Meeting with (an) Angela

Ivanka Trump, of all people and to the great surprise and disbelief of many Germans, especially women -- is representing the United States at the G20 Women's Summit (Women20). For many German women, themselves in a nation with a high socioeconomic mobility factor and relatively strict laws governing gender and sex discrimination, Ivanka symbolizes two outmoded … Continue reading Meeting with (an) Angela

The Apprentice

In April 2017 the "official" First Lady portrait of Melania Trump was released. Derided by some as an airbrushed, vaseline-lens-soft-focus yearbook-style photograph, the same portrait was lauded as by others as "glamorous". For one thing, many complained, as Hannah Marriott points out in The Guardian, Mrs. Trump looks like a reality show judge, a "depressingly logical" … Continue reading The Apprentice

Game, Blouses (part 3)

That's Hedy Lamarr (Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler) just hopping over the fence to visit. Lamarr started in Hollywood films in 1937 and also started inventing all kinds of stuff. A born tinkerer, inventor, and mathematics whiz, during WWII Hedy and her husband developed a frequency-hopping system that "hopped" frequencies across radio waves in order to … Continue reading Game, Blouses (part 3)

Truth Telling

In 1864 Sojourner Truth began selling cartes-de-visite to raise funds to support black soldiers serving for the Union Army and later, for suffragism. Nell Irvin Painter's marvelous, astounding history of Truth, Sojourner Truth: A Life, A Symbol (W.W. Norton and Company, 1997), Painter has an extended analysis of Truth's choices of self-presentation in these publicity photographs. … Continue reading Truth Telling

Violet Newstead

Violet Newstead, played by Lily Tomlin in the 1980 film 9 to 5, is a boss. But she isn't The Boss -- instead, Newstead is an underling, the woman behind a puny man, Franklin Hart Jr., played by Dabney Coleman. Violet has been held back by the sexism, misogyny, and injustice of her employer, and … Continue reading Violet Newstead

Madonna: You don’t see her anymore

Vivid memories of Madonna in the 1983 Mtv video for "Lucky Star." Like Tracy rushing home to watch The Corny Collins Show in Hairspray , I'd rush home after school to watch Mtv, and my first memory of Madonna was in the Lucky Star video. (In the early years, Mtv had veejays, such as Martha Quinn, … Continue reading Madonna: You don’t see her anymore

Mother’s Daughter: Katharine Hepburn

Katharine Houghton Hepburn, the film actress, was born in 1907 and became famous for her menswear fashion. In many ways, in most ways, she was her mother's daughter. Katharine Hepburn's mother, Katharine Martha Houghton Hepburn, known as "Kit", was a diehard, hard-nosed suffragist. By the time Kit was 16, her father had committed suicide and … Continue reading Mother’s Daughter: Katharine Hepburn

Feminine Princelings

Since the election, I've thought a lot about Alexander McQueen. McQueen killed himself in 2010 at age 40. His best friend, Isabella Blow, committed suicide and three years after that his beloved mother died of cancer; McQueen took his own life nine days after his mother's passing. He left a note to make sure his dogs … Continue reading Feminine Princelings

Nighties as power

At the Glamour Magazine Women of the Year awards, "Tracee Ellis Ross admitted that she had trouble deciding what to wear... ("Do I wear black because I'm in mourning? Do I go to a costume shop and get armor?") In the end, she went with something that reflected how vulnerable she feels this week: a … Continue reading Nighties as power

Mourning is what she wears.

At the Glamour Magazine Women of the Year awards, "Tracee Ellis Ross admitted that she had trouble deciding what to wear... ("Do I wear black because I'm in mourning? Do I go to a costume shop and get armor?") In the end, she went with something that reflected how vulnerable she feels this week: a … Continue reading Mourning is what she wears.