Imagine having a great-great-great-grandmother who fought for “votes for women” alongside Susan B Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
Poet, Laura Madeline Wiseman’s great-great-great-grandmother, Matilda Fletcher Wiseman did just that.
Collected letters and newspaper clippings inspired a book of poetry that Ms. Wiseman calls, Queen of the Platform.
What prompted Matilda Fletcher Wiseman to join the lecture circuit? Luck, opportunity, the death of her only child, and a need for income. Talent and hope for the future, too.
It’s interesting to see the portrait Matilda Fletcher Wiseman paints of Susan B Anthony in her up-close-and-personal brushes with the icon:
Can body language create beauty? And how so? Are men turned on by confidence? Or submission? Some mix of the two? Or something else?
Originally posted on Beautiful in Theory:
An intriguing proposition, no? I have just watched this TED talk by Amy Cuddy, called “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are”, after my excellent friend Elli Harris sent me a link to the Top Ten TED Talks Women Should See (they should). Cuddy isn’t actually talking about beauty but power, and how your body language can make you not just look more powerful, but actually feel more powerful – and as a result, be more powerful. But I kept wondering about the body language of beauty, and whether the same principle might apply.
Cuddy, who is a social scientist, says that humans and animals the world over express power and dominance in the same way: by making themselves big. When we feel powerful we stretch out, take up more space. And when we feel powerless, lacking in confidence, we close up, wrap our arms around our bodies…
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When men were asked what sort of physique they thought women most preferred and were offered a choice of silhouettes to choose from, they guessed that women wanted muscle men.
Turns out the ladies mostly like guys with average builds. Toned is great. But too much muscle can be too much.
Think of the guys you see in Cosmo, not Men’s Health. Definitely not Iron Man. More Bradley Cooper and less Sylvester Stallone. And Joseph Gordon-Levitt is fine-looking, too.
Now, some women are into big muscles. Maria Shriver was into Arnold Schwarzenegger. And it wasn’t his physique that made her leave him. But according to stats, most women like men with pretty normal body builds.
I was a pre-teen bitch.
I wasn’t exceptionally mean or catty — in fact, I was an anti-bullying advocate. But my deeply internalized sexism led me to disdain anything and everything considered “girly,” from “Twilight” to dresses to teenybopper Disney stars. And the girls who enjoyed them. Read the rest of this entry
Little girls grow up idolizing Britney Spears, The Spice Girls, and Hannah Montana, who grows into tongue-flashing Miley Cyrus twerking to “Blurred Lines.” Little girls can even buy Hello Kitty thong panties to match their Hello Kitty lunch pails.
No surprise then that someone once told me,
When I was ten years old plenty of my friends would wear “big girl lingerie” that they got from Abercrombie and the like. I felt pressured to constantly push to be sexier, or more desirable. At ten years old, who exactly am I trying to attract?
By the time young women get to college being hot can seem like the most important thing in the world.
By then, too many of us are reduced to one-dimensional sex-things.
Then the modesty movement comes along pushing chaste but chic and curfews for college women. Is this really about modesty? Or is it about creating an obedient underclass that complies to other’s demands – via learning to dress to others’ dictates? Read the rest of this entry
Why do women dress sexy so people will look at and desire them but get mad when people look at and desire them? And then they call men who look at them “creeps” or “perverts” for looking at the skin and other body parts they are showing?
A lot of men, like him, are confused. Women dress sexy, go out and strut their stuff, and then act insulted when they get a compliment?
What’s up with that? Read the rest of this entry
I think every woman has heard it at least once in her life. “Bitch!” Whether or not we were “acting like one.” Men say it. Women say it. I’ve said it more than once.
It starts early.
The first time I heard it was on the school playground, waiting my turn at the monkey bars. A girl cut me in line, so I told her I was next. She called me a “bitch” and walked away.
I was surprised. I knew it was a “bad word” but I didn’t know what I had done wrong or “bitchy.” I would come to wonder, many more times, why I was called that name.
Usually, it was when I stood up for myself. Sometimes it targeted my reproductive system: “Why are you being such a bitch? Are you on your period?” Because I can’t be angry or upset unless it’s that, right? Other times the word ridiculed me just for being female. Maybe that’s why our reproductive system seems especially “bitchy” — it defines us as women. Read the rest of this entry
Cameron Russell transforms herself from hot model to girl-next-door in six seconds after walking on stage for a TED Talk. All she did was trade six-inch heels for flats, wrap a long skirt over her mini and pull on a sweater.
Image is superficial.
But it’s also powerful.
Once when she had wanted to buy a dress, but forgotten her money, she got the dress for free.
Yet a brown-skinned woman might be followed around the store, identified as a potential shoplifter.
When a friend of Cameron’s got pulled over for running a red light, the supermodel uttered, ”Sorry, officer” and they got off scott free. Read the rest of this entry
The Modern Love College Essay Contest of 2008, sponsored by the New York Times, found students grappling with hookup culture: sex without emotion. Three years later students struggled with the opposite issue: intense emotional relationships that were devoid of sex because they were online.
The strategies seem to be complete opposites. Yet they hold similarities. Read the rest of this entry