Moving to Flipboard

This is my last post for everyWoman blog using Blogger platform. Moving forward, I'm going to use Flipboard magazine. Please follow the new everyWoman magazine there :-) Been a good run! Thank you,!


Presenting our new Flipboard magazine:
View my Flipboard Magazine.

'The Feminist Housewife' Is Such Bullshit

Taken from here.

It's not a coincidence that one week after Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In gave feminism a much-needed reboot and sparked a national conversation about the innate gender biases that need to be dismantled so that professional women can achieve their full potential, New York Magazine pooped our party with an incendiary cover story about the "legions" of "feminist housewives" who're "having it all by choosing to stay home." Choosy feminists choose choice! And I'm choosing to roll my eyes. More »

Horribly Hilarious Children’s Book Explains the Debt Crisis: Government Is a Dragon That Wants to Eat Your Money

Taken from here.

It's almost impossible for adults to engage in an intelligent conversation about the debt crisis, mostly owing to the fact that nobody ever really seems to know what's behind the debt crisis. "Argh, bloated government spending!" "Argh, stupid tax breaks for the wealthy!" How, then, might an adult go about explaining the debt crisis to a child? By reducing it to a story about a greedy, penny-hungry dragon, of course! More »

India Tourism Could Take A Hit In The Wake Of Sex Attacks On Women

Taken from here.
Taj Mahal Palace in India

India's reputation has taken a beating since December, when a 23-year-old student was fatally gang raped, which led to widespread international outrage.
Just last week another woman was gang raped — only this time, it was a Swiss tourist who was on a cycling trip with her husband.

Yesterday, a British woman jumped out of her hotel room window, reportedly to escape a sexual attack by the hotel's owner.
And though the attackers have been arrested, many people in India — including police and government officials — have blamed the victims, leaving many to question just how safe the country is.

As a result, it seems that more and more people — especially women — are being dissuaded from traveling to the country.
There are multiple discussion threads on Thorn Tree, Lonely Planet's travel forum, over whether traveling to India is safe or not. And several users said that they are considering canceling their trips for fear of their safety.
"Soon I'm planning to visit India with my boyfriend and I'm a bit concerned about safety there," a user named tiag wrote on a Thorn Tree thread. "It raises some questions, [about] what is the situation about safety in India."

Danish tourist Judith Jensen is currently traveling in India with her 10-year-old daughter and told the International Herald Tribune that she feels a "persistent sense of danger.”
“There is no question that these stories will have an impact on foreign visitors,” she told the Tribune. “Women will prefer to visit other places like Singapore or Bali or Thailand, where safety is not such a big concern.”

Several countries have also issued travel warnings, especially for women. The U.S. Department of state warns that "U.S. citizens, particularly women, are cautioned not to travel alone in India," and the British Common & Foreign Wealth Office also warns women to "use caution when travelling in India." The British Office also reminds women that "Reported cases of sexual assault against women and young girls are increasing; recent sexual attacks against female visitors in tourist areas and cities show that foreign women are also at risk."

In short, these events may wreak havoc on India's tourism industry.
Tourism is an important industry in India. About 6.3 million foreign tourists visited India in 2011, the most recent year for which data is available, according to the country's Ministry of Tourism. And in that same year, tourism generated $121 million of India’s GDP in 2011, making up about 6.4 percent of India's economy, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council.
That means that a decline in tourism could seriously hurt the economy.
Yet, tour operators and travel experts insist that the events have not affected tourism and that the country is still safe.

Praveen Syal, the managing director of Indus Travels, a travel agency specializing in trips to India, said that he does not believe that these events have impacted people's decisions to travel to India.
"We have not seen any decline in bookings to India by either women or couples/families," Syal wrote in an email. "India has always been a challenging destination for Western tourists... We have always taken precaution with our women clients to India."
Syal added that the events are rare and can be avoided with simple precautions.
"We still consider India a very safe destination even for women but like any other foreign destination we advise our clients what is safe to do and what is not. If you stay within safe boundaries in India nothing will happen," Syal added.

Harkripal Singh, a representative of the Travel Agents Association of India, a tourism lobby group, told the Wall Street Journal that he does not believe the events have affected tourism to India. However, he insisted that the organization is now doing more to protect women.
“In every country of the globe, these kinds of incidents happen from time to time,” Singh told the Wall Street Journal.

Admittedly, these events are rare and the majority of tourists travel through India without incident.
However, it's clear that the Indian government must respond to these incidents swiftly and sincerely, and prove to women that it can protect them. They can do this with a few simple actions: for one, they can stop blaming the victims and start enacting laws that will protect them. Basic reforms, like protecting married women from being raped by their husbands (which is still considered legal) and pursuing harsher sentences for rapists, will help reform India's image.
Otherwise, they can kiss their tourism industry goodbye.

SEE ALSO: Swiss Tourist Gang Raped On Bike Trip In India >

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Join the conversation about this story »

7 Cities Using Smart Technology In Unusual Ways

Taken from here.
Rio Operations Center

New technologies like big data, sensors, mobile, smart grids are changing the way cities operate.
Cities want to help you find parking spaces, avoid traffic jams, get instant help when emergencies happen.
Some cities are really leading the charge with super cool projects that show just how wonderful city life can be.

Rio de Janeiro watches all in real time

Rio built the "Rio Operations Center" to monitor events in the city in real time. The center was initially created to monitor the weather, so city officials could react faster to floods.
But it's also used to monitor any emergency event. It can spot a medical emergency on Copacabana beach and a traffic accident keeping soccer fans from Maracana stadium.

Hamburg port uses mobile apps and virtual fences

Hamburg’s port will soon be handling 25 million containers annually. All of that shipping is causing problems. Truckers spend about half of their time waiting at the terminal for an open space where they can load their cargo.
The port is using new "geofencing" tech to help. A geofence is a virtual perimeter that shows up on an app. Truckers get a mobile device that plots their location and directs them to open loading docks more quickly.
It also allows them to make mobile payments, so they don't need to leave their trucks to take care of financial transactions.

San Francisco offers free EV charging stations

San Francisco provides its citizens with lots of smart projects. One of the best is a bunch of city-owned electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.
There are three “showcase” chargers in front of City Hall, 26 stations in 12 city-owned, public parking facilities and 23 more at the airport and on Treasure Island.
The city promises that there will be no cost to use them through 2013.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Tina Turner Graces Vogue for the First Time at 73

Taken from here.
Tina Turner is on the cover of Vogue Germany. Bam. This is apparently the 73-year-old singer's first cover of any edition of Vogue, which makes this cover simply the best. [Fashionista] More »

9 stories of badass women

Taken from here.

Katie Lambert summitting Mt. Proboscis. Photo: Ben Ditto

March is Women’s History Month, a month-long celebration of groundbreaking women observed nationally in the United States, Australia, and Canada.
WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH is about women’s rights and the fight to make the world safer and better for girls and women everywhere. But it’s also about badass ladies who made advances and achievements in the arts, sciences, and sports. (Take this quiz to see how many you know.)
All month, students will study the legacy of female pioneers, and cities will host events where influential women currently making a difference — on community, national, and international levels — speak and inspire us. The theme for this year’s national awards, decided by the National Women’s History Project, is “Women Inspiring Innovation Through Imagination: Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.” As Amy Poehler says, Smart Girls Have More Fun.

At Matador, we are proud of publishing articles that celebrate strong, groundbreaking women. In the spirit of Women’s History Month, here is a collection of pieces run at Matador over the years that tell the stories of traveling women, taking risks and breaking records.

Photo: Jessica Watson
1. Jessica Watson
In 2009, we interviewed Jessica Watson, a 16-year-old who was getting ready to break the world record and become the youngest person to sail solo around the world. On preparing mentally for the journey, she told Matador, “You do what you can. You talk to the right people and you get all the advice and you can do your practice runs and all that. But when it comes down to it, there’s no way you can prepare yourself in your head for eight months alone. There’s no test for that.”
2. Katie Lambert
Matador Ambassador Katie Lambert was part of the second ever group to free climb Mt. Proboscis in a single day. She writes about the ascent, the view from the top, and the long trip back to base camp. “With less experience in this kind of setting, and as the only woman, I was concerned I would be the weak link — that I wouldn’t be able to handle the environment, that I wouldn’t like it, that it would be too cold, too hard, too much. My mind changed daily until finally I decided that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity or the adventure.”
3. Shannon Galpin
Shannon Galpin is the first woman to mountain bike in Afghanistan. In 2010, she crossed the Panjshir Valley and last year shared photos and details from her trip with Matador readers. “Afghanistan is one of the few countries in the world where women are not allowed to ride bikes.” Shannon is another Matador Ambassador and is also behind the Afghan Dreamers Project, which works to “amplify voices and broaden the view of Afghanistan at a time when most people in America want to turn their back on the region.”
4. Paige Aarhus
In Notes from a white girl journalist in Kenya, Paige Aarhus explores being a white woman in a male-dominated field, embedded in a country with a male-dominated culture. On recognizing the danger she might place herself in on the assignment, Paige asks herself, “There are always questions of: How far do I want to push it? Which risk is worth taking?”
5. Marjan Kalhor
Iran sent its first female Olympic athlete to the games in 1996, but it wasn’t until 2010 in Vancouver that a female Iranian athlete competed in the Winter Games, where she was the only woman representing her country. Marjan Kalhor, a 21-year-old alpine and slalom skier, began skiing when she was four and has been winning major awards since she was 11.
6. SheJumps
We profiled SheJumps, a nonprofit dedicated to encouraging women who want to “jump” into trying something new, in 2010. “This may mean putting on a pair of skis for the first time or working up the courage to travel solo.” Their goal is to highlight achievements by women, create a community to support each other, and provide gear and other help for women who want to try new sports.
7. Liz Clark
When David Miller interviewed Liz Clark in 2010, she had been living aboard her sailboat Swell for four years. She spent her time sailing, surfing, traveling, blogging, and meeting people wherever her boat docked. About her lifestyle she said, “The one thing that keeps it all in perspective for me is the fact that, despite being as busy as a New York stockbroker, I get to be surrounded by nature the majority of the time.”
8. Polonia Ana Choque Silvestre
Polonia Ana Choque Silvestre is a 40+-year-old indigenous Bolivian wrestler and the subject of the documentary, Mamachas del Ring, by filmmaker Betty M. Park. When Mamachas premiered in New York City in 2010, Julie Schwietert spoke with Polonia Ana, who goes by Carmen, on how wrestling has changed her life, the documentary, and the next logical step in her career: politics.
9. Muriel Johnston
In 2009, when she was 84, Muriel Johnston joined the Peace Corps as a Health Educator. In an interview with Matador before she left for Morocco, where she planned to serve for 27 months, Muriel made it clear that as a “mature” volunteer she had life experiences to draw on to enrich her volunteering, but that she was also looking forward to new experiences.

Telling women to get a gun is not rape prevention

Taken from here.

A sample tweet from my mentions since Tuesday night.

Trigger Warning
On Tuesday night, I appeared on Hannity in a segment framed around the idea that giving women guns is the solution to ending rape.  I was on with Independent Women’s Forum’s Gayle Trotter who recently made the point that women need guns for self defense from rape and gun violence prevention is infringing on their second Amendment rights, as well as, putting them at greater risk for domestic violence and rape.

Obviously, I disagreed.  Giving every woman a gun is not rape prevention.  If a woman chooses to go out and buy a legal gun for self-defense, that’s fine.  But that shouldn’t be confused with actual prevention, which is really about stopping rapes before they happen and focusing on the sole party responsible: the rapist.

Since Tuesday, I’ve been bombared by conservatives on Facebook and Twitter purposefully misquoting and misunderstanding my point in order to call me dumb, bitch, idiot, and at worst threaten to gang rape common sense into me.  Charming.
My point still stands whether conservatives want to acknowledge it or not.  So when I said:
“I think that the entire conversation is wrong. I don’t want anybody to be telling women anything. I don’t want men to be telling me what to wear and how to act, not to drink. And I don’t, honestly, want you to tell me that I needed a gun in order to prevent my rape. In my case, don’t tell me if I’d only had a gun, I wouldn’t have been raped. Don’t put it on me to prevent the rape.”  
I meant it.
Watch the clip (Transcript to come or if someone could put the transcript in the comments I will be forever in your debt):

7 Books that Celebrate Girl Power, in Honor of International Women's Day

Taken from here.

Today marks the 103rd celebration of International Women's Day, an annual day set aside to  celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women around the world. How will you celebrate with all the women - young and old - in your life? Why not volunteer in support of a local women's cause, celebrate at an International Women's Day event in your area, or curl up with your favorite girl and read a book championing girl power? Here are seven books that remind us all that girls can achieve anything they set their minds and hearts to. 

Credit Image: © Florence Low/Sacramento Bee/

View the list here.

The Life of “Julia” as a Future Standard for Women

Taken from here (an old post).
Picture 1

With Obama’s second inauguration approaching, it’s time to hold him to his campaign promises–especially those he made to women. There’s been a lot of discussion about Obama winning reelection because of women; now we need to start discussing specific actions Obama can take to create the future he imagined.

The Obama campaign began focusing on women long before politicians started making inappropriate remarks about rape, bringing women’s rights to the forefront. Last May, the Obama campaign introduced us to an avid supporter of the president named “Julia.” Julia is a fictitious young white, middle-class woman featured on the website Obama launched called “The Life of Julia.

Now that Obama is starting his second term, I thought it was worth spending a little more time with Julia to check in and see if she still has such an optimistic viewpoint. After all, now that we’re certain for awhile that politicians won’t be moving us back to the 1950s, it’s time to hold Obama to his campaign slogan promise to move us “forward.”

Unfortunately, as a 19-year-old female college student trying to launch my career, I’m not convinced that Julia’s idyllic life will be quite so easily achieved by myself or my peers.
At age 18, Julia receives a Pell Grant for college, as well as an American Opportunity Tax Credit for up to $10,000 over four years. However, the average cost of a four-year university went up 15 percent between 2008 and 2010, with public universities in states such as Georgia, Arizona and California suffered increases of 40 percent and more. These fee increases, fueled by state budget cuts for higher education, have put an added stress on families like mine, a stress that a tax credit does little to alleviate and even Pell Grants can’t cover.


I attend Scripps College, a California private school, on a half-tuition merit scholarship.  I’m one of the lucky ones who’s able to afford the education I’m receiving, and so is Julia. At age 25, Julia is well on her way to paying off her college loans, since Obama capped income-based federal student loan payments and kept interest rates low. Julia “makes her payments on time every month,” which she is able to do after starting her career as a web designer at age 23.

I hope to be so fortunate when I begin my career, for many college grads aren’t so lucky. Fifty-three percent of recent college grads are jobless or underemployed, making regular loan payments much more difficult than they are for Julia.
Even if one manages to enter the career of her choice, circumstances remain challenging for women. Among recent college graduates, full-time working women earn an average of 82 percent of what their male peers earn, according to a study released in October by the American Association of University Women. This remains true even after the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act that Obama signed at the beginning of his first term. It is crucial that Obama continues to support the Paycheck Fairness Act as well, which was voted down unanimously by Republicans in Senate in June.

By age 27, Julia has been working for four years as a web designer, and “her health insurance is required to cover birth control and preventive care, letting Julia focus on her work rather than worry about her health.” Four years later, Julie “decides” to have a child–and this word underlines that it’s a woman’s decision when or if to have a child. The word also reflects the empowered women Obama supports, as when he thanked his wife Michelle in his acceptance speech as “the woman who agreed to marry me” (an interesting contrast to Mitt Romney’s reference to his wife as “the best choice I’ve ever made” in his concession speech).

During Julia’s pregnancy, she is portrayed with her hand resting slyly on top of her stomach so as not to reveal any ring. While I respect Julia’s privacy, the real world is not as accepting of such ambiguity. Just this year, the private high school my boyfriend attended allegedly fired a teacher for getting pregnant without being married. The lawsuit is underway, but a tarnished reputation is hard to clean and a hostile employer is hard to return to.

So, while visiting with Julia has calmed my fears of a future reminiscent of The Handmaid’s Tale, I’m still afraid. I fear for entering the job market not only as a recent graduate during an economic downturn, but also as a woman. I fear for those women less lucky than white, middle class Julia and me, who can’t easily pay off their student loans or rely on their parents’ health insurance.

I’m afraid, but I’m also proud. Julia’s experience may be a privileged one, but it is also hopeful. Julia has been criticized as pandering to women, but Julia isn’t just one in a binder full of women. Julia stands for a set of promises Obama has made about the future, and it’s up to us to stand with Julia to make sure women and men of all races, classes and sexualities can get there together.

Groom tries to take wife’s last name, is grounded by Florida DMV

Taken from here.
If a woman changes her name after marriage, it’s a sign of her love and enduring commitment. (Aw…) If a man does it, he’s a fraud who’s trying to get one over on the state, and such offenses will not stand!
After Lazaro Sopena and Hanh Dinh got married, Sopena decided to change his name to Lazaro Dinh to honor his wife’s Vietnamese family surname.
“It was an act of love. I have no particular emotional ties to my last name,” Dinh (ne Sopena) told Reuters.
Dinh obtained a new passport and Social Security card, and changed his bank account and credit cards before going to the DMV to get a new driver’s license.
That’s when things got ridiculous.
More than a year later, he received a letter from Florida’s DMV accusing him of “obtaining a driver’s license by fraud,” and letting him know that his license would soon be suspended.
It turns out that the state of Florida, along with 40 other states in the U.S., lacks any kind of a streamlined system to let a man give up his father’s name to cleave to and become one with his new wife (’cause, I mean, what real man would want to, amiright?). Outside of California, New York, Hawaii, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Oregon, Iowa, Georgia, and North Dakota, he might as well be changing it to reflect his jersey number or his favorite dinosaur. That also means six of the states that recognize gay marriage still require lengthy and pricey legal processes for new husbands to take each other’s name.

The suspension was upheld in court on January 14 after Dinh produced his marriage certificate and new U.S. passport. But on Tuesday, after nearly a month riding shotgun, the Florida DMV gave him his license back, saying that it had been suspended by mistake, that “either a man or a woman can change their name” on a driver’s license, and that the DMV staff would receive training to this effect. No word on whether the judge who upheld Dinh’s suspension would receive similar training.
The takeaway: Society isn’t interested in helping you buck traditional gender roles. The missus is going to be subordinate whether she and he want it or not. Florida is a screwy state, but also not the only screwy state or the screwiest state. The English language currently lacks a male equivalent for maiden name. And if you’re going to have to jump through those name-changing hoops anyway, you might as well change both of your names to Optimus Prime.)

[A must read for all women] Having It All—2013 Style

Taken from here.

Today, one of my best friends embarks on a new adventure. After spending nearly two decades in a high-powered Wall Street career, she’s starting her own business. She’s hoping to achieve a new kind of success, one that includes plenty of quality time with her kids.

She was the last holdout among our group of friends—the last one with traditional, benefits and 401K kind of career. Every single one of the seven women who started our book club nearly a decade ago has dropped out of the corporate life to forge a new, more flexible career.

I left my fancy-office and expense-account editorial job six months after I became a mom, tired of the political intrigue of the office and too many nights where I didn’t get to kiss my baby good night. And as kids came into the picture, more and more of us grew tired of a dictated 9 to 6 (or in my friend’s case, often 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.) schedule, of missing out on preschool parties and arguing with our mates over who was taking the day off to tend to a croupy kid. And so, one by one, we bought into the 21st-century version of having it all—sacrificing job stability and benefits for the greater flexibility and autonomy that freelancing provides. We are now all guns for hire—a TV producer, a writer/editor, a personal chef/caterer, a grants writer, a content strategist, an instructor and now, a corporate communications consultant. (By the way, this isn’t just a “mom” thing—even our childless-by-choice member ditched the corporate career a few years back.)

I think we all finally realized that all that time we were sacrificing in pursuit of our ambitions wasn’t necessarily going to pay off the way we hoped. In fact, Forbes columnist Meghan Casserly pointed out that women are often are viewed as workers who value their home lives more than their work. “To prove this notion wrong, women often feel compelled to demonstrate their commitment to the extreme.” And what comes of that extra time we were putting in, to the detriment of our families? Often, nothing more than exhaustion and burnout. It’s no wonder that Forbes reports that nearly a third of women who graduate from the Harvard MBA program drop out of corporate work within 15 years of graduation. (Most of them, because of the inability to get a good work-life balance during their kids’ formative years.)

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman had an interesting post last week, about the work-life balance we lost in the decades as women entered the workforce. While in countries like France, more women in the workforce has meant that everyone’s working fewer hours and enjoying more vacation and time with the family, here in the U.S., it’s just meant that everyone’s working more hours outside the home. And more hours of work means fewer hours for living—less time for the day-to-day drudgery of cleaning and cooking and caring for our families, and much less time to squeeze in something fun with our kids, as fellow blogger Nick Shell pointed out yesterday. Somehow, I don’t think that’s what the previous generation of feminists was aiming for when they wanted us to have it all.

I’m thankful that I have a supportive spouse (with some excellent health insurance), a person who believed in me and my talent enough to gamble our financial security on a dream of greater flexibility. And it paid off in spades—as I’ve been even more successful as a freelancer than I was as a full-time editor, and I still get to slip away on occasion to read to my daughter’s kindergarten class. But sometimes I wish I had simply pushed for greater flexibility and kept the stability of that full-time gig. Because if so many of us simply drop out instead of pushing for the changes that will make work-life balance better for everyone, it isn’t going to happen.

So today, I’m celebrating with my friend. But I’m keeping an eye on what our choices may mean for our sons and daughters tomorrow.

Photo: Working mom by Vikulin /

Rihanna Confirms She’s Officially Back With Chris Brown, Would Rather Be Happy Than Admired

Taken from here.

In Rolling Stone's February cover story, which is aptly titled "Crazy In Love," Rihanna confirms what was already painfully obvious to anyone with eyes: she and Chris Brown have resumed their totally healthy and normal relationship. More »

Rihanna Confirms She’s Officially Back With Chris Brown, Would Rather Be Happy Than Admired is a post from Crushable - Entertainment, Hot Guys, Movies and Celebrity News.

The 24 Most Adorable Musician Couples In History

Taken from here.
If music be the food of love, this is an all-you-can-eat buffet.

Jay-Z and Beyoncé

Jay-Z and Beyoncé
I mean, DUH. THE ULTIMATE. The co-existence of these two perfect-style humans is capable of melting even the hardest of hearts.
Image by Win McNamee/Getty Images/MCT

Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth

Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth
When these two split in 2011 after 27 years of marriage, thousands of indie kids across the globe quit believing in love for good. < /3
Image by Astrid Stawiarz / Getty Images

Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash

Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash
These two were married from 1968 until 2003, when she died. Their duets were achingly beautiful, and so was their love story.
Image by Express Newspapers / Getty Images

Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale

Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale
It's must pretty cool to have both insane physical beauty and '90s alternative rock radio dominance in common with your spouse.
Image by Paul Hiffmeyer / Getty Images

View Entire List ›

The Hillary Clinton Guide to Being a Powerful Woman When You're Surrounded By Men

Taken from here.

It wasn't too long ago that you had to get all defensive about supporting Hillary Clinton. Now you have to defend yourself if you're not an unabashed Hil fangirl. What's her secret? We watched her joint "60 Minutes" interview with Barack Obama last night — the first time the president has shared an interview with anyone other than his wife — and took notes on how to succeed as a powerful woman working under an even more powerful man. More »

Hitler Home Movies: How Eva Braun Documented The Dictator's Life

Taken from here.

Lutz Becker was born in Berlin, he says, "during the anno diabolo, 1941. Mine was the generation that was sent into a dark pit." Meeting this survivor of the Third Reich, now in his 70s and living in Bayswater, London, it's hard to suppress the thought that Becker, a distinguished artist and film historian, has conducted most of his life in a circle of hell.

Becker's childhood passed in the fetid, terrifying atmosphere of Berlin's air-raid shelters as the Allied raids intensified and the city was reduced to burning rubble. He recalls the radio announcements – "Achtung, achtung, ende ende, über Deutschland sinfe bender. Achtung, achtung" – followed by the helter-skelter rush downstairs. When the bombs fell – even far off – "the change in the air pressure was enormous, and extraordinary," he says. "People used to bleed from the ears, the nose and the eyes. I came out deaf, with tinnitus." Today, Becker adds, "I envy children who grow up without fear."
When the war ended in 1945, Becker and his family found "a world in ruins. The bodies of soldiers lay in the streets. When you passed a bombed-out building you could hear the buzzing of bluebottles in the darkness. Death was still underneath the ruins," he remembers. The devastated, malodorous aftermath of the Third Reich left a deep psychological scar. "As a child I had been forbidden to use dirty words. Now I would stand in front of the mirror in my mother's bedroom and repeat 'shit' and 'arsehole'." He laughs at the memory. "But I was thinking of Hitler."

In some ways, Becker has been thinking about Hitler ever since, and what the Führer did to the German people. "I was raised in a world of lies," he declares. As the Second World War morphed into the Cold War, the terrible truth about one of the most evil regimes in history began to leak out. Poignantly, the first Germans to come to terms with the reality of the Third Reich were those children who had somehow survived the fall of Berlin – young men like Lutz Becker.

A gifted abstract German artist and film-maker, Becker discovered his vocation as an artist in the 1950s, when he also acquired a passion for film. In 1965, he won the Gropius prize for art and chose to spend it by transferring to the Slade, first coming to London in 1966 to study under William Coldstream. His contemporaries included the artist and filmmaker Derek Jarman. While researching his thesis, his troubled relationship with his childhood under the Third Reich found a new outlet. "It was in the Bundesarchiv," Becker recalls, "that I first unearthed a photograph of Eva Braun holding a 16mm Siemens cine-camera."

Eva Braun still exerts a strange fascination. Today, 80 years after Hitler became chancellor, Braun is both a symbol of Nordic simplicity, and also a tragic figure whose ordinariness provides a window on to the banality of evil. Postwar fascination with the Nazis means that Eva Braun still has a remarkable grip on our imagination – the little girl in the fairytale who takes us to the horror in the woods.
The woman who holds the key to the domestic face of Adolf Hitler was 17 when she was first introduced to the Führer, who was only identified as "Herr Wolff". This blind date had been set up by Hitler's personal photographer Heinrich Hoffman, for whom Eva Braun worked as an assistant.
Hoffman, who ran a photographic studio in Munich, had been instrumental in the making of Hitler's image. He ensured that Hitler was always seen as a determined, defiant and heroic figure, a man of iron. From the 1920s, Hoffman's photographs were duplicated by the million in the German press, and sold as postcards to the party faithful. When Hitler's mistress, Geli Raubal, committed suicide on 18 September 1931 in the apartment they shared in Munich, there was an urgent need to hush up a potential scandal, and give the Führer's private life the semblance of normality. Hoffman stepped in. Eva Braun bore a striking similarity to the dead woman, and Hitler took comfort in her company after Raubal's suicide. By the end of 1932, they had become lovers.

Read the rest here.

We Need More Movies Featuring Strong and Smart Girls

Taken from here.

Click here to read We Need More Movies Featuring Strong and Smart Girls

I can't agree with all points raised in this TED Talk* — The Wizard of Oz movie doesn't deliver exactly the same feminist message as the books — but I love that Stokes' talks about how movies can help teach boys to be inspired by girls. The white male normative tales don't allow much room for learning about anyone other than white men. And this world is mostly filled with people who aren't white men. So, you know, we need some new stories, and fast. Creating more movies with strong female characters is good for boys and girls, and for society as a whole. More »

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