Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Here are some bears to go with your champagne....

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I Spent Way Too Much Time On Youtube So You Don't Have To

Its time again! More comedy from the ladies....

Here's Kathleen Madigan with some holiday cheer

Chelsea Handler is so inappropriate all the time. I used to think that it would be cool if she moved into my apartment.....then I realized Kathleen and I would be really freaked out and scared 24/7.

And of course....Ms. Inappropriate herself. Sarah Silverman.

And I had to throw this in because it never gets old...

Let me know if anyone has recommendations of female comedians.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Holiday Treat

Eartha Kitt with "I Don't Care"
Update: Okay, weird. Sadly, a few hours after I posted this Eartha Kitt passed away at the age of 81. She will be missed.

Full Frontal

Before I give Full Frontal Feminism to my little sister for Christmas, I thought I'd drop a note on here about how everyone should check it out. Written by Jessica Valenti, founder of the website, Full Frontal Feminism seems mostly geared toward teenagers...there's lots of swearing, sarcasm, and joking around. Yet, even if you have multiple degrees in women's studies you will still get something out of it. One of the best aspects is that it's really up to date - it's often hard to find things that speak to young women and cover current topics.
I learned a lot about the screwed up things that George W. Bush did to put us in our place. For instance $100 million a year was going toward the "Happy Marriage Initiative" as part of a welfare bill. Instead of using this money for child care, education, or job training (which would obviously benefit both couples and singles), it was in fact being given to religious based programs. Many of these programs only offered job training to men, and encouraged women to stay at home so that "the married man won't go to work hungover, exhausted, or tardy.....because he eats better and sees the doctor regularly thanks to his wife". Seriously! There go our tax dollars.
A couple other issues the Full Frontal Feminism covers are
-The actual history of feminism (There was no bra burning)
-Good stuff to know about birth control and the dangers of abstinence only education. Also the struggle to get things like the HPV vaccine passed.
-Why guys can and should be feminists -patriarchy sucks for them too.
-Girls Gone Wild and the insane amount of money we spend on beauty products and weddings
-Did you know we were being referred to as Sex and The City Voters and that 20 million unmarried women didn't vote in the Kerry/Bush election.?
This is just a short rundown of a couple things,,,,, I totally recommend checking out Full Frontal Feminism and passing it along to friends. Here is Jessica Valenti on the Colbert Report.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Comic Convention -Wimmin Style

Last week, at Printed Matter, my friend Asher pointed me in the direction of this box labeled Feminist Comics. And what a find it was! I almost don't want to tell anyone, because I can't afford to buy them all myself.
Anyhow, most of the comics were from the 1970s and 80s. There's one great series called Wimmin's Comix (sometimes spelled Wimmen). From 1970 to 1991 a wide group of women worked as a collective to put out the series. Each issue is edited by two different women. Anyone, as long as they were female, was allowed to submit work to Wimmin's Comix. Its pretty amazing the variety of style and material that these women worked with.

Trina Robbins is considered the very first female underground comic artist. She was a founder of the Wimmin's Comix collective and also put out All Girl Thrills and Girl Fight 1 and 2. Printed Matter has one of the amazing Girl Fight comics as well as one she did called Trina's Women. Trina went on to do several editions of Wonder Woman as well as publishing two illustrated books and From Girls to Grrrlz, about the history of women's comics.
Lee Marrs is another whose work really stands out. She got her start working on Little Orphan Annie comics and later co-founded the Alternative Features Service, which distributed comics as well as news and features to underground papers. She's best known for her Pudge, Girl Blimp series. I love how Pudge is always trampling things while exclaiming "Gee Whiz! San Francisco! Enlightenment! Dope! Getting Laid!"
Two other women, Diane Noomin and Aline Kominsky-Crumb, put together a hilarious comic called Twisted Sister, as well as a ton of wild 80s looking comics of their own.

These old comics cover way more ground than any of the stuff I remember seeing as a kid. They range from the stresses of motherhood to fun with S&M and hard drugs.
Mama Dramas makes being a mom look realistically chaotic and yet totally groovy at the same time.

Then there is the epic Wet Satin series of "women's erotic fantasies". Wet Satin is amazing in that it was created at the height of the sexual revolution, yet before the whole thing became commercialized and porntastic. Since the series is created by all sorts of women you really get an idea of the broad range of female desire. There is way more variation than we get with the four identity choices offered up in Sex and the City. Even Chewbaca makes an appearance as a tender yet manly lover.
Here are a few selections from a bunch of different comics by women.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Lady Jane

Happy Winter Solstice! Also, happy birthday to Jane Fonda who is one of my all time favorite feminists. A couple years ago I read Jane's autobiography and it was one of the first things that made me start really thinking and caring about our history as women. Her life story kind of reminded me of this old 70s novel The Women's Room that I read at some point in high school. The Women's Room follows one woman from her life as a tranquilizer happy house wife to an enlightened feminist grad student. I think I read the book after I'd been dumped by my first boyfriend and somehow the lesson that came across was just "men suck". The biography of Jane Fonda is a way longer, crazier, and more star studded story of one woman's self discovery. She certainly didn't do everything right and she pretty much never stops saying inappropriate things (anyone catch her recently dropping the big C word on Good Morning America). Yet, the story of her life is sort of the story of how we as women changed in the last seven decades.
I couldn't figure out which picture to put up of Jane so I decided to tell the story of her chameleon like life through pictures. Lady Jane Seymour Fonda was born in 1937 to the actor Henry Fonda and his wife Frances Ford Seymour. When Jane was 12 her mother committed suicide and Jane and her brother Peter were told she had a heart attack. In fact all the kids at her school were sworn to keep the secret and she found out the real cause of death when reading a gossip magazine. Her father never spoke of it and the children were raised by nannies a series of his young girlfriends and wives.
Jane went on to attend Vassar, work as a model, and spend some time in France. While in France, she went skinny dipping with Greta Garbo who encouraged her to try acting. Jane was introduced to Lee Strasberg and joined the Actors Studio. She spent some time acting on Broadway and eventually ended up back in France and soon married French new wave director Roger Vadim. Despite the fact that she was around 30, Jane was still pretty confused about who she was and the relationship with Vadim didn't help much. Imagine being married to a man whose ex's included Brigitte Bardot and Catherine Denueve and who insisted on bringing home prostitutes for three ways. Roger and Jane had one daughter Vanessa, and also made Barbarella together.
Before moving back home, Jane met some American soldiers who had fled Vietnam and they encouraged her to get political and stand up against the war. She returned to America where she toured college campuses to raise awareness about Vietnam. Jane also spoke out in support of the Black Panthers as well as Native American efforts to reclaim Alcatraz. In 1971 she won an Oscar for her role in Klute. One of the things Jane Fonda is most famous for is protesting the Vietnam war which she did a lot in the 70s. She visited Hanoi in 1972 and drew attention to the American bombings of the dike system along the Red River. Unfortunately, photographs of her sitting on a North Vietnamese aircraft, convinced some that she was working against American forces. These are some of the most interesting parts of her biography, when she eventually gets her FBI files and learns how closely the government had been following her...well, its just really scary (I'm not surprised they don't disclose that info anymore). She continued her political path after marrying activist Tom Hayden. Together they spoke out against Vietnam and after the war Tom ran for public office.
Jane formed a creative group to make the movie Coming Home, designed to convey the emotional and physical pain that met veterans upon their return to America. With Coming Home she won her second Oscar for best actress. As well as focusing on movies about political and environmental issues, she started making workout videos to support the campaigns of her husband. For Jane, the workout videos were about encouraging women to sweat and exercise without being considered un-ladylike. They were also a way to combat an eating disorder she'd had since childhood. She had grown up in a time when only diets and ballet were deemed valid exercise for women. The movie 9 to 5 was also the beginning of Jane's venture into women's issues. She and Tom Hayden had one son Troy Garity and adopted Mary "Lulu" Williams, before divorcing in 1990. In 1991 she married broadcasting mogul Ted Turner. During her time with him she started focusing on population stabilization and its relation to women's well being and health. She helped implement programs that work to educate and protect girls in third world countries. In 2001 she and Ted Turner divorced and she founded the the Jane Fonda Center for Adolescent Reproductive Health at Emory University in Atlanta,Georgia. The center works to prevent adolescent pregnancy though training and program development.
There are about a zillion other things Jane Fonda accomplished, from the "Free The Army" tour she created with Donald Sutherland, to founding multiple performing arts programs for under privileged kids, to being named a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Population Fund. The list goes on and on. There is also a good deal of her life that she admits to doing wrong, or missing out on all together. Yet, for me that's sort of the best part - you just dust yourself off, apologize, get a new haircut, and try to do the next decade a little bit better.

Target Women -2008 Recap

Just a reminder,
Sandwiches are for boys.

This one also felt appropriate for the holidays....

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Sad Week

I wrote about the "right of consciousness" rule just a few days ago. Unfortunately, despite the 150 members of congress (as well as 200,000 people like us) who called for the withdrawal of the bill, it has passed any way. This is really not good, because despite the fact that Obama has plans to overturn many of the these dangerous policies, this "right of consciousness" rule will take effect in 30 days (prior to Obama's inuageration ) making it much harder to overturn.
The Wall Street Journal explained the bill this way:
"For decades, federal law has said that doctors and nurses can't be compelled to perform abortions. The new regulation broadens that to make clear that all health-care workers may refuse to provide information, such as a referral, to patients looking for an abortion. The Department of Health and Human Services estimates the regulation would affect 584,000 hospitals, doctor's offices, pharmacies and other entities."
If you need something to feel hopeful about the article also recounts the many other stripped rights that Obama is intending to put back in place.
Just a reminder, the
"right of consciousness" rule defines abortion so loosely that birth control can be considered abortion. It also gives medical personel, pharmacists, receptionists, and health care providers the right to make moral decisions about your health -even health concerns that don't have to do with birth control.
Planned Parenthood released this statement:
"Now, anti-choice medical staff can withhold information about abortion, birth control, and sex education from their patients. Facilities that receive family planning funding, like Planned Parenthood, will have to certify that they will not refuse to hire nurses and other providers who object to abortion and even certain types of birth control. For example, a doctor who opposes pre-marital sex could refuse to provide a prescription or even information about emergency contraception to an unmarried woman."

for more info and to take action go here
or contact your local congressperson.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Your movie's vagina is showing

How many female directors can you name? I think the average person kinda runs dry after "uhhhh, Sofia Coppolla?". I'm always like ' That woman who did Point Break? Wasn't The Piano directed by a woman?". I'm obviously bad with names. I once put the test to Sam and he actually named about 20 female directors. Good thing I keep him around.
Anyhow, does anyone remember last year when Warner Bros. president of production, Jeff Robinov, claimed that they were no longer going to do movies with women in the lead. Yea, he actually said that. Then there was this article in Salon that got me thinking more about the topic of women in the movie industry. About Robinov, one female producer said "I don't think you can blame the Robinovs of the world. It's not something that every other studio head doesn't think." So even if you don't generally notice who directed the movie you're watching, it isn't as simple in the actual biz. And I still blame the Robinovs of the world.
Luckily, there is something you can do. These days movies are shooting for the teenage boy demographic, because apparently they spend the most time at the movies. So don't feel strange throwing some dough to decent female leads or directors. Do we really need another HellBoy movie?
However on a more positive note, in the past year Baby Mama did pretty good in the box office, Sex and The City and Mama Mia brought loads of women to the theater and Diablo Cody was the first woman to win a solo writing Oscar. The more women see movies they like - the more writers and the big movie companies will cater to their interests.
Unfortunately sometimes they see that we spent money on Sex and The City and they give us Confessions Of A Shopaholic. In the words of the cartoon Cathy "aakkkkk". I am absolutely horrified by this movie. Oh and also Bride Wars. Seriously, what were they thinking? These two movies go straight to my theme of Unconscious and Irrational. Girls are just craaazy when they have credit cards(magic cards) or weddings. We all define ourselves by our shoe collection and how well our wedding dresses fit. Its just hilarious to watch us destroy our friendships and relationships in order to be viewed as having more shoes and a smaller wedding gown. Personally, I'm not spending money on either of these (if they end up on cable there is the chance I'll watch a bit in a 'driving by a car crash' kind of way).
On a different note, Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke is now the highest box office grossing female director. She has already been denied the sequel which will be directed by Chris Weitz (The Golden Compass). I'm dealing with this by reminding myself that its fairly normal, all the Harry Potters were done by different directors. Anyhow, I thought she did a great job, despite the book's silly themes of chastity (don't get bitten!). She managed to really get the high school relationship vibes across with prolonged glances from sexy vampire Edward "Maybe I am the bad guy" Cullen. Throw in some pop punk and take out the fangs and you'd have my first relationship. Also, leading lady, Kristen Stewart has been a favorite of mine since Panic Room.
Soooo I started out this post because I just wanted to tell you all to go see Wendy and Lucy. Its solemn and simple yet beautiful - the story of a girl driving to Alaska with her dog, Lucy. Wendy and Lucy is directed by Kelly Reichardt and stars Michelle Williams, who just gets more awesome with every movie. Its one of the few movies that neither denies nor stereotypes its protagonists gender. You can read more details at this awesome blog.
Here's the trailer:

Starving (Lady) Artist

The NEA has just released a comprehensive study of the pay differences between men and women working in the arts. Sadly, working in the arts does not set us apart from the rest of the work force. In fact women in the arts make .75 to every dollar that a male artist makes. That's two cents less than the overall gender pay gap.
As the chairman of the NEA, Dana Gioia, puts it "Committed and entrepreneurial, women artists are making enormous progress, but still lag behind their male colleagues economically, especially in fields such as photography, design, and architecture.”
Don't be afraid to ask around and find out how much the guys you work with are making. I know this is hard, been there done that, but over the years it will totally matter. I once heard financial advisor Suze Orman suggest that a woman tack on 20% to a freelance job "Because women generally underestimate their worth". This is a good lesson for freelancers and fine artists.
There are a whole bunch of other interesting statistics you can check out. You can download the study here:
Or read about it here:

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Our Bodies, Our Selves

In the craze of the pre- election frenzy George W. Bush was trying to pull a fast one on you. He actually still is, since no one is expecting him to do much in his last days in office. This crap he's trying to throw on us is a proposed rule from the Department of Health and Human Services. This rule would allow any employee of a health care entity that receives federal funding, to have more of a right over your body than you have. The thing that freaks me out about this is that it would basically change the rights of everyone - its not just about abortion, or plan b, or even birth control. This could even effect your decision as a mother on how you want to give birth to your baby. These are the kind of laws that treat women like children. Hilary Clinton and Cecile Richards wrote a pretty thorough article for the New York Times that exposed the rule for what it was......
"The rule would also allow providers to refuse to participate in unspecified "other medical procedures" that contradict their religious beliefs or moral convictions. This, too, could be interpreted as a free pass to deny access to contraception.Many circumstances unrelated to reproductive health could also fall under the umbrella of "other medical procedures." Could physicians object to helping patients whose sexual orientation they find objectionable? Could a receptionist refuse to book an appointment for an H.I.V. test? What about an emergency room doctor who wishes to deny emergency contraception to a rape victim? Or a pharmacist who prefers not to refill a birth control prescription?"
When I sent out an email about this a couple months ago one of my friends wrote back and said she was conflicted because she didn't thing doctors should have to perform abortions if they didn't want to. However, that law has been on the books for 30 years. No one is making anyone do abortions. There are also laws in many states saying that pharmacies and/or their employees don't have to sell you Plan B if they morally object to it. I remember when I was at school in Rhode Island reading local newspaper articles about girls driving all over late at night, trying to find a pharmacy that would sell them Plan B. So if these rules are already around why are they trying to make more.
This law effects every woman, because even if you don't believe in abortion - do you still believe in birth control? Even if you don't and you want to start a big family, this law could make it okay for a doctor to tell you when, where, and how you would give birth. The National Association of Pregnant Women were fiercely against this rule.
All of this doesn't even touch on the fact that it could mess with your health care and what your provider deemed morally objectionable. This would definitely bring money decisions into the whole thing and you can just imagine how dangerous that is. What if they start having 'moral problems' with things that cost them a lot of money.
This sort of thing scares the shit out of me. I know a lot of people who figure "well it probably won't effect me - I live in New York". Yet, this is how change happens. This is how a nation closes down and starts taking back your rights. They are letting pharmacy employees, receptionists, doctors, health care providers, and others take away your rights so they don't have to catch the blame. George W. Bush would rather let you be pissed at the guy at Duane Reade who won't give you your birth control than be pissed at him. Its a lot easier, and it still vaguely resembles democracy, even though it makes less of your rights than others. This way people don't get all uppity and start protesting.
So on the up side of things plenty of politicians and a surprising amount of states were against this rule - they voted it down. Unfortunately, George just won't let it die, and it is being brought up again and again.

Soooo a couple good things to do are ...
You can tell the Bush administration how you feel here,

Or write an email to your local official. Its easy, just look up the website of your senator and there will usually be a link to their email.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Miami Vacation

Sorry about the blog vacation I was in Miami! Art Basel craziness was fun and shooting stuff for Ryan Trecartin's new movie was even more fun. Now I'm home. Who wants to give me a job?

Here are some pics of things I saw.
Wildlife... puppies and baby sharks.

I don't know if this is art or what but it was right
around the corner from Ryan's and its weird.

Man Of Wars - at least I think they are... these guys are everywhere!

The water is so clear!

5 am and still shooting - by the pool. The pool contains a ball, a wig, a rubber hand, several fake dogs on leashes.

Surfer Girls

This is Malia Manuel, at 14 she has recently become the youngest champion ever at the United States Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, California. The New York Times has a great article today about the new surge of girls who are tearing up surfing championships around the globe, taking home awards and leaving no prisoners.
Malia Manuel, now 15, won the United States Open back in July. Coco Ho, at 17 was right on her tail at 2nd place. Just recently in November, Carissa Moore won the Reef Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa, on Oahu. In the final showdown Carissa defeated seven time world champion Layne Beachley. Last week at the Roxy Pro, 20 year old Stephanie Gilmore won her second consecutive women's world championship.
I just looked some of them up on youtube and although I don't know a whole lot about surfing there was something refreshingly new about their style. Its way grittier and in a way messy seeming, the style sort of reminds me of skateboarding. There is a straightforward aggression and yet a lazy 'I'm doing it my way' kind of thing going on. This sort of attitude is usually seen more in boys. I think their unconscious acceptance of their right to be in the water with both boys and girls is going to really take women's surfing to a whole new level - a place where it won't be considered so much 'women's surfing' as just straight up surfing. Carissa Moore has already left her sponsor Roxy (best known for their surfer girl's apparel by any of us who have been to jr high in the last 20 or more years). She has since signed deals with Red Bull and Nike. With bigger and more universal companies taking notice of women surfers there will be more opportunities to be on an equal playing field with dude surfers. Aside from all the endorsement stuff, its just really amazing to watch these girls surf. Check out the videos below!

Malia Manuel

Carissa Moore

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Ladies of Pop

Boyfriend extraordinaire and fellow feminist Sam Pulitzer will be guest blogging a column on chicks that rock. This first selection is: Ladies of Pop. Look forward to future selections by Sam such as Ladies of Metal and Noise and a special Gender Bender post. Parts in purple added by me (Caitlin).

Lizzie Mercier Descloux "ou sont passées les gazelles ?"
What we're currently listening to in studio....

The gender unspecific and always amazing...
Amanda Lear - Alphabet
(Does she remind anyone of that nude model from RISD -the one who was in Ryan's movie)
Also "G is for Getting a divorce" is sooo funny.

La Cicciolina "Cazzo" (More commonly known as Jeff Koon's Ex-Wife)
(Is it weird that part of me identifies with what a hot mess she is)

The Flying Lizards - TV

Marine Girls - A Place In The Sun

Lio - Amoureux solitaires
(Kayla this one reminds me of you)

Alice - Per Elisa
(Amazing stage set! Alice is in charge!)

Baby Guerrilla Girls

I'm lucky, I have a 16 year old sister so I have an excuse to be interested in things way below my age level (an excuse to see Twilight!). So if anyone else out there has a younger sister or cousin,,, or you just don't care..... I really recommend checking out the Plain Jane series of graphic novels. There are only two at this point: Plain Janes and Janes in Love, I've heard rumors there won't be anymore because not enough people buy graphic novels or comics aimed at teen girls. All the more reason to check 'em out.

Plain Janes is the tale of a girl named Jane who moves from the big city to the suburbs with her parents. She finds her new high school totally boring and depressing till she meets three other girls named Jane. Together they decide to fight against boredom, conformity, and fear with random acts of art. The whole town is worked into a frenzy over the installation/land art that the girls are creating under the cover of night. I wish that I'd had this comic/novel around when I was 12 or even 16. The type of 'irrational' that these girls are stirring up is so much healthier and constructive than the infatuation with "Girl Interupted" that was all the rage for teen girls in my high school years.
I haven't read Janes in Love yet, I've been waiting for Christmas to get it for my sister. The Jane books are actually part of a larger series for girls called Minx, put out by DC Comics. Unlike when they market video games to girls - these books aren't about the art of shopping or makeup application. I'm gonna try to also check out this other one called WaterBaby that reminds me of Rita Ackerman a little. Below is an excerpt from WaterBaby..... And thanks for putting up with my secret pre-teen riotgrrrl identity.

Make Some Noise

So here are a few more gals of rock.... This time I'm pulling from the vault of Videowave, a local access show that started in New York in 1982 (pre-dating MTV by 6 months). Things were a bit more colorful and dirty at that time. Just how I like it.
First: The amazing Annabella Lwin of Bow Wow Wow

From there it gets a bit weirder
Nina Hagen

Lydia Lunch

Lene Lovich

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bella Abzug

Bella Abzug was one of the first women I learned about that really made me start thinking about these issues of women and their voices and careers and the place that they hold in our history of progress. As Tina Fey would put it "Bitch is the new black" and Bella was totally a bitch way before it was acceptable, never mind cool. But as the story goes,,,, bitches get shit done. Bella's story is so interesting to me because she didn't really go at life wanting to change everything and be the most progressive person, it just happened that she recognized inequality as it came her way and she didn't mind changing her views or working to change other's views.
Bella was born in New York City in 1920, the year women won the right to vote. She was born Bella Savitzky to two Russian immigrants. At the age of twelve Bella was giving Zionist speeches outside her father's butcher shop and riding the subway around New York collecting money for the creation of the State of Israel. When Bella was 13 her father died and she controversially showed up at synagogue every day for an entire year to say Kaddish (traditionally, this was usually reserved for sons of the deceased). She attended Hunter College and was elected president of the student government. In 1945 she graduated from Columbia Law School and married Martin Abzug. Later in life when fellow members of the feminist movement would ask her how she managed to have a busy career and a successful marriage Bella would respond "Good Sex".
Upon graduating Bella joined a law firm in the city and worked furiously to build a reputation. For many of her early cases, she'd show up and everyone would assume she was the secretary to the lawyer, instead of the lawyer herself. She began wearing gloves and impressive hats to gain a sense of authority. The wide brimmed hats became her trademark. In the late 40s and 1950s Bella took a lot of cases that were controversial for their relation to the McCarthy trials and the civil rights movement. For one case Bella went down to Mississippi to defend a black man who had been accused of rape. The very pregnant Bella, narrowly escaped being murdered multiple times and would sleep at bus stations for safety. At this point Bella was also a chair on the Civil Rights Committee of the National Lawyers Guild. She had two daughters Eve in 1949 and Liz in 1952, while managing to represent a group of high profile actors in the McCarthy witch hunts.
When nuclear fear became all the rage Bella wrote a letter to her daughters' school saying they were not allowed to duck under their desks during bomb drills because in her words "Its psychologically maiming and totally political". In 1961 Bella helped organize Women Strike for Peace to campaign for a nuclear test ban. This group went on to protest Vietnam and create a thirst for equality and a voice among many women who had been stuck at home before joining WSP. On Mothers Day 1967 they marched on the pentagon to demand an end to Vietnam. In 1970 at age 50 Bella ran for Congress to represent Manhattan's West Side and Lower East Side. She was the first Jewish Woman ever to serve in the House of Representatives, at the time there were only 9 other women in the House.
To win, Bella went everywhere from synagogues to gay bath houses to find people who would vote for her. This experience actually lead her to become one of the first members of Congress to support gay rights, introducing the first federal gay rights bill, the Equality Act of 1974. On her first day in Congress, in 1971, Bella introduced a motion calling for a withdrawal of troops from Vietnam. Also that year she introduced the bill that made the term "Ms." legal on government documents, she becomes the first member of Congress to call for Nixon's impeachment, and along with Shirley Chisholm she introduced a comprehensive childcare bill. The next year Congress banned educational discrimination against girls and women. Back home in NYC she gave the first financing to the "curb cut" so sidewalks would be accessible to wheelchairs and strollers. In 1974 she coauthored the Privacy Act and the Freedom of Information Amendments. I don't know much about how those ones are doing these days -I'm gonna guess they were yanked long before the Patriot Act.... I should look that up. Also in 1974, she wrote the first law banning discrimination against women in obtaining credit, loans, and mortgages.
Next, Bella made an unsuccessful run for the all male Senate and was also the first woman to run for Mayor of New York. In 1977, she presided over the National Women's Caucus in Houston. She then headed President Carter's National Advisory Committee on Women until she was fired for criticizing the administration's economic policies in 1979.
Bella co founded and served on so many committees and organizations for women's rights that its hard to keep them all straight. In 1978 the National Organization for Women sponsored a huge march on Washington to persuade Congress to pass the Equal Rights Amendment guaranteeing women equal rights. Sadly enough, to this day that amendment has yet to pass. In the 80s Bella starts really going global with these issues. She worked with the United Nations organizing international Women's Conferences and formed the Women's Foreign Policy Council which worked at involving women in commentary and policy making on world issues. In 1990, Bella co-founded the Women's Environment and Development Organization, an international activist and advocacy network. While reading other books I realized how strange it was that until fairly recently no one was involving women when they talked about population problems and stuff like that. Thanks to Bella they started involving women in these discussions and working in more conducive ways to tackle issues like overpopulation, poverty, or the enviroment.
Through most of her life Bella was a huge pain in the ass, she had plenty of enemies. Yet, she got shit done. From reading this book about her I realized that she was well respected among her enemies and stuck by those close to her through everything. Her childhood friend and college roommate Mim Kelber was her main speechwriter and a co founder of Women USA and WEDO. Many of the women who joined Women Strike For Peace found their calling and worked beside her for the rest of their careers. Bella and her husband Martin had an incredible marriage and stayed together till his death in 1986. Bella Abzug gave her final public speech before the UN in March of 1998. She died later on that year.

Its because of Bella that my generation has the luxury of not thinking about sexism. Which in my opinion is even more of a reason to be aware of it and to remember the insane amount of change she made happen in just a few decades.
To remind us all of that here is Daria dressed as Bella Abzug.....