I was incredibly moved to see photos of Egyptian women marching in Tahrir Square earlier this week. A few hundred protesters were expected; thousands showed up. And they were angry.
Women figured prominently in the demonstrations that brought down Hosni Mubarak last February . But once the government toppled, they were pushed aside, and not included in the constitutional reform committee. Egyptian feminists warn that decades of painstaking advances could be reversed, as religious fundamentalists ascend to power in what has been a nominally secular state.
This week’s protest was spurred my pervasive police and military brutality to women. Attacks on women,Read More
For the first year in over a decade, my husband Alex and I won’t be with our large blended and extended family in Arizona. We’ll miss them, sure. And we’ll miss family traditions, like debating whether Alex’s white bread stuffing or my cornbread dressing is better. Then there’s my daughter’s insistence that we serve the green jello mold my mother used to make, the one that packs more calories and cholesterol into anything else you’ve ever called “salad.”
This just seemed like a good year to shake things up. Perhaps it’s the influence of unpredicted social changes like Tahrir Square and Occupy Wall Street that are shaking up the political world. (Read my recent post on what OWS has accomplished.) Or maybe it’s simply that we felt we were getting into a rut…Read More
[Click title to see the nutty dancing video–Wordpress wonky editor won’t show it in the excerpt]
I love the virtual universe. In the blink of a mouse you can connect with a wide range of people who share your narrow set of interests. Social media Big Names like Seth Godin call this “finding your tribe.”
Tahrir Square…Read More
The Triangle Waist Company, site of the fire that fanned the U.S. union movement into full flame, was housed, ironically, in the Asch Building.
On Saturday, March 25, 1911, it became an inferno, snuffing out the lives of 146 employees, mostly women, primarily immigrants, about two-thirds Jewish and one-third Italians, over one-half of them teenagers. Many were girls as young as twelve or thirteen years old. Child labor was routine at the time, as was weekend work.
Triangle’s owners, Isaac Harris and Max Blanck, placed immense pressure on he women to force their treadle sewing machines, like racehorses in their final lap, to produce women’s shirtwaist garments ever-faster. Their goal, not surprisingly, was to raise the factory’s profitability in an increasingly competitive field.
The Asch Building stood in the heart of New York’s Greenwich Village. Triangle Waist Company, a million dollar a year business, was one of the best-equipped factories of its day. Still, it was a horrible sweatshop with few safety provisions and almost no protections for workers against unfairly low pay, discrimination, sexual harassment, and certainly no paid sick leave, health insurance, or vacation.
Precautions against fire consisted of twelve red buckets of water.Read More