Author: Maria Dintino

Willa Cather’s My Ántonia: An Unusually Beautiful Read

I thoroughly enjoyed my recent reading of Willa Cather’s 1918 novel My Ántonia. There is something soothingly beautiful about it, in part due to the nostalgic quality the narrator, Jim, brings to the story. Jim is thinking back over his childhood, growing up the late 1800s on the Nebraskan plains and in the town of Black Hawk. He tells the story from his perspective, this perspective crafted by Cather, of course. A central figure in Jim’s past is Ántonia, an immigrant from Bohemia, a girl he grows up with and always admires and loves. Well, mostly. There are those...

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Happy 100th Birthday to Betty Friedan!

On February 4, 2021, Betty Friedan would have turned 100 years old. Although she passed away 15 years ago (on her birthday, a 1-in-2,800 chance!), she has not been forgotten, and there are those working in an intentional way to keep her legacy alive. Often called ‘the mother of second wave feminism’ (1960s to 1980s), Betty Friedan had a “passion for the possible,” and persevered in moving the needle toward greater gender equality as much as one woman could. Far from perfect, yet brave, bold, and driven, this “visionary” accomplished more than is often realized. Her book The Feminine...

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Justice Ginsburg Day: Honoring the ‘Judicial Giant’

Monday, March 15 would have been Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s 88th birthday. Justice Ginsburg passed away last year, on September 18, 2020. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, it makes sense her birthplace would mobilize quickly to honor her this year. March 15 is now declared Justice Ginsburg Day in Brooklyn and a 6-foot bronze statue of the late Supreme Court Justice was unveiled last Friday, March 12, at City Point Brooklyn, allowing people to reserve tickets for safe viewing over this past weekend and on her birthday. (Credit for the featured image above goes to...

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Sovereign Self by Acharya Shunya (2020)

After listening to Acharya Shunya discuss her latest book Sovereign Self: Claim Your Inner Joy and Freedom with the Empowering Wisdom of the Vedas, Upanishads, and Bhagavad Gita, I was intrigued enough to order a copy. When it arrived and I held it in my hands, I became skeptical wondering what I may have bought into and I ended up with temporary buyer’s remorse. Over the past months, I had felt bombarded by articles, social media posts, emails, courses, and books, all about self-improvement, touting the magic pill or the 3-quick-and-easy things I should do to become a better...

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Truth Be Told! Years of Infamy: The Untold Story of America’s Concentration Camps by Michi (Nishiura) Weglyn (1926-1999)

The article 5 Japanese-American Women Your History Book Ignored by journalist Nina Wallace piqued my interest. Wallace leads off: “From African American activists critical to the 1963 March on Washington to the Japanese American women among the 120,000 wrongly imprisoned by a panic-stricken and – let’s be honest – racist United States government after Pearl Harbor, history has a nasty tendency of suppressing the role women played in major social movements throughout the 20th century. “As an antidote to this historical stifling of strong female voices, here’s a little herstory lesson about five women whose World War II incarceration...

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Carol Ruckdeschel: “Tireless defender of sea turtles” (American b. 1941)

I happened to catch a January 13, 2021 For the Wild podcast titled Carol Ruckdeschel on Keeping Cumberland Island Wild. In this interview, Ruckdeschel describes the ongoing fragmentation of the wilderness protections she and others have fought so hard to establish over the years to protect Georgia’s most biologically diverse barrier islands. But the biggest risk for these islands and their inhabitants is the looming development of Spaceport Camden, a proposed rocket launch site in Camden County, Georgia. I urge you to listen to the podcast and scroll to the bottom of this For the Wild page to the Take Action section...

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Katalin Karikó: The biochemist who persisted!

I happened to stumble onto the story of this incredible woman whose resilience and persistence have yielded such a relevant contribution to science and medicine, one that we all will benefit from, now and in the future. We need to learn from her story. Yes, she is extraordinary, but what she endured is unacceptable. We can and must do better. “Usually, at that point, people just say goodbye and leave because it’s so horrible,” said Katalin Karikó(FRANCE 24). What if she had thrown her arms up in the air and walked away? And what about those who do just say...

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Matilda Joslyn Gage: In Her Name, American (1826-1898)

A few weeks back, I came upon a term I had not heard before, the ‘Matilda Effect’. It’s defined as: a bias against acknowledging the achievements of those women scientists whose work is attributed to their male colleagues (Wikipedia). This term was coined by science historian Margaret W. Rossiter in 1993, in her essay The Matthew Matilda Effect in Science. The Matthew Effect, labeled in 1948 and credited to Robert K Merton, and later to Harriet Zuckerman as well, refers to the way that: eminent scientists will often get more credit than a comparatively unknown researcher, even if their...

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Welcome, Controversy. We’ve been expecting you.

We’ve been waiting months for the delayed unveiling of Maggi Hambling’s sculpture honoring Mary Wollstonecraft, “foremother of feminism.” Here’s our post about this sculpture from February 2020, Visibility Matters: A Statue for Mary Wollstonecraft, and one about Mary Wollstonecraft posted earlier, Mary Wollstonecraft: A Wild Wish. This sculpture was finally unveiled in London on November 10, 2020, and, as anticipated, ignited fiery debate. Bee Rowlatt, chair of Mary on the Green, an organization involved in fundraising for over a decade, had this to say following the 2018 selection of Hambling’s work: “This mould-breaking work of art will provoke debate,...

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