Saturday, April 5, 2014

Radio Interview with Jennifer Lee

Jennifer Lee was interviewed on the radio by Sandi Klein.  She was asked about traveling to Pakistan with a feminist film, working at Lucasfilm, living in a Quaker Meeting House in Atlanta, GA as a teen, and about Feminist: Stories from Women's Liberation.                                                             

Saturday, March 8, 2014

VFA urges its members to TAKE ACTION on MARCH 8, 2014 with the Feminist Majority.

8 Actions for March 8: Celebrate International Women's Day With Us!
by CARMEN RIOS on Mar 6, 2014

Women all over the world will celebrate International Women's Day on Saturday, March 8, by taking action for their social, political, and economic equality. The United Nations' official IWD theme for this year is "equality for women is progress for all," and we couldn't agree more! This International Women's Day, celebrate with us by speaking out for women's rights - eight times.

1. Tell your Senator: Support CEDAW!
CEDAW has been ratified by 187 of the 193 member states of the UN, the United States is one of only seven nations that has not yet approved it, putting us in the company of Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Iran and two small Pacific islands. As a leading advocate for human rights, the US has a compelling interest to improve conditions for women. Yet, the United Sates has compromised its credibility as a world leader in both human rights and women's rights in its failure to ratify CEDAW.

Email Your Senator Now .

2. Tell President Obama: #LiftTheBan!

For many victims of war, resources provided by US humanitarian aid eases their suffering; but for victims of war rape care is limited. Survivors of war rape are denied access to comprehensive medical care that includes the option of abortion, largely because of US policy that is wrongly interpreted to place anti-abortion restrictions on humanitarian aid in conflict zones - in direct violation of international human rights and humanitarian law, including the Geneva Conventions. Girls and women systematically raped during conflict face increased rates of maternal mortality, permanent reproductive damage, and obstetric fistula, in addition to isolation and trauma. Without access to the option of abortion care, victims are forced to risk their health - either by carrying unwanted pregnancies to term, seeking dangerous methods of abortion or, in many tragic cases, taking their own lives.

Take action with Feminist Majority and the Global Justice Center to urge President Obama to issue an executive order lifting the ban on abortion restrictions in conflict zones, in accordance with the Geneva Conventions.

Send A Message to President Obama Today.

3. Tell the Supreme Court: #MyBodyMyBC!

The Affordable Care Act guarantees that all new health insurance plans cover FDA approved contraceptives, including the pill and IUDs, without co-pays or deductibles. But over 40 profit-making companies have filed lawsuits against this ACA requirement saying that they have a right to deny this coverage to their employees because of the companies' so-called religious beliefs.

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments March 25 regarding whether companies can take away this important birth control benefit from women. Send a clear message to the Supreme Court that companies should not be able to use religion as cover to discriminate against women.

Sign The Open Letter Today.

4. And Show Up to Tell the SCOTUS: Let Women, Not Bosses, Decide!

Folks will be meeting on Tuesday, March 25 outside of the Supreme Court building to make their voices heard in this important debate - and you should be there! Come around 8:30 AMand bring your own signs!

RSVP Today.


Women all over the world will celebrate International Women’s Day on Saturday, March 8, by taking action for their social, political, and economic equality. The United Nations’ official IWD theme for this year is “equality for women is progress for all,” and we couldn’t agree more! This International Women’s Day, celebrate with us by speaking out for women’s rights – eight times.

Take action with us for International Women's Day and support equality around the world.

In Solidarity,

1600 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 801, Arlington, VA, 22209 | 703.522.2214 |
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TEXAS MEMBER, Verne Crabtree's daughter, Carol Donovan, is running (as a democrat) for the Texas House from Dallas, District 107.

Please help her if you can.

Her address is: 6333 E. Mockingbird Lane, Suite 147, Lock Box 800 Dallas, TX 75214.


Friday, March 7, 2014

Living history portrayals of inspiring women in their own words, stunningly acted and filmed

What if all the wise, funny and notable women who have marked our lives from antiquity to modern times were to come alive? See it happen in unforgettable portrayals by historian and actress Elaine Partnow. With authentic costumes and realistic locations, Elaine--author of 17 books and performer at well over 500 venues internationally--breathes life into notable and fabulous women of the ancient and recent past. Placed in historical context, scripted from each woman’s own words, you will see these great women in action.

With a modest and achievable budget of $13,375, we will produce twelve webisodes, each a stand-alone for the Internet; we will also combine them into two web series, about 45 minutes each, made available on DVD, ready for the classroom, discussion groups, and civic organizations. A great tie-in for National Women's History Month and other womanly celebrations.

For more information on how to contribute to the Kickstarter campaign visit this link:


Thursday, February 13, 2014


With great joy, I announce that "Is Anybody Listening," -(theme song of The Welcome Johnny and Jane Home ), with lyrics by me, Paula Joan Caplan; and Patricia Lee Stotter, and music by Patricia Lee Stotter and Tim Leitch can be heard here -- .

It is now at (Scroll down to just below the slide show of people wearing "Listen to a veteran" t-shirts.

Please listen to it, let me know what you think, post the link on Facebook and tweet it if you wish, and in any other ways let people know about it.



Judy Kaplan's New Blog


Monday, January 20, 2014

VFA Recommended Books


Global Feminism in One Place? It’s Possible!

This article appeared on Women's Media Center on January 2, 2014

By Patricia Valoy | January 2, 2014

If you’ve been looking for a way to connect with other feminists and organizations worldwide, there’s a new tool to enable you to do just that:The Feminist Network Project. The Network was created by a group of feminist activists who met this past May at the World Social Forum in Tunis. The group of five women—from Canada, France, Morocco, Spain, and Tunisia—came from very different backgrounds but shared a common vision: to create a means for feminists from many countries to connect and communicate. They recognized that the more that individuals and small, local groups can connect with each other, the more they build their strength and reach.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Gloria Steinem Receives the Medal of Freedom

I was going to put the story of Gloria receiving the Medal of Freedom on our website, saying it was really a medal for the entire Movement, but she beat me to it! She accepted the Medal of Freedom for the feminist movement!

@GloriaSteinem says her Presidential Medal of Freedom is "for the entire women's movement"

'If We Each Have a Torch, There's a Lot More Light': Gloria Steinem Accepts the Presidential Medal of Freedom
"I'd be crazy if I didn't understand that this is a medal for the entire women’s movement," Steinem told a gathering at the National Press Club Monday.Read more at

Sunday, November 10, 2013


Note: Please contact the Oak Institute for Human Rights at Colby College with any questions.

phone: 207-859-5305

Dear Colleague,

I am writing as the director of the Oak Institute for Human Rights at Colby College to ask for your help in our search for a 2014 Oak Fellow.

The formal announcement is in our brochure, which is attached as a PDF file. You can also access it and additional information about the Oak Institute at our website:

Every fall, we host a human rights activist doing on-the-ground work at some level of personal risk and organize a series of programs around her or his area of expertise. The Fellowship is designed to give that activist a respite from her or his difficult work and spend a semester in residence at the College, exposing our community to the human rights issues on which the Fellow works.

The fellowship has a different geographical or thematic focus each year. This year, we are looking for an activist working on GENDER AND HUMAN RIGHTS.

Much-needed Women and Media Conference Energizes, Inspires

Today's Sexism and Ways to End It Displayed at VFA Event
Published on September 14, 2013 by Paula J. Caplan, Ph.D. in Science Isn't Golden

It had been way too long since I had been in a room where it was clear you could say you support equal rights, even say you are a feminist, and not have to explain, justify, or defend what you said. And when much time has passed between such events, it's hard to remember how energizing, inspiring, warming, and hilarious they are. That's why I consider myself lucky to have attended the spectacular conference on women and the media recently put on by Zoe Nicholson and her conference committee for Veteran Feminists of America ( ). The other committee members were Lindsey Horvath, Martha Wheelock, Jane Guthrie, Melinda Tremaglio, Zury Chavez, Chelsea Del Rio, and Alma Alegria.

Women gain as gender gap 'narrows'

This article previously appeared in the BBC News on October 24, 2013

The gap between men and women has narrowed slightly in the past year in most countries, according to a World Economic Forum (WEF) report.

Iceland, Finland and Norway top the list of 136 nations, based on political participation, economic equality and rights like education and health.

The Middle East and North Africa were the only regions not to improve in the past year, with Yemen at the bottom.

The Philippines and Nicaragua both feature in the top 10.



JUSTICES ARE MEMBERS OF NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN BOARD IN 1974. Left to right, Ann Scott, Joan EvansGardner, Muriel Fox, Jacqui Ceballos, Wilma Scott Heide, Karen DeCrow, Nola Claire, Dorothy Haener and Toni Carabillo. All, except Nola Claire, were members of the NOW board. Muriel Fox, Jacqui Ceballos, Karen DeCrow and Nola Claire are the only ones alive today

We owe this photo to Karen DeCrow, then NOW's newly elected president. At the time the idea of women being named to the Supreme Court was remote.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Ladies Last: 8 Inventions by Women That Dudes Got Credit For

October 15 is Ada Lovelace Day , named for the world's first computer programmer and dedicated to promoting women in STEM—science, technology, engineering, and math. A Victorian-era mathematical genius, Lovelace was the first to describe how computing machines could solve math problems, write new forms of music, and much more, if you gave them instructions in a language they could understand. Of course, over the ensuing 100-plus years, dudes have been lining up to push her out of the picture (more on that below).

Lovelace is hardly the only woman to be erased from the history of her own work. Here's a quick look at eight women whose breakthroughs were marginalized by their peers.

(This isn't a complete list, by tragically epic degrees. Please use the comments section to rail about everyone we missed.)

Rosalind Franklin Wikimedia Commons

​Rosalind Franklin, discovery of the DNA double helix: Watson and Crick's famed article in Nature on the discovery of the DNA double-helix structure, which would win them a Nobel Prize, buries a mention of Rosalind Franklin's role in the footnotes. But Franklin, a British biophysicist who had honed a technique to closely observe molecules using X-ray diffraction, was the first to capture a photographic image of deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, known as Photo 51. An estranged male colleague of Franklin's at King's College showed her photograph to competitors Watson and Crick, without her permission. Photo 51 became crucial in shaping their thesis, but it would take Watson 40 years to admit this publicly. Franklin, known as the "dark lady of DNA ," shifted her focus to the study of RNA, and made important strides before her death from cancer in 1958, four years before Watson and Crick received the Nobel.

Ada Lovelace, computer programming: The daughter of Lord Byron, Lovelace was steered toward math by her mother, who feared her daughter would follow in her father’s "mad, bad, and dangerous " literary footsteps. Luckily, she loved the subject, and remained devoted throughout her brief life—she died in 1852 at age 36, soon after an ambitious, proto-Moneyball attempt to beat the odds at horse racing by developing mathematical models to help place her bets.

Ada Lovelace Wikimedia Commons

When she was barely 20, she started collaborating with the inventor Charles Babbage at the University of London on his "Analytical Engine," an early model of a computer. In 1843, she added extensive notes of her own to a paper on Babbage's machine, detailing how the Engine could be fed step-by-step instructions to do complicated math, and trained to work not only with numbers but also words and symbols "to compose elaborate and scientific pieces of music of any degree of complexity or extent."

The notes are considered the first descriptions of what we now call algorithms and computer programming, and for decades, historians have argued over whether Lovelace came up with them herself, or Babbage was somehow the real author. "Ada was as mad as a hatter, and contributed little more to the 'Notes' than trouble," writes one historian, and a "manic depressive with the most amazing delusions about her own talents." But Babbage's own memoir suggests she deserved credit for the "the algebraic working out of the different problems," and more recently she's been honored with, among other things, a British medal of honor, a Google Doodle , a tunnel boring machine in London, and her own annual celebration. In 2011, the Ada Initiative was founded to help promote women in computer science and open-source technology.

Margaret Knight, paper bag machine: The paper bag machine, which is exactly what it sounds like, doesn't get as much love as the nuclear fission or the computer, and it probably shouldn't—it's a convenient but hardly breathtaking way to carry sandwiches. But Knight's invention, in 1868, is notable for the fight she went through to get credit. Her patent designs were quickly stolen by a man, who sought to have the patent issued in his name by arguing that a woman was incapable of such a breakthrough. It took three years, but Knight eventually won the case in court.

Margaret Knight's paper bag machine Wikimedia Commons

Elizabeth Magie, Monopoly: Charles Darrow, an unemployed heating salesman, traditionally gets credit for America's favorite homage to extortionist landlords. But as PBS discovered in 2004 , the board game actually had its start nearly three decades earlier when Magie, an acolyte of the economist Henry George, secured to the patent to The Landlord's Game. For her efforts in creating the country's most popular board game she received just $500 from Parker Brothers.

From Magie's original designs Wikimedia Commons

Judy Malloy, hypertext fiction: A self-taught computer programmer, conceptual artist, and single mom working at a tech company in the early days of Silicon Valley, Malloy self-published a short story called Uncle Roger in 1986.It's a wry take on California tech culture through the eyes of an eccentric computer chip salesman, and at the time, the experience of readingUncle Roger was totally new. It lived online (and still does ), and the reader clicked through fragments of the story in whatever order they chose, twisting and reshaping the narrative along the way. Malloy created an elaborate new database system to tell her story, with 32 UNIX shells and a sophisticated search engine for its time. But in 1992, a New York Times book critic crowned the young novelist Michael Joyce's afternoon, a story as the "granddaddy of full-length hypertext fictions ," though Uncle Roger came first and Malloy's piece was acclaimed by the emerging digital art community as the earliest notable example of the form.

Lise Meitner Wikimedia Commons

Lise Meitner, nuclear fission: A student of Max Plank and the first German woman to hold a professorship at a German university, Meitner was forced to flee the country because of her Jewish ancestry. But she continued corresponding with her research partner, Otto Hahn, from Scandinavia, and in 1938 they firstarticulated the idea of nuclear fission, which five years later would give rise to the atomic bomb. But Hahn left her name off his landmark paper, and when the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences recognized the breakthrough in 1944, they gave the prize in chemistry to Hahn. Meitner eventually earned a more exclusive honor, though; in 1994 she was honored with an element—meitnerium, or Mt on the Periodic Table.

Candace Pert, opioid receptor: When Pert, then a graduate student at Johns Hopkins, protested that her professor, Dr. Solomon Snyder, had received an award for her discovery of the receptor allows opiates to lock into the brain, Snyder's response was curt: "That's how the game is played. " Pert protested in a formal letter to the award committee ("As a graduate student who played a key role in initiating the research and following it up") and then, having thoroughly revolutionized neuroscience, got back to work. She was working toward a more effective treatment of Alzheimer's when she died in September.

Martha Coston, signal flares: Coston was officially listed as "administratix" on the 1961 patent that revolutionized communication between US Navy vessels.Official credit for the invention went to her husband, Benjamin Franklin Coston—never mind that he had been dead for the 10 years she had worked with pyrotechnic engineers to turn his idea into a reality. (She received a patent in her own name, 12 years later, for a modified system.)