Programming was women's work: the six who ran Eniac, America's first digital computer, were women. But not for long.
They were systematically pushed out of the field, says technology historian Marie Hicks, assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who wrote about it in her recent book, “Programmed Inequality (Amazon).”
Sexism was so extreme in the UK that it played a significant part in the collapse of its first domestic computer industry in the 1960s, writes the WSJ's Christopher Mims:
Not only were the male recruits often less qualified, they frequently left the field because they viewed it as an unmanly profession. A shortage of programmers forced the U.K. government to consolidate its computers in a handful of centers with the remaining coders. It also meant the government demanded gigantic mainframes and ignored more distributed systems of midsize and mini computers, which had become more common by the 1960s
In 1984, 37% of computer science degrees were awarded to women, but it's been in decline ever since. Women are leaving the industry in increasing numbers, "despite" its "diversity and inclusion efforts."
If a firm has hired its first 10 employees and they are all the same gender or ethnicity, an eleventh who doesn’t look like the rest can face challenges.
Today, a U.S. appeals court reversed a previous ruling that barred the state of Arkansas from halting Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood, after the release of setup videos secretly recorded by anti-abortion, hard-right media provocateurs.
Last year, MIT News editor Maya Weinstock submitted her Women of NASA minifigures design to LEGO Ideas. LEGO has just approved the idea and laster this year or early 2018 will release an official minifig set of these five inspiring women in science:
(via Laughing Squid) Read the rest
Margaret Hamilton, computer scientist: While working at MIT under contract with NASA in the 1960s, Hamilton developed the on-board flight software for the Apollo missions to the moon. She is known for popularizing the modern concept of software.
Katherine Johnson, mathematician and space scientist: A longtime NASA researcher, Johnson is best known for calculating and verifying trajectories for the Mercury and Apollo programs — including the Apollo 11 mission that first landed humans on the moon.
Sally Ride, astronaut, physicist, and educator: A physicist by training, Ride became the first American woman in space in 1983. After retiring as a NASA astronaut, she founded an educational company focusing on encouraging children — especially girls — to pursue the sciences.
Nancy Grace Roman, astronomer: One of the first female executives at NASA, Roman is known to many as the "Mother of Hubble" for her role in planning the Hubble Space Telescope. She also developed NASA's astronomy research program.
Mae Jemison, astronaut, physician, and entrepreneur: Trained as a medical doctor, Jemison became the first African-American woman in space in 1992. After retiring from NASA, Jemison established a company that develops new technologies and encourages students in the sciences.
A stunning new ad campaign from Nike “pays homage to Middle Eastern athletes and explores the challenges young Arab women aspiring to a professional sporting career may face,” per Vogue.
Women Who Draw is a directory of illustrators interested in accepting work. You can filter by location and minority status. It's well-designed, too, displaying a straightforward example of each artist's style in a lazyloading grid layout.
Women Who Draw is an open directory of female* professional illustrators, artists and cartoonists who take freelance work. It was created by a group of women artists in an effort to increase the visibility of female illustrators, with an emphasis on female illustrators of color, LBTQ+, and other minority groups of female illustrators. We hope this directory will be used by publishers, art directors and editors to find less visible illustrators, and encourage them to work with these illustrators more frequently.
The BBC's Vicky Baker reports on an enduring problem: why do certain high-paying gigs in illustration get consistently assigned to men, when so many top-flight illustrators are women?
Read the rest
Ms MacNaughton and Ms Rothman, who are both successful illustrators, said they were motivated to create the project after noticing certain publications were dominated by male artists.
"We counted a certain magazine that often has illustrated covers, and noticed that in the past 55 covers, only four were by women," said Ms Rothman. Something seemed to be amiss, considering that the arts field within education is often dominated by women.
In the UK, data from higher-education admissions service Ucas shows that in 2016 the number of women enrolled in design studies courses (including illustration) was more than double the number of men.
With a couple of days left, Feminist Frequency is about to hit their funding goal for Ordinary Women, a lavishly animated series about women who dared defy their times--and who history hasn't given their dues. Below is the complete set of preview videos for Ida Wells, Ching Shih, Emma Goldman, Murasaki Shikibu and Ada Lovelace; go help push them over the line at Seed & Spark.
Ida B. Wells (by Sammus)
Ada Lovelace (by Teddy Dief)
Ching Shih (by Jonathan Mann)
Emma Goldman (by The Doubleclicks)
Murasaki Shikibu (by Clara Bizne$$)
The creators of the series are Anita Sarkeesian (of Tropes vs. Women in Video Games fame), Laura Hudson (recently of Boing Boing and Offworld) and Elizabeth Aultman (producer of Yosemite) Read the rest
Starting with this awesome shot of Bettie Page pretend-ladyfighting with a sexy foe, here are some wonderful photographs of female wrestlers from the 19th century through the 20th, all the way up through the '80s and '90s.
Once pro-choice, the leading Republican presidential candidate now thinks that women who terminate pregnancies should be punished. Donald Trump's going to ban it, but is not sure yet just what he's going to have done to women who disobey him. But he's thinking about it.
[Chris] Matthews then pressed him for a straight answer on what a ban on abortion would entail.
“Well, you go back to a position like they had where they would perhaps go to illegal places but we have to ban it,” Trump answered.
The former reality television star later added that “there has to be some form of punishment,” for women who get abortions after a ban is implemented, acknowledging the punishment would “have to be determined.”
He's unsure about how racist to be, but in no two minds at all about the women. Expect to hear a lot more sexist nastiness as the campaign goes on.
Update: He's changed his mind.
There's something amazing about how Trump just blurts out the right-wing positions he's discerned without realizing some of that stuff is supposed to stay implicit. He's like an AI chatbot who boils down his audience to its most vulgar principles, leaving that audience half-delighted and half-terrified at how completely exposed they are by his performance. Read the rest
Ordinary Women: Daring to Defy History is a video series about women overlooked by history raising production funds at crowdfunding site Seed & Spark. Creators Anita Sarkeesian, Laura Hudson (recently of Boing Boing and Offworld) and Elizabeth Aultman plan to feature Murasaki Shikibu, credited as the first modern novelist, 19th-century computer pioneer Ada Lovelace, womens' rights advocate Emma Goldman and others.
Unusually for a crowdfunded production, the series will be lavishly animated, reports Bustle, creating a work of art in its own right.
It's an exploration of women throughout history who have decimated gender stereotypes and contributed to humanity in truly impactful ways. The series will seek to remind us not only that these kinds of women — the rabble-rousers, the undercover reporters, the activists, the pirates — are extraordinary individuals, but also that women doing extraordinary things is actually quite ordinary. And that's a good thing. Here's why.
Women kicking ass and taking names shouldn't come as too much of a surprise, because we've been here all along, propping up society with our accomplishments. Unfortunately, the telling of history has a way of being whitewashed, male-focused, and more, excluding the contributions of far too many women, people of color, LGBTQ people, and other marginalized groups. With this new video series, Feminist Frequency hopes to address that glaring imbalance by bringing to life the stories of some of history's most rebellious and remarkable women.
USA Today reports that the creators hope it will inspire more women.
“We want to normalize these women in history,” says Sarkeesian.Read the rest