women's rights

  In The Highest Glass Ceiling, best-selling historian Ellen Fitzpatrick tells the story of three remarkable women who set their sights on the American presidency. Victoria Woodhull (1872), Margaret Chase Smith (1964), and Shirley Chisholm (1972) each challenged persistent barriers confronted by women presidential candidates.

Their quest illuminates today’s political landscape, showing that Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign belongs to a much longer, arduous, and dramatic journey.

  Feminism has hit the big time. Once a dirty word brushed away with a grimace, “feminist” has been rebranded as a shiny label sported by movie and pop stars, fashion designers, and multi-hyphenate powerhouses like Beyoncé. It drives advertising and marketing campaigns for everything from wireless plans to underwear to perfume, presenting what’s long been a movement for social justice as just another consumer choice in a vast market. Individual self-actualization is the goal, shopping more often than not the means, and celebrities the mouthpieces.

But what does it mean when social change becomes a brand identity? Feminism’s splashy arrival at the center of today’s media and pop-culture marketplace, after all, hasn’t offered solutions to the movement’s unfinished business.

Andi Zeisler, a founding editor of Bitch Media, draws on more than twenty years’ experience interpreting popular culture in this biting history of how feminism has been co-opted, watered down, and turned into a gyratory media trend in her new book, We Were Feminists Once: From Riot Grrrl to CoverGirl®, the Buying and Selling of a Political Movement.

  Women are making inroads in business, but still have a long way to go.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Connecticut Representative Elizabeth Esty tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock about her latest work on this issue. 

  Lynsey Addario was just finding her way as a young photographer when September 11 changed the world. One of the few photojournalists with experience in Afghanistan, she got the call to return and cover the American invasion.

Addario finds a way to travel with a purpose. She photographs the Afghan people before and after the Taliban reign, the civilian casualties and misunderstood insurgents of the Iraq War, as well as the burned villages and countless dead in Darfur. She exposes a culture of violence against women in the Congo and tells the riveting story of her headline-making kidnapping by pro-Qaddafi forces in the Libyan civil war.

She writes about her experiences in her memoir, It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War.

  After many years in front of the camera acting for the likes of Brian DePalma, Quentin Tarantino, Wes Craven, Robert Rodriquez, among many others, Rose McGowan has turned her eye to directing.

She premiered her directorial debut, the short film, Dawn at the Sundance Film Festival. It garnered not only critical praise, but a Grand Jury Prize nomination and qualified for the Academy Awards. McGowan is now preparing for her feature length debut.

She will appear with Anne Hubbell, Leah Meyerhoff, in the Woodstock Film Festival's Women in Film and Media Panel entitled Enough, Already! Changing the Status of Women in Film and Television moderated by Alexis Alexanian.

Listener Essay - When No Girls Were Allowed

Sep 10, 2015

  Jacqueline Sheehan is a New York Times bestselling author from Western Massachusetts. Her new novel, The Center of the World, will be published in January 2016.

  Forty years after the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, “abortion” is still a word that is said with outright hostility by many, despite the fact that one in three American women will have terminated at least one pregnancy by menopause. Even those who support a woman’s right to an abortion often qualify their support by saying abortion is a “bad thing,” an “agonizing decision,” making the medical procedure so remote and radioactive that it takes it out of the world of the everyday, turning an act that is normal and necessary into something shameful and secretive.

In Pro, Katha Pollitt takes on the personhood argument, reaffirms the priority of a woman’s life and health, and discusses why terminating a pregnancy can be a force for good for women, families, and society. The book is out in paperback.

  Once vilified by pro-life and pro-choice supporters alike, Aspen Baker has shown that “pro-voice” might be the best method to move past conflict and hatred around abortion.

With her nonprofit, Exhale, she has demonstrated that it’s possible to get people talking respectfully even about the most polarizing topics.

Her new book is Pro-Voice: How To Keep Listening When The World Wants A Fight.

4/6/15 Panel

Apr 6, 2015

  The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock, SUNY Albany Journalism Professor and Investigative Professor, Rosemary Armao, and political consultant, Libby Post.

Scheduled topics include Rolling Stone retracts rape story; President Obama makes his case for Iran Nuclear Deal; Chinese women's rights activists arrested; and California drought.

    Today we speak with Sally Roesch Wagner, the Founding Director of the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation, which is partnering with the New York Council for the Humanities to planning a number of programs and events celebrating the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage in New York State, which we will celebrate in 2017.

Next week, the Gage Foundation, New York Council, and other partners will be in Albany to talk to lawmakers about their plans for the celebration.

  International Women's Day is a holiday with millions of people participating in thousands of events around the world for 104 years - and celebrated annually by the United Nations. Four years ago two Saratoga residents set out to honor the day and its history with the first NY Celebrates Women statewide event.

One Woman. One World. will be held in Saratoga Springs on International Women’s Day, March 8th.

Ruth Fein and Joanne Yepsen are partners in Critical Needs Now, who work primarily with not-for-profits and together produce this event. Joanne is also, of course, the Mayor of Saratoga Springs.

  In Mea Culpa: Lessons on Law and Regret from U.S. History, Steven W. Bender examines how the United States’ collective shame about its past has shaped the evolution of law and behavior.

We regret slavery and segregationist Jim Crow laws. We eventually apologize, while ignoring other oppressions, and our legal response to regret often fails to be transformative for the affected groups.

  Forty years after the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, “abortion” is still a word that is said with outright hostility by many, despite the fact that one in three American women will have terminated at least one pregnancy by menopause. Even those who support a woman’s right to an abortion often qualify their support by saying abortion is a “bad thing,” an “agonizing decision,” making the medical procedure so remote and radioactive that it takes it out of the world of the everyday, turning an act that is normal and necessary into something shameful and secretive.

In Pro, Katha Pollitt takes on the personhood argument, reaffirms the priority of a woman’s life and health, and discusses why terminating a pregnancy can be a force for good for women, families, and society.

  As an organizer, writer, publisher, scholar-activist, and elected official, Barbara Smith has played key roles in multiple social justice movements, including Civil Rights, feminism, lesbian and gay liberation, anti-racism, and Black feminism.

Her four decades of grassroots activism forged collaborations that introduced the idea that oppression must be fought on a variety of fronts simultaneously, including gender, race, class, and sexuality.

By combining hard-to-find historical documents with new unpublished interviews with fellow activists, her new book, Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around, uncovers the deep roots of today’s “identity politics” and “intersectionality” and serves as a primer for practicing solidarity and resistance.

  Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore’s new book is The Secret History of Wonder Woman. Lepore will be in South Hadley, MA tonight for an Odyssey Book Shop event at Mount Holyoke College to discuss Wonder Woman. So, why is a History Professor writing about Wonder Woman. Well, it happened by accident.

The book is a work of historical detection revealing that the origins of one of the world's most iconic superheroes hides within it a fascinating family story--and a crucial history of twentieth-century feminism. Wonder Woman, created in 1941, is the most popular female superhero of all time. Aside from Superman and Batman, no superhero has lasted as long or commanded so vast and wildly passionate a following. Like every other superhero, Wonder Woman has a secret identity. Unlike every other superhero, she has also has a secret history.

WAMC/Allison Dunne

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is making women’s rights a central focus of his campaign, focusing on an abortion rights provision. The issue serves multiple purposes for the governor.

  U. S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand will speak about her new book on empowering women, Off the Sidelines on Saturday, September 27 at 4:00 p.m. in the Campus Center Ballroom on the University at Albany’s uptown campus.

From the time of the American colonies’ declaration of independence from the Monarch-led Empire of Great Britain (on July 4, 1776), to the establishment of a democratic republic, with its first President, a Congress, Senate, unfinished draft of an as yet incomplete and un-adopted Constitution, nearly two decades would elapse. Still, their absolute belief in the certitude of their enterprise induced them to announce it to a then uninitiated assortment of nations.

C-span

"Women in Politics" will be the focus Friday at Russell Sage College as the school welcomes three prominent female legislators from both parties to a public forum.

NYS Resolution Honors Women's Suffrage Wagon

Jun 19, 2013
Courtesy of Votes For Women 2020

An elected official in the Hudson Valley is behind a movement to put New York front and center of the women’s suffrage centennial in 2020. For starters, she has worked to ensure that New York has a new day to commemorate, in just a few weeks.

The state Senate and Assembly Tuesday adopted a resolution, calling on the governor to proclaim July 1 this year as the “Spirit of 1776” Wagon Day in the State of New York. Here’s Susan Zimet, founder of Votes for Women 2020, the non-profit organization planning suffrage centennial events in 2017 and 2020.  

Albany Law School President and Dean Penelope Andrews is the author of the new book From Cape Town to Kabul: Rethinking Strategies for Pursuing Women’s Human Rights, which advances a new approach to pursuing human rights for women in developing democracies.

In the 1960s, Lynn Povich worked at Newsweek — where she became part of a revolution. At that time, women were hired to deliver mail, clip newspapers, and, if they were lucky, became researchers or fact checkers. All of the writers and reporters were men.