Archive for the ‘Feminism’ Category

Our Indian mothers

March 28, 2016

A nice piece by Mukul Kesavan!

Lilavati’s daughters goes online

January 25, 2009

Abi gives the link to online edition of Lilavati’s Daughters. Have fun!

From the particular to the general!

February 18, 2008

xkcd has the final word.

Different kind of “first” woman

December 14, 2007

Philobiblon gives the details on an English barrister, Helena Normanton:

The English barrister Helena Normanton was the first married woman in Britain to be issued with a passport in her own name, in 1924.

She was also: “the first woman admitted to the “Middle Temple” as a law student… first woman to prosecute a murder case, first woman to obtain a divorce for her client, first female counsel in the High Court, the Old Bailey, and the London sessions. In 1949, she shared the “first” of first female king’s counsel, with Rose Heilbron.”

Take a look!

Saturday night links!

October 20, 2007

Materials podcasts

Mathew Peet at Bainite tells us about a few podcasts that he had made with Prof. Bhadeshia:

I made three new podcasts with Prof. Harry Bhadeshia on his latest papers on transformation texture, the new delta-Trip steels and on prediction of Hot Strength of ferritic steels.

These are short podcasts (and make complete sense probably only to those who have a deeper knowledge of the relevant area); however, this is a cool way of communicating new results — to be frank, how many times I have read some paper or other and wished that one of the authors would explain what he/she has done and why in a few minutes — it is that fantasy come true for me. And, this experience seems to be as much fun for Prof. Bhadeshia as it is for us: for example, in the transformation texture podcast, at the end, you can hear Prof. Bhadeshia exclaiming “That went well!”.

Update: Here is a listing of some more materials podcasts from Mathew Peet.


Mo at Neurophilosophy points to a cover story on memory in the November 2007 issue of National Geographic; as a bonus, Mo also links to a cool interactive 3D map of brain:

Accompanying Foer’s article on the National Geographic website is a very cool interactive 3D map of the brain, which can be flipped and rotated to reveal the structures involved in encoding and storing different kinds of memories.

Guide to the art of discovery

Prof. Zhigang Suo at iMechanica writes about a book that influenced him a lot; Prof. Suo, in his post, lists the headings of sections in Chapter 2 of the book, and it sure sounds extremely interesting:

Here are headings in Chapter 2, Strategy for Discovery:

  • Don’t follow the crowd
  • Rebel, but wisely
  • Strive to enhance serendipity
  • Avoid science eddies
  • Study the Earth, and the Science of Geology
  • Seek the nonquestions
  • See your era in long-term perspective
  • Go with intuition
  • Avoid sidetracking trivia
  • Be competitive. Be a winner. Be first
  • Argue by analogy
  • Vision, hypothesis, and objective testing
  • The strategy of exploration for understanding

Why blog?

Tyler Cowen asks the question “Why should a good economist blog?” and lists some reasons and goes on to make some predictions about the future of blogging by economists; the reasons for blogging that Cowen lists (1, 2 and 5, in his numbered listing), however, are general enough that they are relevant to any academic scholar or researcher, and not just to economists.

Women pilots of WWII as role models

Natalie Bennett at Philobiblon:

If a history book is to grab you in the same way as a good thriller, to fit within the impossible-to-put-down category, what it almost certainly needs is characters – interesting characters, sympathetic characters, characters about whom you quickly come to care.

Spitfire Women of World War II is packed with such characters…

That sounds like a must-read book!

Thursday late night links

August 17, 2007

Happy reading!

Nature edits its mission statement

August 16, 2007

Nature will add the word sic in parenthesis in its mission statement wherever the word “scientific men” appears:

The original mission statement of this journal, first printed in Nature‘s second issue on 11 November 1869, was therefore running behind the times when it referred to “Scientific men” — even though, to be fair, the word ‘scientist’ did not enter general circulation until the end of the nineteenth century. In other respects it is well worded — which is why we print it every week in the Table of Contents.

There is a convention within the English language by which writers quoting text can indicate their view that a particular phrase is inappropriate. That is to insert sic, a Latin word meaning ‘thus’, after the phrase — in effect expressing the sentiment ‘alas, dear reader, this is what was said’.

This is what we will do in the mission statement from now on.

As they note, it is a tiny step, but a step in the right direction nevertheless.

Caste, development and gender

June 14, 2007

Here is an article published in Gender and Development about Dalit women activists:

The issue of ‘caste’ continues to raise concerns for the women’s movement in India. However, the nature of these concerns has changed as a result of the efforts made by state and non-state actors to include Dalit women and their interests in their work. Women activists – caste-Hindu, Dalit or otherwise – carry their caste identity into their organisation and field of activism. Their experiences differ depending not only on their caste but also on the context in which they are operating.

In addition, Dalit women activists, who had been marginalised in the women’s movement, are beginning to use their ‘caste’ identity along with their identity derived from working as village-level activists, in order to take their interests beyond the realm of social activism. By participating in local electoral politics, they are unquestionably also using their own agency and sense of empowerment derived from their involvement in women’s activism.

Such participation in local electoral politics by Dalit village-level workers offers a particularly relevant insight into changes that are emerging in the Indian women’s movement as a result of its own efforts to include Dalit women and their interests, and due to broader developments outside of it (for example the Panchayati Raj Act, and the BSP-led Dalitbahujan Samaj movement). Over many years, the personal experiences of caste-Hindu, middle-class urban-educated women – who have dominated the women’s movement in India – have been celebrated as political. The individual journeys of Kalawati, Basania and Sukhia, and their forays into electoral politics from the realm of social activism, demonstrate how Dalit women are creating ways in which their personal experiences can also be celebrated as political.

Furthermore, such initiative on the part of Dalit village-level workers to venture into local electoral politics shows that these women consider that the capture of political power can bring about change in the condition of their own community, in ways that organisations involved in social activism may not. Although it is difficult to reach firm conclusions without further research, it seems that their participation in local electoral politics might be a way to improve their own situation, specifically by overcoming the ‘caste-ceilings’ present in social activism.

The piece is available for download for free till the end of July; via Philobiblon. Take a look!

Groundwork for experiment is laid with pencil, scowls, gestures

May 3, 2007

That is the bye-line for an article titled Girl Chemist; a scanned version of the article (from Jan, 1949) is available at the Modern Mechanix blog:

Chemistry, once strictly a man’s profession, has become increasingly hospitable to women. The expansion of industrial chemistry has helped. Women are particularly in demand for delicate laboratory work that requires small hands, finger dexterity and painstaking attention to detail. With job opportunities opening in the field, more college girls than ever before have been preparing for careers in chemistry.

Today, seven percent of all chemists in industry are women. The ratio is a good deal higher at the Merrimac Division of the Monsanto Chemical Company at Everett, Mass. Here, nearly 20 per cent of the research staff of 109 is female. One of them, Jacqueline Bates, is seen on these pages in a typical day’s work. She is one of four women who make up the analytical laboratory staff. Their job is (1) determining the identity and purity of organic compounds, (2) establishing methods for control of production and application of chemicals, and (3) evaluating new methods of analysis lor organic and inorganic compounds.

I was always under the impression that chemistry is one of the subjects where women were welcome; I see that it was not always so. Any case, I would love to know the percent of women chemists in the industry today.

Shakespeare’s sister will be born

May 2, 2007

I told you in the course of this paper that Shakespeare had a sister; but do not look for her in Sir Sidney Lee’s life of the poet. She died young – alas, she never wrote a word. She lies buried where the omnibuses now stop, opposite the Elephant and Castle. Now my belief is that this poet who never wrote a word and was buried at the crossroads still lives. She lives in you and in me, and in many other women who are not here tonight, for they are washing up the dishes and putting the children to bed. But she lives, for great poets do not die; they are continuing presences; they need only the opportunity to walk among us in the flesh.This opportunity, as I think, it is now coming within your power to give her. For my belief is that if we live another century or so – I am talking of the common life which is the real life and not of the little separate lives which we live as individuals – and have £500 a year each of us and rooms of our own; if we have the habit of freedom and the courage to write exactly what we think; if we escape a little from the common sitting-room and see human beings not always in their relation to each other but in relation to reality; and the sky too, and the trees or whatever it may be in themselves; if we face the fact, for it is a fact, that there is no arm to cling to, but that we go alone and that our relation is to the world of reality and not only to the world of men and women, then the opportunity will come and the dead poet who was Shakespeare’s sister will put on the body which she has so often laid down. Drawing her life from the lives of the unknown who were her forerunners, as her brother did before her, she will be born.

Virginia Woolf in A room of one’s own. Reprinted here; via Maud Newton.