women making waves (in the media)

Obituaries, The Globe and Mail, September 13, 2008, p. S7

Agnes Miller of Kentville, Nova Scotia died July 1, 2008. “Not only was she a faithful viewer of CBC’s Front Page Challenge, but she religiously scanned local newspapers and magazines in search of interesting story ideas for the show. … Over the years, she provided mailbags of story suggestions, of which more than 100 were used.”

The Arts section of The Chronicle Herald, September 13, 2008

Sister Fair Women’s Festival, September 26 to 28, 2008, Bridgetown, Nova Scotia

The Women’s Place Resource Centre in Bridgetown, Nova Scotia will hold a festival to celebrate women’s expression through music and the arts on the weekend of Sept. 26 to 28. The web site http://www.sisterfair.com includes in its schedule for the Saturday night a slide show on the Women’s Movement.

Sisterfair graphic by artist Terri Vernon

Sisterfair graphic by artist Terri Vernon

“It’s all the unwordable things one wants to write about, just as it’s all the unformable things one wants to paint – essence.” – Emily Carr, Canadian painter

“We’re constantly being told what other people think we are, and that’s why it’s important to know yourself.” – Sarah McLachlan, singer

August 23, 2008 (Tabatha Southey, The Globe and Mail, p. F2)

Toronto-based writer, Tabatha Southey, headlines her column for Tart )) Cheat Sheets “The heart is a lonely Rielle Hunter (and other lessons of the Edwards Affair affair).” Southey’s satirical critique of the press reports of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards’ affair calls the reader to move beyond simplistic notions of marriage as the primary source of a woman’s identity. She notes that “most women have moved beyond calculating their self-worth entirely by how happy they make their husbands and vice-versa.” Southey complains that the press, including The National Inquirer keeps on saying that Mr. Edwards “humiliated” his wife, failing to understand that “for the majority of women, our husbands’ affairs aren’t the tragic, defining moments of our lives. … Ask Elizabeth Edwards. She has cancer. … It’s as if being 59 (inoperably so) were something devastating that had happened to her on top of the ‘humiliation.’ … Marriage is cast not as a complex, fraught, potentially though not always rewarding endeavour embarked upon by fallible people but as something akin to a white kitten from a Cottonelle ad.”

Antigone Magazine blog of August 16, 2008 (from www.antigonemagazine.blogspot.com )

Dreams for Women – 15th week!

Here is the 15th week of the Dreams for Women art project and I want to again thank the University of Toronto at Scarbourough for sending up the many postcards that they made at their International Women’s Day Celebration.

Antigone Magazine is launching a Feminist Postcard art project! We want to know what your Dreams for Women are.What are your own dreams for yourself, your friends, your sisters, your daughters? Paint, draw, write, sketch or decoupage your dreams on a postcard and send it to the address below:

Antigone Magazine
Box 61-6138 SUB Boulevard
Vancouver, BC, Canada
V6T 1Z1
With your postcard submission, we ask that you make a donation (if you can!) to Antigone Magazine for anywhere from $1 to $10. You can send your money along with your postcard or donate on our blog: http://www.antigonemagazine.blogspot.com/ . But don’t worry… if you don’t have the money, just send along the postcard and tell people about this program. What is Antigone Magazine? We’re a grassroots national magazine that works to encourage young women to get involved in politics in Canada. We work to empower young women to engage politically and civically and to actively take part in leadership roles.

August, 2008 – Georgie Binks, Queen’s Alumni Review, Volume 82, Issue 3, p. 68

Georgie Binks, Artsci’75, captions her article and the photo with her daughter Julie, a third-year Arts and Science student at Queen’s “a long way still to go.” She makes the point that, although the women’s movement has made strides in overt gender discrimination, violence against women, including sexual violence, persists. When Georgie arrived at Queen’s in 1972, she “was ecstatic to discover a Women’s Liberation Group. Yes, that’s what it was called back then.” She claims gender discrimination has not been the experience of her daughter who played on a boys’ hockey team all through high school, but this past summer “she had the taste of the real-life battles that many women still face when she was subjected to sexual harassment on the job.” Julie discovered the Women’s Empowerment Committee (note the shift in language 40 years on) at Queen’s this past year. Responding to the committee’s production of Eva Ensler’s play The Vagina Monologues this past winter, Georgie “realized how much things have changed on campus. Thirty-seven years ago, the walls of Grant Hall echoed with the sounds of women protesting discrimination. Now they echoed with the sound of women praising their bodies, using words we never could have back then.”

August 13, 2008 (The Chronicle Herald, p. A7)

Freelance writer Dawn Henwood leads off her article with the caption “Grandma’s right: Cleanliness is next to godliness.” She recommends the work of poet and essayist, Kathleen Norris and her reflections on housework in The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, LIturgy and “Women’s Work, to advocate for “the ability to convert routine tasks into opportunities for gratitude, love, and contemplation” — that is, “mysticism among the dust motes.” Henwood has come to “appreciate the full weight of [her] grandmother’s proverb. … A sparkling floor or streak-free mirror provides a momentary flash of grace.”

Henwood’s re-membering of her grandma’s proverb, which she “used to think of as a ridiculous line, a way of keeping good women down … with unreasonable domestic burdens” is updated to a call for a willingness to take “the daily” as a divine gift. Reminscent of feminist philosopher Rosi Braidotti’s (1995) ideas of counter-memory and feminist genealogy. Henwood has “forgotten to forget” what women have offered to the life of the mind. Her “memory is activated against dominant opinions” (p. 27). Braidotti also believes that women, including those who never had the right to formal education, “continued doing most of their serious thinking while doing something else, mostly the housework. I think the great space of female theoretical creativity is all the spaces where repetitive chores are made, especially doing the dishes or ironing the clothes. It is in those moments of half-consciousness that the thinking is sharpest and the inner mental landscape the clearest. At times like that, the mind is in transit between different things, floating around, not quite focused and yet perfectly alive.”

August 9, 2008 (The Chronicle Herald):

Night Magic Fashions holds its 18th anniversary bash, a charity event in support of Byrony House in Halifax, which each year offers safety and shelter to approximately 450 women and children and answers over 4,500 distress calls. The entertainment begins with a fashion show featuring the latest in erotic lingerie fashions, swimwear and fetish attire. The host is Rouge Fatale and feature performances include the famous fan dance by Cadence McMichaeal of Pink Velvet Burlesque and the erotic fire-play performance by Miss Molotov.

This UNDERCURRENT, like the women labour activists’ marching song, Bread and Roses, highlights the feminist practice of valuing the aesthetic — women’s beauty and sexuality and humour — in the (charity) context of material needs for shelter and freedom from violence.

August 8, 2008 (Michael Lightstone, The Halifax Herald):

Ruth Bishop of Halifax, a member of the Nova Scotia Voice of Women and Nancy Covington of Physicians for Global Survival were among the speakers at the fourth annual Peace Day at the World Peace Pavilion in Darmouth, marking the 63rd anniversary of the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima. Art as popular education included cardboard cut-outs stencilled on the ground, images illustrating victims vaporized in the wartime attack. The Peace Day get-together included songs, a poetry reading, remarks by politicians, and a First Nations ceremony.

August 7, 2008 (The Chronicle Herald, p. B5):

On September 16, 2008, Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, will be the first speaker in Mount Saint Vincent University’s influential speaker series, which highlights the impact of women on social political and economic and cultural issues. The duchess’s speech, titled My Journey to an Authentic Life, will recount that journey “to reconnect with her true self through her passions of mothering and charity .. with stories and photos.”

August 6, 2008 (Laura Fraser, Cape Breton Bureau of The Chronicle Herald):

Satire featured in Rita MacNeil’s response to the news that the RCMP had been keeping tabs on her in the 1970s when she was part of the Toronto Women’s Caucus, as did “a couple of jabs at the RCMP” from blogger Sabotabby. Rita joked: ”Maybe they have surveillance on me now. I just finished a children’s CD.” Songs that came under scrutiny when Rita sang at political rallies and folk festivals in the early 1970s made it onto her first album, Born a Woman. An excerpt from the title track is included in the news story: ” The media they’ve done so fine, exploited our bodies and they buried our minds// Follow their line and you’re sure to be another brainwashed member in society.// With a WonderBra to improve your figure and girdles designed to make you five pounds slimmer;// Cover Girl to improve your complexion — oh don’t offend themale population.”

August 4, 2008, The Canadian Press:

New research by historians Steve Hewitt and Christabelle Sethna into the declassified files of the RCMP Security Service, revealed their interest in women’s groups that became active in the late 1960s, including the popular Maritime singer-songwriter Rita MacNeil. “She’s the one who composes and sings women’s lib songs,” says the RCMP memo, part of the file “Women’s Liberation Groups- Canada,” which was opened on May 13, 1969. Mountie spies kept close watch on the 1970 Abortion Caravan, which the Vancouver Women’s Caucus trekked across the country to protest the law regulating termination of preganancies. Participants who made the journey to Ottawa outwitted the force, successfully depositing a symbolic coffin at the door of the primeminister’s residence. The memo on the March 1972 gathering of women’s liberation groups in Winnipeg reads: “Consisting of about 100 sweating, uncombed women standing around in the middle of the floor with their arms around each other crying sisterhood and dancing.” The researchers report that the Mounties were more interested in gauging whether these women’s groups posed a threat from avowed Communist interests, possibly linked to hostile foreign powers, and were oblivious to “really dramatic social change going on almost right under the[ir] noses.”

August 3, 2008, (Dianne Marshall, The NovaScotian, pp. 5-6):

The effort to secure women’s suffrage in the Nova Scotia Assembly of 1893 was defeated, as was the second bill in 1897. This effort was led by Edith Jessie Archibald, president of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, her cousin Agnes Dennis, who succeeded her as president of the Local Women’s Council in 1896, Anna Leonowens, founder of the VIctoria School of Art, and Eliza Ritchie, professor of philosophy at Dalhousie University. The prominence of art as popular education is implicit in the title of Marshall’s article, “Petticoat Government” and the full-length, ladylike pose of Edith Jessie Archibald, illustrating their distaste for the violent approaches of the British suffragettes led by Emmeline Pankhurst, which according to the international press, whether real of propaganda, included setting off bombs or going on hunger strikes to the point of being force-fed.

August 2, 2008 (Elizabeth Renzetti, The Globe and Mail, p. R3):

Renzetti calls the film Mamma Mia, starring Meryl Streep, “a feminist film masterpiece … celebrat[ing] a woman’s sexual appetities, her independence of means and spirit, and vindicates a life unfettered by matrimony.” She suggests that this rarity in the movie business — Mamma Mia’s writer, directer and producer are all women — has made the film “infinitely more human than the stage musical and more radical in its treatment of women’s choices.” The caption for the photo embeds a subversive gender twist: “an unexpected feminist film that gives the women the best lines and treats the men as eye candy.” Renzetti contrasts Mamma Mia to other female-centred movies for the past few years, where the women “are little more than bride larvae, just waiting to hatch.” And then, moving from second wave to first wave, Renzetti finds womens’ empowerment in Rebecca Lenkiewicz’s new play Her Naked Skin, about Emily Wilding Davison, an early feminist who threw herself in front of the King’s horse during the 1913 Epsom Derby to attract attention to the suffragette movement. Another rarity, Lenkiewicz is the first living female playwright featured on London’s National Theatre’s main stage. Renzetti’s artful journalism adds another layer to women’s empowerment through art as she concludes: “I can’t say I left the theatre humming and doing the hustle down the street. But, like Mamma Mia!, the play lifted my spirits — and there wasn’t a bride in sight.”

~ by artpoped on August 11, 2008.

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