RIP Doris Gibson, plus round up

// 31 August 2008

The woman who founded Caretas, which the BBC describes as “Peru’s leading news magazine”, has died aged 98.

Doris Gibson is profiled on the radio show ‘From Our Own Correspondent’:

She began with 10,000 soles (£2,066), which her uncle had given her, and a typewriter in a single room.

The magazine was going to be called Caras y Caretas – faces and masks – but as Peru was under a military dictatorship at the time they decided to call it just Caretas to symbolise the repression they were living under.

They planned to revert to the original title after the dictatorship but it never happened.

She got one of Peru’s first divorces, and then:

She had a relationship with the artist Servulo Gutierrez to whom she was both a lover and a muse.

He famously painted a life-size nude portrait of her which – following an argument – he sold to a wealthy businessman.

Her granddaughter Diana says she went to the man’s house with a photographer from the magazine.

They said they needed to photograph the painting in the sunlight, so they put it outside on the car and promptly drove away with it.

“I don’t want to be nude in your house,” she told the man when he called to ask for it back.

The BBC says she was also a feminist, but doesn’t provide any more details. For Spanish speakers, the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas post includes lots of links to responses to Gibson’s death in the Spanish-language press.


Erika at What we did on our Holy days posts this hilarious skit by voxfeminista:

Bolivian cholitas are triumphing in the usually male-dominated field of lucha libre (wrestling), The Guardian reports:

“There is still a lot of prejudice, violence and physical control over women,” said Lourdes Montero, an indigenous women’s rights activist. “It will take time. But cholitas know they need to fight [for their rights]. There’s a resurgence of pride in the skirt.”

The wrestling cholitas reflect the limitations and possibilities of this feminist surge. Conceived in 2001 to spice up traditional male-only bouts, they were presented as a novelty on par with fighting dwarves, with whom they shared billing. But gradually they became the main draw and there are now several dozen semi-professional female wrestlers. The most successful, such as Yolanda “the Loved One”, Julia “from La Paz” and Ana “the Avenger”, tour abroad.

They lift weights, hike mountains and practise half-nelsons, headlocks, piledrives and other moves under the guidance of coaches such as Daniel Torrico, a former champion known as Mr Atlas. The “skirted ones” earned respect, he said. “They train alongside men and we have seen that they can do a lot.”

Over at Comment is Free, Nat Sloane wonders if we’ll ever have a second female prime minister, and considers the outlook for women’s political representation more generally:

Since 1990, the main three parties between them have had a total of 11 leadership elections (five Conservative, three Labour and three Liberal Democrat). They were contested by 24 men (some of them more than once) and two women – Margaret Beckett for Labour in 1994, and Jackie Ballard for the Liberal Democrats in 1999. Not once in this millennium has a British woman politician felt that she could contest the leadership of her party and, in the New Statesman recently, Martin Bright observed that senior women in the cabinet are “not thought worth of consideration” as possible leadership candidates.

Twenty six per cent (six) of our cabinet ministers are women, but this is still behind countries such as Spain (53%), France (47%), Chile (45%), Liberia (37%) and New Zealand (35%). Despite David Cameron’s promise that, if he is elected, a third of his cabinet will be female, only 23% (seven) of his 31-strong shadow cabinet are women – and three of those are in the House of Lords. Liberal Democrat women fare even worse, holding a mere 18% (five) of Nick Clegg’s 28 shadow cabinet posts.

Sarah Haskins considers ‘chick flicks’ in the latest Target Women (via Dorothy Surrenders):

Penny Red has started a weekly webcomic! See part one here, and part two here.

Feministing links up a trailer about the film At Your Cervix. The trailer begins with some disturbing stories about how medical students are taught to do cervical exam on unconscious women who’ve gone into surgery for other things, without their consent. (How is that not assault?!) According to the film’s website, students are sometimes required to carry out the exams on each other, in front of other students and faculty. Pretty fucking outrageous, yeah? Luckily, there is an alternative, and the movie features some women who volunteer as instructors, teaching medical students how to do exams:

Heather Corinna recounts her experience teaching sex-ed to street kids. This one’s a must-read:

Without really meaning to tell a personal anecdote — or rather, because I think I so often take fro granted that my whole life history is right there on my face — I said something about remembering that a few times when I was on-street in my teens, when I’d agreed to an exchange of sex-for-place-to-sleep, how that was probably the toughest spot I’d ever felt with negotiation since my having shelter was on the line. ALL the eyes got big then, and ALL of the girls jumped off the couches and came into a close circle around me on the floor. We then talked some more about how being on-street makes a lot of these issues different and more difficult before it turned into a two-hour long very random Q&A about everything from who’s fallen for the blue balls whine, how their gay male friends can use female condoms, why you shouldn’t use flavored condoms vaginally, where their uterus actually was, some talk about sex readiness and age, the works.

Shirin Ebadi has applauded the Iranian women’s movement. Change for Equality quotes her thusly:

“the Iranian women’s movement does not have a leader. The true place of the women’s movement is in the homes of every Iranian committed to equality. Leaders can be arrested or killed, and as a result their movements come to a halt. But the Iranian women’s movement does not come to a halt because it does not have any leaders, and its activities rely on each and every individual [involved in the movement].”

Also, check out this gallery of photos from the One Million Signatures Campaign Demanding Changes to Discriminatory Laws.

Sinclair followed up the post on butch hair & shaving with another on femme hair & shaving. Comments are particularly worth reading…

Is it possible that Sarah Palin’s youngest child is actually not her child, but her daughter’s child? I hesitated good and long before posting this link, and I’m still not sure how I feel about this, or, indeed, how I feel about the speculation about the story (the dissection of the way Palin looked during her pregnancy/not pregnancy, etc…) But at the same time, if true it’s yet more evidence of her troublingly retrogressive views on, well, pretty much everything from abortion to polar bears.

Photo by rrho, shared under a Creative Commons license

Comments From You

Holly // Posted 1 September 2008 at 3:05 am

I want to thank you for linking to my post here. I know, as you said, that you thought long and hard about posting it and I can completely understand that you still don’t know how you feel about it and I just wanted to clarify that I also thought long and hard before posting it in the first place and also am still beating myself up a little bit inside for doing so. I did note in the beginning of the post that I don’t like being a “rumor-mongerer” as I am being labeled as just within the last day via several different media outlets. I did post the story because I do think it holds significance especially if it is true and Palin is simply living by her agenda as a pro-life advocate and then covering up her own daughter’s pregnancy so she didn’t get called out about it during her fight for the white house alongside McCain. Another thing that I would like to touch upon is that many people are also claiming that this has to do with her personal, family life, but what most do not understand is that the left in the United States are constantly battling rumors when it comes to the Obama family and while we call the right out on their speculation and stories that wind up being undoubtedly wrong and proven wrong, we simply go on to expect it from them and I wondered what would happen if a lefty blogger did the same and I knew what I was getting into and it is because it isn’t expected or looked upon as a good thing when the left sinks to the level of the right.

Again, I just wanted to thank you and also clarify my reasoning here, as I also did on Menstrual Poetry before any hate-slinging was to occur here. Thank you.

Sarah // Posted 1 September 2008 at 11:12 am

I really think the stuff about Sarah Palin’s pregnancy/family structure etc. is her own business, really I don’t care and I don’t like the media speculation about it. I take your point that it could be seen as ‘evidence of regressive views’ – but then her political views and beliefs are no secret. There’s plenty in what she’s publicly stated to debate with and criticise, I don’t think there’s any need to resort to small-minded gossip about her.

Hazel // Posted 1 September 2008 at 12:03 pm

I agree with Sarah. This is gossip and I’m disappointed to read about it here. Sarah Palin’s stated views are more than enough to have a go at.

Kath // Posted 1 September 2008 at 12:32 pm

I agree with Sarah’s comment re the Sarah Palin story, even more so since it involves Palin’s daughter who is only sixteen years old and not a public figure.

Dave // Posted 1 September 2008 at 7:55 pm

Re: Target women – Chick Flicks.

I’m particularly impressed at how the chap reading Colin Firth’s name is the same every time.

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