Bonus Item: Project Everyone this week released a fun remake of the Spice Girls’ 20-year-old “Wannabe” video. Watch artists from around the world ask for what they really, really want: education, gender equality, equal pay for equal work and an end to child marriage and violence against women.
The Woman Who Helped Us Hear Juno
Nathalia Holt, Popular Science
With a 58-year career as an engineer at the National Air and Space Administration, Sue Finley is NASA’s longest serving female employee. She helped design the Deep Space Network, a tracking networking that communicates signals from space and between space stations. Finley witnessed the launch of the first American satellite, she designed a route for those journeying to the solar system and she worked in mission control. She has been crucial to NASA throughout her career, yet in 2004 the agency demoted her and moved her from a salary to an hourly wage because she doesn’t have a bachelor’s degree. Though undervalued by the NASA of today, Finley will always be a pioneer in the field.
Venus Williams Makes a Call for Equality on the Wimbledon Courts
Ben Rothenberg, The New York Times
Venus Williams, an icon in women’s tennis, was assigned to play on Court No. 18 this week during Wimbledon. While tennis is a leading sport when it comes to gender equality, Wimbledon is fielding questions about disparities in court placements of top female and male players over the past few years. Though women like Williams have been sent to the outer borders of the tennis club, top male players like Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray have played on main courts ever since becoming top players. Williams, along with several other female players, spoke up this week to remind Wimbledon that tennis has valued men and women equally since the 1800s.
‘We Want to Change Things’: Syrian Women Begin UK Theater Tour
Mark Tran and Laurence Rowley-Abel, The Guardian
During a time of relentless war, violence and unsettlement, a small group of female Syrian refugees is reminding the world that they still have a voice. The women are appearing in the play “Queens of Syria,” an adaptation of Euripides’ antiwar tragedy “The Trojan Women” that is touring in the United Kingdom. First-time actors, they are exposing their hardships and their dreams to audiences who have been able to push the reality of the Syrian disaster out of sight and out of mind. The play began as a therapeutic drama workshop but developed into a vehicle to show refugees as individuals, not simply a mass of hopeless victims. “People want to close the way for refugees,” said Reem, one of the actresses. “But no one will treat the root of the problem. They run away from it.”
The Rise of Women’s Pictures on Television
Angelica Jade Bastién, Vulture
Women’s pictures dominated the film industry in the 1950s, and now they’re reappearing on television. From movies like “Leave Her to Heaven” (1946) and “Gone With the Wind” (1939) to TV shows like “Orphan Black,” “Scandal” and “Jessica Jones,” Bastién pinpoints what it is that makes a picture a “women’s picture.” In the 1950s, the leading women were complicated and depicted as focused, strong and sometimes even evil. The films’ plots revealed the psychological transformation of a character struggling with what it means to be a woman. Today’s women’s pictures, Bastién observes, are more commonly directed by women, marketed to women and more overtly feminist. While the focus is still on the hardships of womanhood, women have the freedom to solve their problems. Rather than asking what it means to be a women, they show us.
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