Women’s History Month Quiz

(via Feministing)

Deborah Siegel, over at Girl w/ Pen, is trying to start a little infectious blog quiz. If you’ve got one, paste these questions and add one of your own, then post it up at your blog so we can spread the knowledge.

1. In 2009, women make up what percent of the U.S. Congress?
A. 3%
B. 17%
C. 33%
D. 50%

2. How many CEOs of Fortune 500 companies are female?
A. 12
B. 28
C. 59
D. 84

3. Who was the first First Lady to create her own media presence (ie hold regular press conferences, write a daily newspaper column and a monthly magazine column, and host a weekly radio show)?
A. Eleanor Roosevelt
B. Jacqueline Kennedy
C. Pat Nixon
D. Hillary Clinton

4. The Equal Rights Amendment was first introduced to Congress in:
A. 1923
B. 1942
C. 1969
D. 1971

5. Who was the first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature?
A. Phyllis Wheatley
B. Alice Walker
C. Toni Morrison
D. Maya Angelou

6. What percentage of union members are women today?
A. 10%
B. 25%
C. 35%
D. 45%

7. What year did the Griswold v. Connecticut decision guarantee married women the right to birth control?
A. 1960
B. 1965
C. 1969
D. 1950

8. The only person to win two Nobel Prizes in two different sciences was both female and Polish. She had a relative who won one as well. Those people are:
A. Marie Curie & her daughter, Irene Joliot-Curie
B. Marie Curie & her husband, Pierre Curie
C. Marie Curie & her son in law, Frederic Joliot-Curie
D. All of the above

Answers after the jump… & thanks to Prof. Megan Pickett for my question. Continue reading “Women’s History Month Quiz”

Another Reason to Crossdress

It’s a good reason for lizards, anyway:

Charlotte von Mahlsdorf

Young male lizards in South Africa imitate females to fool aggressive older males into leaving them alone, in an example of transvestism in the natural world, according to South African and Australian reaseachers. They found that young male Augrabies flat lizards (pictured) delayed

displaying the extravagent coloration of sexually-mature males until they were able to defend themselves adequately.

Of course in the natural world that means dressing down, as the males wear the bright colors and the females are something like dun.

Then again, Charlotte von Mahlsdorf seemed happy enough in her plain black house dresses.

More Wow

It’s really incredible: watching the Obamas walk hand-in-hand (which is beautiful in & of itself) to the White House just blows my mind. I’m not sure it’s actually sunk in yet that we actually pulled this off. Damn.

& What a mess he inherited, but still it’s incredible.

Here are some of the references made today, either directly or indirectly:

  • Lowery opened with the words of what’s called the “negro national anthem” – called “lift every voice and sing” – originally written to introduce Booker T Washington.
  • tanks into tractors = swords into plowshares. Interesting choice for a wartime president.
  • the reference in the poem not just to picking cotton but to picking lettuce, which was a reference to the UFW & Cesar Chavez.
  • Feinstein mentioned the ballot or the bullet, which is Malcolm X’s most famous speech.

Anyone catch any others?

Miriam Makeba

Miriam Makeba died on Sunday right after she finished a concert in Italy. She was a South African singer who I first discovered on a collection of music from the tv show Northern Exposure (of which I was, & am, a huge fan).

The Best of Miriam Makeba and the Skylarks – recorded in the 1950s – is one of my all-time spirit lifters; I have no idea what I’m singing but I sing along whenever these tracks come on. (I’d highly recommend this one, especially, to anyone who loves rocksteady.)

She had such a sparkling, clear voice – the kind that makes you think of beautiful sunny days.

Trans for Obama: 12 Days

Goal Thermometer

The Trans for Obama campaign continues! It’s your time to stand up & be counted, trans democrats, independents, and republicans! If you’re voting for Obama, why not make your vote count twice?

First, here’s a reminder of an event way early in the campaign that has been forgotten by the “they’re both against gay marriage” set: Obama made a point of shutting down homophobic sentiments when he could have just let the moment pass. For those who think that them both being against gay marriage means there’s no difference between them when it comes to LGBT issues, please remember that McCain chose a running mate who is for “ex gay” therapy.

Then go look at these photos. I love that this photographer just kind of knew – as did Richard Avedon (watch till the end) – that Obama would become President Obama. Look at the one of his shoes. Of him cleaning up the drips from his ice cream. At the faces of the young people listening to and looking at him.

My firm belief is that Obama is an extraordinary president for extraordinary circumstances. That we are in the latter is in no doubt, considering this week’s economic news; there are lay-offs happening in all sectors of the economy. That the former is true – that Obama is the right president for this time – is only something I can be sure of in my head and heart. His decision to run when he did, his unbelievable good planning with making it to the nomination = all of these things, the odds he’s beat, tell me that his time is now.

And now it is yours. Go out and vote – early, if you can, to avoid the lines, or on November 4th.

Trans for Obama: Obama Pride Says Thanks

Trans folks and partners and allies: you did good with the Trans for Obama campaign, so good, in fact, that the Obama campaign has blogged about our efforts:

Obama Pride is honored by the enthusiastic support of so many in the transgender community and we congratulate all the participants in Trans Blog for Obama day for their huge success!

We’re very proud of us, too, and of Obama Pride for keeping LGBT issues visible for us all.

What’s even more important is that one of my favorite bloggers has written a remarkable piece about Obama from the perspective of someone who is female, African-American, and trans. Monica Roberts is a shining star in this community, and wow is that apparent from this current post of hers. My apologies that she did not hear about Trans for Obama Day until noon on Monday; the event’s organization happened very quickly, and while I tried to get to everyone – and tell them to let everyone else they knew to get on board – Ms. Roberts should have gotten her own invitation.

Sara also has a new post up about why she’ll vote for Obama now instead of voting for Kucinich in protest. & That’s exactly what Monday – and indeed this whole Trans for Obama week – was all about.

More Death Shows: Cold Case

I watch a lot of death shows, as I call them – the forensics, the procedurals, the investiigation shows. I’m a big fan of Cold Case, especially: the premise is that they have to take on a cold case – a case where the leads died, mostly – and solve it. So there’s a kind of historical quality to it, and some of the early shows I saw involved a woman who got an abortion when it was still illegal, and another about a gay bashing. Every episode I’ve seen involving LGBT folks is sympathetic, like the one my mom saw about an FTM, and “Best Friends,” which I saw recently, about an inter-racial lesbian relationship in 1932; Tessa Thompson played the African American half of the couple, and wore some natty suits.

But I find this show’s real appeal is the cultural history & the music: because it’s historical, they play a lot of good shit when they’re recreating a scene in the 1950s, or 60s, or 1978, or 2004. Lo & behold, someone has compiled all of the music from all the different episodes. Like Episode 21, “Torn,” which has music by Bessie Smith and Jelly Roll Morton, or Episode 6, “Static” with Gene Vincent and Little Richard.

Musicheads, do check it out. They show hours & hours of it late at night on TNT.

NC Robo-Calls

I was recently in the running in a “Top Ten Female Bloggers” contest sponsored by WVWV.org, which, as it turns out, is the organization that seems to be behind some baffling robo-calls to voters in NC (amongst other places).

Now Women’s Voices is plunging North Carolina into the same confusion. State officials tell Facing South they are still receiving calls from frustrated and confused voters, wondering why “Lamont Williams” is offering to send them a “voter registration packet” after the deadline for mail-in registration for the primaries has passed.

In correspondence with North Carolina election officials, Women’s Voices founder and President Page Gardner merely said that the disruptive timing was an “unfortunate coincidence” — a strange alibi for a group with their level of resources and sophistication.

There are other questions about Women’s Voices’ outreach efforts. Although the group purports to be targeting “unmarried women,” their calls and mailings don’t fit the profile. Kevin Farmer in Durham, who first recorded the call, is a white male. Many of the recipients are African-American; Rev. Nelson Johnson, who is a married, male and African-American, reported that his house was called four times by the mysterious “Lamont Williams.”

Please let anyone you know in North Carolina that these robo-calls are probably illegal & contain misleading information. How much WVWV’s intent is to buck up Clinton’s chances in the primary remain to be seen, but in a state where something like 45% of the voters are African-American, sending voters confusing and wrong information is anti-democratic. If it’s intentional, then I’d call it racist, too.

White feminists, you’re really fucking up here.

(via Daily Kos).

Fuck Seal Press?

I came back from visiting Betty upstate to find out that there is a huge mess involving Seal Press (my publishers) which came right on the heels of BFP’s departure last week.

So without pointing out every phrase and person involved, I’ll just say a few things as a white feminist who really only consciously became a feminist after reading Michele Wallace, and who, for nearly 10 years, worked for author Walter Mosley, who has written and talked about the absence of POC in the publishing industry, specifically.

The under representation of WOC in publishing has been a problem for a long time. The under representation of POC has been as well, in general. It’s not just chronic; it’s really fucking awful. Continue reading “Fuck Seal Press?”