In the current political climate, late night talk shows that push the boundaries and point out the atrocities of society are a comedic relief. But there is one subject that seems too far out of reach for the critique of liberal leaning, late night shows. Pornography. A cultural phenomenon that has infiltrated all spaces of society, from movies to television shows, the topic of porn has become an acceptable joke that we’re all supposed to know is funny. But what’s funny about exploitation? What humor is there in paid rape? What’s amusing about men getting off to violence against women?
Happy Birthday Laura Jane Grace!
Today is the beginning of Transgender Awareness Week, a week to take time and recognize the issues that face the transgender community and to help raise visibility of transgender and gender non-conforming identities. The final day in this week, November 20th, is Transgender Day of Remembrance:
The Transgender Day of Remembrance serves several purposes. It raises public awareness of hate crimes against transgender people, an action that current media doesn’t perform. Day of Remembrance publicly mourns and honors the lives of our brothers and sisters who might otherwise be forgotten. Through the vigil, we express love and respect for our people in the face of national indifference and hatred. Day of Remembrance reminds non-transgender people that we are their sons, daughters, parents, friends and lovers. Day of Remembrance gives our allies a chance to step forward with us and stand in vigil, memorializing those of us who’ve died by anti-transgender violence.
Happy Birthday Gertrude Ederle!
On October 23, 1905 Gertrude Ederle entered the world. Her parents, Henry and Anna, were German immigrants that owned a butcher shop in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Her family owned a small cottage in New Jersey, where the Ederle family spent most summers. Gertrude would spend her summers swimming in the Atlantic Ocean, and when back in the city would find any public pool available. It is said that she was once caught swimming in horse troughs!
Happy Birthday Esther Rome!
Esther Rome was born in Norwich, Connecticut on September 8th, 1945. She spent her childhood in Plainfield, Connecticut, where her parents ran a five-and-dime store. Though her roots began as a small town girl she grew to do big things for women across the world. After high school, Rome completed her undergraduate degree at Brandies University in Boston, Massachusetts. Upon completing that she continued to earn a Master’s degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.
Happy Birthday Vera Weisbord!
Vera Weisbord, born August 19th, 1895 in Forestville, Connecticut. Living in poverty in New York Weisbord experienced hardships early on in life. Despite that she was Valedictorian at Hunger High School and went on to attend Hunter College where she win three first prizes in French competitions among colleges all across the USA and Canada.
Happy Birthday Miriam Underhill!
Born July 22, 1898, in Forest Glen, Maryland, Miriam Underhill was a force to be reckoned with from the beginning. At age 16, she visited the Alps for the first time on a family vacation, where she would complete an introductory climb near Chamonix. Despite her thirst for climbing she went to Bryn Mawr College to complete bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and physics. Underhill continued straight on to complete a master’s in psychology from Bryn Mawr College in 1921. All the while she visited the Alps and other mountains during her summers off from school and stayed an active member of the Appalachian Mountain Club. The only thing holding back Underhill was the fact that she was a woman.
Happy Birthday Gwendolyn Brooks!
On June 7th, 1917 Gwendolyn Brooks was born in Topeka, Kansas. Shortly after Brooks was born her family moved to Chicago, where she would live for the rest of her life. Her parents were very influential in her love of the arts and ambitious nature. Her mother was teacher and classically trained pianist and her father was a janitor who would go on to fulfill his dream of becoming a doctor.