December 10, 2012
Yeah! The Google doodle for today is a tribute to Lady Augusta Ada Byron Lovelace. Click on the doodle and you’ll find a list of excellent resources.
I’ll add my own here — a paper I write in 2000 called Ada and Grace: Practical Visionaries. I wrote the paper for a computer science class I took (in C — imagine that…), and I remember getting 110 on it. But then, I had my PhD in comparative literature and had been teaching college for a while. I think my computer science teacher was deliriously happy to get a literate and well-researched paper, and she also knew I worked my butt off in the class. Just a bit competitive academically, I got one of the highest grades.
Sue Bogar’s class taught me that coding was like writing poetry, and Ada — only legitimate child of Lord Byron — knew how math and language interwove. My favorite quotation from my research comes from a letter Ada wrote to her mother: “You will not concede me philosophical poetry. Invert the order! Will you give me poetical philosophy, poetical science?”
July 29, 2012
Gail Dines’ review in Counterpunch, “Why Are Women Devouring Fifty Shades of Grey?” is excellent. Fair warning: it will make you weep at the popularity of the book.
February 16, 2012
Perhaps the creepiest book I have ever read is Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, which I read in 1985, when it was first published. I was so creeped out because the novel offers a reality that is one shade away, palpably imaginable, almost present. The Evangelical right is dystopian fantasy in The Handmaid’s Tale in 1985 and present reality in our government’s discussions of women’s autonomy in 2012. Or haven’t you been listening to the discussions on contraception?
May 5, 2011
Let’s just get this over with. Will somebody please make it illegal for men to legislate against women’s bodies?
The House just passed HR 3. Here’s a summary from the Credo Action email. I’m too spitting angry to summarize the stuff myself:
The Republican bill — which was supported by 16 anti-choice Democrats — represents a vicious assault on women’s rights. “The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” or H.R. 3 goes far beyond any other anti-choice measure that has been proposed in the House, including the Stupak Amendment that passed the House last year.
H.R. 3 would sharply reduce access to safe, legal abortions for women in this country by virtually eliminating insurance coverage for abortions. The redefinition of rape could be used to block women who were victims of incest involving statutory rape from using Medicaid to pay for an abortion. And in some cases, the bill would force women who were sexually assaulted into the hellish scenario of proving to IRS agents that they were victims of “forcible rape” or incest.
Let’s be clear about what the anti-choice supporters of H.R. 3 want. They want to “redefine rape.” The want to make it impossible for low-income women to have access to abortion services. They want to force women whose pregnancy is causing major health risks short of death (such as blindness) to go through with the pregnancy. And they want to eliminate insurance coverage for abortion in order to make reproductive care unaffordable for women.
February 24, 2007
Frances E. Allen, who began work at IBM in 1957, has received the Association for Computing Machinery’s 2006 Turing award and is the first woman to receive this honor in the forty years that it has been offered. Her work has focused on compilers and machine architecture. For some historical perspective on pioneering women, check out Ada and Grace: Practical Visionaries.
January 5, 2007
Much is being made of Nancy Pelosi as the first woman speaker of the house, especially since the 110th Congress began yesterday. Wow. While it’s important to applaud this moment, let’s put it into perspective. Patting ourselves on the back for finally having a woman speaker of the house is like throwing a celebration party for a pampered athlete who’s won a race after 109 attempts: the victory rings hollow and should have happened a long time ago.
16% of the members of this nation’s governing body is made up of women — that’s 2% more than the count on Wednesday, the Republicans’ last day as majority party. Women make up 52% of the population. You do the math.