Posts tagged with women
Fighting Street Harassment Online
Dhruv Arora lives in Delhi, India, and he’s had enough. Enough of rape, enough of harassment and enough of the belief that what women wear has something to do with it.
“I am tired of people getting harassed on the street. I am tired of victim bashing. I am tired of people saying it happened because she was ‘inappropriately dressed,’” says the 24-year-old engineering student.
And so, in January of last year, Arora and a friend — outraged by the story of a 22-year-old woman raped by a cab driver, then blamed for it in the press — decided to do something about it. They created a Tumblr with a simple request: send in photos of what you were wearing when you were harassed on the street, along with your story. Consider it a personal form of protest.
The Reconstructionists: Celebrating Badass Women
What do Buddhist artist Agnes Martin, Hollywood inventor Hedy Lamarr, and French-Cuban author Anaïs Nin have in common? Their names may not conjure popular recognition, and yet, for Lisa Congdon and Maria Popova, these women represent a particular breed of cultural trailblazer: female, under-appreciated, badass. They are “Reconstructionists,” as the writer-illustrator duo call them — and for the next year, they’ll be celebrated on a blog of the same name. Every Monday for 12 months, The Reconstructionists will debut a hand-painted illustration and short essay highlighting a woman from fields such as art, science, and literature. The subject needn’t be famous, but she will, as Popova, the creator of Brain Pickings, puts it, “have changed the way we define ourselves as a culture.” We spoke with Popova, and illustrator Congdon, about the inspiration behind their project.
How’d you come up with the name ‘Reconstructionist’?
Maria Popova: It’s very challenging to celebrate women without pigeonholing the project into some stereotypical and alienating feminist corner, the most dangerous part of which is the preaching-to-the-choir quality that many such projects tend to have. So when it was time to come up with a title for the project, it couldn’t be something too literal or too obvious. After sifting through hundreds of letters, diaries, autobiographies, and other writing, I suddenly remembered something Anaïs Nin had written in a 1944 diary entry — about “woman’s role in the reconstruction of the world.” It was perfect. It was the only common denominator between those women – they aren’t all artists, or all writers, or all to be expected in the pages of a tenth-grade history book. They are simply all reconstructionists.
Infographic #2: Chromatic party breakdown in the House and Senate.
Disclaimer: I lost Oregon Democratic Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (special election, 2012). She’ll be up by Tuesday, probably in red.
Jill Greenberg on Capturing the Horse as Supermodel
One might say there are two Jill Greenbergs. First, there is Jill Greenberg the commercial photographer: She’s done work for corporations like Disney and Coke; her editorial photos have appeared on the covers of Time, Fortune, New York, and others. But it’s Jill Greenberg the artist who gets people talking. From sinister shots of John McCain under the text “WARMONGER” to closeup portraits of children crying (after being offered candy and then having it snatched away), her images have been called “repulsive,” “grotesque,” and have elicited death threats. Her latest project, a book called Horse, is more, shall we say, tame.
You were harshly criticized for the McCain photos you took during the last election, under a strobe light, which made him look almost devil-like. It was an Atlantic assignment, but you doctored the outtakes as an art piece. Was it hard to find editorial work after that?
That incident’s backlash really surprised me, considering I delivered their cover image exactly to their specifications. I don’t really know, but I think the Atlantic was afraid that McCain might be elected and needed to cover themselves. Photographers own all their images when shooting for magazines. The contract actually said you will use all means within your reach to publicize the images and shoot, including your own website, which is where I posted my agit-prop political cartoons. The incident got them an unbelievable amount of traffic, right before they relaunched the magazine with a redesign.
Painting the Women of the 112th, Powersuit by Powersuit
It didn’t start out as a political statement, exactly. Emily Nemens, a writer and illustrator in New York, simply wanted to take on a new creative project, preferably in watercolor. For four years already — between jobs at the Met, and later, at the American Institute of Architects — she’d done a series of watercolor mouth paintings: beautiful, complex images of plump rosy lips, some with objects clenched between them. She’d also illustrated comic books, and published a collection of short stories.
But she’d always been fascinated by political portraiture and the way it could convey the personality of a subject. She’d also noticed how much of that portraiture (save for a few French revolution portraits, and some queens of England) lacked women. And so, in early 2011, right around the time Michelle Bachmann hit the national stage, Nemens set out to paint the female members of Congress — all 94 of them. “I want to honor the breadth and diversity of women in power, as well as bring attention to certain disconcerting characteristics about them,” Nemens says. “The rainbow of power suits, the big hair, the gaudy jewelry and toothy smiles … and, of course, the fact that they collectively are only 17 percent of Congress.”