During a time when computing power was so scarce that it required a government-defense budget to finance it, a young man used a $238 million military computer, the largest such machine ever built, to render an image of a curvy woman on a glowing cathode ray tube screen. The year was 1956, and the creation was a landmark moment in computer graphics and cultural history that has gone unnoticed until now.
Using equipment designed to guard against the apocalypse, a pin-up girl had been drawn.
She was quite probably the first human likeness to ever appear on a computer screen.
Read more. [Images: Lawrence A. Tipton]
My initial reaction to finding out I couldn’t apply to Deep Springs was anger. These trustees nullified the application that I had spent hours crafting because of an archaic sentence which pertained to “the education of promising young men.” In the fall, I had been given the chance to apply to my dream school, and just a few months later, these trustees took that away from me suddenly, and in my opinion, unfairly. I was hurt.
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As two straight women with no desire to get married, we are not against marriage per se. We’re not callous and repressed man-haters. We’re not bitter about ex-boyfriends who cheated or tried to teach us the correct way to pour laundry detergent (ok, well maybe a little bitter about that last one). We’re not even necessarily uncomfortable with the institution’s arguable gender expectations and socio-political history. We just don’t much care whether we’re married, or not. But governments and corporations do.
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…There is no one theme that has anywhere near the prominence and influence that Disney Princesses do. Regardless of the more recent generations of empowered princesses in Disney movies, the overall princess trope promotes traditional notions of femininity and an unhealthy focus on physical beauty. Even the most feminist-friendly princess derives her social currency, her political power, and her personal identity as “princess” from the make-believe patriarchy.
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For decades these seasonal jewelry commercials have portrayed ladies at Christmas losing their frigidity at the sight of a diamond solitaire. While the O-face remains a constant feature in the ads, the message has somewhat evolved. The ads used to be aimed at men — “Wrap me in gold this Christmas!” a blonde coos in a Zales commercial from the late 80s. Now, the ads are aimed at women. The gift recipients aren’t sexy models, but moms in mom haircuts with babies.
Six years ago, I grew a beard, mostly because, clean-shaven, I looked like I was still 17 years old. I invested in some good shirts and stylish blazers—not office-drone garb, but clothes I felt comfortable in. And, of course, I got married and had kids and bought an apartment. Inside, I felt no different from before—small, nervous, new to everything—but apparently I was. Or, quite possibly, the world was different, not in its essence but in how it viewed me. My own children, for example, will never see me as anything but a grown-up, and as they age, the kids of her generation will see me that way, too. One day, my daughters may look at me as I looked at my own father, and think: How am I ever going to become that?
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A small community of fundamentalist Mormons, about 15 polygamist and monogamist families, have established a unique home for themselves, living in modern homes literally carved into the side of a massive sandstone rock in the desert south of Moab, Utah. Rockland Ranch, informally called “The Rock,” was founded about 35 years ago by Robert Dean Foster, who set out to create a safe, remote space for a Christian community that embraced plural marriage. Large houses were built by using dynamite to blast caves into the sandstone cliff, then finished into relatively modern homes complete with running water, electricity, internet access, and more. Reuters photographer Jimmy Urquhart was recently invited to visit and photograph The Rock, and returned with these images, a rare glimpse into a unique Utah community.
Read more. [Images: Reuters/Jim Urquhart]
Not all that long ago, an American statesman of considerable influence wrote an opinion piece for this very publication, about a political issue that directly affects women. It was perhaps the finest example of mansplaining ever published.
This election season, the idea of “mansplaining”—explaining without regard to the fact that the explainee knows more than the explainer, often done by a man to a woman—has exploded into mainstream political commentary. Hugo Schwyzer over at Jezebel noted its growth in September, writing that it has “moved beyond the feminist blogosphere.” And, sure enough, these days pretty much every time a male politician opens his mouth about so-called women’s issues he is dubbed, like so or like so, a mansplainer.
But the article in question wasn’t written this year. Its author was Lyman Abbott, a prominent New England theologian, and it appeared in the Sept. 1903 issue of The Atlantic Monthly.
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