Monday, 30 March 2009
Tuesday, 24 March 2009
She is mainly known for having written a description of Charles Babbage's early mechanical general-purpose computer, the analytical engine. She is today appreciated as the "first programmer" since she was writing programs—that is, manipulating symbols according to rules—for a machine that Babbage had not yet built. She also foresaw the capability of computers to go beyond mere calculating or number-crunching while others, including Babbage himself, focused only on these capabilities.There is a big list of women computer scientists on Wikipedia, so it was difficult to choose, but I have chosen Wendy Hall, Professor of Computing Science at the University of Southampton, because I have actually seen her give a keynote at a conference, and because I was born in Southampton.
Her research interests now include the development of web technologies (particularly the Semantic Web), hypermedia systems and link services, advanced knowledge technologies, digital libraries, decentralized information systems, and human computer interaction. She has published over 350 papers in areas such as hypermedia, multimedia, digital libraries, and distributed information systems.Happy Ada Day to Wendy and all geeks of whatever gender!
The UK Fawcett Campaign for equality between men and women named her as an Inspiring Woman in 2005, and the UK Research Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology selected her as one of six world-class Women of Outstanding Achievement in SET in March 2006. In October 2006 she was the first non-US woman to receive the Anita Borg Award for Technical Leadership.
She is particularly prominent as a strong and vocal advocate for women’s opportunities in SET and for the need to ensure that girls are not excluded from participation in science and engineering careers. In her research and her public life she has sought to ensure that women are equal beneficiaries of technological advance, and her example of achievement and dedication has made her a distinguished role model for women.
- Elizabeth I - she may have had but the feeble body of a woman, but she had the heart and stomach of a king (despite him having asked for it back several times)
- Bess of Hardwick - an independent lady
- Charlotte Brontë - author
- Emily Brontë - author
- Anne Brontë - author
- George Eliot - author
- Aphra Behn - 17th century dramatist and spy
- Rachel Carson - biologist and ecologist
- Valentina Tereshkova - first woman in space
- Hildegarde von Bingen - inventor of the symphony and great mystic, writer and artist
Agnes and Margaret Smith - lady travellers and manuscript-hunters
- Victoria Woodhull - presidential candidate and stockbroker
- Emma Hardinge Britten - spiritualist, theosophist, OTO founding member
- Anne Bonny and Mary Read - pirates
- Marjorie Lee Browne - Doctor of Mathematics
- Evelyn Granville - Computer Programmer, NASA
Monday, 23 March 2009
- Emily Warren Roebling - Co-builder of Brooklyn Bridge with husband Washington Roebling.
- Edith Cowan - Feminist, fought for suffrage, then first woman elected to an Australian parliament.
- Annie Oakley - Famous trick sharpshooter of Old West.
- Mary Anning - a fossil collector that discovered a dinosaur species or two.
- George Sand: novelist, feminist, bon-vivant and quite possibly the first openly-acknowledged "Drag King."
- Rear Admiral "Amazing Grace" Hopper: co-developer of the UNIVAC I, inventor of the compiler, pioneer in the development of computer systems standards and the FORTRAN and COBOL languages, and the Data Processing Management Association's first "Man of the Year."
- Hedy Lamarr: co-inventor of frequency-hopped spread-spectrum radio communication, which is the basis for nearly all modern radio data communications systems.
- Beatrix Potter studied lichen and presented a paper to the Linnean Society in London.
- Isabella Bird - Traveller and explorer
- Sarah Guppy, the inventor of the suspension bridge (also a woman); she is featured in Local Heroes by Adam Hart-Davis.
- Grace Darling - a girl who rowed out with her father to rescue people from a sinking boat
- Emilie du Chatelet - Enlightenment mathematician and physicist (and Voltaire's lover) rigged lotteries and used mathematics to win the card games that upper class women played in those days.
- Elizabeth Fulhame - author of An Essay on Combustion, 1794, a landmark text on Catalytic Chemistry and Colloidal Photochemistry.
- Female explorers:
Friday, 20 March 2009
Thakore also works as a technical consultant for a number of global clients, including working with LEGO System A/S as a Global Client Development Officer for LEGO Play for Business.
Representing the activities of young people internationally as a liaison for the 2009 International Year of Astronomy, Thakore is also a member of the Special Advisory Committee to the International Astronautical Federation on Space and Society. Thakore’s goal is to help make humanity a multi-planet species.
Past positions include serving as a Teaching Associate for the International Space University in Strasbourg, France, where she furthered her interdisciplinary research in Robotics and In-Situ Resource Utilization for space exploration. She also worked for the X PRIZE Foundation, where she devised prize concepts to bring radical breakthroughs in attempts to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges such as eradicating poverty and providing clean drinking water to all.
The Feminist Avant-Garde: Transatlantic Encounters of the Early Twentieth Century by Lucy Delap (Cambridge University Press)
Edwardian commentators were clear that feminism was no unified entity, but should be divided into competing groups. A survey of ‘modern feminism’ produced in 1914 by a British-born feminist living in the United States, Beatrice Forbes-Robertson Hale, used the metaphor of an army to delineate the main body of parliamentary suffragists, the rear of municipal suffragists, a vanguard of ‘advanced feminists’, and an ultra-radical group of ‘skirmishers’. This study is concerned with delineating the political argument, discourse and intellectual influences drawn upon by these last two groups, whose members referred to themselves as the feminist ‘vanguard’, ‘advanced feminists’, or ‘modern feminists’. I examine the languages, the conceptual resources, the political argument available to feminists, gaining a sense not only of what they said, but how it was possible for them to say it, and the intellectual reception feminism had.
Friday, 13 March 2009
the show celebrates the life of an extraordinary woman who lived like she danced, with all the might of her body and the fire of her soul.Perhaps not exactly a bluestocking, but certainly an extraordinary woman.
Anna Sprengel, the alleged Secret Chief of the Golden Dawn (to whom Westcott and MacGregor Mathers wrote after deciphering her address from an old book) was the love-child of Lola Montez and Ludwig I of Bavaria.
Thursday, 12 March 2009
I was going to write about it but was delayed by the necessity to foil a dastardly plot to create a world chocolate shortage. Fortunately I was assisted by my trusty differencing engine, Profound Cogitation.
Ms Niblock has recorded in her diary a selection of bluestockings of whom we can only say we wholeheartedly approve; those who were not already in our own canon of heroines shall forthwith be co-opted. Her list is Joan of Arc, Boudicca, Isabella Eberhardt, Simone Weil, Gertrude Bell, Katherine Stinson, Joanna de Tuscan, Katharine Hepburn, Margaret Rutherford and Leonora Carrington. Excellent choices all, among whom only Leonora Carrington was already enshrined here at The Bluestocking.
Steve Hayes commemorated IWD by honouring St Theodora the Iconodule - also an excellent choice, as one who wanted people to be able express their spirituality with icon-writing, and for others to access the numinous through icons.
IWD was celebrated around the world; this year's theme was stopping violence against women and girls (though stopping violence in general would be a very good thing).
As that was the theme, I would like to celebrate Eve Ensler, playwright, performer, activist, and author of The Vagina Monologues and The Good Body, among other things. She writes wittily and entertainingly, and invites us to celebrate our bodies and our orgasms. Hurrah!
Monday, 9 March 2009
Friday, 6 March 2009
- If Gail Trimble programmed computers then she would use butterflies.
- Gail Trimble can determine the next random number in a sequence.
- When you search for “guru” on Google it says “Did you mean Gail Trimble?”
Congratulations to Gail Trimble and her team on winning University Challenge. I was astonished to hear that far from being praised for her success, the poor girl has come in for a load of abuse.Sze Zeng says "Gail Trimble the genius"
I think any woman who is intelligent, smart, presents herself well and knows her way around Latin literature should be celebrated for their ability and skill.It's good to know that there are others who appreciate intelligence. I note that her page on the well-known electronic school yearbook has 424 fans. I think Gail's undoubted sartorial elegance is irrelevant to her intellectual prowess; she should be celebrated for her brains even if she dressed in potato sacks.
We at the Bluestockings blog must naturally wish her and her friends every success in their endeavour, and hope that they will drop in here for a nice cup of Lady Grey tea and some intellectual conversation.
It's delightful to discover that being a Bluestocking is once more in vogue, and that we are not so much (re)creating a subculture as joining one that is already in full flow.
Thursday, 5 March 2009
Because white men between the ages of 18 and 35 are so very oppressed in our culture. Apparently. The poor dears.
Allow me to share a few general observations.
If you're an MRA, you're ignorant.
If you're a Pagan MRA, you're dead to me.
If you're a gay Pagan MRA, then what the fuck is wrong with you. And please note that this is a statement, not a question.
To sum up: If you identify, for whatever reason, as an MRA (and I really hate to say this, on account of the irony will be a distraction), you have Mommy issues.
And I'm sorry about that; I'm so very, very sorry. But you do. At some critical point in your emotional development, Mommy was unkind. Or Mommy had another baby, or went back to work, or wouldn't let you have the car keys just this one time. Or Mommy suggested that, at the age of 47, you might want to consider moving out of her basement.
Whatever the traumatic event that was instrumental in shaping Who It Is You Are Today... you have Mommy issues.
And again, I'm sorry, but agreed? Good. Now please get over them. Or, at the very least, stop dumping them over the rest of us, because here's the thing: While your existence is ultimately irrelevant, I cannot begin to describe how uselessly annoying you are.
[Cross-posted at Lover of Strife]
A nice conjunction of two bluestocking heroines - the one a great classical pagan philosopher; the other an artist in the nascent field of photography.
Hypatia was a pagan, a woman, a martyr, and most importantly, a scholar. Born in 370 CE in Egypt, she was considered both eastern and western: She flourished and taught in the Mediterranean area and was fed by rivers of learning from all the civilizations in the mid-east. Hypatia was one of the mothers of our western traditions and embodied the scholarly riches of diverse cultures. Described by her contemporaries as a charismatic teacher, Hypatia was later murdered by a mob of zealous Christians in 415 CE.
- Salonières and Bluestockings: Educated Obsolescence and Germinating Feminism
- Evelyn Gordon Bodek
- Feminist Studies, Vol. 3, No. 3/4 (Spring - Summer, 1976), pp. 185-199
- Biographical Sketches of Principal Bluestocking Women
- Anna Miegon
- The Huntington Library Quarterly, Vol. 65, No. 1/2, Reconsidering the Bluestockings (2002), pp. 25-37
Readers of a romantic disposition may recall the scene in Ivanhoe, when Rebecca, the beautiful and intellectual Jewess, is accused of witchcraft because she speaks Hebrew. Apparently the character may have been inspired by the real life bluestocking, Rebecca Gratz, a preeminent Jewish American educator and philanthropist who was the first Jewish female college student in the United States.
More recently, the vitriol heaped on the highly intelligent, beautiful and charming Gail Trimble, always correctly attired in classic and timeless garb, has led to the suggestion that she should be burnt as a witch (this article is of course a spoof, but it's a spoof of the actual sexual innuendo and general opprobrium that was heaped on her merely for being an intellectual).
Tuesday, 3 March 2009
- Patrick Leigh Fermor - travel writer, wit, raconteur, war hero (SOE), swam the Hellespont at age 70
- Lawrence Durrell - travel writer
- WB Yeats - poet, intellectual, occultist
- Edward Carpenter - gay genius, poet, intellectual, occultist
- E M Forster - novelist
- Alan Turing - gay genius and IT pioneer
- Eddie Izzard - now there's a man who knows how to cross-dress
- Stephen Fry - bon viveur, wit, intellectual
- Never wear anything that actually is in fashion;
- Tweed is good (but not twinsets, and certainly not pearls);
- Waistcoats are good - somewhere to store gadgetry. Remember to leave the bottom button undone (out of respect to George III, who left his undone to accommodate his girth);
- Gadgetry is good; always remember to carry your Swiss Army Knife and your pocket watch;
- Handbags - large, practical and roomy; capable of holding several books and doubling as a weapon in extremis (as demonstrated by the redoubtable Olive Hawthorne, who hit a would-be assailant over the head with her reticule - which happened to contain her crystal ball);
- Trousers (often referred to as bloomers) are just the thing for ladies of a practical disposition;
- Hatpins - never go out without one;
- Frills and flounces are out.
Monday, 2 March 2009
- Flora Poste - The Higher Common Sense - need we say more?
- Stella Gibbons, wit, author, genius
- Granny Weatherwax - for sheer attitude (fictional witch)
- Gertrude Stein and Alice B Toklas - proper bluestocking names
- Leonora Carrington - fabulous paintings
- Radclyffe Hall - rather too keen to be a chap, but splendid taste in hats
- Celia Fiennes - lady explorer
- The Pankhursts, and all the Suffragettes
- Mary Wollstonecraft - early feminist
- Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley - first SF writer
- Augusta Ada Byron - lady genius and programmer of the Babbage Difference Engine
- Amelia Earheart - pilot
- Josephine Baker - artiste
- Octavia Hill - co-founder of the National Trust
- Olive Hawthorn - fictional witch in Doctor Who
- Gwen Raverat - artist
- Annie Horniman - occultist
- Florence Farr - actress & occultist
- Female occultists generally
- The Pre-Raphaelite women artists
- Hypatia of Alexandria - philosopher
- Marie Curie - scientist
- Women scientists generally
- Artemisia Gentileschi - Renaissance artist
- Dorothy Parker - wit and raconteuse
- Gertrude von Petzold - first woman to be ordained (Unitarian)
- Hildegard of Bingen - female mystic & artist
- Mrs Seacole - female doctor in the Crimea
In mid-18th-century England, any of a group of women who met to discuss literature. Attempting to replace the playing of cards and such social activities with more intellectual pursuits, they held "conversations" to which they invited men of letters and members of the aristocracy with literary interests. The term probably originated when Mrs. Elizabeth Vesey invited the learned Benjamin Stillingfleet to one of her parties; he declined, saying he lacked appropriate dress, until she told him to come "in his blue stockings" — the ordinary worsted stockings he was wearing at the time. The word bluestocking came to be applied derisively to a woman who affects literary or learned interests.
According to Wikipedia:
The Blue Stockings Society was created in imitation of the French society of the same name, but emphasizing education and mutual co-operation rather than the individualism which marked the French version.
The Society was founded in the early 1750s by Elizabeth Montagu and others as a women's literary discussion group, a revolutionary step away from traditional non-intellectual women's activities. They invited various people to attend, including botanist, translator and publisher Benjamin Stillingfleet. One story tells that Stillingfleet was not rich enough to have the proper formal dress, which included black silk stockings, so he attended in everyday blue worsted stockings. The term came to refer to the informal quality of the gatherings and the emphasis on conversation over fashion.
n. - blåstrømpe, kvindelig intellektuel