This is Marie Curie, for those unaware she is one of the coolest women in history. She is known for her work on radioactivity. She was also the first woman in history to win the Nobel Prize, the only woman in history to win in two fields, and the only person in history to win in multiple sciences. That’s pretty incredible! And as if that’s not cool enough she also was the first female professor at the University of Paris. So she’s all around pretty amazing, and believe it or not she was also friends with the Einstein’s and went on vacation with them. She was definitely one inspiring woman, not only for women during that era, but even women today.
This is Albert Einstein’s wife, who was just as smart as he was! They worked together at various colleges and even when they got married she continued to work, which was unlike women in her time. Normally, when a woman would get married she would no longer work so she and her husband could start their family. But in the case of the Einstein’s she continued work, and even though they had a child they made sure to raise him together. Albert Einstein was not only smart, but more progressive than most. She actually helped Einstein out with his most famous papers, but she was not given real credit until recently. She was a phenomenal woman, who was one of the very first to obtain a degree in physics.
Just this past week, The Representation Project released a video highlighting the ways in which the media has failed women in 2013. The included ads vary from hypersexualization of women in advertising, to blatant misogyny on the news, to Miley Cyrus on the VMAs.
“Imagine a world where the media inspires women rather than degrading them,” they say. However, while over-sexualized representations of women arguably do provide potentially questionable role models for women, the reactions of viewers nation wide revealed further questionable societal behavior.
Comments online included serious chastisement of the girls in the videos for using their sexuality in ‘demeaning’ manners, comments to other commenters on how the women on the ads chose to use their image sexually and had a right to do so, and comments on the larger debate of sexuality vs. scholastic ability. Despite the point of the video, viewers everywhere have contributed to degradation of women by perpetuating the belief that there is only one right way to be feminist, and that women who do not behave in this singular, appropriate fashion are up for discrimination. It is truly this idea that allows the negative representation of women to continue, a social conception that allows women in the media to be judged upon this nonexistent binary scale.
Chime for Change is a new campaign, founded by Gucci, whose focus is to “raise awareness and funds for girls and women’s empowerment globally.” Gucci has been committed to girls’ and women’s issues for years now and is currently in a seven-year relationship with UNICEF, which I talked about in a previous post. Chime for Change has three powerful and influential women who happen to be its co-founders. These women are Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Salma Hayek Pinault, and Frida Giannini, who is Gucci’s Creative Director. Together these women have raised awareness for girls and women’s issues all over the world by launching commercials and using different social media outlets and they have helped fund many new projects to females all across the globe.
Earlier this June, Beyoncé dedicated an entire concert to Chime for Change to raise awareness, where she was able to raise $4.3 million in ticket sales. This money will fund 200 projects in 70 different counand the impact will be remarkable.
I was able to find the concert on YouTube and it was spectacular. While performing, Beyoncé referred to Rosa Parks and other famous women who have fought for equal rights for women for decades. When asked about empowering girls and women across the globe, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter said, “I have always felt strongly about equal opportunity for women. Girls have to be taught from early on that they are strong and capable of being anything they want to be. It is up to us to change the statistics for women around the world. I’m honored to be in the company of women who live fearlessly and set an example for the next generation of young ladies.” Beyoncé has made a huge impact and I admire her for her dedication to girls’ and women’s empowerment.
Chime for Change is based on three pillars: Education, Health, and Justice. The campaign has been inspired from a range of international stories that range from Malala’s personal fight for education in Pakistan and other issues concerning women’s violence in India, Ireland, South Africa, and the United States.
Change would not be possible without its partner Catapult, who is the first “crowd-funding platform.” Chime for Change is “powered” Catapult and they allow Chime for Change to connect to community members directly to different organization and projects on issues that they are concerned with. Currently, they represent over 50 organizations in 38 countries.
What’s interesting about Catapult is that it allows others to support girls and women’s projects in a “personalized and individual way.” Something I love about the way Chime for Change website is designed is that people can chose one of the three pillars that is most important to them, find a project they are interested in and learn more about it. After they read and learn how much money is needed to fund this certain project, they are able to make a donation of as much and as little as fits their own budget. Frida Giannini said, “when you consider that a $50 donation provides vocational training for a girl in India, or that less than $200 can train a mentor who will help refugees adjust to life in America, or that $8,000 is enough to build a water system in Ethiopia that will make it so that girls and women no longer have to walk two hours round trip to collect unsafe water from a river — you realize how much positive impact each of us can have.” This quote confirms that no matter how much people donate, every little bit helps. I just recently donated money to the Kenyan village of Enoosaen, where the first primary school was just built in order to educate girls. The story behind this school is amazing and I came across it in the Chime for Change website and couldn’t resist sharing it in this blog.
While looking at the pillar of Education, I came across the name of Kakenya Ntaiya, who has been named by CNN as Hero of the Year for the powerful impact she created in her Kenyan village of Enoosaen. Katenya was the first girl to leave her Maasai village in Kenya and attend college in the US. She was able to receive her doctorate in education and then returned to Kenya to give back to her community so that these girls have a chance to be educated. She launched the first primary school that serves 160 girls who are the most underprivileged in her village. The school is named the Kakenya Center for Excellence and this video captures Kakenya’s vision and the impact she has made for girls empowerment and education in Kenya. This video is remarkable and I urge you to watch it, because it is so inspirational.
I did not know about Chime for Change before I had to do this blog, but I am so glad that I do now because I can read about new projects that are helping girls and women worldwide. The impact Chime for Change has made has been incredible and I have made it my personal goal to donate once a month to girls education.
All of the above information came from http://www.chimeforchange.org/about. Visit this site if you would like more information and to learn about new projects being launched this year!
Other information I received from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/frida-giannini/let-every-womans-voice-ri_b_2768477.html
I’ve recently been doing some more digging into the actual history behind Women’s Education lately (my room is so filled to the brim with various books from the Hatcher library that its hard to open the door) and have found a very interesting interview online from a University of California professor, Margaret Nash. The link is below – please pardon the overly-enthusiastic host:
Anyways, the professor seems to mention two specific trends: the first being that initially (during the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries), women were actually more trending towards education in the sciences, whereas men were given more classical educations that focused on the ancient languages of Greek and Latin. As jobs and industries became more geared towards the sciences, however, the trends reversed themselves, with men taking more scientific educations and women being inclined to classical ones.
The second trend she mentions is that historically women have always had an upward trend concerning their post-high school educations.
Given that I’ve got all these books lying around, I decided to see the trend myself.
It turns out she’s absolutely right – here’s some figures:
If we look at 1947, only 4.7% of women 25 and older (of all races) had completed four years of college or more. One year later, however, in 1948, women make up a mere 22% of the entire labor force in the United States.
As we continue on throughout history, the amount of women who hold at least a Bachelor’s degree increase, and so do their participation rates in the labor force. The numbers progress through the 30 and 40th percentages throughout the 50s, 60s, and 70s, and end up at 55.8% in 1987. Not coincidentally, we find that the number of women with college degrees also rapidly increasesm starting at 4.7% in 1940, and ending up (with a very smooth increase) at 58.2% in 1972.
I have more details on what exactly this means for women’s lifestyles and outcomes in terms of well-being, but I’ll post that piece tomorrow.
I’m not gonna lie to you – When I was put into a group with three girls who had chosen feminism as our blog’s overall topic, I wasn’t particularly excited. I felt so far removed from any feminist experience that I didn’t quite feel as though I had enough to draw from to contribute in any significant manner. I felt like I had nothing to do with feminism – that was a women’s issue, and a women’s progression. How many of you feel the same way I felt?
Now take a look at the above video – in it, Betty Freidan makes the claim that the gender revolution that took place (or, was taking place during the time of that interview) was inherently dual-sexed. Both men and women shed off old, traditional ways of acting (men started growing longer hair, throwing off the traditional norm of the ‘tight-lipped, crew-cut man’), replacing them with characteristics that were traditionally associated with the opposite sex. Men became softer, and women became more assertive.
The way that we act in modern society, then, is generally much softer and more sensitive than even Friedan’s time. The day of the “bulging-muscled, bear-killing man”, Friedan states, is a thing of that past – it’s no longer necessary. Now, men tend to be much softer compared to their predecessors. Why? A product of the gender revolution!