"The Politics of Fiction" by Elif Shafak
"We often talk about how stories change the world, but we should also see how the world of identity politics affects the way stories are being circulated, read and reviewed. Many authors feel this pressure, but non-Western authors feel it more heavily. If you’re a woman writer from the Muslim world, like me, then you are expected to write the stories of Muslim women and, preferably, the unhappy stories of unhappy Muslim women. You’re expected to write informative, poignant and characteristic stories and leave the experimental and avant-garde to your Western colleagues. What I experienced as a child in that school in Madrid is happening in the literary world today. Writers are not seen as creative individuals on their own, but as the representatives of their respective cultures: a few authors from China, a few from Turkey, a few from Nigeria. We’re all thought to have something very distinctive, if not peculiar."
Non-Profit Works With Getty Images to Improve How Women Are Represented in Stockphotos.
"There is the businesswoman, wearing a suit and glasses and holding a briefcase. There is the mother, smiling as she pours milk into her children’s cereal bowls at the breakfast table. There is the multitasker, holding a laptop in one hand and a baby in the other.
These stock images are familiar to anyone who has seen an advertisement or flipped through a magazine or brochure illustrating working women and families. And their ubiquity is hurting girls and women by feeding into old-fashioned stereotypes, says Sheryl Sandberg, the Facebook executive who has become an advocate for women achieving leadership roles.
To try to remedy the problem, Ms. Sandberg’s nonprofit organization, LeanIn.org, is to announce on Monday a partnership with Getty Images, one of the biggest providers of stock photography, to offer a special collection of images that it says represent women and families in more empowering ways.”
(Source: The New York Times)
In 1967, Kathrine Switzerwas the first woman to enter and complete the Boston Marathon as a numbered entry. She registered under the gender-neutral name of “K.V. Switzer”. After realizing that a woman was running, race organizer Jock Semple went after Switzer shouting, “Get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers.” however, Switzer’s boyfriend and other male runners provided a protective shield during the entire Marathon. These photographs taken of the incident made world headlines.