of the world. Here is the link to the news segment: 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Hers to Lose

Hers to Lose (documentary via link) 

"Christine C. Quinn, the longtime front-runner in the New York mayoral race, lost in the Democratic primary. A behind-the-scenes film captures the final month of her campaign."

A dynamic look into the status of gender and sexual orientation in modern politics...


Real Heroines for Girls

This is an article about a photographer who dresses up her daughter as real famous women who made a difference, including Susan B. Anthony, instead of princesses. The pictures are really cute, and she's making an important statement about what we teach little girls about role models and how unhealthy that is. The last picture shows her with an "Emma for President 2044" pin, showing that little girls should believe they can be president and would be more likely to if they had political female role models from a young age.

Monday, September 23, 2013

How to Design a City for Women

One of my friends shared this article with me, regarding the different ways men and women interact with cities. I thought this was an interesting take on how women interact with their physical environments and spaces: How to Design a City for Women

Nina Kamath

Happy birthday to Mary Church Terrell!

This isn't exactly something from the news, but I saw this post on Facebook today (from a great page called "One Million Vaginas") noting that today is Mary Church Terrell's birthday -- just thought it was a fun fact since we read some of her writing for today's class! Here was the post:

Friday, September 20, 2013

Recap on Zach Wahls's Visit to the Ath

As an editor of the CMC Forum, I wrote a news article that summarizes the key themes of Zach Wahls's speech as well as the details and vivid examples he used to convey his point. I hope you all enjoyed the speech as much as I did! Zach Wahls is such a good speaker, with so much candor and poise.

Nina Kamath

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Bad Romance: Women's Suffrage

Check out this parody of Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance," a tribute to Alice Paul and her fellow activists.  You might take a look at the behind-the-scenes video too.

And here is the trailer to the 2004 feature film "Iron Jawed Angels," which stars Hilary Swank as Alice Paul and Frances O'Connor as her friend Lucy Burns.

Women in Politics in Media and Pop Culture

Our conversation on the first day of class got me thinking about the portrayals of political women in pop culture. Immediately I thought of one of my favorite shows: Parks and Recreation and the character of Leslie Knope who represents an overeager, sometimes frivolous but overall positive woman in a political position. I decided to do some research about the portrayal of women in other TV shows and movies. A common theme that I came across was the use of the word "sexy." This one interesting article that I found ( discusses an upcoming mini-series about Hilary Clinton. The author blames the media for attributing emphasis on the physical appearance of women during a campaign rather than the issues.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Jessie Lopez De La Cruz and the Farmworker Movement

Jessie Lopez De La Cruz, a leader of the national farmworker movement, died on Labor Day at age 93. De La Cruz was one of the first female organizers of the United Farmworkers of America in Fresno. She worked with Cesar Chavez in the UFW, organized workers in the field, testified against the short-handled hoe, and took part in grape boycotts.  You can read an obituary of this remarkable woman here, and also watch a short film about her, narrated in her own voice.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Black Women and the Suffrage Movement: 1848-1923

Here's a nice and short piece about how black women organized for suffrage during the time period we've been discussing in class.

Jessica Peña

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

International Women's Suffrage

Have you wondered when women around the world achieved the right to vote?  Take a look at this timeline from the Inter-Parliamentary Union.