Tuesday Tunes: Amanda Palmer, “What’s the Use of Won’drin'”

Artist: Amanda Palmer

Song: “What’s the Use of Won’drin'” (from the musical Carousel)


What’s the use of wond’rin’
If he’s good or if he’s bad
Or if you like the way he wears his hat

Oh, what’s the use of wond’rin’
If he’s good or if he’s bad
He’s your fella and you love him
That’s all there is to that

Common sense may tell you
That the ending will be sad
And now’s the time to break and run away
But what’s the use of wond’rin’
If the ending will be sad
He’s your fella and you love him
There’s nothing more to say

Something made him the way that he is
Whether he’s false or true
And something gave him
The things that are his
One of those things is you

So when he wants your kisses
You will give them to the lad
And anywhere he leads you, you will walk
And any time he needs you
You’ll go running there like mad

You’re his girl and he’s your fella
And all the rest is talk

Global Beauty Standards?

Original, unaltered photograph of artist.

Esther Honig, a freelance journalist based out of Kansas City, sent an unaltered photograph of herself to more than 40 Photoshop aficionados around the world. “Make me beautiful,” she said, hoping to bring to light how standards of beauty differ across various cultures.

The project, titled Before & After, originally came to Honig while she was working as a social media manager for a small startup. Her boss introduced her to Fiverr, an international freelancing website where anyone can hire freelancers from around the globe to complete almost any task imaginable. While browsing the site, Honig realized the prevalence of those offering Photoshop skills. “It immediately occurred to me that in this pool of workers, each individual likely had an aesthetic preference particular to their own culture,” Honig told BuzzFeed. Thus, the idea for Before & After was born.

Working with freelancers in over 25 countries, Honig expected that the images would differ from country to country, but was herself caught off guard by just how drastically some of the images were altered. “Seeing some jobs for the first time made me shriek… Other times images, like the one from Morocco, took my breath away because they were far more insightful than I could have expected,” Honig said.

To be sure, the images Honig has collected so far are interesting as individual images, a unique portrait of the standards of beauty in each country. However, when taken in totality, the project becomes much more striking, an interesting launching point into a global conversation about unattainable beauty standards around the world. “What I’ve learned from the project is this: Photoshop [may] allow us to achieve our unobtainable standards of beauty, but when we compare those standards on a global scale, achieving the ideal remains all the more illusive.”

Below are the photographs that Honig has collected thus far. Note: Some countries have multiple images from different artists. Honig continues her project on her website.



Esther Honig



Esther Honig


Esther Honig



Esther Honig



Esther Honig



Esther Honig


Esther Honig



Esther Honig



Esther Honig



Esther Honig



Esther Honig



Esther Honig



Esther Honig


Esther Honig



Esther Honig



Esther Honig

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

Esther Honig



Esther Honig



Esther Honig


Esther Honig



Esther Honig




Art Under Attack One Hundred Years Ago; or, A Fight for Women’s Suffrage

SEE:  http://byuwsr.blogspot.com/2014/03/art-under-attack-one-hundred-years-ago.html

Exactly one hundred years ago, on 10 March 1914, a suffragette slashed Diego Velázquez’s Rokeby Venus with a meat cleaver at the National Gallery in London. The canvas was fully restored at a later time.

Mary Raleigh Richardson was this suffragette.

Richardson was reported of saying the following in The Times on 11 March 1914: “I have tried to destroy the picture of the most beautiful woman in mythological history [Venus] as a protest against the Government for destroying Mrs Pankhurst, who is the most beautiful character in modern history. Justice is an element of beauty as much as colour and outline on canvas. Mrs Pankhurst seeks to procure justice for womanhood, and for this she is being slowly murdered by a Government of Iscariot politicians. If there is an outcry against my deed, let every one remember that such an outcry is an hypocrisy so long as they allow the destruction of Mrs Pankhurst and other beautiful living women, and that until the public cease to countenance human destruction the stones cast against me for the destruction of this picture are each an evidence against them of artistic as well as moral and political humbug and hypocrisy.”

Richardson, who was arrested nine times and received prison terms for over three years, committed numerous acts of violence and arson. She smashed windows of the Home Office in the United Kingdom. She even bombed a railway station.

Richardson was dedicated to the rights of women. Richardson’s fight for women’s suffrage changed history.

“And the Oscar Goes to . . .”

The Oscars . . .
A night of stars
A night of lights, camera, action!
A night of reviews
A night of laughs and jokes
A night of talent
A night of history
A night of people coming together
A night of fashion

A night of judgment 

The Oscars, and practically any other awards show, always includes judging the dresses of actresses in attendance, such as ET online’s “Hit or Miss: The 2014 Oscars!” (http://www.etonline.com/awards/143937_Hit_or_Miss_2014_Oscars/index.html?page=Mjg=&itmCnt=Mg==).

By going online, you have immediate access to all your hey-day-judgment-glory. All you have to do is simply click X or CHECK for each picture of a dress by using your mouse, and then you immediately see the percentages of other fellow online critics judging fashion-at-its-finest.

And who is going to tell you that isn’t fun?

Or if rating requires too much work, you can simply scroll through best and worst dressed women at the Oscars

Now, there is nothing wrong with commentary and discussion. There is nothing with opinions and perspectives.

 But while scrolling through the online media options, it would be extremely difficult, perhaps nigh impossible, to find one of these games or articles about “The Best and Worst Dressed Men at the Oscars” because men usually wear a tux or suit. End of story.
Sometimes women wear tuxes, too, and sometimes online critics (that means anonymous, online users like you) make a big deal about it.
How could you respond?
If a woman chooses to wear a tux, don’t make a fuss about it. There are bigger issues in the world than fashion. It’s her choice. It’s her decision. Maybe she just feels really super duper confident rocking a three-piece suit. That’s perfectly okay. Don’t criticize. Don’t analyze. Don’t be harsh just because you can be anonymous on the internet. Let her do her thing.

It can be fun for some people to talk about fashion.

But be kind.

– See more at: http://byuwsr.blogspot.com/#sthash.5UQPTLYc.dpuf

Bias-Free Writing

Bias-Free Writing

Have you ever wondered how to write without a gender bias?

Why use inclusive language?

Why avoid the generic he or all-encompasing men?

Writing without bias is important. The writer does not want to offend the reader or audience and wants to included all. Inclusive language engages both male and female readers.

But how can writers avoid gender bias in their writing?

The Chicago Manual of Style explains nine helpful techniques of how to achieve gender neutrality in writing. One option may not fix all problems when writing so be open to trying other tips below. Slight changes in meaning are possible when writing so be prepared to edit and rewrite. The nine techniques include the following:

1. “Omit the pronoun: the programmer should update the records when data is transferred to her by the head office becomes the programmer should update the records when data is transferred by the head office.

2. Repeat the noun: a writer should be careful not to needlessly antagonize readers, because her credibility will suffer becomes a writer should be careful not to needlessly antagonize readers, because the writer’s credibility will suffer.
3. Use a plural antecedent: a contestant must conduct himself with dignity at all times becomes contestants must conduct themselves with dignity at all times.

4. Use an article instead of a personal pronoun: a student accused of cheating must actively waive his right to have his guidance counselor present becomes a student accused of cheating must actively waive the right to have a guidance counselor present.

5. Use the neutral singular pronoun one: an actor in New York is likely to earn more than he is in Paducahbecomes an actor in New York is likely to earn more than one in Paducah.

6. Use the relative pronoun who (works best when it replaces a personal pronoun that follows if):employers presume that if an applicant can’t write well, he won’t be a good employee becomes employers presume that an applicant who can’t write well won’t be a good employee.

7. Use the imperative mood: a lifeguard must keep a close watch over children while he is monitoring the pool becomes keep a close watch over children while monitoring the pool.

8. Use he or she (sparingly): if a complainant is not satisfied with the board’s decision, then he can ask for a rehearing becomes if a complainant is not satisfied with the board’s decision, then he or she can ask for a rehearing.

9. Revise the clause: a person who decides not to admit he lied will be considered honest until someone exposes his lie becomes a person who denies lying will be considered honest until the lie is exposed.”

See more at: http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/16/ch05/ch05_sec225.html

See more at: http://byuwsr.blogspot.com/#sthash.xOOrQgAd.dpuf

Photo Cred: C.A.H.

Happy Anna Howard Shaw Day This Friday

Happy Anna Howard Shaw Day This Friday


Don’t feel like celebrating Valentine’s day this Friday?

Well, here’s another option.

Anna Howard Shaw was born 14 February 1847. She was pretty influential. She was a leader in the suffrage movement in the United States, the one of the first ordained female Methodist minister in the United States, and a physician.

Celebrate the women in your life and those who changed history! 😀

(Shout out to Liz Lemon from 30 Rock!)

International Day Against FGMs

International Day Against FGMs


Define FGM:

· “The part or total removal of the external female genital organs for cultural or other non-therapeutic reasons”

What is FGM/C?

· Abbreviated form of Female Genital Mutilation
· Because the term mutilation can cause offense where this is a cultural tradition, some people prefer to call the practice FGC (the “C” stands for Cutting)

How many women are harmed?

· Between 100 to 140 million girls and grown women around the world
· Every day about 6 thousand girls are at risk of having FGMs performed on them

Why do FGMs limit the speech of girls?

· Because they are under the age of 18 years old, daughters are unable to express dissent
· There is serious physical and mental damage done to the body

When are FGMs performed?

· Usually before the girl has gone through puberty, between 4 – 8 years old
· Number of FGMs performed on infants only a few days, weeks, or months old is increasing

Why is the average age dropping?

· The practice is not used as much today as an iniation into adulthood
· Adults want to avoid governmental interference
· Adults want to avoid resistance from the girls because they form their own opinions as they grow up

What can be done?

· This is a direct violation of the first amendment
· Lawmakers must pass the Girls Protection Act of 2011
· This will make it illegal to take a girl outside of the USA to circumcise her

History: Why were FGMs performed originally?
FGMs have been performed for a long time. According to the writings of the historian Herodotus in the Fifth Century B.C.E., circumcisions, which were performed by Egyptians, Ethiopians, Phoenicians, and the Hittites, were referred to by the Ethiopians as “pharonic circumcision,” thus implying that Egyptians were the first to perform FGMs. Circumcisions, which were common among the wealthy and the powerful of Egypt, were considered an economic necessity. When men were away for a long period of time, female circumcisions ensured that children born during the men’s absence would be their own (Watson 422-3).

Cultural Influences

Cultural influences greatly impact the reason why FGCs are performed on young girls. FGCs are believed to preserve family honor and supposedly protect women from seducers and rapists (Shah, Susan, and Furcroy 4577). In many societies, “[t]he status, security and the economic prosperity of a woman may depend on whether she is married, which may well be [dependent] on whether she has been cut” (Davies and Dustin 7). If a woman is not cut, she will often not find a husband, thus diminishing her chances of being accepted in her culture and having a role in society (Davies and Dustin 7). If the vagina is considered ugly in a particular society, the FGC “makes a girl more feminine” (Davies and Dustin 8) because the parts that could resemble the male penis, such as the clitoris, is removed completely. On the other hand, according to Dr. Adeline Apeana of the History Department from Russell Sage College, FGCs were done in parts of Malaysia and Indonesia, which are mostly matrilineal areas, in order to enhance female sexuality. However, FGCs are not limited to primitive, tribal communities. They have been performed in the United States, as well, for treating conditions such as masturbation, hysteria, depression, epilepsy, lesbianism, and urinary frequency (Shah, Susan, and Furcroy 4577). Blue Cross Insurance covered the costs of three thousand FGCs until 1977 (Watson 433).

Health Damages

Female genital mutilation/cutting is a harmful procedure performed most often for cultural reasons. As people become more informed of the detrimental impacts of FGMs, they occur less often. Sometimes this information is not available to parents because of the traditions of their past and they do not have the knowledge or access to learning about the repercussions.

Health Risks

Short Term Effects

-Intense pain
-Bacterial infection

Other injuries to nearby tissues are high immediately after the procedure is performed

Long Term Effects

o Cysts
o Infertility
o Bladder Infections
o Urinary Tract Infections
o Dysemenorrhea
o Pelvic Pain
o Hemtocolpus
o Dyspareunia
o HIV can be spread when same instrument is used on several girls without sterilization in-between each procedure

Education of the Mother

As the mothers’ education increase, the number of FGMs decreases. Congress must pass legislation that will include informational meetings, commercials, pamphlets, or other forms of publication to alert people of the disturbing consequences of FGMs (Simister 247-57).

Medicalizing FGMs: Not the Answer

Making FGCs legal if performed by a medical professional would not help solve the problem but would make matters worse. Allowing minimal cutting to the genitals of any female would “still represent an infringement of bodily integrity” (Davies and Dustin 8). Suggestions of making FGCs legal if the procedure is performed under anesthesia are unacceptable because the emotional and physiological damages will continue to impact the woman throughout her life.


Dustin, Donna, and Liz Davies. “Female Genital Cutting and Children’s Rights: Implications for Social Work Practice.” Child Care in Practice 13.1 (2007): 3-16. Academic Search Premier (EBSCO). Web. 27 Oct. 2011.

Johnson, Dan. “Breaking: Girls Protection Act Reintroduced.” Girlscampaign.com. Girls Campaign. 11 July 2011. Web. 31 Oct. 2011.

Shah, Gaurang, Luay Susan, and Jean Furcroy. “Female Circumcision: History, Medical and Psychological Complications, and Initiatives to Eradicate this Practice.” The Canadian journal of Urology, Vol.16.2 (2009): 4576-9. Academic Search Premier (EBSCO). Web. 3 Nov. 2011.
Simister, John. “Domestic Violence and Female Genital Mutilation in Kenya: Effects of Ethnicity and Education.” Journal of Family Violence 25.3 (2010): 247-57. Academic Search Premier (EBSCO). Web. 28 Oct. 2011.

Watson, Mary Ann. “Female Circumcision From Africa To The Americas: Slavery To The Present.” Social Science Journal 42.3 (2005): 421-437. Academic Search Premier (EBSCO). Web. 12 Nov. 2011.

Thought Process from the Mind of a Perfectionist

Thought Process from the Mind of a Perfectionist

I need to do this.
And I need to do this…
And I need to do this…

Oh! Almost forgot…
And this, too…

I got a 96.7% on the last test. What did I do wrong? Why did I miss 2 ½ points? I should have studied more.

I’m such a terrible student.

I feel like I never do enough.

Of course. I’m just trying to improve. I want to be better. I do. You know, to be a better person.

I would love to help out. I’ll just fit it in-between my seven classes, my papers and homework assignments, my work schedule, my Pilates class, my volunteer hours, and then maybe sleep for 4 hours tonight and eat a meal in there somewhere.

I am an awful daughter.

I’ll sleep when I’m dead.

I’ll just add that to the list.

I’m the worst mom.

Can I do that? That’s not the right question. If I do it, I will give 150% until there is absolutely nothing wrong. It must look flawless. It will appear perfect.

I’m such a bad member of the church. I wish I was as spiritual as she is.

I feel like there’s never enough time in the day.

If I wasn’t so busy, I’d look prettier. I’d go out on more dates. Maybe guys would like me more.

I wish my home could be as clean as her house.

I’m not a good wife.

I feel so tired.

I feel so worn out.

I feel so alone.

I feel like no matter how busy I make myself, there is still this empty, gnawing hole inside.

I feel worthless.

I am worthless.

I feel… I am…

I am a failure.

Thoughts: they shape who we are and how we perceive ourselves. We perfectionists need a revolution in our thought process.

Photos: http://postsecret.com/

—> See more at: http://byuwsr.blogspot.com/

“Labels and Logos”

This article was originally posted on http://byuwsr.blogspot.com/2014/01/labels-and-logos.html.

Pantene, a leading shampoo company, recently published the video “Labels Against Women” with the tag line “don’t let labels hold you back.” Alexandra Le Tellier of Los Angeles Times explains how the “ad that juxtaposes the labels ascribed to men versus women in similar situations. He’s the boss, but she’s bossy. He’s persuasive, while she’s pushy. When dad works late, it’s because he’s dedicated, but when mom does, she’s selfish.” The last line in the video reads, “Be strong and shine.” But the closing image shows the logo for Pantene.

Some critics complained that this video was just to sell product. Jessica Roy, writer of Time magazine, argues, “While on the surface videos like Pantene’s ‘Labels Against Women’ show beauty brands bucking traditional standards by embracing body positivity instead of ignoring it, it’s still important to recognize these videos for what they truly are: a clever way for the same old companies to make money off of women.” As Tori Telfer of Bustle website states, “The business behind this sort of feel-good, shareable, vaguely morally superior ad campaign doesn’t care about you as a woman. It cares about your Facebook shares. It cares about your shampoo-brand loyalty. And above all, it cares — truly, madly, deeply — about your wallet.”

Although what critics said concerning commercialization is undoubtedly true, what did other people think about this commercial?

Some responses are simply shocking.

For example, Dan Daman claimed on 27 December 2013, “Quit acting like a man and act like a woman.”

The user Dan Daman appears to desire a 1950s stereotypical woman of the home, silent and smiling.

John Doe wrote on 28 December 2013, “Western women, white women, disgust me. I only like Asian women because they still act like a real woman.”

This user appears to show racial prejudice against women who are not of Asian decent.

The user saltysnail03 wrote, “[G]ays r much worst the vile pervs scum of earth they r.”
There is some ambiguity in this comment. Gays are worst than what? Gays are worst than strong women? Gays are worst than men who label women?

On 31 December 2013, зло кубиківльоду wrote, “Sexism is more prevalent when it is against men. Women actually label men WAY more then the contrary. Women think men are always judging, but in truth we don’t really care, I wish the lying feminist nazis would just stop, but seeing as feminism owns everything, there isnt really much anyone seeking the truth can do.”

This user believes in feminist Nazis and reverse sexism.

What is so strong in this commercial is that no men or women are speaking. Words, such as “boss” vs. “bossy,” appear as words in the world around them. The viewer only sees the words appear and rearrange into new words. This commercial is suggesting a change in perception, in paradigm for all viewers.

Despite the negative comments listed above, the ad seemed to impact other viewers positively. Sadhana Kalyanaraman wrote on 3 January 2014, “[L]ove the add, love the song. Love the message…” Priyanka Shailendra explained on 2 January 2014, “This ad describes the strength in a woman who can shine and make the world shine….. her hair is just part of her…. Every part of her shines out in this ad…. The basic concept is what they are explaining…. We need to open our eyes beyond just a hair ad.”

So yes – this is an ad selling hair shampoo. But if the viewer looks a little closer, there might be something a little more there.