Sunday, March 30, 2014

Patti Smith (March 30, 2014) (Feminist Paper Doll Project 2014)

March 30, 2014
Patti Smith 

Patti Smith is fierce and fragile, tender and aggressive, humble and arrogant. She birthed punk rock and she was the midwife and it's mortician.

As a child, Patti Smith offered me an alternative to the glammed up pretty pretty rock star. She is not the most beautiful person in the room, but her intelligence and wit and ability to tell stories makes us see her beauty for what it is: a person trying to understand humanity and longing for connection. And thus, she is more beautiful than any in the room.

She was the unlikely cheerleader for those of us who felt like no one understood, for those of us who were alone, were brokenhearted, for those of us hoping that there were others out there like us somewhere who were just waiting to say "you are home and we love you." Patti Smith gave us something through her songs to hold onto until...

Patti Smith, thank you for enduring.

more here:

and here:

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (March 29, 2014) (Feminist Paper Doll Project 2014)

March 29, 2014
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is an awarding winning (really lots of awards and acclaim) author. Her books get to the essence of story telling. She tells stories- stories of little boys, little girls, old women, powerful men- that have numerous perspectives regarding a single point in time. This dancing around the story would I believe make Simone de Beauvoir happy as truly there is no such thing as objectivity in humanity- just a whole lot of stories.

In her Ted Talk, "The Danger of a Single Story," Chimamanda Adichie emphasizes this fact. As a feminist she goes on, we need to hear ALL the stories that were left out of the "victors'" stories. These official histories of the victors leave out the little facts that helped to build up. And no one can bear the full weight-or should bear- of telling the whole story of everybody.

More here:

Friday, March 28, 2014

Sweetie (March 28, 2014) (Feminist Paper Doll Project 2014)

March 28, 2014
Sweetie (Terre Des Hommes) 

Sweetie is not a real person. She is a virtual construct created by the organization Terre Des Hommes designed to capture the identities of "webcam child sex tourists". Webcam child sex tourists are largely more affluent, Western men who log on to sites operated out of more impoverished countries. In these poorer countries, children often become commodities. Children are parked in front of webcams and forced to perform sexual activities for viewer who pay to chat with the children. This activity is illegal according to international law, but these laws are largely unenforced for a variety of reasons.

Terre Des Hommes designed Sweetie to look and act like a 10 year old girl. She is "operated" and her program then tracks and collects the identities of the people who engage with the program. That data is then sent on to Interpol and local law enforcement.

Human sex trafficking is rampant and in unfortunately in our own backyards- not just in far away places. Terre Des Hommes states that at any given moment there are 750,000 online child sex predators. During the 2014 Super Bowl in Phoenix, the McCain Institute received tips for 84 child victims in ads place in the New York/New Jersey area over the course of 10 days. These were unique hits from decoy ads placed.

Find out more at Terre Des Hommes:

The McCain Institute:

And at the Polaris Project:

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Staceyann Chin (March 27, 2014) (Feminist Paper Doll Project 2014)

March 29, 2014
Staceyann Chin

Staceyann Chin is a very outspoken, sometimes crass, calls-it-like-she-sees-it poet, activist and performance artist. She very powerfully weaves her childhood imagery with critical theory to pull out the basic fact that all oppression is linked.

Watch here:


And here:

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

clutching my eggs (notes from a meeting)

Guante (March 26, 2014) (Feminist Paper Doll Project 2014)

March 26, 2014

Guante's spoken word poem "Ten Responses to the Phrase 'Man Up'" outlines the implications of misogyny on men in our society. From the crass to the heartfelt Guante (aka Kyle Myhre) outlines how creating a rigid binary of gender roles, means that men cannot be scared, be weak or feel powerful without dominating another person. This rigid binary of genders means that all conversations between men must follow prescribed dialogues.

Conversely, opening up gender roles and breaking the misogynist stereotypes allows men- people to feel weak, be nurturing and like things because. Feminism needs all genders otherwise it is not feminism. The full range of emotions and human expressions should be available and open AND safe for all humans.

More here on Guante:

And the spoken word poem "Ten Responses to the Phrase 'Man Up'" is here:

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Mary Bonauto (March 25, 2014) (Feminist Paper Doll Project 2014)

March 25, 2014
Mary Bonauto

Mary Bonauto is the top civil rights lawyer for Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD). In 2013, she helped to bring 2 same sex marriages cases before the Us Supreme Court. This quiet and unassuming woman has been labeled by Senator Barney Frank as "our Thurgood Marshall."

Thank you Mary Bonauto!

More here in a NY Times profile piece from 2013:

Monday, March 24, 2014

Rachel Carson (March 24, 2014) (Feminist Paper Doll Project 2014)

March 24, 2014
Rachel Carson 

In 1962, Rachel Carson publish "Silent Spring," a book which challenged big agriculture and industry practices. She spoke out against the wide-spread overuse of pesticides and promoted conservation of natural spaces as a way to sustain both humankind and nature itself.

She saw the links between human society and nature clearly. These links which are obvious now were view as ridiculous then. She was often attacked by chemical companies for her "alarmist views." Interesting to think about when Rachel Carson was responsible in part for exposing the horrors to the envirionment that was DDT.

More here:
and of course within the numerous books she published!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Clelia Mosher (March 23, 2014) (Feminist Paper Doll Project 2014)

March 23, 2014
Clelia Mosher 

Dr. Clelia Mosher was told by her father that she could not attend university because she was a sickly child and the stress of education would not bode well for a young woman. Instead he created a large greenhouse so that she could stay home and study botany.

Clelia Mosher did study botany and later became a florist thereby saving enough money to put herself through university. Almost as an act of rebellion she set out to disprove the Victorian notion that women were biologically weaker and more frail. In her master's thesis published in 1894, Clelia Mosher proved that women were having difficulty breathing due to poor diets, lack of exercise and constricting corsets rather than a biological insufficiency.

Clelia Mosher went on to medical school in which she worked to dispel myths about women's sexuality (through frank and candid research interviews, women stated that far from being cold and timid as was the prevailing Victorian logic- that women liked sex.)

Thank you, Dr. Mosher for helping us to breathe easy.

More here:

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Tawakkol Karman (March 22, 2014) (Feminist Paper Doll Project 2014)

March 22, 2014 
Tawakkol Karman

Tawakkol Karman is the founded of Women Journalists Without Chains, a pro-democracy organization that advocates medias skills and fights for human rights. She was named the "Mother of the Revolution" for her coordination of the Arab Spring Peaceful Protests in Yemen in 2011.

She was instrumental in rooting out corruption in the Yemeni government and is an advocate for women's rights through the cooperation of all genders working to create open and stable democratic societies.

Please listen to her speech here at the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Concert (She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011):

Another speech from December 10, 2011 (World Peace Day) can be heard here:

And the Noble Women's Initiative biography of Tawakkol Karman can be seen here:

Friday, March 21, 2014

Kiki Katese (March 21, 2014) (Feminist Paper Doll Project 2014)

March 21, 2014
Kiki Katese

Odile Gakire Katese (Kiki) is the founder of the first all-female drumming troupe in Rwanda. After the 1994 genocide that killed over 1 million Rwandas (Hutus and Tutsis alike) there were fear and mistrust. Kiki Katese created a sanctuary open to women and children with one caveat: "leave categories of the past at the gate."

Building upon the dance and drumming troupe, Ingoma Nshya also opened Rwanda's first ever ice cream shop. The purpose of the shop was to bring sweetness to the community as well as to bring people to the concept of openness and acceptance. In Rwanda, it was taboo for women to even touch a drum, let alone play the drum. Kiki Katese saw the drumming as anew way to bring people together. She says, "when you accept to forgive, to be reconnected to other people, then you move forward."

More about Kiki Katese and Ingoma Nshya (new drum) here:


and here:

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Wangari Maathai (March 20, 2014) (Feminist Paper Doll Project 2014)

March 20, 2014
Wangari Maathai

Wangari Maathai is the founder of the Greenbelt Movement in Kenya, an organization dedicated to empowering communities while conserving the environment. Read more about this wonderful organization here:

In her story "I will be the hummingbird," Wangari Maathai points out beautifully that regardless of how small each of is we have the capability to create change- little by little. And if we work together, the big of us and the small of us, then we can become a force to create the world that will give space to us all- human and non-human, because truly we need all of together.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Lily Myers (March 19, 2014) (Feminist Paper Doll Project 2014)

March 19, 2014
Lily Myers 

In her 2013 spoken word poem "Shrinking Women", Lily Myers confronts the paradigm that in her family as in many other families, women, females, girls are taught take minimal space whereas men, males, boys are given ample room as well as that not taken up by the females. 

Although she meant for this poem to go no further that the audience in front of her that evening, the youtube link (here: has received well over 3 million hits and lots of news and blog press. She has touch the raw nerve to be a young woman longing but afraid to take up all her space.

Read her interview at the show Here & Now here:

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Kainat Soomro (March 18, 2014) (Feminist Paper Doll Project 2014)

March 18, 2014
Kainat Soomro

In 2003, the then 13 year old Kainat Soomro was abducted by a gang of men and raped over the course of 3 days. Kainat said the men threatened to kill or sell her. When she escaped, she ran without headscarf or shoes and found her way to a bud driven by a man who knew her father. The driver gave her a headscarf and took her home.

Kainat' family rallied around her and supported. Kainat's brother took her to the police in Karachi Pakistan to report the crime. Under Sha'ria law, Kainat was outlawed and the police threatened to kill her because she was impure.

Under Sha'ria Law as it is practice in Pakistan, a man can force a woman to have sex and then marry that woman and thereby face no charges.

Kainat Soomro, her family and a group of attorneys and activists in Pakistan as currently working to change this. Kainat Soomro (through the amazing support of her family -male and female relatives alike) is speaking out. Her attorney refers to Kainat and other young women fighting this interpretation of law "grassroots feminists."

Faisal Siddiqi, Kainat’s Attorney says, "They want to go ahead with the case. I will keep on representing her. I cannot even imagine that people who are so vulnerable are willing to risk their lives, the lives of their family. They are willing to be displaced, and even then want to fight.

"In their struggle, there is so much hope. Ultimately, I think it’s very difficult to stop this tide of the assertion of women short of some kind of a counter-revolution in Pakistan. I don’t see these rape victims being put back in their homes and told to shut up. I frankly don’t see that happening." (from Outlawed in Pakistan)

The film "Outlawed in Pakistan" recently (March 11, 2014 won the Berlin Cinema for Peace award, which was given directly to Kainat by Faisal Siddiqi. (More on that here:

the Frontline film "Outlawed in Pakistan" can be seen here (trigger warnings apply):

Monday, March 17, 2014

Patrick Stewart (March 17, 2014) ( Feminist Paper Doll Project 2014)

March 17, 2014
Patrick Stewart 

Patrick Stewart is openly a feminist as well as a vocal activist and supporter of violence prevention programs. There are numerous reasons out in the news as to why I could include him. Please google him.

However, I love Star Trek. My introduction to Patrick Stewart was through his role as Captain Jean Luc Picard- a man who was bold, intelligent, sharp of wit AND had a full range of emotions. He was not over-sexualized, he was a leader who lead within his people and he liked books.

In creating today's doll, I asked which should I present: Stewart as Stewart or Stewart as Picard. My brother suggested that since I was creating a doll of Patrick Stewart I should also do one of Ian McKellan. Reason why I demanded. Because they are best friends. And McKellan is an overt (out) feminist too. And the pictures of them out there on the internets are down right silly and fun. Imagine: two grown men being silly and having fun together AND not anyone's expense! And they are feminists in deed and word.

UPDATE:  (I thought Patrick Stewart needed a derby hat -kinda like the one he is often photographed wearing with his pal Ian, )

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Mary Elizabeth Bowser (March 16, 2014) ( Feminist Paper Doll Project 2014)

March 16, 2014
Mary Elizabeth Bowser

Mary Elizabeth Bowser was freed by Elizabeth Van Lew when Van Lew's husband died. Although not written into his will, Van Lew freed all the estate's slaves and then sent Mary Elizabeth Bowser to school in Philadelphia. Bowser then returned to be in Van Lew's employ.
Van Lew's daughter was a spy for the Union forces and sent Bowser to "work" for Jefferson Davis. Davis did not know that Bowser could read or write. As such Bowser would send back information to Van Lew and the Union as journals and other materials were left out. 

More about Mary Elizabeth Bowser here:

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Dora Thewlis (March 15, 2014) (Feminist Paper Doll Project 2014)

March 15, 2014
Dora Thewlis

At the age of 16, Dora Thewlis bacame known as "Baby Suffragette". Jailed in 1907 (as a 16 year old) for breaking into the British Parliament building, Dora Thewlis was one of the youngest to demand Women's Voting Rights in as public a fashion.
More about Dora Thewlis here:

Friday, March 14, 2014

Desmond Tutu (March 14, 2014) (Feminist Paper Doll Project 2014)

March 14, 2013
Desmond Tutu

Desmond Tutu has used his status as arch bishop of the Anglican Church of South Africa as voice for the oppressed on a global basis. Coming into world view with his work to undo apartheid in South Africa, he has worked to create a framework of anti-oppression work (or a pedagogy of hope as Paulo Freire would place it). Most recently Tutu criticized Israeli politicians as creating an apartheid against the Palestinians (more on that here:
(I have placed Bishop Tutu with an umbrella as his spiritual emphasis on inclusion of all regardless of orientation in addition to his playful demeanor in an interview here: )
More about Desmond Tutu here:

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Mourning Doves

Mourning Doves
mixed media on paper
22" x 30"

Diane Rehm (March 13, 2014) (Feminist Paper Doll Project 2013)

March 13, 2014
Diane Rehm

Diane Rehm is a currently a talk show host on WAMU that broadcasts to NPR. She has been working public radio for the past 43 years. Her voice although shaking (literally) pushes for understanding and broad answers. On her national talk show, The Diane Rehm Show she can often be heard pressing guest to "help us to understand." She does not tolerate mean spirited comments and encourages both guests and listeners-callers to speak from what they know so that we can all learn gain a more holistic knowledge base.

She is both the center of controversy (recently on the Republican attack on Federal Funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting) as well as the recipient of many awards including the 2003 Montgomery County Chapter of the National Organization for Women's Susan B. Anthony Award, honoring her advocacy of women's right in the community.

More at her own website:

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Bridget Sojourner (March 12, 2014) (Feminist Paper Dolls 2014)

March 12, 2014
Bridget Sojourner

Bridget Sojourner is a London based health educator and activist. At 75, she uses style as her current form of activism: She refuses to fade away. She refuses to live according to the stereotype of the beige little old lady. This spry woman takes to task the idea that we should become useless as we grow older and no longer be visible in the community. 

She says, ‘As a young girl, no one stopped me. I was quite like a lot of young girls. Now, I’m unusual because I’m older. When people started stopping me about my clothes I thought, I’ve been through feminism, racism, all the prejudices… I’m an activist and Ageism is the last bastion.’

More here at the Channel 4 documentary "Fabulous Fashionistas":

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Alice Guy-Blache (March 11, 2014) (Feminist Paper Doll Project 2014)

March 11, 2014
Alice Guy-Blache

It is with hesitation that I offer up a doll of Alice Guy-Blache to this project. She was a pioneer in the infant film industry. Her films pushed the narrative and story over pure movement. She asked her actors to act natural on camera. She owned her own movie studio, worked with Charlie Chaplin and was revered by Alfred Hitchcock.

However, she is largely forgotten today. Many of here thousands of films (large and small) are gone. With the film industry dominated by male directors, I believe that it is important to point out that this French woman who lived and died in New Jersey, invented the director's job.

More here:é-37846 and here:

Monday, March 10, 2014

Tank Man (Wang Weilin?) (March 10, 2014) (Feminist Paper Doll Project 2014)

March 10, 2014

Tank Man (Wang Weilin?)

On June 5, 1989, a column of Chinese tanks was dispersed into Tiananmen Square to roust student protests that had taking place (nonviolently) for the previous two days.

As the tanks approached, a young man walked up to the tanks and made them stop. He was seen climbing up into the tank and talking with soldiers in the tank. He continues to step in front of the tank, shooing them away, telling them to leave the protest to non-violent means.

Very little is known of this man. The man was thought to be Wang Weilin, a 19 year old student in Beijing. He reminds me of Rosa Parks who said, "The only tired I was was of giving in."

The raw footage of that day in 1989 can be seen here:

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Die Geschwister Scholl: Hans and Sophie Scholl (March 9, 2014) (Feminist Paper Doll Project 2014)

Hans and Sophie Scholl, brother and sister and members of the White Rose Movement, an anti-Nazi movement active between 1942 and 1943 in Munich Germany.  While passing out pamphlets in Munich on February 18, 1943, a janitor saw them and reported the pair to the Gestapo. The pair were arrested. They were tried with fellow White Rose Member and friend Christoph Probst and found guilty of treason. Within a few hours of that February 22, 1943 guilty verdict all three were executed by beheading.

Later reflecting on Sophie Scholl's execution, prison officials, in later describing the scene, emphasized the courage with which she walked to her execution. Her last words were: "How can we expect righteousness to prevail when there is hardly anyone willing to offer themselves up individually for a righteous cause? Such a fine, sunny day, and I have to go."

"Many people think of our times as being the last before the end of the world. The evidence of horror all around us makes this seem possible. 
But isn't that an idea of only minor importance? Doesn't every human being, no matter which era he lives in, always have to reckon with being accountable to God at any moment? Can I know whether I'll be alive tomorrow morning? 
A bomb could destroy all of us tonight. And then my guilt would not be one bit less than if I perished together with the earth and the stars.”
Sophie Scholl
One pamphlet from one of the other White Rose Members was able to get out of Germany and into Allied hands.  The Allied Forces made hundreds of copies of this pamphlet containing anti-war sentiments, tools for passive resistance and hope for life beyond Nazi occupation.  Those hundreds of copies were then dropped from an Allied plane over Munich and other cities in Germany thereby completing Hans and Sophie's task for the White Rose Movement.

More here: on the White Rose Movement.  More here on Sophie Scholl: and on Hans Scholl here:

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Nichelle Nichols (March 8, 2014) (Feminist Paper Doll Project 2014)

March 8, 2014
Nichelle Nichols 

In 966, Nichelle Nichols was cast as the communications officer for a starship. Her role as Lieutenant Uhura placed her as one of the first black depicted as a maid or minor character on US television. In fact Gene and Majel Roddenberry fought with Star Trek's network host to keep the character on the air. Her role as an intelligent, highly capable officer allowed numerous other girls of color to see themselves cast in positive proactive terms.

Nichols also worked with NASA to help girls and minorities seek out education and work in science and technology. Her foundation, "Women in Motion" continues this work today.
More here:

Nabeelia Ur-Rehman (March 8, 2014) (Feminist Paper Doll Project 2014)

March 8, 2014
Nabeela Ur-Rehman

On October 24, 2012, Nabeela and her brother were learning how to tend garden plants with their grandmother (who was also the local midwife) when a drone strike wounded the children and killed their grandmother. One year later, Nabeela spoke to the US Congress, telling her story and expressing her grief over the death of her care-giving grandmother because of the drone program.
More about Nabeela here:

Friday, March 7, 2014

Victoria Leigh Soto (March 7, 2014) (Feminist Paper Doll Project 2014)

March 7, 2014
Victoria Leigh Soto 

On December 14, 2012, Victoria Soto hid many of her children in a closet in her classroom after Sandy Hook Elementary School was besieged by a lone heavily armed gun man. The man entered her classroom and she said the students were elsewhere. When the scared students tried to flee from their hiding places, the gun man began shooting. Victoria then used her own body to shield her students and was shot and
killed by the gun man.
She and five other adult victims from the school were awarded Presidential Citizen's Medal on February 15, 2013.
Victoria was doing what teachers do: protecting the children in her charge; keeping them as safe as humanly possible.
Teaching as a feminist act.
Thank you Victoria.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Wendy Davis (March 6, 2014) (Feminist Paper Doll Project 2014)

March 6, 2014
Wendy Davis
On June 25, 2013, Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis was engaged in a one-woman filibuster that lasted 11 hours as she holds up legislation that would decimate access to safe, legal abortion in Texas.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Hawa Abdi (March 5, 2014) (Feminist Paper Doll Project 2014)

March 5, 2014
Hawa Abdi

Hawa Abdi was once appropriately described once as "one part Mother Teresa, one part Rambo." She trained in the 1960 and 70s in the former Soviet Union to become a doctor and then to become a lawyer because as she states the women in Somalia had no justice and were dying from poor or no maternal care during pregnancy.

Using her family's lands and jewelry she founded a hospital, community farms and school in 1984. As stated on Bad-ass of the week: "Despite the destruction, war, and subsequent famine ravaging the land all around her, Hawa Abdi spent the next 29 years providing a safe haven for the displaced, turning her tiny one-room shack into a 400 bed hospital, and her 1,300-acre farm into a refugee camp where 90,000 displaced Somalis received free food, clean water, free health care, and a clean place for women to give birth. She built a school that educates 850 children between the ages of 7 and 18. She negotiated for fishing boats and farmland so her people could grow and fish for their food. She personally spent 12-hour days, 7 days a week, delivering babies, treating gunshot wounds, and setting up IV lines for malnourished children, and she's done it all through donations and her own personal funds, without hardly any international funding or aid."
more here: and here: