Wednesday 30 May 2018

Cold Power Cleaning

"Every guy should be lucky enough to have a wife get his clothes clean at the utility company's expense."

Colgate image via

Monday 28 May 2018

Quoting Colette Guillaumin

"Race does not exist. But it does kill people. It also continues to provide the backbone of some ferocious systems of domination. (...) Not in the shameful margins of our society, but behind the honourable mask of 'opinion' and 'ideas'. (...)
No, race does not exist. And yet it does. Not in the way that people think; but it remains the most tangible, real and brutal of realities."
Colette Guillaumin, 1995

Colette Guillaumain (1934-2017) was a French sociologist and feminist.

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- Guillaumain, C. (1995). Racism, Sexism, Power and Ideology. London: Routledge
- photograph via (Marching children frame a state police sharpshooter. Maria Varela. Near Jackson, Mississippi, 1966)

Friday 25 May 2018

Narrative images: "I am startled that out of so much pain some beauty came."

“The police and firemen used a brute show of force to try to stop the ongoing demonstrations. It didn’t work on this day. Rather than fleeing, the protestors hung on to each other and were able to stand up to the full fury of the water, though not without casualties. I have never witnessed such cruelty. There was almost as much moisture behind the lens as in front. I gave a print of this picture to Dr. King. He studied it and said, ‘I am startled that out of so much pain some beauty came.”
Bob Adelman (1930-2016)

The photograph was taken in Kelly Ingram Park, Birmingham, Alabama in 1963. Birmingham was one of the most ethnically divided cities in the U.S.; according to Martin Luther King, it was the most segregated city. The Birmingham movement was a model of nonviolent direct action protest and organised to bring attention to the black Americans fighting for integration. So it did. It drew the world's attention to segregation with the help of images like Adelman's. Charles Moore' photographs of school children being hit by high-pressure water were printed in Life (via).

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photograph via

Thursday 24 May 2018

Born this day ... Lilian Gilbreth

Lilian Evelyn Moller Gilbreth (1878-1972), the "mother of modern management", studied literature at the University of California at Berkeley to become a teacher although her father was not convinced higher education was a good idea for women. At Berkeley, she became the first woman to give a commencement speech. She planned to continue her studies at Columbia University in New York with Brander Matthews who was a famed critic. Matthews, however, did not allow women to attend his lectures. Edward Lee Thorndike did and Lilian studied psychology with him; she completed her M.A. in literature.

After one year of studying for her Ph.D., Lilian went on a summer trip to Europe where she met Frank Gilbreth, her future husband. As her husband was interested in workplace efficiency and encouraging, Lilian changed her major from English to psychology and got her doctorate from Brown University. Her dissertation focused on psychological aspects of industrial management, i.e. job satisfaction, the role of human relations, individual differences, and incentives at the workplace. Lilian became a pioneer of organisational psychology, the first female member of the Society of Industrial Engineers, the first female psychologist with a U.S. postage stamp issued in her honour, and the first woman to receive the Hoover Medal for distinguished public service (via and via).
"Over seventeen years, the couple would have twelve children, two of whom co-authored the books Cheaper by the Dozen and Belles on Their Toes, which chronicled life in the busy Gilbreth household and were subsequently made into movies. Lillian and Frank were true partners both at home and in business, applying their scientific management principles to the running of their household and the businesses to whom they consulted after Frank sold his construction company. They wrote several books together, however, Lillian was never named co-author because the publishers were concerned about the credibility of the books should it be known that a woman was one of the authors - despite the fact that Lillian had a doctorate and Frank had not attended university. Nonetheless, Lillian developed a reputation in her own right as a major player in the field of industrial management."
Held, 2010
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photograph via

Tuesday 22 May 2018

Maureen O'Hara and Hollywood's Idea of Being a Woman

"There's a terrible truth for many women in the picture business: Aging typically takes its toll and means fewer and less desirable roles.
Maureen O'Hara

Irish film star Maureen O'Hara to-day charged Hollywood producers and directors with calling her "A cold potato without sex appeal" because she refuses to let them make love to her, says the Mirror New York correspondent.
"I am so upset with it that I am ready to quit Hollywood," Maureen says. "It's got so bad I hate to come to work in the morning.
"I'm a helpless victim of a Hollywood whispering campaign. Because I don't let the producer and director kiss me every morning or let them paw me they have spread word around town that I am not a woman - that I am a cold piece of marble statuary. I guess Hollywood won't consider me as anything except a cold hunk of marble until I divorce my husband, give my baby away and get my name and photograph in all the newspapers. If that's Hollywood's idea of being a woman I'm ready to quit."
Snippet from 1945

::: More: Maureen O'Hara stood up to men, The Guardian, LINK

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photograph via

Saturday 19 May 2018

Going to school ... with a headscarf

A survey carried out in Austria in 2016 came to the conclusion that the most common type of discrimination at schools is islamophobia. 61.70% of the students who had experienced discrimination were Muslims followed by 31.91% who had experienced discrimination because of their ethnicity, 4.26% because of their gender, 2.13% because they were atheists.
More female (51.06%) than male (34.04%) students reported to have experienced discrimination. Of the Muslim students, 73% of the girls and 10% of the boys felt discrimated against and among the girls those wearing a headscarf (62%) were more affected than those without (38%).

While more female students are discriminated against, more male (55.32%) than female (31.91%) teachers act out their prejudice. The percentage of male teachers discriminating against female students is 66.67% compared to 18.52% of male teachers discriminating against male students.

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- Initiative für ein diskriminierungsfreies Bildungswesen (2016). Diskriminierung im österreichischen Bildungswesen. Bericht 2016
- photograph via

Tuesday 15 May 2018

ADHD and the School System

Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are a challenge to "manage" at school. In general, there is a lack of formal education and support to help and prepare teachers (e.g. Perold et al., 2010). Hence, teachers can feel stress and see it as an educational problem (via). The classroom, in fact, can be "one of the most difficult places for children with (...) ADHD" (Kos et al., 2006). Among some teachers, there is the tendency to get rid of these children by diagnosing special needs and sending them to special schools (via).

Educational reformer Friedrich Gedike (1754-1803) pointed out that school records were not primarily about academic performance but about behaviour, discipline, obedience, and attention. The characteristics of this school system (that do have survived) create an environment in which children with ADHD are perceived as particularly challenging. Outside school, their behaviour is not labelled as a problem - or at least not to such an extent (von Stechow, 2015). Psychosocial interventions can improve school performance (Tresco et al., 2010).

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- Kos, J.M., Richdale, A. L., & Hay, D. A. (2006). Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and their Teachers: A review of the literature. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 53(2), 147-160.
- Perold, M., Louw, C., & Kleynhans, S. (2010). Primary school teachers' knowledge and misperceptions of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). South African Journal of Education, 30, 457-473.
- von Stechow, E. (2015). Von Störern, Zerstreuten und ADHS-Kindern: Eine Analyse historischer Sichtweisen und Diskurse auf die Bedeutung von Ruhe und Aufmerksamkeit bis zum 21. Jahrhundert. Bad Heilbrunn: Verlag Julius Kinkhardt.
- photograph via

Friday 11 May 2018

If all our skins turned lavender overnight...

"There is a fantasy as old as the modern gay rights movement that if all our skins turned lavender overnight, the majority, confounded by our numbers and our diversity, and recognising a few of our faces, would at once let go of prejudice forevermore."
Ian McKellen

photograph of Sir Ian McKellen via

Tuesday 8 May 2018

Eartha Kitt, Lady Bird Johnson, and the Vietnam War

On 18th of January 1968, first lady Claudia Alta "Lady Bird" Johnson (1912-2007) invited Eartha Kitt (1927-2008) to a Women Doer's Luncheon (with the subject "Why is there so much juvenile delinquency") at the White House. At first, she declined: "I thought it would be a lot of nonsense - flowers, champagne, a chance to show off." The first lady's social secretary kept calling her, Eartha Kitt reconsidered.

In "the private family dining room on the second floor of the country's most famous home", women were seated at the table talking about the place settings for the menu and the possibility of meeting President Johnson.
"The atmosphere began to hit me but still I hoped it might become a constructive opportunity to air the problems we had supposedly come to talk about." Eartha Kitt

After dessert, the president walked in and talked. He said that there was a great deal people could do to prevent youth delinquency and that the place to start was in the home. When he finished, Kitt rose and asked what he was going to do about delinquent parents, those "who have to work and are too busy to look after their children". He pointed out that due to a bill recently passed millions of dollars were going to be given to day-care centres and that the women were invited to discuss what (else) to do. During the women's presentations, Kitt sat silenty. Then it was her turn to speak:
"I think we have missed the main point of this luncheon. We have forgotten the main reason we have juvenile delinquency.You send the best of this country off to be shot and maimed. They rebel in the street. They will take pot … and they will get high. They don’t want to go to school because they’re going to be snatched off from their mothers to be shot in Vietnam."
Afterward, there was no car waiting to take her back to the hotel, she hitchhiked back. Her entertainment bookings were cancelled, she was blacklisted (which she was unaware of), no longer found work in the U.S., and mostly worked in Europe for many years (via).

"The children of America are not rebelling for no reason. They are not hippies for no reason at all. We don’t have what we have on Sunset Blvd. for no reason. They are rebelling against something. There are so many things burning the people of this country, particularly mothers. They feel they are going to raise sons — and I know what it’s like, and you have children of your own, Mrs. Johnson — we raise children and send them to war. 
Young folks are choosing to be “bad” because they don’t understand this war. They would rather dodge the draft than join up. In their minds, “it pays to be a bad guy.”"
Eartha Kitt

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photographs via and via

Thursday 3 May 2018

Don't Let the Man Get You Down (Fatboy Slim, 2005)

And the sign said: "Long haired, freaky people need not apply"...

"I think of all the walks of life, that music is one of the most racially integrated of all of them. I think that music has always been color blind, and that’s probably one of the things I love most about it. (...) One of my favorite things is when you catch racist people dancing and they don’t realize it’s to a black artist."
Norman Cook (Fatboy Slim)

Wednesday 2 May 2018

Enninful's Vogue

"My Vogue is about being inclusive, it’s about diversity. Showing different women, different body shapes, different races, class. To be tackling gender.
Before I got the job I spoke to certain women and they felt they were not represented by the magazine, so I wanted to create a magazine that was open and friendly. A bit like a shop that you are not scared to walk into.
You are going to see all different colours, shapes, ages, genders, religions. That I am very excited about. You are going to see less of models who don’t look so healthy."
Edward Enninful

Edward Enninful is (British) Vogue's first black and male editor-in-chief. While shortly working for Italian Vogue, he led the magazine's first "Black Issue" featuring black models only (via). Before Enninful, Alexandra Shulman was Vogue's editor for 25 years, 25 years in which she gave black models solo covers only twice as otherwise she "would sell fewer copies". Enninful put a black model on his first cover (via).

In 2017, Enninful created the short film "I Am an Immigrant" with "81 of the international fashion community's most recognisable faces" because:
"There is so much unrest in the world right now, I simply wanted to show how beautiful it could be if we all were able to get along. The message is that we are all the same. The people that gave their time to this project, from the director, the subjects, hair, makeup, casting and the team at W, all came with a message of love and optimism."
Edward Enninful
Related postings:

::: Audrey, Givenchy and Diversity in Fashion: LINK
::: The Diversity Coalition & The Fashion Industry: LINK
::: Jeans & Ageism: LINK

Tuesday 1 May 2018

Two Abstracts for World Asthma Day

"Boys are consistently reported to have more prevalent wheeze and asthma than girls. In adolescence, the pattern changes and onset of wheeze is more prevalent in females than males. Asthma, after childhood, is more severe in females than in males, and is underdiagnosed and undertreated in female adolescents."
Almqvist et al., 2007

Abstract 1:
"Gender differences in asthma incidence, prevalence and severity have been reported worldwide. After puberty, asthma becomes more prevalent and severe in women, and is highest in women with early menarche or with multiple gestations, suggesting a role for sex hormones in asthma genesis. However, the impact of sex hormones on the pathophysiology of asthma is confounded by and difficult to differentiate from age, obesity, atopy, and other gender associated environmental exposures. There are also gender discrepancies in the perception of asthma symptoms. Understanding gender differences in asthma is important to provide effective education and personalized management plans for asthmatics across the lifecourse."
Zein & Erzurum, 2015

Abstract 2:
"Asthma is a common chronic disease that affects over 300 million people worldwide, resulting in a considerable socio-economic burden. Literature data suggest that asthma has a higher incidence in females, particularly at certain stages of pubertal development. Moreover, women seem to experience more asthma symptoms than men and to use more rescue medications, resulting in a reduced quality of life. Although several mechanisms have been proposed to explain these differences, there are not yet final data available in the literature on the role of gender in the pathogenesis of asthma and different behavior in females. Some study suggested a more prevalent hyper-responsiveness in women than in men. Nevertheless, in the literature definitive data on a possible different response to drugs used for asthma between males and females are not described. Understanding the mechanisms that underlie these gender differences in clinical history of asthma patients could give inspiration to new areas of research to obtain a more specific diagnostic and therapeutic approach gender-oriented."
Pignataro et al., 2017

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- Almqvist, C., Worm, M., Leynaert, B. (2007). Impact of gender on asthma in childhood and adolescence: a GA2Len review. Allergy, 63, 47-57.
- Pignataro, F. S., Bonini, M., Forgione, A., Melandri, S., & Usmani, O. S. (2017). Asthma and gender: The female lung. Pharmacological Research, 119, 384-390.
- Zein, J. G. & Erzurum, S. C. (2015). Asthma is Different in Women. Current Allergy and Asthma Reports, 15(6), LINK
- photograph "Smog alert, Los Angeles, 1979" via; more photographs: LINK