The Future Is Female!

untitled“The future is female” is a phrase that was invoked often by Clinton’s supporters during her campaign for president and in recent years has become a rallying cry among women and feminists who advocate for more female everything. T-shirts and onesies and lapel pins have featured the phrase. Of course, it’s a hashtag. And although it became mainstream around the same time Clinton announced her candidacy, “the future is female” wasn’t created by Clinton, and it wasn’t even created this millennium. Its mothers were, in fact, lesbian separatists. Let’s rewind.

In 1972, New York City’s first women’s bookstore, Labyris, opened in a small space in Greenwich Village. The founders — all lesbian feminists — wanted the space to be a hub not just for literature by women, but activism for them, author Kristen Hogan writes in her book “The Feminist Bookstore Movement.” “Other bookstores,” the women said at the time, “don’t discuss racism or lesbianism with you.”

Labyris was criticized for being elitist and exclusive, according to Hogan, perhaps because it experimented with lesbian separatism, a school of feminist thought that promotes the complete isolation of lesbians from men and heterosexuals, either temporarily or permanently. But the bookstore also had support from women like Audre Lorde, the black writer, feminist and lesbian who died in 1992.

It’s slogan, printed on merchandise to fund their efforts, became “the future is female.”

In 1975, photographer Liza Cowan captured an image of her then-girlfriend, singer-songwriter Alix Dobkin, wearing a white T-shirt that bore the slogan over a powder-blue turtle neck. Cowan published it as part of her slide show, “What The Well Dressed Dyke Will Wear,” and feminists claimed Labyris’ words, wearing them on clothing and pins to rallies and protests.

But the phrase fell out of — or never made it to — mainstream popularity. Now fast forward four decades.IMG_3051_grande

In 2015, Rachel Berks, a feminist graphic designer, was skimming Instagram when she found an old photo posted by the account @h_e_r_s_t_o_r_y, a wordplay on the masculine “history.” It was Cowan’s portrait of Dobkin, wearing her “the future is female” T-shirt.

Berks shared the photo on her own Instagram account and wrote: “If everyone’s not following @h_e_r_s_t_o_r_y, you should be. It’s an awesome place of discovery.” The photo got more likes than any other she had posted, Berks told Think Progress in 2015.

More empowering, though, were the suggestions flooding her comment section: revive the slogan. Berks had the skill set to upgrade the design and the platform to sell the shirt — her feminist California studio Otherwild — so she got to work, at first printing just a couple dozen. They quickly sold out, she told Mic.

The graphic designer later collaborated with Cowan, who gave Berks permission to use her original 1975 photo of Dobkin to promote the reincarnated T-shirt. Working together, they updated the purple “the future is female” buttons Cowan sold decades ago. They’re now available for purchase through Otherwild, and the women share the profits, Berks told Think Progress.

Model Cara Delevingne and her girlfriend, musician Annie Clark (a.k.a. St. Vincent), helped thrust Berks’ design into the spotlight, sparking a fashion frenzy that drove early attention to the T-shirt. But Delevingne also whipped up controversy — and put Berks on the defensive — when she started selling nearly-identical T-shirts bearing the phrase.

There was negative press and animosity, something Berks described to Mic as a “major bummer.”

The lesbian separatist roots of the phrase have seemed to fade, but both Berks and Cowan recognize that this is a product of the ever-evolving nature of feminism.

“For me, the past, present, and future are female, and we need to hear that, because we’re told the opposite of that every day of our lives. I think that this message has sort of evolved in a very important way,” Berks told Think Progress. Women have embraced the slogan, of course, but so have men and people of various gender identities, and even those who don’t believe in the gender binary, Berks said.

“I think it really transcends the notions of what its initiation was,” she told Think Progress, “and I think it’s really relevant today.”

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In an interview with i-D magazine in 2015, Cowan said that if asked 40 years ago, she and Dobkin would have never been able to anticipate the pop culture sensation their photograph inspired.

“In some ways the message ‘The Future Is Female’ is, if not lost, then certainly understood differently than it was in the 70s,” Cowan told i-D. “Feminism has changed, the world has changed. It is difficult for many younger women to imagine the power, the excitement and the urgent need for women to come together to change the world. This may change. I do like that people think it’s a cool image. It IS a cool image.”

In 2015, Cowan posted to Instagram a re-creation of the portrait she created 40 years before. In it, Dobkin once again dons a turtle neck beneath a white T-shirt reading “the future is female.” This time, it’s Berks’ design.

Cowan told i-D the slogan is a “call to arms,” but also an “invocation.”

“If we are to have a future, it must be female, because the rule of men — patriarchy — has just about devastated life on this beautiful little planet,” Cowan said. “The essence and the spirit of the future must be female. So the phrase becomes not just a slogan, but a spell. For the good of all.”

Source: Washington Post

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via Inspirational Woman Interview: Mary Ellen Iskenderian — Inspirational Women Series

Mary Ellen Iskenderian is President and CEO of Women’s World Banking, the global nonprofit devoted to giving more low-income women access to the financial tools and resources they require to achieve security and prosperity. Ms. Iskenderian joined Women’s World Banking in 2006 and leads the Women’s World Banking global team, based in New York and […]

via Inspirational Woman Interview: Mary Ellen Iskenderian — Inspirational Women Series

Poetry Contest Second Place Lucy 8

by Jessica Broutt

Lucy is beautiful
She has plump little pink hands
And black hair that curls
Just at then ends

Lucy is fearless
She squashes bugs on her way home
Even though they were on the grass
And not on her cement path

Lucy is smart
She can count to 500
If someone helps her out at the hard parts

Lucy is tall
She towers over the tallest boy in her class
By a full inch

Lucy is beautiful
Inside and out
She gives her snack away when Marjorie
Forgets hers
And the snack was frosted animal cookies
So you really know its true

Lucy is wise
She listens to her teachers conversations
And devises plans for how to divide up the class
In different reading groups
But most of all Lucy is herself
And as much as she pretends and plays
To be someone else
Somewhere else
She’s never seriously thought of being
Anyone else

Poetry Contest – Women’s Empowerment

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Picture source: Mandy Eve Barnett’s Official Blog

The holiday season is the time of the year that we evaluate our accomplishments and failures. It is also when lots of people are concentrated on helping those that do not have their basic needs and cannot enjoy basic human rights.

It is also a period of time that we have mixed feelings. Sometimes we feel sad for challenges that we went and/or going thru, for people that we have lost and for scars that we have acquired along this year.

With all these in mind, I decided to create a motivational Poetry Contest and the subject is Women’s Empowerment. Click here to learn more about the contest  guidelines and prizes.

 

Women’s workforce: There is still a lot to be done

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Picture Source: Blog http://www.girledworld.com/blog/

It has been a deeply challenging and emotional week. Be a woman, a mother, a foreigner with a strong accent and work are some of the challenges that me and you have to face every day.

Waking up in the morning and already feeling down, thinking, questioning and realizing that I make less money, because I am a woman and/or a foreigner. Later in the day, I confirmed my morning nightmare by reading the article from the Huffington Post: “Women Graduates ‘Earn £6,500 Less Than Men Five Years After Leaving University”, according to UK Department of Education.

Then, I cannot forget to mention this  article from The Atlantic, published a year ago, talking about Gender inequality in the workplace.

It has been a year … We made a lot of progress, but there is still a lot of things to be done.

 

 

 

Brazil’s Problem: Violence Against Women — Girls’ Globe

I am Brazilian and the facts listed below break my heart.

  • According to the UN, Brazil has the 5th highest index of femicides in the world.
  • According to PRI, “the number of women killed in homicides in Brazil keeps on increasing”
  • Also according to PRI, this number is higher among black women, which highlights racial discrimination issues that also plague Brazil.
  • According to the Mapa da Violência 2015 (“Map of Violence 2015”), the main source of data and information on the topic in the country, there are 13 femicides every day in Brazil.

Read the complete article below.

The movement #NiUnaMenos started in Argentina, but its message and impact has crossed the borders of the country and is now the voice of all Latin America protesting violence against women. On November 25th, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women established by the United Nations, women marched in Rio de Janeiro, São […]

via Brazil’s Problem: Violence Against Women — Girls’ Globe

“Equality is better for everyone”

Sandi Toksvig talks about Women’s  Equality on TED Talk. The Broadcast personality and politician encourages women to get involved into political leadership.

“Equality is better for everyone.”

Come on people, let’s activate! Let’s change the world! I know we can do it, and it wants doing!”

Find the link below for the complete talk.

Sandi Toksvig

 

 

“Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms…”

Hey Everyone,

I am sorry for not posting anything last week, however,  I was frustrated by the election results. Everyone has your own opinion and we should respect the right of democracy. In addition, each of us must do our part by speaking up for our beliefs and for those that are being discriminated.

According to Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind”. The article two from the UDHR clear explains that everyone should NOT be discriminated, does not matter their ethnicity, color, and beliefs.

Unfortunately, a lot of people cannot think beyond their own needs and we cannot judge them for that, but we can call them out for ignoring human rights, being aggressive towards others and avoiding to be open minded about our equality. Standing up for an unique race, “Homo Sapiens”, might helps us to learn that working together will make our life more peaceful. Our ethnicity and beliefs enrich our unique race and by understanding this concept we will make the World a better place.

Since our project focus on women equality, I would like to end my post by quoting Hillary Clinton. “To all the little girls watching…never doubt that you are valuable and powerful & deserving of every chance & opportunity in the world.”

Ps. Do not judged. I know that she made mistakes, but remember, everyone make mistakes and nobody is perfect. That being said, be respectful to each other and our World will be better a place.