the digital giraffe - Y Not

All About Women

Our Woman of the Month Award for March goes to Polly Hoover Taylor, recipient of the first Pioneer Award from the San Mateo, CA Chamber of Commerce. Taylor worked for 50 years with the Coyote Point Museum, now known as CuriOdyssey. Note: Woman of the Month now has its own page in the archives section.

Under pressure from all sides, the Muirfield Golf Club finally garnered the two-thirds majority vote to admit women as members. The final inducement came when it became clear that the Club would otherwise not be allowed to host a British Open. For more than 100 years, women were only welcome as guests and visitors, even as late as 2013. The Muir has been one of the last holdouts for gender discrimination.

In California, Governor Jerry Brown has vetoed a law that would have removed sales tax from the sale of women's feminine products. Called the Tampon Tax, it would have raised taxes on liquor and removed it on women's hygiene sales. State assembly woman Cristina Garcia argued that "liquor is a choice and luxury and human biology is not". Brown claimed that the California budget was "too precariously balanced" for such a law.

You may remember that in 2014 Canadian Federal Court Justice Robin Camp asked a sexual assault victim "Why couldnt' you just keep your knees together?". The Canadian Judicial Council has now ruled that he should be removed, following which the judge handed in his resignation. The Council's ruling said, "the judge's conduct ... was so manifestly and profoundly destructive of the concept of impartiality, integrity and independence of the judicial role that the judge was rendered incapable of executing the judicial office."

A project known as Quipu is offering hope to women in Peru who have been involuntarily sterilized. It is reported that upwards of 300,000 Peruvian women were brutailzed in this way some 18 years ago. Quipu is designed to assist these women via phone to share their experiences and hopefully bring those responsible to justice.

Stanford University has dropped a woman attorney who was part of a small legal group advising women assault victims on campus. Crystal Riggins, the only member of the outside group exclusively representing victims, protested the inadequacy of the Stanford response to sexual abuse complaints. Her description to the New York Times of how the university's panel was engineered to rule against the complainants caused her dismissal.

A 2014 YouTube addressing the Pasadena Final Conference on Aging will brighten your day (and that of men as well). The speaker, Fritz Coleman, NBC News weather caster, casts an unflinching eye on the foibles of the aging body. (Thanks to N.T. for this).

The New York Times treats us to an account of how women are changing the sport of professional hockey. Two women became the first to work as coaches on the N.C.A.A. Division I men's hockey staff. One began skating at age 3; the other's father was general manager of the Calgary Flames.

An article in Market Watch claims to have found the secret of how to slow down aging. Two professional women, Elizabeth Blackburn, a professional biologist, and Elissa Epel, a health psychologist, have together published a book called "The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer". Both women hold PhD degrees and teach at the University of California San Francisco. In 2009, Blackburn was one of three scientists sharing a Nobel Peace Prize for their research on how Telomeres protect chromosomes.

The San Francisco Chronicle informs us that there is not a single country in the entire world where women earn more than men. Using a chart from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the article states that even in New Zealand, which has the smallest pay gap, women earned 5% less in 2015 than men. The United States was one country away from the bottom ten.

Abigail Grey Swartz sent one of her paintings, unsolicited, to the New Yorker and it ended up on their cover. The woman in the painting is black, and she wears a pink "pussy hat", symbol of the Women's March recently held in Washington, D.C. and other locales as well. Swartz updated a poster of Rosie the Riverter, the icon of working women during WW II.

Rap music and lyrics are being used to embolden women in Cambodia, a country known for its demand that women be silent and unacknowledged. The music combines traditional Khmer music with typical Hip Hop, a stark departure from the syrupy love songs generally heard.

Take a good look at our Big Beautiful Woman sculpture, the denial of everything Barbie, celebrating the ample hills and valleys that most of us share. Then watch/chuckle at this gem, provided for us by You Tube.

The Washington Post treats us to the story of Maggie Lena Walker, the first black woman to own a bank in the U.S. Walker also started a department store and a newspaper and managed a national insurance program. Papers discovered in the attic of an abandoned building in Richmond, Virginia, have brought her accomplishments to light and helped to form a bond among the volunteers who spent 8 years combing through the material.

c. Corinne Whitaker 2017

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