Dickey Chapelle and other awesome women


(Not really STEM as she was a war photographer, but pretty damn awesome all the same).

Dickey Chapelle worked in WW2 and continued through to the Vietnam War, when she was killed by an IED. I first heard about her from this article which includes a short film about her life.

I have a couple of issues with the articles I linked to. In the film, the author of a biography on her called her ‘feisty’, a word never used to describe men and one that immediately worry about the quality of the book. The second issue is that the Wikipedia article states,

Despite her mediocre photographic credentials, during World War II Chapelle managed to become a war correspondent photojournalist for National Geographic.

Now, it may well be that she had mediocre credentials, but 1) the article provides no evidence of this and 2) was Nat Geo ever in the position where it could only hire ‘mediocre’ photographers? It seems unnecessarily disparaging of her work and isn’t a description I’d ever expect to be seen for a man unless there was concrete evidence of the fact.

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Tracey Curtis-Taylor has just finished her flight from the UK to Australia in a bi-plane, retracing the flight of my Johnson who did the trip in 1930. It’s an amazing achievement, then and now, and what’s best about the article is that it focuses on the story! There’s no 'how did she feel leaving her family to do this, how she struggled with the competing needs of family and career, etc. It’s just what she did, how she did it and how she feels now she’s done it. Awesome!



A disappointing update to the Tracey Curtis-Taylor story,
Biplane adventurer Tracey Curtis-Taylor stripped of award



This is another great article on the awesomeness that was Dickey Chapelle.

Honorary Oscar for British ‘trailblazer’ editor Anne V Coates
Anne V Coates has worked as a film editor for over 60 years, won one Oscar an was nominated for four other times, and this year was awarded an honorary Oscar for her career.



The ‘miraculous’ life of Zuzana Ruzickova
An incredible woman:

Zuzana Ruzickova endured three concentration camps in World War Two, including Auschwitz, and was persecuted by the Communists in Czechoslovakia in the years that followed. But not only did she survive, she also went on to become one of the world’s leading harpsichordists.

The Vietnamese women who fought for their country
Women often get sidelined when it comes to writing the history of wars yet these women remind us that they are just as important as the men who fight.



8 Disabled Women Who Are Changing the World Through Politics
8 awesome women who are changing the world!

Interview with Ms. Catalina Devandas – UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities
And an interview with another awesome woman. It’s really humbling to see how much good these women are doing in the world.



Who’s afraid of Gloria Allred? Meet America’s most formidable feminist lawyer



A Tenacious Explorer of Abstract Surfaces
A great piece on Maryam Mirzakhan the first (and so far only) woman to win the Field’s Medal.



Pioneering Feminist Art Historian Linda Nochlin Has Reportedly Died
I’m sorry to say I’ve not heard of her before now but I’m glad that I get to discover her writings, even if it is through learning of her death.

The catalyst behind Nochlin writing “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” was a moment in 1970 when gallery owner Richard Feigen asked her a question that feels depressingly familiar even in 2017: “Linda, I would love to show women artists, but I can’t find any good ones. Why are there no great women artists?” In her essay Nochlin underlines the fact that, for centuries, the dominant viewpoint of art history has been that of a white, Western, man, and that the reason there are no “great” women artists is because the canon doesn’t consider them to be great. And it’s not like men ever afforded women the same opportunities to paint and sculpt as men had, barring them from the training and education they needed to be “great” in the eyes of Western art history.