E-Sources on Women & Gender

Compiled by JoAnne Lehman

[From Feminist Collections v.28, no.3 (Spring 2007).]

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Our website (http://womenst.library.wisc.edu/) includes recent issues of this column, plus many bibliographies, a database of women-focused videos, and links to hundreds of other websites by topic.

Information about electronic journals and magazines, particularly those with numbered or dated issues posted on a regular schedule, can be found in our “Periodical Notes” column.

A Mix of Websites

“We say that a small group of women can make mountains move. That was the lesson of CWLU workgroups in health, education, employment, and gay rights, to name a few. There we created the ideas and actions that helped women liberate each other from oppressive beliefs and old social habits.” The CHICAGO WOMEN'S LIBERATION UNION HERSTORY WEBSITE http://www.uic.edu/orgs/cwluherstory/ — is an online historical archive documenting and celebrating the activities of the CWLU from 1969 through 1977. Included are the life stories — in text, audio, or video format — of many former members and associates of the union.

TV actress Mariska Hartigay started THE JOYFUL HEART FOUNDATION after her role on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit “opened my eyes to the epidemic of sexual assault in this country.” The foundation works directly with a limited number of survivors through retreats (which include swimming with dolphins) and counseling programs, but offers many other resources to all through its website at http://www.joyfulheartfoundation.org .

One of the resources the Joyful Heart Foundation recommends is PANDORA'S AQUARIUM , “ an online support group, message board and chat room for survivors of sexual violence,” at http://www.pandys.org. Pandora's is inclusive: “Even if you're not sure how to define what happened, you are welcome in our support community.” For the safety of participants, the forums are moderated, and users must register. The site's name, taken from a Tori Amos song, “symbolizes the danger of silence after sexual abuse and rape. When we are silent, we drown. When we don't use our voices, we're only half alive.”

The NATIONAL CLEARINGHOUSE ON ACADEMIC WORKLIFE (http://www.academicworklife.org) at the University of Michigan's Center for the Education of Women is a database of articles, research and policy reports, policies, demographics, websites, and narratives on institutional policy change related to “modern academic work and related career issues, including tenure track and non-tenure track appointments, benefits, climate and satisfaction, work/life balance, and policy development.”

The WOMEN'S NATIONAL BOOK ASSOCIATION, which “ exists to promote reading and to support the role of women in the community of the book,” celebrates its ninetieth birthday this fall. Although the association's website at http://www.wnba-books.org/ primarily serves its members, there are pages of interest to all of us, including such bibliographies as “ Seventy-Five Books by Women Whose Words Have Changed the World” and “Eighty Books for Twenty-first Century Girls.”

It was covered in this column in 1999, but deserves a new mention: the WOMEN'S SPORTS FOUNDATION website, http://www.womenssportsfoundation.org, is packed with information and inspiration. Find out what's happening to the International Olympic Committee's controversial “gender verification” procedures, how to get involved in eliminating homophobia in sports, how to recognize the debilitating condition known as “female athlete triad,” what your rights as a girl or woman are under Title IX, and a lot more.

Cancer Blogs and “Sick Chick” Communities

CHEMO CHICKS — “empowering women with cancer and their loved ones with style, humor, and dignity” — is a retail site offering “a catalogue of solutions for dealing with baldness, make-up problems, fashion alternatives and helpful tips for women living with cancer,” but it's also an information and support resource, with links, articles, and personal stories: http://www.chemochicks.com/.

“If you're a sick chick in search of like-minded folks — the kind of people who are living well in spite of illness —” you'll be in good company at CHRONICBABE (http://www.chronicbabe.com), “an online community for younger women with chronic health issues.” “Editrix” Jenni Prokopy, a self-described “hottie” who for years has managed fibromyalgia, asthma, anxiety, Raynaud's phenomenon, and GERD in addition to living the rest of life fully, started the site two years ago. She writes blog-like entries and also posts essays by other “babes.” Some of the articles: “What does a migraine look like? Bodyworlds offers some perspective”; “DisAdventure! Advice for world travelers (and would-be travelers) with disabilities and chronic conditions”; “Pregnancy and high blood pressure”; “Managing a mean manager: How one babe balanced her career AND her health”; “Check out my new ultra-foxy inhaler”; “Chronically Sexy: heavy machinery (or, good vibes even with chronic hand pain).”

Finally, the personal experiences of three different women living with cancer, all on BLOGSPOT.COM :

1. AS THE TUMOR TURNS — “not for the squeamish or faint of heart” — is by “a single woman in my fifties, in debt, no income, no health insurance, and then that grapefruit-sized tumor wedged between my lungs turns out to be a highly aggressive stage IV lymphoma. How much worse can it get? Bwahahaha! Stay tuned and find out.” http://spinningtumor.blogspot.com

2. CANCER BITCH — “one feminist's report on her breast cancer, beginning with semi-diagnosis. You don't have to be Jewish to love Levy's rye bread. And you don't have to have cancer to read Cancer Bitch.” http://cancerbitch.blogspot.com

3. COWGIRL ATTITUDE — “A Nashville, Tennessee, girl now in Chicago (well, Berwyn) gets colon cancer. And lives to blog about it. (If you don't like to read about poop, this is not the blog for you; it IS colon cancer.)” http://cowgirlattitude.blogspot.com

A Digitized Book Collection

PLAYING HOUSE: HOMEMAKING FOR CHILDREN at http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/History.ChildHomeEc is a digital collection at the University of Wisconsin libraries of five volumes of housekeeping instruction for young girls, published in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries: Six Little Cooks, or, Aunt Jane's Cooking Class , by Elizabeth Stansbury Kirkland (1877); Training the Little Home Maker by Kitchengarden Methods , by Mabel Louise Keech (1912); Housekeeping , by Elizabeth Hale Gilman (1916); Things Girls Like To Do , also by Gilman (1917); and Betty's Scrapbook of Little Recipes for Little Cooks: Saved from Wisconsin Agriculturist and Farmer (1930s).

Documents to Download

Camille Pampell Conaway & Anjalina Sen, BEYOND CONFLICT PREVENTION: HOW WOMEN PREVENT VIOLENCE AND BUILD SUSTAINABLE PEACE. Global Action to Prevent War, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, October 2005. 114p. http://www.globalactionpw.org/Resolution1325/CONFLICT_PREVENTION_REPORT.pdf

Karen Messing & Piroska Östlin, GENDER EQUALITY, WORK AND HEALTH: A REVIEW OF THE EVIDENCE. World Health Organization, 2006. 46p. http://www.who.int/gender/documents/Genderworkhealth.pdf

IRAQWOMEN'S RIGHTS UNDER ATTACK: OCCUPATION, CONSTITUTION AND FUNDAMENTALISMS. Women Living Under Muslim Laws, Occasional Paper 15, 2006. 36p. http://wluml.org/english/pubs/pdf/occpaper/web-ocp15-e.pdf

LESBIAN AND BISEXUAL WOMEN'S HEALTH: COMMON CONCERNS, LOCAL ISSUES. Brussels, Belgium : International Lesbian and Gay Association, 2006. 67p., in 12 PDF files. http://doc.ilga.org/ilga/publications/publications_in_english/other_publications/lesbian_and_bisexual_women_s_health_report

MADE BY WOMEN: GENDER, THE GLOBAL GARMENT INDUSTRY AND THE MOVEMENT FOR WOMEN WORKERS' RIGHTS. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Clean Clothes Campaign, 2005. 128p. http://www.cleanclothes.org/ftp/made_by_women.pdf

Monograph Series on GENDER, GOVERNANCE AND DEMOCRACY. Manila , Philippines : ISIS International, 2005. VOLUME 1: WOMEN IN POLITICS (“Strategies to Enhance Women's Political Representation in Different Electoral Systems,” by Drude Dahlerup; “Women in Politics and Governance: Complex Challenges from Globalisation,” by Josefa ‘Gigi' Francisco). 52p. http://www.isiswomen.org/downloads/Printed_version_Mono1.pdf. VOLUME 2: PEACE AND SECURITY (“Women, Peace and Security: Perspectives from Asia Theorising and Practising Peace and Security,” by Anuradha M. Chenoy; “French Women of Migrant Descent: Between the Religious Extreme Right and a Coward Left,” by Marieme Hélie-Lucas). 56p. http://www.isiswomen.org/downloads/Printed_version_Mono2.pdf. VOLUME 3: GENDER AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE (“The Universal Joker: Trade Liberalisation, the Labour Market and Women's Work — Experiences in Europe,” by Christa Wichterich; “The Challenge of International Trade to Women in Politics,” by Marina Fe Durano & Raijeli Nicole). 46p. http://www.isiswomen.org/downloads/Printed_version_Mono3.pdf

Evelyne Accad, Pinar Ilkkaracan, Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, Dina Siddiqi, & Zeina Zaatiri, OF WAR, SIEGE, AND LEBANON: WOMEN'S VOICES FROM THE MIDDLE EAST AND SOUTH ASIA. Women for Women's Human Rights, Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies, 2006. 22p. http://www.brusselstribunal.org/pdf/WarSiegeLebanonWomen.pdf

A Virtual Gallery

THE DOLL REVOLT: A DIGITAL EXHIBITION OF GIRL-MADE ARTWORKS at http://www.dollrevolt.org is sponsored by the Girls and Their Allies Caucus of the National Women's Studies Association, which premiered this exhibit at its 2006 conference. From the “Curators' Statement”: “Why do girls need their own space?...Emerging feminist artists whose work areas are not defined by the gallery system need a place to show...A gallery that provides space to trace the pedagogical imperatives of the iconic pop girl goes beyond a place to gather evidence and make assumptions. It also offers viewers a way to keep their eyes on the prize...A gallery devoted to the products [a] girl makes both celebrates her creative capacities and foregrounds her situated responses to living in the world...Viewers can come here to learn about girls, to interrogate their works, and to leave traces of their experience in marks of their own.” Oddly, though, the artists featured here all seem to be grown-ups, with very adult artist statements full of “academese.” What happened to the girls?

And A Whole Other World...

YOUTUBE. Searching for the phrase “women's studies” at http://www.youtube.com results in a list of about seventy-five videos, ranging in length from six seconds to more than ten minutes. Some were made as student projects for women's studies or gender studies classes; some are PR pieces or event documentation produced by university departments; there are a few segments of “Addie Stan on the State of Feminism” from PoliticsTV.com; some are completely personal ventures. A couple are anti-feminist rants. Only one is an “Ali G” segment (although it's the one with the most hits). And a few are trailers for an upcoming...horror film. Explore if you dare.