Cybergrrl Sez (fwd)

Donna Woodka (
Fri, 10 Apr 1998 13:10:03 -0700 (PDT)

I just read the "Biography" story referred to here. Nellie was certainly a
fascinating woman. I now pick up a copy of "Biography" whenever I can -
much more interesting than the vapid "People" I occasionally used to pick
up for brain-dead road trips.

> Cybergrrl Sez is a weekly ramblings column by Aliza Sherman, creator
> of Cybergrrl. Look for a new column every Wednesday! And look out for
> Cybergrrl appearances across the country!
> ---------------------------------
> [WED] 8 Apr 1998 [CG]
> Why Can't Women Be Icons Too?
> ---------------------------------
> I was reading the latest issue of Biography magazine, which
> I love, and came across an article on Nellie Bly. I was
> stunned and amazed. What amazed me were the accomplishments
> of this woman. What stunned me was that I had never heard of
> her, especially considering her accomplishments. For those
> of you who aren't familiar with Nellie Bly, she basically
> invented investigative, stunt reporting where she used
> aliases and disguises to expose scandal. Her first
> assignment for the largest newspaper in New York City was to
> go undercover at an insane asylum to reveal the inhumane
> conditions patients were suffering there. She was also an
> adventurer and beat Phileas Fogg's fictional record of
> circling the world in 80 days by doing it in 72 days . Oh,
> did I mention she accomplished these things in the late
> 1800s?
> Discovering this phenomenal woman writer, who could truly be
> a role model to me and all writers, I couldn't shake the
> same awful feeling I got last month as I did research for a
> Women's History Special on the Women'sGuide site. I didn't
> know anything about women in history. I think the only women
> I distinctly remember learning about in school was Madame
> Curie and Betsy Ross. Granted, I haven't taken any women's
> studies classes, but why would I have to attend specialized
> classes to learn about women in history? The more I learn
> about women's achievements throughout the centuries, the
> more I realize women's past is part of the same invisible
> history as African-American history and other minority
> groups.
> I've been seeing a lot of Apple billboards and ads lately.
> I've only seen one woman in the entire ad campaign--Amelia
> Earhart. Thinking maybe I just wasn't looking in the right
> places or at the right time, I went to the Apple website to
> read a press release about their new "Think Different" ad
> campaign. Here is the list of "creative geniuses who have
> changed the world in this century" included in the campaign:
> Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi, Pablo Picasso, Martin
> Luther King Jr., John Lennon, Ted Turner, Martha Graham, Jim
> Henson, Thomas Edison, Alfred Hitchcock, Richard Branson,
> Muhammed Ali, Maria Callas, Frank Lloyd Wright and Amelia
> Earhart. Is it just me, or are there only three women in the
> entire campaign?
> My mind was racing at full speed. Why aren't there more
> women in this ad campaign? Isn't there a multitude of
> Distinguished Women of Past and Present who are not being
> considered? And then I began to think of women who have made
> significant, genius contributions to the world and realized
> a disturbing fact. I don't know what any of these women look
> like. And if the photograph of Amelia Earhart hadn't
> depicted her wearing her pilot's cap and goggles, I would
> never have recognized her. Why are the images of women from
> our past not ingrained in our minds like those of men in
> history? I can recognize Hitchcock or Einstein a mile away.
> But show me a photo of almost any woman in history before
> the '60s, and I'm hard-pressed to identify them. Am I the
> only one?
> Now I'm not talking about pop culture, because the more I
> thought about women in history, the more I realized it was
> only women in film and television who were truly made into
> icons. Just as a test, I've put up photographs of several
> women in history. I'm wondering how many people can "Name
> that Woman." The person to name all six women correctly will
> be eligible to win a Cybergrrl T-shirt! Yes, I'm bribing you
> to learn more about women in history, what can I say?
> Want to suggest some more women for the Apple ad campaign? I
> just happened to get the e-mail addresses to the public
> relations contacts at Apple and Chiat/Day, their advertising
> agency. Maybe a few hundred e-mails from us might give them
> some inspiration to include more famous women as symbols of
> genius, women who definitely "Think Different." Apple PR
> person, Another Apple PR person and the Chiat/Day account
> executive.
> [Image] [Image] [Image] [Image] [Image] [Image]
> [Click Here for Free Email. Hotmail.]
> ----------------------- [Tell us what you think!]
> Let us know what you think of the Apple ad campaign. Know any great
> women in history who you think Apple and others should know about?
> Tell us about them, what they did, and why you admire them!
> -----------------------------------
> Cynthia Burmester says:
> While trying to find out who was in the
> pictures, I found this web site. It is for Encyclopedia Brittanica's
> Women in American History web site.
> Thu, Apr 9, 1998 at 16:17:42
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Margaret Chiffriller says:
> Women with bios and pictures. We
> will never be equal if we don't know who we are and who we were. Women
> can't be icoms until we stand tall enough to be seen. Like any other
> group not well represented in the mainstream culture, we believe that
> men are the shakers and movers and our role is to support them. As
> long as we don't know the fallacy of that myth we will go on believing
> and act accordingly. As long as we are happy to be victims, we will
> never be icons. My husband laughs at the commercial that shows men
> mouthing women's concern about body image. It's a totally foreign
> concept that body image can shape self image. Sure there are
> exceptions, but women mainly believe that they are judged on how they
> look. We buy into it and keep it going. It's not IMPOSED on us. We do
> it to ourselves. Same mind set is what keeps women from being used in
> commercial campaigns. Apple is looking for people who ARE famous, not
> who should be. As long as we don't recognize who we are, why should we
> expect anyone else to?!
> Thu, Apr 9, 1998 at 15:53:25
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Shelley says:
> THE WOMEN'S HISTORY OF THE WORLD by Roasalind Miles is a very good
> book about the role of women in history (beyond their relationships
> with the so-called history makers). She dedicates the book as follows:
> "For all the women of the world who have had no history." It is
> extremely important for every woman to critically examine how the past
> and present are presented to the world. Everyday women are excluded
> from history-making because media overlook them. Think about how many
> times a female graces the front page of the newspaper for something
> other than her smile. Start counting how many stories in your
> newspapers are about women's accomplishments. You will be shocked to
> realize that so few stories examine their successes (unless it is in
> the fashion,cooking,gardening or home section). We are obligated to
> share our successes with the world by putting pressure on radio,tv,and
> print media to give women the exposure they deserve so that our period
> of history making will not be overlooked.
> Thu, Apr 9, 1998 at 15:03:44
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Tara says:
> What timing you have Aliza. It was only last night I had an argument
> with my husband about this EXACT subject (that is, trying to name
> great women in history & their impact). My frustration was with how we
> live in a 'paternalistic' world where my history lessons have been
> about men. And the women I do remember in history were more likely to
> be known for their relationship with a man (eg. Cleopatra &
> Josephine). I was deeply saddened when I realised that out of my high
> school/college education I couldn't name any historical figures that
> were women. Does anyone know a great book on 'Women in History'? PS. I
> can only recognise Amelia Earhart in the pictures. Woe is me.
> Thu, Apr 9, 1998 at 00:52:27


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