Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Women Count

     Today's commentary by Washington Post writer Dana Milbank offered a forceful reminder that women are often talked-over by men.   Milbank's offering comes just three days after I attended a special event at the National Museum of Women in the Arts that featured Judy Chicago, a feminist artist whose 1970s sculpture, "Dinner Party," celebrates not only the geometry of triangles and circles but also the contributions of women to our world -- 39 women celebrated by place settings and 999 additional women's names recorded therein.  Even though Judy Chicago insisted last Sunday that she is not fearless, her record of behavior is as fearless as I have known.  I think it is not possible to talk-over Judy Chicago.  She is someone I much-admire. 
     Three of the women honored among Chicago's 39 are STEM-women:  Hypatia (370-415, mathematics, philosophy, astronomy), Caroline Herschel (1750-1848, astronomy) and Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910, medicine).  Poems I have posted herein that celebrate Hypatia include:  "Shells" by Anne Harding Woodworth, "Scales Can't Calculate" by Joyce Nower, and "Hypatia" by Elizabeth Tollet.   Honoring Caroline Herschel we have:  "Letter from Caroline Herschel (1750-1848)" by Siv Cedering, "Planetarium" by Adrienne Rich, and "Caroline Talks Back to the Poets" and "The Taste of Mathematics: Caroline Herschel at 31" by Laura Long.

                                        your right
                                        to think,
                                        for even to
                                        think wrongly
                                        is better
                                        than not
                                        to think
                                        at all.                    Hypatia 

Place-setting for Hypatia at Judy Chicago's "Dinner Party"

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