(Photo: NBC Nightly News)
Eesha Khare, the 18-year-old winner of the Intel Young Scientist Award, earned $50,000 for her breakthrough research. Her innovative charging device can fit inside a cell phone and fully charge the phone in about 20 seconds.
Congratulations to Eesha Khare, and to NBC News for not burying her name in the seventh paragraph!
history meme ∙ 5 Women: (1/5) Adeline Virginia Woolf
Adeline Virginia Woolf (/ˈwʊlf/; 25 January 1882 – 28 March 1941) was an English writer, and one of the foremost modernists of the twentieth century. During the interwar period, Woolf was a significant figure in London literary society and a central figure in the influential Bloomsbury Group of intellectuals. Her most famous works include the novels Mrs Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927) and Orlando (1928), and the book-length essay A Room of One’s Own (1929), with its famous dictum, “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” (x)
Meet The Red Brigade: formed in November 2011 to fight back against a growing number of sexual attacks on women in the city of Lucknow, India
The male tormentor of the young women of the Madiyav slum did not spot the danger until it was too late. One moment he was taunting them with sexual suggestions and provocations; the next they had hold of his arms and legs and had hoisted him into the air.
Then the beating began. Some of the young women lightly used their fists, others took off their shoes and hit him with those. When it was over, they let him limp away to nurse his wounds, certain that he had learned an important lesson: don’t push your luck with the Red Brigade.
Named for their bright red outfits, the Red Brigade was formed in November 2011 as a self-defense group for young women suffering sexual abuse in the northern Indian city of Lucknow, 300 miles south-east of Delhi. Galvanised by the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old medical student in Delhi last December and the nationwide protests that followed against a rising tide of rapes, they are now gaining in confidence.
From a core membership of 15, ranging in age from 11 to 25, they now have more than 100 members with a simple message for the men who have made their lives a misery: they will no longer tolerate being groped, gawped at and worse. Their activities are a lesson in empowerment.
Men who fall foul of the Red Brigade can first expect a visit and a warning. Sometimes the Red Brigade will ask the police to get involved, but if all else fails they take matters into their own hands. Their leader, 25-year-old teacher Usha Vishwakarma, has her own experience of the daily danger faced by many young women in the country. She was just 18 when a fellow teacher tried to rape her. “He grabbed me and put his hands round me and tried to open my belt and trousers,” says Usha, sitting in the bare-brick front room of her small house. “But I was saved by my jeans because they were too tight for him to open, and that gave me a chance to fight, so I kicked him in the sensitive place and pushed him down and ran out of the door.”
No one at the school took her accusations seriously, telling her to forget it and stop causing trouble. The experience left her traumatized and for two years she did nothing. But little by little her confidence came back. In 2009 she set up her own small school for local girls in an outbuilding next to her family home. Yet all around her, she says, she saw more and more young women suffering the same abuse she had faced. And it was threatening to wreck the chances of her young female students.
“Parents were telling girls to stay in their homes so there would be no incidents. They said, ‘if you go to school, boys will be troubling you, so stay home and there will be no sexual violence’,” says Vishwakarma. “But we said no, and we decided to form a group to fight for ourselves. We decided we would not just complain; we would take a lead and fight for ourselves.” They bought red kameez (shirts) and black salwar (trousers) and began to plan the fightback. “We chose red because it means danger and black for protest,” says Vishwakarma.
There is much to fight back against. “It is in the minds of men that girls are objects and it has been like that always,” says Vishwakarma. “Religion shows women as very powerless and that whoever is strong can do anything.”
They have started martial arts training so that the men do not have a physical advantage over them. Pooja, Vishwakarma’s 18-year-old sister, laughs as she recalls the reaction of the boy they grabbed in the street when his taunts became too much. “We all stopped and turned round and we surrounded him and grabbed his arms and legs and he thought it was a joke, but we were not kidding and four of us lifted him in the air and the others started to hit him with their shoes and fists,” she says.
The rough justice the Red Brigade metes out might seem extreme to western sensibilities, but many Indian women are making it clear that they are no longer prepared to put up with endemic abuse. That much is clear from the crime figures: reports of molestation in Delhi are up 590% year on year and rape reports by 147%. The rape cases have hit tourist numbers, which were down 25% in the first three months of the year – 35% fewer women are travelling to India. The Red Brigade say sexual abuse is a part of daily life for young women like them. They all have stories of abuse, attempted rapes and daily harassment. “This is what happens in India,” says 16-year-old Laxmi, one of Vishwakarma’s lieutenants. “These things happen all the time. All of us know this, so don’t let anyone say otherwise. This is why we have formed the Red Brigade.”
Seventeen-year-old Preeti Verma nods in agreement. Her family are too poor to have a toilet in the house, so she has to go out into the fields, she says. Every time she went out, the man in the neighbouring house threw stones at her to try to scare her into jumping up. “He wanted to see my body,” she says. “I told him: ‘What are you doing? You are shameless, don’t you have a mother and sister in your house?’ But he replied that his mother is for his father, his sister is for her husband and that I was for him.” She told Vishwakarma, and the man received a visit from the Red Brigade and another from the police. She has had no trouble from him since.
“We’ve caught a lot of men recently,” says 17-year-old Sufia Hashmi. “I joined up because men always used to pass comments on me and touch my body, but now we beat them the men cannot do anything and they run away. You feel powerful and you feel good.”
On the way back to the slum, the rickshaws pass a public park and for a moment these tough young women show themselves for what they really are – children forced to grow up fast. They beg and plead to stop. “Please, please,” they say, their eyes gleaming in excitement. Shrieking gleefully, they race off towards the swings, slides and roundabouts. Later they stroll back through the market, eating ice-creams, heading for their homes. The sun is low in the sky, the shadows long. The men watch sullenly as they pass. No one risks a word.
Saw this on Al Jazeera this morning. I’m sure it’s gone around Tumblr in some form before.
Counsel tells you that I am a woman. I wonder that the planets did not stand still in their courses and rivers cease to run to the sea at the announcement of this startling discovery. I am amazed that His Honor did not faint upon the bench and that you gentlemen of the jury have survived this awful shock to your nervous systems…
Again he tells you that I am a woman. By a natural antithesis I presume he would have you infer that he is not. I suppose he wants me to tell you that he is a man and he takes this hurried opportunity and adroit method of testifying to the fact. Though nobody yet has denied it, he seems to be in a fever of anxiety to emphasize that he is a man…
I am that formidable and terrifying object known as a woman—while he is only a poor, helpless, defenseless man, and he wants you to take pity on him and give him a verdict in this case." - Clara Shortridge Foltz, California’s first female attorney, throwing some serious shade on opposing counsel during closing arguments in 1890. (via valjeaned)
“16-Year-Old Egyptian Scientist Finds Way to Turn Plastic Waste Into $78 Million of Biofuel!”What Azza proposes is to break down the plastic polymers found in drinks bottles and general waste and turn them into biofuel feedstock. (This is the bulk raw material that generally used for producing biofuel.) It should be noted that this is not a particularly new idea, but what makes Azza stand out from the crowd is the catalyst that she is proposing. She says that she has found a high-yield catalyst called aluminosilicate, that will break down plastic waste and also produce gaseous products like methane, propane and ethane, which can then be converted into ethanol.
“this is how i imagine you look all the time, tbh” — cthonical. CRYING. IF ONLY, CTHONICAL, if only. <33333
YEP! :) Gimme her name and we’ll be in the business
An assignment for Advanced Digital! We were supposed to make a gif portrait of a historical figure. I chose Julie d’Aubigny, 17th century swordsmaster and opera singer, responsible for the deaths of at least ten men in duels, and openly bisexual. After her lover was placed into a convent by the girl’s parents, d’Aubigny took the vows to enter the convent as a novice, then rescued her lover and set the convent on fire to cover their escape. Dang.
“Put me on the internet! Even on The Google!”
BlackBook talks about Beyonce’s amazing all-female band
One of the coolest things about Beyoncé’s live show won’t get nearly as much play as the impressive choreography or the light show or the ’90s-kid-Twitter-detonating reunion, and that is The Suga Mamas, Beyoncé’s all-female tour band, with whom she has been touring for years (as NPR’s Ann Powers helpfully pointed out, “not a gimmick”).
An all-female backing band may be part of her image and a very deliberate decision, but in an age where women playing rock instruments is still totally novel to a lot of people because most of America and the world is in a dumb time warp about stuff like this and women who are guitarists, drummers, etc. still have to “prove” themselves more than their male counterparts, to have The Suga Mamas on the biggest and most mainstream stage, performing to millions the world over, is really goddamn impressive, even if they were supporting one of the biggest names in music and of course they’d be there.
And leading this pack is Bibi McGill, who in addition to having a pretty incredible stage presence and complementing Our Bey well, can play like nobody’s business. It’s a shame people probably missed her playing because everyone was waiting so attentively to see if Destiny’s Child would show up, because it was boss. There were pyrotechnics. There was shredding. The planets aligned and all was well.
April 10, 1930: Dolores Huerta is born.
Dolores Huerta was born in Dawson, New Mexico, and was raised by her mother (along with her two brothers) in Stockton, California, a major city in the state’s agriculturally productive San Joaquin Valley. Although her mother eventually became a hotel owner and a successful businesswoman, Huerta’s community was supported by low-wage migrant farm workers (like the family of Cesar Chavez), and so Huerta herself, inspired by her upbringing and her experience working as a teacher among impoverished students, became a community organizer and set out to “correct economic injustice”. In the 1950s Huerta worked with the Stockton chapter of the Community Service Organization, a group that focused on promoting political participation and empowerment among American immigrant groups, especially Mexican-Americans, and which came to be known as “a training ground for the first generation of Latino leaders”. Among these leaders was Huerta herself, and Cesar Chavez, whom she met while working with the CSO.
In 1960, she founded the Agricultural Workers Association (AWA), and in 1962 Huerta and Chavez founded a union called the National Farm Workers Association that would later merge with the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee to become the United Farm Workers of America, . Its principal aim was (and is) to organize farmworkers and, through non-violent methods, to “provide farm workers and other working people with the inspiration and tools to share in society’s bounty”. In 1965, the AWOC and NFWA organized the Delano grape strike in protest of the poor pay (90 cents an hour, on average) and poor working conditions of table grape growers; this strike was not resolved until 1970, but the activists successfully brought national attention to the plight of oft-overlooked farmworkers. Huerta was a co-founder of the UFW and one of its major spokespeople and organizers, but she also provided within the union a feminist voice; previously she had referred to feminism as a “middle-class phenomenon”, but later referred to herself as a “born-again feminist” - in addition to organizing farmworkers in pursuit of better pay and working conditions, Huerta also worked to get more women involved in the movement.
During her work as an activist, Huerta was arrested over twenty times. In 1988, she was beaten by the police in San Francisco during a peaceful protest against the policies of George H.W. Bush, and after this incident she began to focus on women’s rights advocacy. Since the 1990s, Huerta has received numerous honors and awards for her work, including the Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award in 1998, honorary degrees from several institutions, and most recently the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian award.
This is Sybil Ludington. Today is her birthday.
Sybil is not very well known and it’s a crying shame. The 16-year old was personally thanked by George Washington for her heroic feat, riding twice the distance of Paul Revere and warning the militia and rebellion sympathizers of the sacking of Danbury, CT. But thanks to Longfellow’s severely historically inaccurate poem, more people remember Revere’s ride than hers. *sighs*
By the way? Revere got captured by the British after his stint and had a ton of other riders out on the roads with him or to switch off with. Sybil Ludington was by herself, in the rain, and she beat highwaymen trying to stop her doing her duty WITH A STICK, still managing to get the job done and home safe.
Thanks, Syb. You should make everyone happy inside with your pure badassery.
In case you missed it this weekend, Kim Yuna destroyed the rest of the field by a 20 point margin at the 2013 World Figure Skating Championships held in London, Ontario. It wasn’t even close, she’s all alone on the mountaintop, in her own magical realm. She nailed six perfect triples in her free skate and skated with a grace, sophistication, and emotional power that can only be seen rather than described.
She won Olympic gold in Vancouver in 2010 and basically walked away from competitive skating for two years, then just hops back into the mix and crushes her competition. Who does that?
In South Korea, she isn’t just the most celebrated athlete; she’s the most celebrated person in her country, a national hero and cultural icon, known simply as Queen Yuna, kind of like Manny Pacquiao in the Philippines except on ice in a dress. When she skates, she carries her entire country on her shoulders and it clearly doesn’t hold her down at all, she lifts millions of hearts with every perfect stride and gesture. Having grown up in Montreal, I’ve been watching winter sports since I was a toddler and Kim Yuna is the greatest I’ve ever seen.
Muppets co-creator Jane Henson dies at 78
Puppeteer and philanthropist Jane Henson, the widow of the legendary Jim Henson, died Tuesday at her home in Connecticut.
Mrs. Henson, who was the co-creator of the iconic Muppets, passed away following a long battle with cancer, according to a news release from the Jim Henson Foundation. She was 78.
Photo: Jane Henson, co-creator of the Muppets, participates in a ceremony at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History on Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2010, in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
One half of the duo that created the best parts of my childhood. If Jim Henson’s funeral is any indication, there won’t be a dry eye in the room at Jane’s.
5 female authors and their books, that helped shape the world of Children’s literature!
Happy Women’s History Month!