Women in history and an examination of gender norms:

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Endymion

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Women in history and an examination of gender norms:

Post by Endymion » Fri Mar 22, 7:02 2019

It seems to me that most historical changes occur gradually in a step by step manner. This suggests what can be called cultural or social inertia. That is that people have to become accustomed and familiar to new concepts before they are willing to accept them. Below I give an example of this in regard to the gradual acceptance of women being equal to men in terms of women being educated, being allowed to vote and then of people being willing to vote for women.

Bathsua Makin was born c. 1600 in London and was a writer of both prose and poetry. She was able to read four different languages and had an understanding of two more, as well as possessing knowledge of medical practices. In 1673 after a life which included teaching, she wrote An Essay To Revive the Antient Education of Gentlewomen, in Religion, Manners, Arts & Tongues. With An Answer to the Objections against this Way of Education. Thus in the 17th century she was attempting to promote education for upper class females.

Just seven years or so Basthsua Makin’s junior was Anna van Schurman, born in 1607 in Cologne in what is now Germany. In 1636 she became the first female student to study at the University of Utrecht and wrote, in 1646, a book entitled Whether the Study of Letters is Fitting for a Christian Woman. During most of her life she advocated for female education and felt that women were inherently as intelligent and able to learn as men.

Mary Astetll was born in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1666 and in 1700 wrote her Some Reflections upon Marriage, Occasion’d by the Duke & Dutchess of Mazarine’s CASE Which is also consider’d. She also wrote A Serious Proposal to the Ladies by a lover of her sex in 1694 and is quoted as writing “If all Men are born free how is it that all Women are born Slaves?” As with her two predecessors mentioned above she was a proponent of female education.

Born in 1656 in Winslade, Devon, Lady Mary Cudleigth was part of the same literary group as Mary Astetll and in 1701 wrote The Ladies Defence: or, The Bride-Woman’s Counsellor Aswer’d: A POEM in a DIALOGUE between Sir John Brute, Sir William Loveall, Melissa, and a Parson. She also wrote a poem in 1703 entitled To the Ladies. The poem can be seen here: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/ ... the-ladies. Lady Cudleigth advocated more equality both in marriage and in education. Other women in the literary group along with Mary Astetll and Lady Cudleigth were Elizabeth Thomas, Judith Drake, Elizabeth Elstob and Lady Mary Wortley Montaqu.

On March 31, 1776 Abigail Adams (the future first lady of the United States) wrote to her husband, John Adams (the future President) the following:

“. . . and by the way in the new Code of Laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the Laidies we are determined to foment a Rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation.

“That your Sex are Naturally Tyrannical is a Truth so thoroughly established as to admit of no dispute, but such of you as wish to be happy willingly give up the harsh title of Master for the more tender and endearing one of Friend. Why then not put it out of the power of the vicious and the Lawless to use us with cruelty and indignity with impunity. Men of Sense in all Ages abhor those customs which treat us only as the vassals of your Sex.”

Then in reply to his wife’s plea John Adams writes on April 14, 1776, “Depend upon it, we know better than to repeal our Masculine systems. Altho they are in full Force, you know they are little more than Theory. We dare not exert our Power in its full Latitude. We are obliged to go fair, and softly, and in Practice you know We are the subjects. We have only the Name of Masters, and rather than give up this, which would completely subject Us to the Despotism of the Peticoat.”

In 1792 Mary Wollstonecraft’s (born on April 27, 1759 in London, England) book A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, With Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects was published. Quotes from this book include:

“My own sex, I hope, will excuse me, if I treat them like rational creatures, instead of flattering their fascinating graces, and viewing them as if they were in a state of perpetual childhood, unable to stand alone. I earnestly wish to point out in what true dignity and human happiness consists – I wish to persuade women to endeavour to acquire strength, both mind and body, and to convince them that the soft phrases, susceptibility of heart, delicacy of sentiment, and refinement of taste, are almost synonymous with epithets of weakness, and that those beings who are only objects of pity and that kind of love, which has been termed its sister, will soon become objects of contempt.”

“It is vain to expect virtue from women till they are in some degree independent of men.”

“I may excite laughter, by dropping an hint, which I mean to pursue, some future time for I really think that women ought to have representatives, instead of being arbitrarily governed without having any direct share allowed them in the deliberations of government.” (Chapter 9)

Here is a nice short video (3 minutes long) illustrating one of Mary Wollstonedcraft ideas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjalBmkmkvE.

(To be continued)
Tom,

PS added 6/26/19: In thinking about this first paragraph I feel it may have been too strong when I wrote that “. . . people have to become . . .” a better sentence may be that “. . . that many times people have to become . . . “ Originally I planned this paragraph to be an introduction and did not pay enough attention to it. See comment dated 6/24/19 for a more detailed explanation of what I now feel.
Last edited by Endymion on Wed Jun 26, 9:42 2019, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Women in history and an examination of gender norms:

Post by melsbells » Mon Mar 25, 13:03 2019

I'm not familiar with the first four women you mention. Thanks for highlighting them.
Endymion wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 7:02 2019
It seems to me that most historical changes occur gradually in a step by step manner. This suggests what can be called cultural or social inertia. That is that people have to become accustomed and familiar to new concepts before they are willing to accept them.
I'm skeptical of this viewpoint. It often is sadled with the idea that history is a linear progression. Though I can't argue against the need for familiarity. It's the only way I see to overcome entrenchment bias. But, interracial marriage was legalized in the US before the practice was accepted by a majority of people.
Then the exchange between Abigail and John Adams feels sickeningly familiar to exchanges in contemporary times.

It's striking how much class and racial privilege are evident in these arguments. So the right to be educated and have a voice, if you have the right pedigree. I seem to remember Wollstonecraft talking about class rights, but it's been to long since I read "A Vindication of the Rights of Women".

In Bertrand Russell's correspondence with his first wife, Alys Pearsall Smith, he talks about a paper he wrote in support of women becoming members of The Apostles Society (philosophy circle) as well as generally supporting the move for formal admission of women in the university, which was initially well received in his philosophy circle, until they discovered he was engaged and then contributed much of his thoughts on the subject to Alys Pearsall Smith's influence, as though he was only trying to impress her.
That would have been over a century later than Wollstonecraft. In that same time period (late 1800's), the idea that the state ought to subsidize maternity was also being taken seriously.

Thanks for the write up. I will continue looking forward to the continuation.

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Re: Women in history and an examination of gender norms:

Post by Endymion » Tue Mar 26, 6:06 2019

Melsbells, thank you for your polite and informative comment, I feel it is important for viewers to read different opinions and I certainly don’t feel I am always correct. I would not say that “history is a linear progression,” but it seems to me that it tends in a particular direction, however at different speeds and with some regressions. Perhaps the next part will illustrate this better, but then maybe not.

Tom,

Added: I agree with you that there is a certain amount of class privilege evident in those arguments.
See here for a topic on Women in history: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=50838

See here for a topic on Female Singers: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=50851.

See here for a topic on Female Artists and the Nude: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=50860

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Re: Women in history and an examination of gender norms:

Post by Endymion » Tue Mar 26, 10:30 2019

Part Two:

The New Jersey (USA) constitution of 1776 stated that “all inhabitants of this colony, of full age, who are worth fifty pounds . . .” were allowed to vote. Since it stated “all inhabitants” it meant that women and non-whites who met the other requirements could vote. Now, because of the requirement of being “worth fifty pounds” no married women could vote. This is because by law married women could not own property and by law all property was owned by their husbands. However, even this limited right was taken away in 1807.

Back in Britain, in 1832 a petition calling for the single women’s vote was sent to Parliament by Mary Smith. This was the first such petition.

In the United States the Woman’s Rights Movement was very much connected with the movement to end slavery.

In 1796 Sojourner Truth (name at birth Isabella Baumfree) was born as a slave. She was freed in 1826 as a result of New York State anti-slavery laws. During the rest of her life she supported rights for both blacks and women and for abolition.

Sarah Grimke was born in South Carolina in 1792 to a slave owning family. Her sister Angelina Grimke was born 13 years later. Both women were active in both the movements for abolition and for women’s rights. In 1838 Sarah wrote Letters on the Equality of the Sexes, and the Condition of Woman.

In 1848, Elizabeth Cady Stanton (born November 12, 1815) and Lucretia Mott (born January 3, 1793) initiated the Seneca Falls Women’s Rights Convention, in NYS. Close to 200 women were present. At the convention Elizabeth Cady Stanton read the Declaration of Sentiments. This document in part reads: “We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness . . .” Further, “The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her.” The document then goes on to list grievances starting with “He has never permitted her to exercise her inalienable right to the elective franchise.” See here for a complete copy: https://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon ... nsent.html.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony (born in 1820) met in 1851 and started to work together for women’s rights. On Election Day in 1872 Susan cast a vote in order to test the constitutionality of such an act under the 14th Amendment. She was not successful in this.

January 1867 saw the formation of the Manchester National Society for Women’s Suffrage (Britain) and two years later this society held a public meeting on this issue. In 1880 women on the Isle of Man were given the right to vote and in 1894 British women could vote in local elections.

In 1869 Wyoming (United States), then a territory and not a state, allowed women to vote. This was followed, before 1900, by three other territories, all in the west. Upon becoming a state in 1890 Wyoming continued to allow women to vote. Colorado (1893) and Utah and Idaho (both 1896) followed suit. A Women’s Suffrage Amendment was brought before the US congress in 1878.

Emmeline Pankhust was born in 1858 in Manchester, England and in 1889 she organized the Women’s franchise League and then in 1903 helped organize the Women’s Social and Political Union. She was a major figure in the British suffrage movement. In June of 1911 40,000 British women publicly demonstrated for the female vote and in 1913 50,000 did so.

In 1918 the Representation of the People Act was passed in Britain, allowing women over the age of 30 to vote. This right was extended to all women over the age of 21 in 1928. In 1919 Nancy Astor became the first female member of the House of Commons.

By 1919, just prior to the ratification of the 19th amendment to the US Constitution, a total of 27 states allowed women to vote for President. Most only did so after 1909. Then on August 18, 1920 the 19th amendment was ratified. It simply reads “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”

Republican Jeannette Rankin was elected to the US House of Representatives in 1916 from the state of Montana. She was the first women to serve in the US Congress. She did not run for the House in 1918, but instead ran for the Senate, however she lost that contest. As a result there were no women in the 1919 to 1921 Congress however that was the last congress without a female member. When Jeannette Rankin was first elected to the House the US Congress had 531 members so in 1917, 0.2% of the membership were women. Today (2019) there are 535 voting members 127 of whom are women, so today 24% of the membership are women. Here are the average numbers of women in the US Congress per decade starting in 1919:

(1919 to 29) 2.6
(1929 to 39) 8.2
(1939 to 49) 9.4
(1949 to 59) 13.4
(1959 to 69) 15.6
(1969 to 79) 16.2
(1979 to 89) 22.8
(1989 to 99) 47.4
(1999 to 2009) 76.4
(2009 to 19) 98.8

As of the 2018 election there are 127 (24%) women in congress with 25 (25%) in the senate and 102 (23%) in the house, an all time record.

What is interesting is that not only did the number of women in congress increase from one decade period to the next, but there has been acceleration in this increase. For example between the 64th congress (1915 to 1917) and the 90th congress (1967 to 1969) (26 congresses) the number of women in congress increased from zero to 12, while between the 90th congress and the 116th congress (2019 to 2021) (also 26 congresses) the number of women in congress increased from 12 to 127, an increase of 115 over the same number of congresses.

This data was obtained from the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers, see here: https://cawp.rutgers.edu/history-women-us-congress

So based on the idea of cultural or social inertia the lack of women in politics is not due to some natural biological difference with men, otherwise there would be no change or very little change, but to the time needed for people to become accustomed to the idea of female equality, in that each generation becomes somewhat more accustomed to that.

Tom,

To be continued,
See here for a topic on Women in history: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=50838

See here for a topic on Female Singers: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=50851.

See here for a topic on Female Artists and the Nude: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=50860

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Re: Women in history and an examination of gender norms:

Post by Sonic# » Thu Mar 28, 14:41 2019

First, thank you for sharing. I like reading about the summaries of women, and in a few cases I didn't know about them. (Bathsua Makin is literally a couple of years outside of the literary time period I studied, and she didn't come up in my surveys like Mary Astell did, so I knew next to nothing about her.)

Like mels, I have reservations about posing an idea of cultural or social inertia. If I were to add one idea to the picture, it's that of conflict. In other words, civil rights and power for women accrues as a result of people repeatedly having to confront challenges to cultural norms, and it is precisely those challenges that some people become accustomed to and other people try to snuff out. So the history of women's rights isn't what I'd describe as a process of inertia (which risks minimizing the efforts people made to change the standards of their time) but one of effort, confronting norms, false starts, advances, and retreats. Summarily, people have to actively work to keep feminist issues at the forefront, or the efforts of opponents may outswarm them.

A couple of brief examples:

I love Mary Wollstonecraft. Both A Vindication of the Rights of Men and A Vindication of the Rights of Woman are brilliant and rhetorically dazzling texts, and the second is one of the great defenses of education. She recognized that the French revolution represented a chance to grant educational opportunities to everyone and to effectively upend the system of privilege that put men over women. Her arguments were not unchallenged during her life, but her detractors could effectively render her arguments inert after her death. When her husband William Godwin published his memoir on Wollstonecraft, she was effectively scandalized for having relationships and children outside of her marriage, even if Godwin approved. Her life was taken far more seriously than her writings for a long time, and it took her work slowly being read and rediscovered by later feminist writers for Wollstonecraft's influence to grow. Her life was the point of substantial conflict, and it was those points of engagement and conflict that eventually led to her wider recognition - finally, her defenders won out.

Rachel Speght in 1615 wrote a response to a misogynistic tract by someone named Joseph Swetnam. Swetnam's Arraignment of Women has sexist jokes galore as well as lots of Biblical justification for why women are inferior, wicked, and should never be trusted. (These claims are typical and centuries old by this point - look up the "querelle des femmes" tradition for more.) Speght's response, A Mouzell for Melastomus, is a rhetorically superior takedown of Swetnam's arguments. She uses classical philosophers, Biblical verses, and a store of Greek myths and stories along with a deep store of logic to call his argument out systematically. She made a splash and influenced some readers, but it was Swetnam's original tract that was republished several times in the 17th and 18th centuries; hers wasn't. Her influence was modest. So it's not like there was a pathway for people to grow more accustomed to Speght's ideas. It is only through sustained effort and interest, not inertia, that any set of ideas has a chance.

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Re: Women in history and an examination of gender norms:

Post by Endymion » Fri Mar 29, 6:34 2019

Sonic, by social or cultural inertia I mean that people have to become accustomed and familiar to new concepts before they are willing to accept them. As with Melsbells I thank you for your polite comment and I feel it is important for viewers to read different opinion and I certainly don’t feel I am always correct.

Tom,
See here for a topic on Women in history: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=50838

See here for a topic on Female Singers: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=50851.

See here for a topic on Female Artists and the Nude: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=50860

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Re: Women in history and an examination of gender norms:

Post by Endymion » Sat Mar 30, 6:46 2019

Part Three

Starting in 1937 Gallup Polls asked people in the US whether they would vote for a woman for President. In 1937 only one third said they would, in 1949 the percentage saying yes was equal as to the percentage saying no and in 2015, 92% said they would vote for a woman. That was actually down from 2012 when 95% said they would vote for a woman. However over all, with that one exception, there has been an increase in the percentage of people who would vote for a woman, which supports the idea that people are becoming more accepting of women in politics.

Woman
Year Yes No No Opinion
2015 92 8 0
2012 95 5 0
1999 92 7 1
1987 82 12 6
1984 78 17 5
1983 80 16 4
1978 76 19 5
1975 73 23 4
1971 66 29 5
1969 53 40 7
1967 57 41 4
1963 55 39 4
1959 57 39 4
1958 54 41 5
1955 52 44 4
1949 48 48 4
1945 33 55 12
1937 33 64 3

Further, the 2016 presidential race was the first time in US history that a woman won the popular vote. This also shows a continuing movement toward voters being willing to vote for a woman. More importantly Hillary won 56% of the 18 to 24 year old voters, 53% of the 25 to 29 year old voters and 51% of the 30 to 39 year old voters, so Hillary received more than 50% of the vote from those between the ages of 18 to 39. However, she did lose the popular vote from those older than 40 years. This suggests that those who are become of voting age in the future will be even more willing to vote for a woman.

A very brief comment on women’s education: In 1840 eleven women received their Bachelor degrees from the Georgia Female College. These were the first women in the United States to earn such a degree. See here: https://ischool.uw.edu/podcasts/dtctw/f ... ge-diploma. In 1970 the female to male ratio of total undergraduate fall enrollment in degree granting postsecondary institutions was 73 female to every 100 males, but by 1980 that ratio increased to 109 female to every 100 males and in 2015 it was 127 females to every 100 males. Further it is projected that by 2026 it the ratio will be 132 females for every 100 males according to the National Center for Education Statistics, see here: https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d16 ... 303.70.asp.

By 1995, in the United States, there were more women than men between the ages of 25 to 29 with a bachelor’s degree or higher. See here: https://www.statista.com/statistics/184 ... by-gender/

In a following post I plan to write about women in the arts, but I am currently searching for information on the ability of married women to own their own property (Laws of Covertures) and more information on the history of the education of women. I would very much like it if anyone would contribute to this topic in regard to women in history. While I know somewhat about female scientist I do not know that much and would like if someone wrote about female scientist in history.

Tom
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Re: Women in history and an examination of gender norms:

Post by Endymion » Mon Apr 1, 8:00 2019

Not Everything Changes:

Back in the 1980s a group of female artists, calling themselves the Gorilla Girls, put out a poster which asked the question “Do women have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum?” and followed with the explanation that “Less than 5% of the artists in the Modern Art Sections are women, but 85% of the nudes are female.” In compiling more recent information from the Metropolitan Museum’s website I found that there are only 126 works by only 50 female artists on display at the Fifth Avenue main building of the Metropolitan Museum. Here is a compilation of statistics dealing with this issue presented on the website of the National Museum of Women in the Arts see here: https://nmwa.org/advocate/get-facts. And here is an article entitled Taking the Measure of Sexism: Facts, Figures, and Fixes by Maura Reilly at ArtNews see here: http://www.artnews.com/2015/05/26/takin ... and-fixes/. Another interest point is from a 1986 NY Times article concerning H. W. Janson’s History of Art, that “. . . no female artists were mentioned in earlier editions, [of Janson’s book] except for an anonymous Greek vase painter.” The paper described Janson’s book as “. . . a campus classic, a seven-pound, 750-page tome filled with pictures and prose, remembered by tens of thousands of liberal-arts graduates simply as Janson’s – the basic college textbook on the world’s great painting and sculpture.” See here: https://www.nytimes.com/1986/03/12/book ... -text.html. So it seems that not everything changes.

This is particularly strange as it is likely that during the 19th century and maybe before, there were more and maybe many more female artists as compared to male artists, except that the female artists were mostly amateurs as indicated by the following quotes. “Like many nineteenth-century middle-class British women, [Mary] Best took drawing and painting lessons as a young child. The pursuit of such activities signified a leisured lifestyle and was considered indispensable to young women, both for amusing themselves and for providing accomplishments that would attract suitable husbands.” See Temma Balducci, (http://www.19thc-artworldwide.org/sprin ... an-artists) third paragraph. And “Although bourgeois and upper-class French women were encouraged to pursue informal artistic training, and particularly to produce small-scale pencil drawings and watercolor paintings, there was a clear demarcation between arts d’agrement and painting as a professional endeavor. Women who crossed this line were often viewed as “acknowledged outsiders,” “mavericks,” and even trespassers in the art world, by both men and women and by both artistic producers and consumers.” See The Problem of Woman Artists (https://genderstudies.nd.edu/assets/391 ... tist_1.pdf) first paragraph. So it seems that most women had the jump on most men in regard to training to be artists.

Bright spots in regard to female artists include the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA), located in Washington DC. They have works from more than 1,000 female artists. See here for a somewhat long (27 minute) video on the NMWA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXaln1MDGwg. At this link profiles on many of the female artists whose works are shown at the museum can be found listed alphabetically: https://nmwa.org/explore/artist-profiles#A and here can be found images of some of the works in the collection: https://nmwa.org/our-collection. The image search can be narrowed by artist, time period, medium or theme.

The NMWA also started the #5womenartists program which asked people if they could name five women artists. See here for a 1 ½ minute video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6zgrgxsXXE. If you are interested the video will be followed by six more short videos dealing with female artists. In addition the Tate museum in the United Kingdom, as part of this program, is committed to hosting five large-scale exhibits from female artists. See here: https://www.bustle.com/p/the-tates-5wom ... f-16439752.

Also the Brooklyn Museum, located in Brooklyn NY (the site of my nativity), in 2018 added works from 96 female artists to their collection. In addition the Elizabeth A, Sackler Center for Feminist Arts, an exhibition and education setting, is located at the Brooklyn Museum and has been for more than ten years.

According to a Bustle article by Farah Joan Fard “. . . women make up 60-70 percent of those studying art at a university level . . .” although that does not translate into more art by female artists being shown. See here: https://www.bustle.com/p/women-outnumbe ... uate-55299.

To be continued

Tom,
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Re: Women in history and an examination of gender norms:

Post by Enigma » Tue Apr 2, 7:19 2019

Artists and art becoming part of the canon in the art world is dictated less by the arrival of new geniuses and more by who champions who than we'd like. It's insanely difficult to get from good at painting to shown in important museums and pulling in record money at auction. No one makes it completely on their own. They need connections and champions. The reality is those resources are harder for women to get.

That link to the gorilla girls followup is interesting. The bump in income married men and fathers receive is so odd.

One of my majors in school was art and I took some art history as well. I remember taking a women's art history course and being absolutely astounded at the women who were out there leading artistic trends but who weren't mentioned in the standard art history courses.

A few artists you might enjoy who were successful in their time but who we don't often hear about.

Realism - Rosa Bonheur: https://www.wikiart.org/en/rosa-bonheur
Realistic sculpture - Anne Whitney: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Whitney
Impressionism - Mary Cassatt: https://www.wikiart.org/en/mary-cassatt
Various styles-cubism - Natalia Gonchariva: https://www.theartstory.org/artist-gonc ... tworks.htm
Surrealism - Dorothea Tanning: https://www.wikiart.org/en/dorothea-tanning
Contemporary sculpture - Louise Bourgeois: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/lou ... -bourgeois
"Human beings are amazing... we might be horrible, horrible, but we're wonderful too. Otherwise, why go on?"

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Re: Women in history and an examination of gender norms:

Post by Endymion » Tue Apr 2, 14:57 2019

Enigma after you asked me who my favorite artists were and when I saw that your profile said you were “Into art” I was hoping you would add to this topic. Of the six artists you linked to I only knew of two – Rosa Bonheur and Mary Cassatt – so I now know of four more female artists than I did. So thank you. Rosa Bonheur’s work is unique in that she did so many paintings of animals. My favorite of her works and what is most likely considered her master piece is her Le Marché aux Chevaux (The Horse Fair). I plan to write about five female artists in an upcoming post and to include a part on that painting.

Tom,
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Re: Women in history and an examination of gender norms:

Post by Endymion » Thu Apr 4, 11:09 2019

Continuing from the last post:

Of cause there have been professional women artist and this video (4 ½ minutes) gives information on two female renaissance artists and shows some of their works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sd9IXZES0mU. The artists are Sofonisba Anguissola b. 1532 in Cremona, northern Italy – note her painting showing her sisters playing chess and the various emotions shown their faces and Lavinia Fontana b. 1552 in Bologna, Italy who became a member of the Roman Academy (online Encyclopedia Britannica).

Another woman artist was Adelaide Labille Guiard born in France in 1746. She painted her Self-Portrait with Two Pupils in 1785.

Image

To me this painting is more than a simple self-portrait. The artist is shown actively engaged in her professions. On her lap rests the tools of her trade, a palette, brushes and a mahl stick. She is also in the process of preparing her brush for the next application of the paint. Her confidence is revealed by her direct gaze at her subject, which from appearances could be the viewer. She also shows herself to be calm and assertive. She is in control. Adélaïde Labille–Guiard is not only pursuing her profession of painting, but is also engaged in her profession of teaching painting. Marie Gabrielle Capet, one of her pupils, looks with interest at the canvas while the other, Carreaux de Rosemond with similar interest looks at the subject. They are eager to see what their teacher is doing. This is not a passive scene at all.

Here is a short slide show, with music, of Adelaide Guiard’s paintings (just over two minutes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTt11xOWBpE.

Rosa Bonheur’s painting Le Marché aux Chevaux (The Horse Fair), (1852 to 1855) is a remarkable and energetic work of art, see here:

Image

It is large, being approximately 8 by 16 ½ feet in size. Despite showing a scene located on the Boulevard de l’Hôpital, in southeast Paris the subject of the painting is very much nature. The large numbers of horses, which occupy most of the foreground of the picture, are swirling in a cyclone of action. They are only barely under the control of the human handlers and in some places they appear to be about to break out. The browns, whites and blacks of the horses add to the excitement of the painting. While it appears to be a warm day, the sky seems threatening with its gathering dark blue clouds, which contrast with the green of the large trees. The only building in sight is the dome of the Salpêtrière Hospital in the far background. The depiction of nature only barely under the control of humans exemplifies the Romantic ideology and can be seen as signifying emotions being just barely under the control of the intellect. In observing this scene, a couple of times a week for over one year, the artist wore men’s clothes and had to get official police permission to do so, as it was illegal for women to wear men’s clothing in Paris at that time without such permission. Rosa Bonheur was born in Bordeau, France in 1822. In an earlier comment Enigma posted a link to a site showing 53 other paintings by this artist.

The sculptor Edmonia Lewis was born c. 1844 in New York State to a mother who was a member of the Chippewa also known as the Ojibwa tribe and a father who was a free man of African descent. She was given the name “Wildfire” by her mother. Here is the artist’s work The Death of Cleopatra (1876, 5 ¼ feet high, in marble):

Image

According to the Smithsonian American Art Museum, “the piece was first exhibited to great acclaim at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876 and critics raved that it was the most impressive American sculpture in the show. Not long after its debut, however, Death of Cleopatra was presumed lost for almost a century—appearing at a Chicago saloon, marking a horse’s grave at a suburban racetrack, and eventually reappearing at a salvage yard in the 1980s.” See here: https://americanart.si.edu/artwork/deat ... atra-33878. It is now at the Smithsonian. Here is a video, with music showing the work from various angles and in detail (6 minutes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UK8Vj03U874. Others sculptures created by this artists include – a bust of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw (1864), Old Indian Arrowmaker and his Daughter (1866 to 1872), Morning of Liberty, Forever Free (1867), Hiawatha’s Marriage (1874) and Hagar in the Wilderness (1875). Edmonia Lewis did much of her work and lived much of her life in Rome, Italy, having moved there in 1865.

Tom,

Sign of progress: Lori Lightfoot, who describes herself as “an out and proud black lesbian” was elected mayor of Chicago, the nation’s third most populated city. Her nearest rival was Toni Preckwinkle also a black woman.

To be continued
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See here for a topic on Female Singers: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=50851.

See here for a topic on Female Artists and the Nude: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=50860

Endymion

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Re: Women in history and an examination of gender norms:

Post by Endymion » Tue Apr 9, 15:10 2019

Seemingly Fine Arts are not the only area where female artists are underrepresented. From what I see this is also the case for Movies, Music and Literature. According to a report by the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism on average per year over the eleven years 2007 to 2017 only 30.7 % of speaking characters were female in the top-grossing films (1100 films) (http://assets.uscannenberg.org/docs/ine ... -films.pdf). And during that same time period there were only 53 female directors out of a total of 1223 (4.3%). Looking at the 91 different films which have won the “best picture Oscar” it seems to me that only 13 are primarily about a female or females (14% of all “best pictures”). Also it seems to me that 15 “best picture” movies are primarily about mixed couples or groups (17% of all “best pictures”) which leave 63 “best pictures” (69% of “best pictures”) primarily about a male or males. When I write “it seems to me” I mean after seeing the film or reading about it. Here are the 13 “best pictures” that I feel are primarily about a female or females:

The Broadway Melody 1929
Gone with the Wind 1939
Mrs. Miniver 1942
All About Eve 1950
The Sound of Music 1965
Terms of Endearment 1983
Out of Africa 1985
The Silence of the Lambs 1991
The English Patient 1996
Titanic 1997
Chicago 2002
Million Dollar Baby 2004
The Shape of Water 2017

A list of best picture winners up until 2018 can be found here: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls009480135/.

The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) contains lots of information on virtually all films. According to their data see here there are 14,756,195 actresses listed and 23,369,933 actors listed for a ratio of 1.6 actors for every actress. This means that for every three actress credits there are approximately five actor credits.

According to the Geena (Davis) Benchmark Report 2007-2017, “Male leads vastly outnumber female leads – 71.3% compared to 28.8%” (in the top 100 Family Films). See here: https://seejane.org/wp-content/uploads/ ... -12-19.pdf. Also according to Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, “Even among the top-grossing G-rated family films, girl characters are out number of boys three-to-one.” Also, “That’s the same ratio that has existed since the end of World War II. For decades, male characters have dominated nearly three-quarters of speaking parts in children’s entertainment, and 83% of film and TV narrators are male. See here https://seejane.org/research-informs-em ... ths-facts/.

Possible good news is that, as reported by The Wrap, “For the first time since 1958, the top three highest grossing domestic releases have featured female leads.” This was in 2017. These films were Star Wars: The Last Jedi starting Daisy Ridley; Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson and Wonder Woman starring Gal Gadot. See here: https://www.thewrap.com/female-lead-fil ... ox-office/. Hopefully this is the start of a trend (although based on 2018 it may not be) and not just something that happens once every 60 years or so. The 1958 movies were South Pacific starring Mitzi Gaynor, Auntie Mame starting Rosalind Russell and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, starring Elizabeth Taylor.

Here is an article by Laura Berger entitled Michelle Williams and Laura Dern Talk Equal Pay and the Power of Standing United from Women and Hollywood: https://womenandhollywood.com/michelle- ... ng-united/. The article is not only about existing problems, but also points to recent improvements for example Michelle Williams is quoted as saying “I could tell my workplace was shifting,” and “Rather than being grasped too tightly or hugged for too long at a morning greeting, my hand was shaken and I was looked squarely in the eye and I was welcomed to my Monday morning.” It was also noted that “She [Michelle Williams] was also paid the same amount as Sam Rockwell, her co-star on ‘Fosse/Verdon.’ an upcoming FX miniseries.” Further, this feature from Women and Hollywood lists “. . . all of the women-centric, women-directed, and women-written films premiering this April [2019]” (See here: https://womenandhollywood.com/april-2019-film-preview/.) The list includes descriptions and pictures. I feel that it is important to recognize that there are problems, but also that in some areas things are improving.

In deciding whether a best picture winner was primarily about a female or females I used my subjective feelings after seeing or reading about the film. This brings us to the Bechdel test named for cartoonist Alison Bechdel. There are three rules for movies in this test, one, it has to have at least two women in it who, two, talk to each other about, three, something besides a man. When I first heard of this rule I thought it meant that they never talk about a man, but now it seems that it means they talk about something other than a man at least once. See here for the comic that presented this rule: http://dykestowatchoutfor.com/wp-conten ... ned-up.jpg.

Here is a short (2 minutes) video about the Bechdel test from feministfrequency: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLF6sAAMb4s. This link goes to a longer video on this topic The Oscars and The Bechdel Test (10 ½ minutes), also from feministfrequency: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PH8JuizIXw8 and here is a video comparing and explaining the Bechdel Test and the Mako Mori Test by Rowan Ellis (8 ½ minutes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WiRFu1a143E.

I know I do a lot of links and I don’t expect everyone to go to every link, but I put them there to give people and option and also to show I am not making things up.

Tom,

To be continued
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See here for a topic on Female Singers: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=50851.

See here for a topic on Female Artists and the Nude: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=50860

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Re: Women in history and an examination of gender norms:

Post by Endymion » Thu Apr 11, 14:14 2019

Emigma, I was looking through the comments from people who have added to this thread and I realized I didn’t pay full attention to your point that:

“Artists and art becoming part of the canon in the art world is dictated less by the arrival of new geniuses and more by who champions who than we'd like. It's insanely difficult to get from good at painting to shown in important museums and pulling in record money at auction. No one makes it completely on their own. They need connections and champions. The reality is those resources are harder for women to get.”

This is very important in understanding why there have been so many fewer women, not only in the fine arts, but in many other aspects of the public life. Thank you for mentioning that point.

Tom,
See here for a topic on Women in history: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=50838

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Re: Women in history and an examination of gender norms:

Post by Endymion » Tue Apr 16, 13:04 2019

Here are two films that are not only about women, but are dominated by female characters. The first is Stage Door (1937) which was nominated for Best Picture in 1938. The female characters include:

Terry Randall, played by Katharine Hepburn b. 1907;
Jean Maitland, played by Ginger Rogers b. 1911, my favorite all around entertainer,
Judith Canfield, played by Lucille Ball b. 1911;
Eve, played by Eve Arden b. 1908, who also played as Our Miss Brooks on TV in the mid 1950s and as Principal McGee in the film Grease,
Annie played by Ann Miller b. 1923, she was 14 years old when the film was made and lied about her age and had a fake birth certificate to get the part;
Kay Hamilton, played by Andrea Leeds b. 1914, who was Nominated for Best Supporting Actress for this movie in 1938;
Linda Shaw, played by Gail Patrick b. 1911;
Miss Luther, played by Constance Collier b. 1878, she was 58 years old when the film was made, started on the stage at age 3 (1881), her first film was in 1916 and her last film was in 1940;
Hattie played by Phyllis Kennedy b. 1914.

The following link goes to a video 4 minutes long showing the beginning of the movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OJ-7UBRvEw. The above mentioned characters as they first appear are Hattie shown sweeping up, Judith Canfield shown sitting on the couch, Linda Shaw shown walking down the stairs, Eve with the white cat over her shoulders, Jean Maitland running down the stairs to confront Linda Shaw and Miss Luther sitting in a chair knitting then talking.

Here is another clip from the movie entitled Lucille Ball & Ginger Rogers in Stage Door (1 minute). Toward the end it shows Annie (Ann Miller), with the white cap, leaving out the front door with Jean Maitland (Ginger Rogers): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQ-2E4hoSXw. And here is the Official Trailer for the movie (2 minutes). Both Kay Hamilton (Andrea Leeds) and Terry Randall (Katherine Hepburn) can be seen in this video. See here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flax6E338y4.

One of the great things for me about this movie is the strong comradeship shown among the women.

The Women (1939) is a film with an all female cast, including children and animals. Here are the full credits for the movie from IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0032143/fullcredits. I counted 120 “actors,” but the trailer gives a figure of 135 women. It was based on a play by Clare Boothe Luce. Also the trailer claims that the movie is “. . . all about men.” See here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8WsqaN4izs. I don’t agree with that, even though the women talk a great deal about men (it may even fail the Bechdel Test), but it is all about the women’s feelings and shows their emotions. The acting is good and I particularly like Norma Shearer b. 1902 as Mrs. Stephen Haines – Mary – I feel she is a great actress (I go between using the term actress or actor for a female actor); Rosalind Russell b. 1907, as Mrs. Howard Fowler – Sylvia and 12 year old Virginia Weidler as “Little Mary.” Here is Virginia in the 1940 movie The Philadelphia Story speaking French, walking on her toes and singing the song Lydia the Tattooed Lady, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZR-qbWsUfZc. I’m not sure if she is actually playing the piano, but this clip shows her great talent. Her performance in The Woman is more dramatic showing her range. As to whether these movies are Feminist films I will leave to the viewer to decide, particularly in regard to The Women. A remake of this movie was made in 2008, directed by Diane English who also wrote the screenplay. I believe the cast for that film also was all female (See here for the full cast: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0430770/fu ... cl_sm#cast).

I don’t feel that comradeship in The Women is as strong as in Stage Door and I would recommend Stage Door over The Women, but you can see them both. Turner Classic Movies is showing Stage Door on June 14, 2019 at 1:00 am (set your DVR for it) and The Women is scheduled for July 26, 2019 at 8:00 pm.

Tom,

To be continued
See here for a topic on Women in history: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=50838

See here for a topic on Female Singers: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=50851.

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Endymion

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Re: Women in history and an examination of gender norms:

Post by Endymion » Mon Apr 22, 6:35 2019

The Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism also produced a report on females in the music industry (http://assets.uscannenberg.org/docs/aii ... o-2019.pdf). According to this report on average per year over the seven years from 2012 to 2018, 21.7% of artists were women (out of 700 songs) (3.6 males to 1 female); 12.3% of songwriters were women (700 songs) and 2.1% of producers were women (400 songs). Further from 2013 to 2019 the percentage of female Grammy nominates were: 8.2% for record of the year, 6.6% for album of the year, 20.6% for song of the year, 41.1% for best new artist and 2.6% for producer of the year. Further only 24 of “Rolling Stone’s” 100 Greatest Singers of All Time are women, see here https://www.rollingstone.com/music/musi ... e-4-35089/ (dated 2010). Of course Rolling Stone is only considering what I would call “Pop Singers” that is singers that one would hear on most commercial radio stations.

According to The Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, report Inclusion in the Recording Studio? (See first link in this post) the top female songwriters “across 700 popular songs from 2012 -2018” with the number of their credits are:

Onika Maraj (Nicki Minaj) 18 credits
Robyn Fenty (Rihanna) 14 credits
Taylor Swift 12 credits
Katheryn Hudson (Katy Perry) 9 credits
Adele Adkins 8 credits
Sia Furler 8 credits
Belcalis Almanzar (Cardi B) 8 credits
Brittany Hazzard (Starrah) 8 credits
Selena Gomez 7 credits

Personally I generally prefer female singers, possibly due to having heard so many male singers throughout my life although I also feel that popular female singers tend to have a greater range in regard to variations in pitch and that is something I like. I prefer singers who use their voice as a musical instrument to the extent that I like hearing songs sung in a language I do not understand, which is every language except English and also vocalization without words, even to the extent of feeling that in some cases knowing the words interfere with my enjoyment of the musicality of the singers voice.

Tom,

To be continued
See here for a topic on Women in history: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=50838

See here for a topic on Female Singers: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=50851.

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Endymion

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Re: Women in history and an examination of gender norms:

Post by Endymion » Fri Apr 26, 8:30 2019

Within the past year I came across a video showing a female conductor of an orchestra this intrigued me and I went to look for more female conductors. In doing this I came across a youtube website devoted to female conductors on which the image for each video was pictured the conductor and the composer. To my surprise many of the composers were women. I had not suspected that there were so many female composers of music. So, then I looked for more and more female composers and happily the more I looked the more I found. I like what many call Classical music and I have listened to many such musical pieces. What I found particularly fortuitous was that here, among the pieces composed by women were many very beautifully works that I have never heard before. Thus, because works composed by women are not highlighted I missed out on hearing them before. Here are some links to videos of mostly short musical works composed by women. I have many more:

Sappho was born c.620 BCE on the Greek island of Lesbos in the Aegean Sea just off the coast of what in now the mainland of Turkey. Many times she is considered as being a poet, but in actuality her poetry was sung to music and therefore she was a composer of song. Little is known of Sappho and her works are known only in fragments. It is not certain how her music sounded. Here are two videos from the New York Greek Drama Company, filmed in 1987. The first is called Songs of Sappho, Final Scene (7 ½ minutes). See here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QiNYJf41ErI. The second video, see here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOlIqozu3Fg, is entitled Sappho Painetai (2 minutes) and is “. . . sung in ancient Greek by Andrea Goodman, accompanying herself on a 7-string lyre” with words by Sappho, but as the original music is unknown it is sung to music by Eve Beglarian.

One can find Poems of Sappho, as translated by Julia Dubnoff at this link: http://musicbysunset.com/Great%20Litera ... ubnoff.htm. Many of them are just short fragments.

More than 12 centuries after the birth of Sappho, in 1098, a remarkable woman named Hildegard von Bingen was born in Bockelheim, West Franconia now in Germany. She became an Abbess of a Convent, produced a great deal of writings and composed music. Here is one such piece entitled O dulcis Divinitas (Sweet Divinity) and sung by Alexandra Marisa Wilcke (2 minutes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMxBpPcoWf0.

Beatrice Countess of Dia was a Trobairitz who lived, sang and wrote songs in the later part of the 12th century. A Trobairitz is pretty much the same as a Troubadour except that a Trogairitz is a woman and Troubadour is a man. Trobairitzes and Troubadours generally wrote about an unattainable idealized love and that is what Beatrice did. The following link is to video (8 ½ minutes) of an unknown singer singing A chantar m'er de so q"ieu no voldria:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Zah4VWPiNE. This is one of only five musical works by Beatrice known and is the only one for the music is known. I like the picture accompanying the music as to me it shows the woman to be the more assertive one of the couple.

Here is a translation of another set of Beatrice’s lyrics:

I have been in great distress
for a knight for whom I longed:
I want all future times to know
how I loved him to excess.
Now I see I am betrayed–
he claims I did not give him love–
such was the mistake I made,
naked in bed and dressed.

How I’d long to hold him pressed
naked in my arms one night–
if I could be his pillow once,
would he not know the height of bliss?
Floris was all to Blancheflor,
yet not so much as I am his:
I am giving my heart, my love,
my mind, my life, my eyes.

Fair, gentle lover, gracious knight,
if once I held you as my prize
and lay with you a single night
and gave you a love-laden kiss–
my greatest longing is for you
to lie there in my husband’s place,
but only if you promise this:
to do all I’d want to do.

See here http://www.plicklider.com/Love%20Poetry.S09.htm, for the lyrics to the song in the video (second set), the lyrics shown above and lyrics by two other Trobairitzes – Maria de Ventadorn and Castelloza.

Clara Schumann was born in Leipzi, Saxony now in Germany in 1819. She was considered a child prodigy. Here is a video (5 minutes) of her Nocturne in F major Op. 6 No. 2 from Soirees Musicales: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Up6esqYMGU.

The following link goes to a video of Dame Ethel Smyth’s 1911 The March of the Women: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCtGkCg7trY. Along with the music are photographs of the women fighting for the vote during the early part of the 20th century. It is sung by the Rainbow Chorus. Among her other works are Serenade in D (1890), Mass in D (1891) and the light opera, The Wreckers (1902 to 04).

According to a Library of Congress website (see here https://www.loc.gov/item/ihas.200153246/) Amy Marcy Beach nee Cheney was born in New Hampshire in 1867 and was a “. . . true prodigy who memorized forty songs at the age of one and taught herself to read at age three. She played four-part hymns and composed simple waltzes at age four.” Further she was the first woman to achieve widespread recognition as a composer of large-scale works with orchestra.” In 1896 she composed her Symphony in E-minor, Op. 32 The Gaelic. This link goes to the composer’s Summer Dreams Op. 47 for 1 piano and 4 hands (14 minutes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygA4PT4uvLk. Joo-Hye Lee and Hyesuk Lim play the piano.

Julia Amanda Perry was born in Lexington Kentucky in 1924. In 1948 she graduated with a bachelors and masters in music from Westminster Choir College in New Jersey. She then attended the Julliard School of Music and the Berkshire Music Center. Her works include an opera, The Cask of Amontillado, written in Italian, as well as Stabat Mater, a Homage to Vivaldi for orchestra and Homunuclus C.F.. She was then able to study in Europe – Florence and Paris – due to two Guggenheim fellowships. Her works were performed by major orchestras including the New York Philharmonic. Julia Perry’s A Short Piece for Orchestra (7 ½ minutes) can be heard here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YYFTBgMZ5E. As well as being written by a woman this piece, in this performance was conducted by a woman, Karina Canellakis.

Tom,

To be continued
See here for a topic on Women in history: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=50838

See here for a topic on Female Singers: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=50851.

See here for a topic on Female Artists and the Nude: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=50860

Endymion

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Re: Women in history and an examination of gender norms:

Post by Endymion » Tue Apr 30, 9:21 2019

As to Literature according to this article (https://pudding.cool/2017/06/best-sellers/) by Rosie Cima, in the New York Times Best Seller list “Books by women consistently made up about a quarter of the list in the 1950s. Over the course of the 1960s and 1970s, female representation on the list fluctuated dramatically. The rate of books by women got as high as 38% in 1970, and as low as 14% in 1975.” The year 2001 was the best with the female to male ratio being 50% to 50%, but in general since that year there were fewer female authors compared to males (see graph). I also looked at Time magazine’s 100 best novels from 1923 to 2005 and discovered that there were only 20 (20%) such novels written by women (see here https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/268 ... 100_Novels) and also the top 100 books on Books Ranker and discovered that there were only 19 by women (19%) – for some reason the link to this source does not work, but one can do a goggle search for "Ranker best books of all time fiction" to find it. The bottom of this post lists novels written by women on the Time list and within the top 100 on the Ranker list

According to an article by Aamna Mohdin the “Share of major literary prizes awarded to woman, to 2016” are as follows:

Cervantes Prize, 10%
Prix Goncourt, 11%
Nobel Prize, 12%
Georg Buchner Prize, 14%
National Book Award (fiction), 25%
The Hugo (novel), 30%
Pulitzer Prize (fiction), 34%
Man Booker Prize, 35%

See here: https://qz.com/838175/the-national-book ... ent-women/.

Also according to an article by Nicola Griffith of the last 15 book-length fiction awards prior to 2015 or 2014 given by Pulitzer Prize, Man Book Prize, National Book Award, National Book Critics’ Circle Award, Hugo Award and Newbery Medal (90 awards in total):

41 (46%) were for books written by women
47 (52%) were for books written by men
2 (2%) of the books were listed as “unsure”

Of the six awards only the Newbery Medal, which is given to authors of books for children, honored more women than men. Excluding the Newbery Medal the numbers were:

31 (41% out of a total of 75) were for books written by women
42 (56% out of a total of 75) were for books written by men
2 (3% out of a total of 75) of the books were listed as “unsure”

However, of these books including the Newbery Medal, only:
15 (17%) were about females
53 (59%) about males
20 (22%) about both sexes
2 (2%) listed as “unsure”

Again excluding the Newbery Medal:

7 (9% out of 75) were about females
49 (65% out of 75) being about males
17 (23% out of 75) about both sexes
2 (3% out of 75) listed as “unsure”

I want to emphasize this: excluding the books for children less than 10% were solely about females. In addition women wrote approximately equally about females or males, while men wrote almost exclusively about men. With the exception of the Newbery Medal none of the books by men were about women or girls and only 6 were about both sexes. See here for article: https://nicolagriffith.com/2015/05/26/b ... in-awards/

Here is a compilation of the novels written by women in the Time list:
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee*
Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell*
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, Judy Blume
Beloved, Toni Morrison
Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf
Possession, A. S. Byatt
Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston
The Blind Assassin, Margaret Atwood
To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf*
The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Muriel Spark
Death Comes for the Archbishop, Willa Cather
Wide Sargasso Sea, Jean Rhys
White Teeth, Zadie Smith
Play it as it Lays, Joan Didion
The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing
Housekeeping, Marilynne Robinson
The Man Who Loved Children, Christina Stead
Under the Net, Iris Mordoch
The Death of the Heart, Elizabeth Bowen

Here is a compilation of the novels written by women in the top 100 on the Ranker list:
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee*
Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
The Giver, Lois Lowry
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling
Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, J.K. Rowling
The Secret Garden, France Hodgson Burnett
The Outsiders, S.F. Hinton
Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell*
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, J.K. Rowling
Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen
And Then There Were None, Agatha Christie
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, J. K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, J. K. Rowling
The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood
To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf*

Listings with a (*) are on both lists.

Tom,

To be continued
See here for a topic on Women in history: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=50838

See here for a topic on Female Singers: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=50851.

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Endymion

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Re: Women in history and an examination of gender norms:

Post by Endymion » Sat May 4, 7:01 2019

On December 16, 1775 Jane Austen was born into a large family, she had six brothers and one sister. Her sister Cassandra was born on January 9, 1773 almost three years older than Jane. Jane and Cassandra were very closed and lived together with their mother all of Jane’s life separated only for short occasional visits to other relatives or friends. When Cassandra was sent away to boarding school Jane insisted on going also and in a remark as to their inseparability their mother is quoted as saying “if Cassandra’s head had been going to be cut off, Jane would have hers cut off too”.

In order of publication Jane Austen’s completed full novels are: Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion. She also started two unfinished novels The Watsons and Sanditon, which Jane called The Brothers, a short work written in the form of letters called Lady Susan and a series of works, now called her Juvenilia. These last works generally are humorous and poke fun at conventions. Each of Jane’s primary protagonists in each of her finished novels is female and in one case there are duel protagonists, both women. I have the impression that many people consider these novels to be “love stories” as a romance between a woman and a man, but to me the most interesting part of these stories is the female protagonist’s relation with other female characters. While I haven’t actually calculated it, it seems to me that more than half of the characters and in particular more than half of the main characters are female. Perhaps as a reflection of Jane’s close relationship with Cassandra, each of the main female characters in her six finished novels have sisters, but they all don’t have brothers. In at least three of the novels the relationship between the main character and at least one sister is close and loving or develops into a close and loving relationship. None of Jane’s characters are perfect however none are evil either. They are real people with faults and good qualities. She is quoted as saying about one of her main characters “I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like.” I do like that heroine. What also interest me are not so much the actual stories, but the dialog and character development, so I can enjoy reading the stories a second or more times even knowing the ending. I feel this shows Jane’s talent and ability as an author in that she does not need catastrophes to further the story and to generate emotions. Her novels are about the real lives of the members of the social class that Jane Austen belonged to – the gentry – although that class was relatively small in England at the time she wrote. My favorite of Jane’s six novels is Pride and Prejudice and Northanger Abbey, but for different reasons and my least favorite is Mansfield Park, so as a consequence I only read that twice. All of her finished novels, as well as Lady Susan (as Friends and Family) have been made into movies.

Margaret Mitchell was born in Atlanta, Georgia on November 8, 1900. While she wrote for her own enjoyment and worked as a writer for a local newspaper as far as I know she had only one novel published during her lifetime and that novel was the more than 1000 page long Gone With the Wind. To me Gone with the Wind, more than anything else, is a story about women and in particular one woman – Katie Scarlet O’Hara. Also, as with Jane Austen’s novels my impression is that many people consider this novel to be a “love story” as a romance between a woman and a man, but to me the most interesting part of these stories is the Scarlett’s relationship with other female characters, particularly with Melanie and Mammy. My feeling is that to the extent that this book is a “love story” it is a story of sisterly love between Scarlett and Melanie and that the secondary character is Melanie and not any of the men. In doing a count, through my computer, of how many times various characters are mentioned in the book I found that Scarlett was mentioned 2782 times, Melanie 1337, Rhett 1093 times and Ashley 1040 times. While Scarlett certainly has faults I like Scarlett. She is human and being human she is at times selfish. To me her essence is shown by Scarlett’s statement near the middle of the book that “I’m going to live through this, and when it’s over, I’m never going to be hungry again. No, nor any of my folks. If I have to steal or kill — as God is my witness, I’m never going to be hungry again.” She is a strong, determined woman who was brought to that determination by something that she did not want and did not cause. In very difficult times she did her best for herself and her family including Melanie and Mammy.

While Margaret Mitchell generally denied that any of the characters in the book were based on any real person there are many cases where characters parallel the lives of herself, her relatives and people she knew. Further the way the book got to be published is interesting and somewhat amazing and I would like to see her life made into a film. I feel that in judging the book from only seeing the movie one has to be very careful. While it is a long movie it is also a long book and some characters in the book are left out of the movie and some of the characters in both are not as fully developed in the movie or may give the viewer a misleading impression of the character as the actress portraying that character is much older than the character is described as being in the book.

Murasaki Shikibu was born in Kyoto, Japan c.973. She wrote both poetry and prose. Her prose consisted of a diary and a long novel entitled The Tale of Genji. This novel was completed somewhere around 1010 and according to The Tale of Genji website see here: http://www.taleofgenji.org/ “It is generally considered to be the world’s first true novel, and was certainly the first psychological novel ever written.” It is long being described as twice as long as “War and Peace” which would make it approximately 2500 pages or over one million words and there are 400 characters in the story. Here is a link to a video about Murasaki Shikibu from feminist frequency (4 minutes long) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZyBpUOVH_4.

Tom,

To be continued.
See here for a topic on Women in history: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=50838

See here for a topic on Female Singers: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=50851.

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Re: Women in history and an examination of gender norms:

Post by Endymion » Tue May 7, 11:33 2019

I was browsing through older topics in Mixed Media and came across this remarkable one – “26 Multicultural Picture Books about Inspiring Women and Girls” started by antfancier. In it was a link to a “Colours of Us” website with a list of “26 Multicultural Picture Book Biographies about Inspiring Women and Girls.” I was very much impressed by this list and since the topic was locked and on the second page I decided to repost it here. But first thank you antfancier for posting a link to such an interesting website. I also “want them all.” Just quickly glancing through it I learned about women and girls I didn’t know about before. The link to the topic is viewtopic.php?f=23&t=49996 and the link to the website is https://coloursofus.com/multicultural-p ... men-girls/. Here is the list of the books from the website:

1 – Harlem’s Little Blackbird by Renee Watson, about Florence Mills
2 – Malala Yousafzai: Warrior with Words by Karen Leggett Abouraya, about the “brave Pakistani girl.”
3 – Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle, about Millo Castro Zaldarriaga
4 – Firebird by Misty Copeland, about the ballet soloist
5 – Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh
6 – Wangari Maathai: The Woman Who Planted Millions of Trees by Franck Prevot
7 – Little Melba and Her Big Trombone by Katheryn Russell-Brown, about Melba Doretta Liston
8 – She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story by Audrey Vernick, about “the first and only woman ever inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.”
9 – Shining Star: The Anna May Wong Story by Paula Yoo, about the woman who was born in Los Angeles and who became an international movie star
10 – Skit-Scat Raggedy Cat: Ella Fitzgerald by Roxane Orgill, about the singer
11 – Swing Sisters: The Story of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm by Karen Deans, about an all-female jazz band
12 – Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales, about the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo
13 – Coretta Scott by Ntozake Shange, about the “First Lady of Civil Rights”
14 – Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World’s Fastest Woman by Kathleen Krull
15 – Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx by Jonah Winter
16 – In Her Hands: The Story of Sculptor Augusta Savage by Professor Alan Schroeder
17 – The Red Piano, by Andre Leblanc, about pianist Zhu Xiao-Mei
18 – The Little Piano Girl: The Story of Mary Lou Williams, Jazz Legend by Ann Ingalls
19 – Dolores Huerta: A Hero to Migrant Workers by Sarah Warren
20 – Nobody Owns the Sky: The Story of “Brave Bessie” Coleman by Reeve Lindbergh about “the first licensed African American aviator.”
21 – Molly, By Golly!: The Legend of Molly Williams, American’s First Female Firefighter by Dianne Ochitree
22 – She Sang Promise: The Story of Betty Mae Jumper, Seminole Tribal Leader by J. G. Annino
23 – Mumbet’s Declaration of Independence by Gretchen Woelfle, about Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman who “challenged the legality of owning another person”
24 – When Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson by Pam Munoz Ryan about the opera singer who sang to the nation on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial
25 – Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford
26 – Amelia to Zora: Twenty-Six Women Who Changed the World, by Cynthia Chin-Lee

Colours of Us is “All about multicultural children’s books” and there seems to be many other interesting posts to it. I plan to explore the rest of the site.

Tom,

To be continued
See here for a topic on Women in history: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=50838

See here for a topic on Female Singers: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=50851.

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Endymion

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Re: Women in history and an examination of gender norms:

Post by Endymion » Sun May 12, 6:21 2019

In the previous post I wrote about a remarkable source of information that I recently came across. Well here is another. It is a TED talk by actress, film maker and activist Naomi McDougall Jones (17 minutes). It is entitled “What it’s like to be a woman in Hollywood.” For clarification it is not about sexual harassment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BVSEnJte84&t.

Naomi gives a very interesting talk and is a very entertaining and energetic speaker so I encourage listening to the video. Because I liked her talk so much I viewed it a number of time, sometimes with the subtitles on. So you would not have to do that I include here some quotes. (I may have gotten carried away with this.) She states that “In fact, studies show that the movies you watch don’t just affect our hobbies, they affect your career choices, your emotions, your sense of identity, your relationships, your mental health – even your marital status” and gives three examples that suggest that movies affect behavior. She gives statistics – women “. . . graduate from film schools at the same rate that men do . . .,” but through the progression from the smallest budget films to the largest the percentage of female directors decrease until at the end females direct only 5% of largest budget films. I particularly liked that she spoke about the economics of female compared to male produced films. As to profitability she states that “The Washington Post recently released a study showing that films that feature women make 23 cents more on every dollar than films that don’t.” And that “. . . my colleagues and I commissioned a study comparing 1,700 films made over the last five years and, looking at the average returns on investment . . .“ She showed the results of this study was that in each of four categories – Director, Producer, Screenwriter, Lead Actor “. . . the return on investment is higher if it’s a woman.” This was particularly the case for Producer and Screenwriter.

Further quotes are: “And as you start watching all movies, I just want you to pay attention to the female characters. How many of them are there? What are they wearing? Or not? Do they get to do cool things, or are they just there to emotionally support the men? I’m telling you, once you see this, you’re not going to be able to unsee it.”

And as to why she wants more movies by women she says “I want to see what the other 51 percent of the population has to say. I want to watch movies that teach me about people who are different than I am. I want to see women’s bodies on film that aren’t perfect. I want to give our little boys the chance to empathize with female characters so that they can become more whole men. And I definitely want to give a little girl who may not have a real-role model the chance to watch movies and see women doing everything she dreams of achieving.”

Here is a link to the IMDb webpage for the movie “Imagine I’m Beautiful” directed and acted in by the speaker https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2314036/. Also here is a link to the website Movies by Her: www.moviesbyher.com. On it are 321 films directed by women. And here is a link to the 51 fund: https://www.the51fund.com/

At the end of the Naomi McDougall Jones’ video is a button for another TED talk this one is by Stacy Smith and is entitled “The data behind Hollywood’s sexism.” The data seems to be from the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism which I linked to in an earlier post. Here is the link to the TED talk (16 minutes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kkRkhAXZGg and here is a link to the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism study: http://assets.uscannenberg.org/docs/ine ... -films.pdf. A quote by Stacy Smith that I was particularly impressed with is her answer to her question “. . . why is it so difficult to have female directors?” The speaker says, “Turns out, both male and female executives, when they think director, they think male. They perceive the traits of leadership to be masculine in nature.”

Tom,

To be continued,
See here for a topic on Women in history: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=50838

See here for a topic on Female Singers: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=50851.

See here for a topic on Female Artists and the Nude: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=50860

Endymion

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Re: Women in history and an examination of gender norms:

Post by Endymion » Sat May 18, 6:51 2019

Television seems to do better in including women than movies. However, prime time television still seems to still have less than 50% female speaking characters. According to a report by the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, a sampling of prime-time first run scripted series airing from September 1, 2014 to August 31, 2015 on broadcast, popular basic cable, premium channels or streaming services showed that approximately 37% of the speaking characters were female. This they compare to 28.7% speaking characters being female in films released in 2014. See here for more detail https://annenberg.usc.edu/sites/default ... ummary.pdf. Further according to a study from the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, San Diego State University, “Overall, 79% of the programs considered featured casts with more male than female characters. 5% had ensembles with equal number of female and male characters. 16% of the programs featured casts with more female than male characters.” The report, which can be found here https://womenintvfilm.sdsu.edu/files/20 ... Report.pdf, provides additional statistics on women in television. It is noted that ”This study examines the portrayal of female characters and employment of women in key behind-the-scenes roles on drama, comedy, and reality programs appearing on the broadcast networks, basic and pay cable channels, and on streaming services from September 2015 through May 2016.” This data is for prime-time TV it is possible and maybe likely that daytime TV is more inclusive of women.

Also, see here for a new topic on Female Singers: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=50851.

Tom,

To be continued.
See here for a topic on Women in history: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=50838

See here for a topic on Female Singers: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=50851.

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Endymion

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Re: Women in history and an examination of gender norms:

Post by Endymion » Sat May 25, 8:09 2019

Here are three TV shows that are centered on women. There are many others, but these three particularly interest me. The first is Julia starring Dishann Carrol (b. 1935 in the Bronx, NY) as Julia Baker. This show ran for 86 episodes between 1968 and 1971. Julia was innovative in being about a widowed black woman raising a son. Her husband was a soldier who was killed in the Vietnam War. Julia, the title character, was a professional and worked as a nurse. From what I have seen the shows stories featured more than the average number of female characters, in particular Betty Beaird as Marie Waggedorn, Julia’s friend and neighbor. In 1969 Diahann Carroll won a Golden Globes award for Best TV Star – Female. Here are some quotes from the show: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0062575/qu ... =tt_trv_qu and for those who are interested here is a video of Dishann Carrol discussing the TV show “Julia” (10 minutes) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qC_Q-o4tGDc and these two links go to the first and second parts of the episode “Essay Can You See” aired December 8, 1970: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvqfCUsyHkM, 11 minutes and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFlU20jWPLY&t 11 ½ minutes. Diahann Carrol is a singer and was in the 1954 movie Carmen Jones and the 1959 movie Porgy and Bess.

This show predated some other shows featuring women – The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970 to 1977) starring Mary Tyler Moore, Maude (1972 to 1978) starring Beatrice Arthur, One Day at a Time (1975 to 1984) starring Bonnie Franklin and Alice (1976 to 1985) starring Linda Lavin.

Second is The Golden Girls a TV Show featuring four older women living together in a house. It ran for 177 episodes from 1985 to 1992. Bea Arthur b. 1922, portrayed Dorothy Zbornak; Betty White b. 1922 and is still alive (2019) at age 97, portrayed Rose Nylund; Rue McClanahan b. 1934, portrayed Blanche Devereaux and Estelle Getty b. 1923, portrayed Sophia Petrillo. One of many things I like about this show is not only was it about women, who liked and loved each other, but it was about older women and showed that they were still interested in romance. The show won 3 Golden Globes for Best Television Series - Comedy or Musical, Estelle Getty won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Comedy or Musical, and the show or people connected with the show won 36 other Awards. In 1986 when Estelle Getty won for Best performance, Betty White, Bea Arthur and Rue McClanahan were also nominated in that same category.

Mom is a TV show that started in 2013 and is still running as of 2019. The story is primarily about a daughter (Christy, portrayed by Anna Faris) and her mom (Bonnie, portrayed by Allison Janney) as well as their friends Marjorie (portrayed by Mimi Kennedy), Wendy (portrayed by Beth Hall) and Jill (portrayed by Jaime Pressly), who are all recovering alcoholics. In addition there is Violet (portrayed by Sadie Clavano), Regina (portrayed by Octavia Spencer), Beverly (an upstairs neighbor, portrayed by Amy Hill) and more recently Tammy (portrayed by Kristen Johnston). There are also male characters, but the show is clearly about and dominated by female characters. Besides it being about women, what I like about the show is that it can be funny and be about very serious issues at the same time.

Tom,

To be continued
See here for a topic on Women in history: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=50838

See here for a topic on Female Singers: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=50851.

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Endymion

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Re: Women in history and an examination of gender norms:

Post by Endymion » Fri May 31, 9:44 2019

So far this topic dealt with a number of areas where women are outnumbered by men, but here is a situation where women do outnumber men, although maybe only on the entry level. That situation is dance. According to Data USA, in 2017, 79.4% of dancers and choreographers were female. See here: https://datausa.io/profile/soc/272030/. As a spectator I enjoy dance, in particular ballet and in my experience watching various types of dance it does seem to me that there are more female dancers than male dancers. Now, why would that be so? Well some might say that there are more female dancers because females are more beautiful than men. While I would agree that more people in much of the world experience females to be more beautiful than males, I do not feel that females are inherently more beautiful than males. However, I am going to leave a discussion on this for a future post.

The above data is for dancers and choreographers so that does not mean that 79.4% of choreographers are female. I looked at a number of places to try and get an idea of the ratio of female to male choreographers. The first place I looked was at the Tony Awards, which are for Broadway plays and musicals. These awards started in 1947 and include an award for best choreography. During the 72 years from 1947 to 2018 there have been 81 winners in this category, as in some years more than one person won. Of those 81 winners 13 (16%) were female and 68 (84%) were male, for just over 5 male winners for every female winner. I also checked the Drama Desk Award, which go back to 1969. For the Drama Desk Awards from 1969 to 2018 there have been 15 (29%) female winners for choreography and 37 (71%) male winners. This is somewhat more equal than the Tonys, which may be due to the Drama Desk Awards being more recent. It is possible that there have been more female choreographers or the awards are more likely to honor female choreographers now compared to the past. Looking at the Tonys from 1992 to 2018 the number of winning female choreographers was 9 (33%) and the number of males was 18 (67%). With the Drama Desk awards over the same years the numbers were 12 (41%) female to 17 (59%) male, so the numbers seem to have been becoming more equal. Search for “Broadway Awards Search IBDB” and then under Award Name go to either Tony Award or Drama Desk Award and under Category go to Choreography.

The Dance Data Project (DDP) report for February 2019 surveyed the “Top 50 [USA] Domestic [ballet] Companies” for October 2018 and according to this report the ratio of female to male Executive Directors was 23 female to 27 male and that same ratio for Artistic Directors was 12 female to 36 male (two companies were not included in this second category). That is across the 48 companies only one out of four Artistic Directors were female. Executive and Artistic Directors are leadership position in those ballet companies. Further the average compensation of female Artistic Directors in 2017 was 68% of that for males. See here: https://www.dancedataproject.com/wp-con ... t-2019.pdf.

According to a New York Times 2016 article entitled “Breaking the Glass Slipper: Where are the Female Choreographers?” by Michael Cooper “The New York City Ballet performed 58 ballets this season, including seven world premieres – and not one was by a woman. London’s Royal Ballet also did no ballets by women this season on its main stage at Covent Garden and has yet to commission a new work by a woman for the main stage this century. In Moscow, the Bolshoi danced more than two dozen ballets this season, but only one was by a woman, and only partially . . . And American Ballet Theater presented just one ballet by a woman this season in New York . . .” See here: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/26/arts ... phers.html

Over the last 25 years or so I have become very interested in ballet and have seen many (mostly as recordings, but some live) and this interest has extended to the history of these ballets. Based on this I can say that men have overwhelmingly choreographed ballets.

Here is a list of the eleven women who have won Tonys or Drama Desk award or both for choreographing along with the number of awards they won and the time periods during which they won the awards:

Susan Stronman ---- 8 Total; 4 Tonys; 4 Drama Desk 1992 to 2002
Kathleen Marshall - 6 Total; 3 Tonys; 3 Drama Desk 2004 to 2011
Twyla Tharp -------- 3 Total; 1 Tony; 2 Drama Desk 2003 to 2010
Ann Reinking ------- 2 Total; 1 Tony; 1 Drama Desk 1997
Patricia Birch ------- 2 Total both Drama Desk 1972 and 1974
Agnes de Mille ----- 2 Total both Tony 1947 and 1962
Gypsy Snider ------- 1 Drama Desk 2013
Jane Elliot ----------- 1 Drama Desk 1995
Gillian Gregory ----- 1 Tony 1987
Jean Erdman -------- 1 Drama Desk 1972
Helen Tamiris ------ 1 Tony 1950

As before I encourage people to participate in this topic.

Tom,

To be continued.
See here for a topic on Women in history: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=50838

See here for a topic on Female Singers: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=50851.

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Endymion

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Re: Women in history and an examination of gender norms:

Post by Endymion » Fri Jun 7, 7:52 2019

It’s considered that ballet first developed in Italy during the 15th century as the amateur dances held at the courts of the various nobles. Catherine de’ Medici was born in Florence, Italy in 1519. In 1533 she was married to Henry the Duke of Orleans who became king of France as Henry II in 1547 so Catherine became Queen of France. It was Catherine de’ Medici who introduced ballet into France.

Marie Sallé was born in France in 1707 and was either the first woman ballet choreographer or the first woman to choreographer a ballet that she also danced in. An innovating dancer and choreographer she coordinated the costumes and dance styles with the music and in 1729 danced without a mask. She choreographed and danced, as Venus, in her ballet Pygmalion. According to this article, written by Geri Walton: https://www.geriwalton.com/marie-salle- ... he-ballet/ “She appeared without hoop-petticoats, with no ornament on her head, and wearing, beside her corset and her short skirt a simple muslin robe.” And “Part of Salle’s popularity had to do with her style. Salle’s contemporaries considered her a highly sensual dancer.”

Innovative women in dance at the turn of the 19th into the 20th century included Loie Fuller b. 1862 in Illinois, Ruth St Denis b. 1879 in Newark, NJ, Isadora Duncan b. c. 1877 in San Francisco, Martha Graham b. 1894 in Pennsylvania and Agnes De Mille b. 1905 in New York City,

During the 1890s Loie Fuller developed what was called serpentine dancing. This involved a large costume of flowing cloth which when she wore it on stage she would have colored light shown on it. At the time many women copied her, but then this style of dance seemed to die out, however, it now seems to be reviving. Here is a video of “Jody Sperling improvising a la Loie Fuller (3 ½ minutes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyMZkoLChDI.

While still young (age 15) Ruth St Denis started performing dances on stage. Later on she became interested in Asian dance and in her late twenties she choreographed a dance depicting Radha, who in Hinduism was a milkmaid and the consort of the god Krishna. Here is a video of “Ruth St. Denis performing an Indian Noche dance in the persona of a street dancer:” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBxcTDeQkJI (1 minute, the video is from 1932 and is somewhat blurry). And here is Ruth St. Denis’s White Jade performed by Livia Vanaver (3 minutes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deOidGqmUEo. Ruth St. Denis preformed and taught dance for much of her life.

Isadora Duncan started performing professionally in the United States, but around 1900 traveled to Europe where she was much more successful. This website states that she was called the “Mother of Modern Dance” and that “Barefoot and clad in sheaths inspired by Greek imagery and Italian Renaissance paintings, Duncan danced her own choreography in the homes of the financially elite before becoming a major success in Budapest, Hungary, having a sold-out run of shows in 1902:” https://www.biography.com/performer/isadora-duncan. Here is a video (approximately 7 minutes long) entitled “Presto (inspired by Isadora Duncan’s work from 1908) choreography by Loretta Thomas”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JS8LElJ4pD4. And this video (approximately 3 minutes long) is entitled “Isadora Duncan – Style dancers on the Beach, Miss Margaret Morris Open Air School”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNMD9uusuqE. It is from c. 1925 and is in slow motion.

When young, Martha Graham studied at the school run by Ruth St. Denis. Here is a video of her work “Maple Leaf Rag” with selected music by Scott Joplin along with an interview with Blakely White McGuire the principle dancer of the Martha Graham Dance Company (5 minutes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZY8kbP-behg. In 1944 Martha Graham choreographed her ballet Appalachian Spring to music by Aaron Copland, see here for an excerpt (5 minutes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbJelkj5pUU.

As shown in the previous post Agnes De Mille won two Tony Awards for choreography, one in 1947 for Brigadoon and another in 1962 for Kwamina. In 1942 she choreographed the ballet “Rodeo,” to music by Aaron Copland for the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. Here is a 9 minute video of the beginning scene of this work performed by the American Ballet Theater in 1973 with Christine Sarry as the lead dancer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9uzwiKNhCk. What interests me is that the “Corp de ballet,” which is usually composed of women is here danced by men and the main soloist is a woman. Among other Broadway musicals she choreographed the dance scenes for Oklahoma! (1943 to 48), Carousel (1945 to 47) and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1949 to 51).

A more recent female choreographer is Judith Jamison born in Philadelphia in 1943. At age ten she was dancing professionally. She eventually danced with the American Ballet Theatre and then joined the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1965. After going out on her own she came back to Alvin Ailey as their Artistic Director in 1985. Here is a 1 ½ minute documentary on some aspects of her life and also showing images of her: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5m3eVY7MoSA. And here is an 8 minute video of one of Judith Jamison’s choreographed works “A Case of You” danced to “. . . Diana Krall’s version of Joni Mitchell’s song by the same title:” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FV1ORSCttg. Judith Jamison was “discovered” by Agnes De Mille in 1964.

Tom,

To be continued
See here for a topic on Women in history: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=50838

See here for a topic on Female Singers: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=50851.

See here for a topic on Female Artists and the Nude: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=50860

Endymion

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Re: Women in history and an examination of gender norms:

Post by Endymion » Thu Jun 13, 7:06 2019

For more than half its life the US Constitution did not guarantee that a woman’s right to vote would be the same as a man’s with the result that most women before 1920 were denied this basic right. But this was only one of the very clear cases of discrimination against women. Another one was the concept of coverture. This is a situation that many people may not be fully aware of.

According to the Harvard Business School’s website dealing with Women and the Law, “. . . marriage and property laws, or ‘coverture,’ stipulated that a married woman did not have a separate legal existence from her husband. A married woman or feme covert was a dependent, like an underage child or a slave, and could not own property in her own name or control her own earnings, except under very specific circumstances.” See here: https://www.library.hbs.edu/hc/wes/coll ... women_law/. Connected with the concept of coverture was the doctrine of necessities (see here: https://ap.gilderlehrman.org/essay/lega ... %80%9C1830). This meant that a husband had to maintain his wife in a “manner commensurate” with his status and this could be enforced by court action. What other category of people does this sound like? Children are finically dependant on their parents and parents are legally responsible to financially support their children. So what we have is that married women under coverture are treated similar to children. Now coverture was not unique to the United States. It came to the United State from English Common Law and as such it also was the law in England. This is what Elizabeth Cady Stanton was referring to in the 1848 Declaration of Sentiments when she wrote “He [man] has made her, if married, in the eye of the law, civilly dead” and “He has taken from her all right in property, even to the wages she earns.” Gradually over the 19th and into the 20th century the coverture laws were repealed, both in the United States and in England.

Based on these disadvantages for a married woman, why did women married? There would be a number of reasons for both women and men to marry. They might be in love with each other, they may want children without the lost of respectability, they may want to have sexual intercourse without the lost of respectability, however this last one would be more of a reason for a woman than for a man. There is another very important reason for a woman to marry, which is not as important for a man and that is financial. During the time that coverture was in effect it was difficult for women to earn a large or even not so large income through their own employment. There were some jobs open to women, but in these the women did not have very many chances for advancement. In strong part this is due to the lack of opportunity for a woman obtaining higher education. Jane Austen, an eye witness to this time, gave the following advice in a letter: “Single women have a dreadful propensity for being poor. Which is one very strong argument in favor of matrimony.” Also many of Jane’s books deal with the problem of a woman being poor if she did not marry. “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” There were exceptions, Jane Austen, as well as her sister Cassandra never married, but they were supported by their father until he died and then by their brothers, of which they had six, with at least one being very wealthy. They did not have to depend on a husband, but did have to depend on men. So, due to the difficulty a woman would have in earning a significant income many women were forced into a situation similar to that of a child.

Along with the idea of coverture, at least in England, was that of entailment and primogeniture. Under entailment a contract is made requiring that the closest male heir inherits most of the property and under primogeniture the eldest son inherits most of the property. These were done to keep the property from being broken up and to keep it in the male line. Again this limited women from having their own income. Entailment was not done in every case and in the English system a woman could inherent the monarchy. However, it was more difficult for a woman to become Queen than for a man to become King. For example Queen Victoria became Queen because she had no brothers at all. If she even had a younger brother that brother would have become King. However, Victoria’s first child – Vicky – was a daughter and her second child was a son – Albert Edward. So despite being younger than Vicky, Albert Edward became King Edward VII on the death of his mother instead of Vicky becoming Queen. The reason there seems to be so many Queens in English history is that the Queens Elizabeth I, Victoria and Elizabeth II, became Queens when young and live to an old age.

Tom,

To be continued
See here for a topic on Women in history: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=50838

See here for a topic on Female Singers: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=50851.

See here for a topic on Female Artists and the Nude: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=50860

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