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Saturday, 17 February 2018
Highest Art Gallery in the World

The Highest Art Gallery in the World

photo of Miguel sharing Mata tea with Duffy


As with most things, you can climb Aconcagua the easy way or the hard way. While the easy way doesn’t need gear, more injuries and death happen on this route as people underestimate the elevation and the cold, especially as there are no permanent snowfields.
 The world’s highest contemporary art gallery is The Nautilus, located about 14,000 feet above sea level in a tent at Plaza de Mulas, the base camp on the western face of Mount Aconcagua in Argentina. Established by artist Miguel Doura in 2003, the gallery officially broke the world record in November 2010.

It is open seasonally during the climbing season (early December to early March) and dismantled during the winter months, when the extreme weather conditions make it impossible to keep it open.

Doura’s choice of medium is oil pastels, as these can better stand the extreme winds and temperatures. This unique art space is an amazing sanctuary. Miguel studied fine arts for 5 years in Buenos Aires. 



Posted by tammyduffy at 1:21 PM EST
Monday, 12 February 2018
Helping Women Stay Safe




Helping Women Stay Safe



We all have an obligation and responsibility to intervene when someone is in danger or trouble. Put yourself in the position of the victim. Wouldn't you want to be helped? I know I would. You could have been put in place in that certain moment to make a difference and to possibly save the life of another human being. Step up to the plate. Be courageous. Have love for your fellow man/woman/child/animal.

What kind of a society do you want to live in? The criminal element expresses itself from time to time. When you choose to step up and engage in protecting those around you and discourage the criminal elements in society, you are investing your time and energy in building a life encouraging society for yourself and all your loved ones. We cannot accompany all our dear relatives and friends as they go about their daily tasks, but we can protect other wayfarers in the hope that others will step in to help us and our loved ones when confusion occurs. Whether we believe it or not, we do shape the society that we live in, can we really live with ourselves when we ignore each others pain?

All people should have the will and desire to help others, even those who are bystanders to a crime. People should want to help their fellow man and try to do the best by them in hopes that one day if they need help someone will be willing to step up and help them as well.


Here are things you can do to “stay safe(r).”



1. Walk with our keys grasped between our fingers in case we need to use them as a weapon.
2. Making sure to have the correct key out and ready before we get to our door
3. When someone is walking closely behind us on the street, we stop to pretend to make a phone call or otherwise occupy ourselves to allow them to pass in front of us.
4. Walk past our destination, particularly if it’s our home, if someone has been trailing us for a while.
5. Scope out potential safe havens if someone appears to be following us.
6. Stay in well-lit areas at night even if it means taking a longer route.
7. Switch up our running routes to avoid potential stalkers learning our route.
8. Change direction if a car appears to be following us while we’re walking on foot.
9.Run outdoors with only one earbud in to keep the other on our surroundings.
10. Pretend to listen to music while walking by men who attempt to engage with us.
11. Change the locks when house keys are misplaced.
12.Take alternative routes to avoid areas we know we are likely to face street harassment.
13. Cross the street when we see men who look like they might be drunk.
14. Late at night, cross to the other side of the street when anyone is walking towards us.
15. Avoid eye contact with men trying to get our attention.
16. Decide the cost of a taxi is worth it.
17. Avoid entering stairwells or elevators occupied by only one other person who is a stranger.
18. Text a friend before going out for a run or on a date with a stranger.
19. Avoid social situations if a man whose prior advance made us uncomfortable might be there.
20. Decide not to open Facebook messages from unknown men, who could see the message has been “Read” and become hostile and harassing.
21. Never open the door for someone we’re not expecting and stay still until the doorbell stops ringing.
22. When bringing heavy bags and packages into the house or apartment, locking and unlocking the door with every trip.
23. Avoid sleeping naked in case of an intruder or on-looker.
24. Buy pepper spray: for the purse, for the car, one for the home.
25. Make sure we’re not the only woman on the subway car or bus.
26. Avoid getting off at our bus or train stop if a man who has been staring exits at the same time.
27. Check our mirrors frequently while driving, noting characteristics and license plate numbers of cars trailing close behind.
28. Driving in a circle if we sense we might be followed.
29. Park next to a light post when it’s dark outside.
30. Wear a hoodie when driving late at night to appear male to other drivers.
31. Check for an official city medallion number when entering a taxi.
32. Never leave a drink unattended at a party.
33. Run outside in baggy clothes, even if it’s hot, to decrease the chances of unsolicited commentary on our anatomy.
34.Making sure we have enough cell phone battery life before leaving one location to last until we get to another.

Posted by tammyduffy at 12:01 AM EST
Monday, 5 February 2018
As Americans Navigate Rapidly Changing Workplaces, Zimmerli Exhibition Reflects on What a Job Meant in the ‘70s with Photographs and Interviews



As Americans Navigate Rapidly Changing Workplaces, Zimmerli Exhibition Reflects on

What a Job Meant in the ‘70s with Photographs and Interviews



The status of Americans’ relationships with their jobs is…complicated. Advice for job seekers drastically ranges from “seek out a mission you’re deeply passionate about” to “just find something fast that pays the bills.” And while some view the proliferation of the gig economy as flexible and freeing for individuals, many freelance and contract workers suffer the anxiety of inconsistent paychecks and no benefits. However, not long ago, most Americans shared an expectation that a job should be reliable and provide a salary that supports the cost of living. It's Just a Job: Bill Owens and Studs Terkel on Working in 1970s America, now open at the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers, recalls that era. The exhibition pairs the two iconic documentarians of work life, underscoring how the decade was a dramatic time of transition for the American workforce. It is not simply a look back: many of the themes that Owens and Terkel identified remain strikingly relevant, engaging visitors to consider their own perspectives about working. The public also has an opportunity to hear from Bill Owens himself, when he presents an artist’s talk on April 3 during Art After Hours: First Tuesdays, one of the Zimmerli’s popular free programs.


“This exhibition takes a multimedia approach to the topic of working in the 1970s, immersing the audience in the stories and experiences of the period’s secretaries, industrial workers, and creative professionals,” notes Hannah Shaw, Mellon Intern at the Zimmerli and PhD Candidate in the Department of Art History at Rutgers University, who organized the exhibition. “No matter what field you’re coming from, you’ll find yourself absorbed by these vivid portraits—and confronted by all-too-recognizable struggles, ironies, and hopes that remain at the heart of American working life.”


In addition to 31 black-and-white photographs by Owens from his 1977 photobook Working (I Do It For the Money), the exhibition includes a selection of audio interviews selected from Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do, provided by the Studs Terkel Radio Archive. First released in 1974, the collection includes the voices of Al Pommier (parking lot attendant), Dolores Dante (waitress), Therese Carter (house wife), Cliff Pickens (newsboy), and Roberto Acuna (farm worker and union organizer), among others, presenting firsthand accounts.


Owens is a significant figure in the genre of documentary photography regarding two key movements, but he approached his subject matter in contrast to many of his counterparts. After the 1950s, American photographers abandoned the search for a universal vision of society and pivoted toward personal points of view. Like other young documentarians, Owens sought to create authentic studies of what occurred behind closed doors, neutralizing the power imbalance long held by photographers, who often objectified their subjects. Owens has described his process as “see[ing] things that other people don’t in the banal and ordinary. Most lives are mundane but I make them extraordinary by infusing them with dignity.”


Unlike some of his contemporaries who revealed the painful consequences of such taboo subjects as drug abuse, gun culture, and violence, Owens primarily chronicled the ironic and absurd. His three landmark photobooks – Suburbia (1972), Our Kind of People: American Groups and Rituals (1975), and Working (I do it for the Money) (1977) – centered on middle-class suburbanites in the Amador Valley near San Francisco, where he lived and worked. Suburbia, in particular, included friends, neighbors, and other residents who participated in a collaborative community project, expressing an overall satisfaction with their lives. With Working, Owens turned to the tradition within documentary photography that had focused on labor since the late 19th century. But rather than expose dangerous, often illegal, conditions to effect social change like many of his predecessors, Owens provided a view of the American worker as reasonably happy on the job. He captured scenes that generated archetypal characters in a collective visual memory of the 1970s.


This is not to say, however, that Owens did not present a complicated, nuanced view of American life. Subtle details, particularly in the captions, that were innocuous, perhaps even humorous, 40 years ago take on completely different meanings today. Though more women succeeded in entering the workforce during the decade, we now recognize that they often were limited to lower wage secretarial positions, beholden to the demands of male bosses and husbands: Being a receptionist is a catch-all job; you do everything. Mostly we’re dealing with salesmen and they like to see young women. I’ve stayed here for six years because I got married and my husband didn’t want me to commute to a better-paying job. Such captions as Legal Secretary $250 a week and Computer Telephone Operator $200 a Week also diminish the role of women, constrained to their desks, to a mere job title and wage value. Conversely, men are depicted in active, mentally stimulating jobs: The only way to learn anything in photography is by making lots of mistakes; Television cameramen are a special breed; and It takes a year to make a gyro-ball guidance system for the C-5A aircraft, imply the impact these men make well beyond their offices. In addition, few of the satisfied workers represented are people of color.


Several photographs are reminders of once reliable fields that have been decimated not only by globalization, but by structural changes to the nation’s domestic economy. Local businesses have been shuttered by competition from big box stores and online shopping (Baking is the oldest trade in the world); print media has moved online (Newspaper Printing Plant, San Jose, CA); and factory jobs have been relocated overseas (In thirty-one years as a ladleman I've never been injured). In most cases, owners and shareholders have benefited, while workers and, sometimes, entire communities have been devastated.


It's Just a Job: Bill Owens and Studs Terkel on Working in 1970s America, on view January 20 through July 29, 2018, celebrates a recent gift to the museum by Robert Harshorn Shimshak and Marion Brenner in honor of the class of 1968. The exhibition is organized by Hannah Shaw, Mellon Intern at the Zimmerli and PhD Candidate in the Department of Art History at Rutgers University, with the assistance of Donna Gustafson, Curator of American Art and Mellon Director of Academic Programs. Gustafson also spotlights Owens in the essay “Performing Documentary Photography in Suburban America, 1970s Style” in the 2017 catalogue Subjective Objective: A Century of Social Photography, which accompanied an exhibition by the same title at the Zimmerli. Selections from Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do are provided by Studs Terkel Radio Archive, courtesy Chicago History Museum and WFMT Radio Network.

Posted by tammyduffy at 12:01 AM EST
Saturday, 27 January 2018
Sunny Stroeer is the Fastest Woman You've Never Heard Of




Sunny Stroeer got sick and still set the speed record on Aconcagua. We sat down with the ex weekend warrior to talk training, coffee, and the all-women team that tackled the highest mountain in South America.

A few hours before sunrise on January 23, Sunny Stroeer left the Plaza-de-Mulas base camp on Aconcagua under a clear sky, hiking fast along the Normal Route toward the summit 8,501 feet above her. She topped out eight hours and 47 minutes later, breaking the base camp-to-summit female speed record on South America’s highest mountain by 29 minutes, in spite of having a respiratory infection.

The second tallest of the Seven Summits, 22,841-feet Aconcagua sits deep in the Andes on the western edge of Argentina, near the Chilean border. The Normal Route snakes up the mountain’s Northwest Face through three camps and is a famous test-piece for serious mountaineers transitioning to high-altitude peaks. In 2015, then-unknown Karl Egloff broke Killian Jornet’s roundtrip base camp-to-summit time by about an hour. Wanting to keep her legs fresh for a longer speed attempt later in the week, Stroeer decided to walk down from the summit, rather than challenge local guide Chabela Farias’ roundtrip record of 12 hours and 40 minutes.

Before quitting her job and embracing van life in late 2015, Stroeer was a weekend warrior. Despite little training, she finished several 100-mile and 100K trail races with solid times. In 2014, she climbed Aconcagua solo and unsupported. For this trip, she returned to the mountain leading an all-female expedition of four women that included Libby Sauter, a famed Yosemite climber.

If you haven’t heard of Stroeer, now’s a good time to get to know her: the Adidas athlete is just getting started.

Posted by tammyduffy at 11:07 AM EST
Saturday, 20 January 2018
JUUL: The New Epidemic Sweeping America's Youth

JUUL: The New Epidemic Sweeping America's Youth




If you think your kid is not doing this, I can guarantee you they are. They are either Juuling or Phixing. This new epidemic is sweeping across campuses. Don't be caught off guard when someone whips it out. Do not be naive and defend anyone as it pertains to its unhealthy side effects.

Trends come and go at schools faster than you can say “conformity”; however, the latest trend is here at all college campuses and high school campuses across the United States. It's here to stay and will create a health care crisis in the future. The crisis has already began. This new craze is the Juul pen craze. Juul is the newest brand of e-cigarettes that some are hailing as the “iphone of electronic delivery systems (ENDS). This little device seems to be a handy sidekick for students from all walks of life.  However, this trend may be more insidious than most; medical professionals and neuroscientists everywhere are delivering a cautionary warning about an otherwise exploding trend. Along with the highly addictive potential of the JUUL’s nicotine, there is extensive evidence that long-term nicotine exposure starting in one’s young adult years leads to psychiatric mood disorders as well as attention and memory deficits later in life. 



Why is this so popular? Is it the new, compact look that makes them so much easier to hide than classic vape pens? Is it the higher nicotine concentration they offer to users? Or is it just a trend, something that will pass shortly? These are questions only a user could answer. 



Smoking a Juul (pronounced “jewel”), a new type of vaporizer pen (e-cigarettes that vaporize flavored nicotine “juice”), has become the new epidemic. More than 95% of kids in schools and colleges are doing this. Everywhere you look someone is blowing the thin, nicotine rich smoke into their sleeve. The 95% is not an exaggerated number, it's the reality.

                                                Phix shown in photo

Juul or Phix, both products come in numerous flavors. The nicotine content is five percent in Juul and PHIX. However, pods for the Juul only provide two hundred puffs, which is the equivalent of the amount of puffs that you'll get out of a typical pack of cigarettes.

The amount of nicotine in a cigarette varies by brand. On average, one pack of cigarettes contains 8 to 20 milligrams of nicotine and only 1 milligram is absorbed when smoked. Therefore one cigarette, on average, contains 1.2 milligrams of nicotine and the smoker will absorb about 0.1 milligram.

The nicotine content of the JUUL pods is always the same: 5% or 50 mg/ml. Now, this seems like a huge amount of nicotine – at least twice as much as most other e-cigs. This level of nicotine is creating a nationwide epidemic.

In speaking with students an addicts of Juul the conversation was heartbreaking. Kids are spending upwards of 30 dollars a week on “pods,” cartridges you attach to the Juul that contain the nicotine juice users fiend for. Juuls are highly addictive and bad for your health. Many diseases are linked to tobacco and nicotine, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, lung cancer, cancer of the kidney, cancer of the larynx and neck, mouth cancer and breast cancer. Not only that, but those who are being affected negatively by this trend are vulnerable young people who may not even realize what they’re getting themselves into.

Students are buying a Juul starter kit. It comes with a Juul, a charger and four pods. A pod is what the juice is in. They’re disposable, you use it once. The pods can be refilled. You can only buy a pack of four pods and it’s 16 dollars. One pod is the equivalent to the same amount of nicotine in one pack of cigarettes, but it’s cheaper. The Juul pods are so addictive, kids are vaping 4 to 5 pods a day. The Juul device looks like a flash drive.

The first time students do this they get a huge buzz from it. Once they start, it's so addictive that they cannot go one hour without ingesting it. The students refuse to go on school trips, due to the fact they cannot imagine not Juuling at whim. When they are unable to ingest it, they demonstrate behaviors of rudeness beyond the acceptable norms of society. 






The kids are stealing from their parents to pay for the pods. Parents are completely unaware of what their kids are doing. They literally can push the smoke into their sleeve. You won't smell a thing. Everyone who is Juuling is an addict. If they say they are not, they are lying.

E-cigarettes aren’t quite as safe as they’ve been thought to be in the past. Recent studies show that e-cigarettes reduce your ability to cough and may expose your body to potentially harmful chemicals. On top of that, different e-cigarette flavors may have different effects. What’s worst? Even though they’ve been marketed to help people quit smoking, they don’t have that effect. The companies selling them, including Juul, know all of this, yet they continue to stalk the youth of America.

In terms of the respiratory effects of both the act of vaping and the carcinogenic nature of the chemicals found in JUUL products, the jury is still out. However, in terms of the long-term effects of nicotine, researchers have some ideas.

The old myth that the brain cells you are born with are the only ones you ever get has largely been disproven by evidence from current cutting edge neuroscience research. Your brain is very similar to a piece of clay in that it is continuously being molded by your life experiences, constantly changing and creating new connections.  Then, around age 25, your “clay” brain becomes ceramic, and largely stays the same way throughout the rest of your adult life minus some special exceptions.  Thus, the decisions and experiences you are choosing to expose yourself to right now in college are going to directly affect the way your brain functions for the rest of your lives.  Following this, the impact of nicotine on your developing brain is a phenomena that is extremely pertinent in the research community.




Nicotine is a stimulant, meaning that it increases activity in the brain.  It does this by acting as a key, “unlocking” receptors on neurons that then in turn cause chemical messengers to be released in your brain.  Nicotine fits in many different locks, resulting in the diverse sensations you feel when using either a traditional cigarette or an electronic alternative like a JUUL. It can activate dopamine, resulting in the pleasurable feeling you seek out at parties, or acetylcholine, resulting in the memory boost that people use JUULs for when studying in the library.  If you’re thinking about how awesome nicotine sounds right now and are about ready to go out and invest in a JUUL of your own, you are not alone; these short-term benefits are largely the reason why nicotine is so well-received among young adults, as we are especially sensitive to the advantageous results of nicotine

Nicotine joins drugs like heroin and crack-cocaine in its addictive potential:

Since nicotine causes dopamine, the pleasure chemical, to be released, it places nicotine in the category of highly addictive drugs that take advantage of the human pleasure pathway in the brain. For reference of the severity of nicotine’s addictive potential, other drugs like heroin and crack-cocaine are nicotine’s counterparts on this list of highly addictive substances.  The pleasurable nature of nicotine causes the user to continue to administer the drug, which eventually elicits an effect that sensitizes the individual to the drug.  This means that the individual needs to take more and more of the drug to reach the same effect it had as it did in their very first hit of it. In addition, the individual’s natural dopamine receptors stop reacting to the body’s normal every day release of nicotine, meaning they have to use the drug to reach the normal level of dopamine release that they had previous to being exposed to the nicotine. This creates a vicious cycle in which an individual is constantly chasing that high, resulting in a physiological addiction over which a person has very little control. Sure the person can abstain from nicotine, but they will go through severe withdrawal symptoms that are extremely uncomfortable to tolerate and interfere with everyday life such as irritability, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, depression, and insomnia. Before you write off addiction as something that only happens to weak low-lives, know that addiction doesn't discriminate by age, sex, socioeconomic status, or moral standings; addiction can and does happen to everyone. 

Nicotine has been suggested to cause depression and other mood disorders in long term users who begin taking the drug during adolescence:




Since Nicotine is a stimulant, it is known for causing a short term high that makes the user feel good. However, as mentioned above, has the body becomes used to nicotine, less and less dopamine is being stimulated to be released, meaning the individual is experiencing chronic lower levels of pleasure. This is suggested to be the reason why that mood disorders like depression are often comorbid with long term drug abuse such as in the case of nicotine addiction. In particular, the adolescents seem to be the most at risk for developing depression in conjunction with long-term nicotine use. In studies that administer nicotine to rats, rats who received nicotine during adolescence were far more likely to display depression-like symptoms in conjunction with long-term nicotine use, as opposed to rats who start receiving nicotine in their adulthood after their brains had finished developing. The replication of this evidence from a variety of different researchers is highly suggestive that long-term nicotine use before the brain finishes developing can put nicotine users at risk for the development of depression and other mood disorders later in life.

Long-term nicotine use has resulted in observable deficits in memory, especially working memory, and attention when the individual abstains from nicotine:

Some students are using Juul as a study aid. Short-term administration of nicotine has been observed to produce acetylcholine, a chemical that is vital for memory retrieval and consolidation.  This is why you may look around the library and see your fellow college students using JUUL pens while studying.  However, in the long-run nicotine seems to have the opposite effect: long-term use of nicotine starting in adolescence has been linked with deficits in working memory and attention.  Although ex-smokers are somewhat able to regain some of these abilities by long-term nicotine abstaining, there is evidence their skill levels in memory and attention areas never fully reach the baseline levels of performance before ever being exposed to nicotine. Thus, by relying on JUULs for an extra boost while studying, you could be doing more long-term harm than good in the areas of memory and attention, even after you quit nicotine administration. 

In addition to the health risks mentioned above, there has also been evidence of nicotine priming an individual for future drug abuse such as in the case of opioids and alcohol, as well as evidence that e-cigarettes such as JUULs can serve as “gateways” to the use of traditional cigarettes.  Taken altogether, this evidence dealing with the possible long-term health implications of e-cigarettes such as JUULs makes it no surprise that experts warn against the unknowns of this new technology and that companies like PAX are hesitant to claim the “healthiness” of JUULs and other alternatives to traditional cigarettes. 




According to the National Youth Tobacco Survey, more than over 18 million middle school and high school students reported seeing e-cigarette ads. The majority of youth were exposed to these ads in retail stores, followed by the Internet, movies, television, newspapers and magazines.

The marketing efforts have had dangerous consequences. The CDC has found that the number of youth using e-cigarettes radically increased, following the rapid increase in advertising efforts. E-cigarette use has serious consequences on a young person’s health. E-cigarettes contain addictive nicotine, cancer-causing chemicals such as formaldehyde, and the flavoring in e-cigarettes have been found to cause a disease known as “popcorn lung.”

Manufacturers maintain that they only market their products to adults, but that simply isn’t the case. These manufacturers are killing our youth. Placing them in line for lung transplants. They are selling their liquid nicotine in kid-friendly flavors such as bubblegum, mango and cotton candy.   Even more alarmingly, e-cigarette companies were adopting widely recognized and trusted kid-focused brands such as Cap’n Crunch cereal and Winnie-the-Pooh to market their products to children.



Senator Markey (D-MA) and eight additional senators asked the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to investigate liquid nicotine retailers for deceptive practices. Eight senators sent letters to 147 liquid nicotine retailers requesting that they cease their marketing efforts immediately.  But companies like Juul have not stopped.



Young people can be influenced by sleek, modern design more than other demographics, and this is exactly why JUUL is focused on marketing to younger age groups.  

Some students defend their JUUL usage by claiming they aren’t as unhealthy as real cigarettes. While JUULs omit tobacco and some carcinogens found in cigarettes, their nicotine content and tasty flavor create the same, real addiction.

The only cure for the damage Juul does to youth is a lung transplant. Popcorn lung is a slang name used for a condition called bronchiolitis obliterans (BO), or obliterative bronchiolitis. It’s caused when inhaled chemicals scar the smallest airways within the lungs (bronchioles) and reduce their capacity and efficiency. There is no cure for BO except a lung transplant.

E-cigarettes are not regulated in the United States and can therefore be legally sold and used by minors. They aerosolize nicotine and other flavorings, and can be used to deliver other drugs of abuse. Ingestion of nicotine in large amounts often leads to nausea and vomiting, thereby limiting toxicity. Electronic cigarettes immediately impairs lung function, lasting for less than 30 minutes after smoking.

Additionally, JUULs contain the chemical propylene glycol, also found in antifreeze.  Propylene glycol is also an approved additive to food, but inhaling it exposes the user to a more potent and potentially dangerous dosage.

It’s true that e-cigarettes break down freebase nicotine into a salt of nicotine, but don’t assume this means there is not a large amount of nicotine in the JUUL. The JUUL is unlike any other e-cigarette on the market. E-cigarettes that have come before JUUL usually only contain about 16 mg of nicotine per ml of e-liquid. JUUL tops the game by delivering a whopping 50 mg of nicotine. Not only that, but JUUL is one of the only brands of e-cigarettes that will give users a spike in their blood nicotine levels.

JUUL’s combination of chemicals cause addiction and can lead to severe diseases like bronchitis, heart disease and cancer. Not only that, but those in the presence of a user can get the same, detrimental side effects — especially young children. If that’s not convincing enough, consider this: Smoking one Juul pod is equal to smoking an entire pack of cigarettes.  

Don’t be fooled by the 21st-century design or fall under the impression that they’ll do no harm — JUULs are very bad for you, just like cigarettes. While you might think you’re keeping things under control with JUUL, the addiction can become strong enough to lead you to search for something stronger, such as real cigarettes.

Looking “cool,” playing with a new gadget, fitting in with the crowd or getting a temporary high is not worth the money, addiction or disease. And remember: Cigarettes were marketed the same way before everyone knew they could kill you.

I hope this article saves your kids life.

Posted by tammyduffy at 5:09 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, 20 January 2018 5:27 PM EST
Sunday, 14 January 2018
Zimmerli Traces 19th-Century Revolution in Printmaking That Set the Stage for Today’s Pervasive Visual Culture



Zimmerli Traces 19th-Century Revolution in Printmaking

That Set the Stage for Today’s Pervasive Visual Culture



The 1896 poster Tournée du Chat Noir de Rodolphe Salis by Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen is one of the most recognizable designs: a stylized black cat with a judgmental glare and serpentine tail, inviting (or, perhaps, daring) viewers to patronize the popular bohemian cabaret in Paris. Whether reproduced as an inexpensive poster that has adorned dorm walls for decades or appropriated for new generations in the form of popular characters from The Simpsons, Pokemon, and How to Train Your Dragon, the evolution of an artistic process that has allowed this ubiquitous feline to endure began 200 years ago. Set in Stone: Lithography in France, 1815-1900, opening January 20 at the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers, presents a comprehensive visual history of how artists and a handful of entrepreneurs refined a new medium to strike a balance between individual creative vision and a growing demand for mass produced images. Set in Stone is accompanied by a full-color, 184-page catalogue and complemented by the exhibition Place on Stone: Nineteenth-Century Landscape Lithographs, which explores landscape as a subject of interest among British and French artists.


“We live in an era when we take for granted the immediate availability of visual documentation, as most images are now captured, processed, and distributed without ever becoming physical objects,” Zimmerli director Thomas Sokolowski observes. “The sheer volume can be simultaneously compelling and overwhelming. But there also is the possibility that we will encounter an image that moves us in spirit, or even moves us to action. Many of the artists on view instilled activism into their work, a legacy that remains apparent today.”


Christine Giviskos, Curator of Prints, Drawings, and European Art, adds, “The span of the 19th century was an age of innovation in Paris and the development of lithography reflects that, encompassing the intersection of French culture and commerce. The city experienced multiple stages of modernization, resulting in a boom in consumer culture, which included a demand for fine art prints. The lithographic process allowed artists and printers to quickly, and economically, satisfy increased demand for original artwork, as well as fulfill evolving business needs, in the changing city.”


Invented in Munich, Germany, during the late 1790s, lithography – derived from the Greek roots “lithos” (stone) and “graphos” (writing) – revolutionized the practice of printmaking. The new versatility that allowed artists to draw their designs directly on a polished slab of limestone, rather than the older techniques of cutting into wood or metal, appealed to many who otherwise might not have pursued printmaking. The first successful print shops in Paris were established around 1815 by entrepreneurial printer-publishers who recognized an economic opportunity. This prospect provided opportunities for artists, especially painters who previously had relied on aristocratic or church patronage, to pursue new sources of income.


Lithography attracted artists at all stages of their careers, which helped to elevate its status (the medium was accepted in the Salon exhibition of 1817, which also established its market relevance). Painter Pierre Paul Prud'hon, then in his 60s, demonstrated how easily an academically trained draughtsman could adapt to a new medium. Among the younger artists were Nicolas-Toussaint Charlet (credited with nearly 1,100 works), Théodore Géricault, and Eugène Delacroix. Though later added to the art history canon for epic paintings during the Romantic period, the latter two produced an early oeuvre of prints, including Delacroix’s illustrations for an 1828 French translation of Goethe’s Faust.


Certain subjects were naturally suited to the medium: military subjects, portraiture, fashion, city life. New freedoms of the press that emerged when the French Revolution ended in 1799 triggered a surge in satirical depictions, especially those skewering politicians and the bourgeoisie. Such topics had long been popular in the print market, but with the speed and economy of production, artists and printers could respond more quickly to capitalize on a subject’s fleeting notoriety.


Like many of today’s visual content creators, artists sought to shape perceptions about the era’s public figures and contemporary events. Artists forged a relationship between print media and politics, producing caricatural prints as political commentary and an act of resistance. Parisian journalist and publisher Charles Philipon founded two of the most influential satirical publications – the daily Le Charivari and the weekly La Caricature – to disseminate his own criticism of the repressive government of King Louis-Philippe, who reigned from 1830 to 1848.


Philipon helped launch the careers of J.J. Grandville and Charles Traviès, as well as Honoré Daumier, who set a familiar precedent in depicting subjects: grotesque physical traits, combined with symbols and puns, to imply lack of character, incompetence, and even outright criminality. His Baissez le Rideau, La Farce est Jouée (Bring Down the Curtain; the Farce is Over), published in La Caricature in 1834, depicts the King – in a distinct clown costume – who insinuates that Justice for the people is a farce, a sentiment that has since remained a common theme in political commentary. Eventually, the government banned caricatures of the king and his followers in 1835.


The expansion of lithography was boosted by a series of technological innovations, with perhaps the most significant – and enduring – advance in 1837: Godefroy Engelmann debuted a process for color lithographic printing (chromolithography), achieving the elusive goal of cost-effectively producing large editions of color prints. It became the dominant printing process for generating business and government materials; however, artists did not widely adopt it. Lithography was no longer a groundbreaking process (especially with the expansion of photography in the 1840s) and became associated with mass-produced commercial prints.


A renaissance in lithography as a medium for original fine art did come about in Paris during the last quarter of the century. A new appreciation for the early masters emerged among critics and collectors, combined with the “discovery” of the practice by a new generation of artists. Following King Lois-Philippe’s abdication in 1848, the city transformed into a modern urban capital that offered new forms of social interaction and entertainment.


The need for striking advertisements at dance halls, cabarets, and other venues in Paris created job opportunities for artists, printers, and publishers. The artist and printer Jules Chéret, who opened a lithographic print shop in 1866, seized an opportunity to radically reconceive advertising posters, which had been relatively small prints directed at limited audiences. He produced large, colorful posters with bold figural compositions – such as Bal au Moulin Rouge (1889), capturing the boisterous atmosphere of the city’s iconic venue – that could be recognized by masses of city dwellers from a distance.


Visionary artists continued to advance lithography into the mainstream of art history. Edouard Manet, Henri de Fantin-Latour, and Odilon Redon created some of their most imaginative and technically experimental work; while a new generation of artists, including Pierre Bonnard, Henri-Gabriel Ibels, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec created boundary-breaking works. Such artists as Félix Vallotton, Alexandre Lunois, and Adolphe-Léon Willette even depicted the lithographic process in allegorical and contemporary scenes, demonstrating its integration into Paris’s expanded field of artistic activity. As the centennial of the medium’s cultural breakthrough approached, artists acknowledged the significance of their predecessors, as well as the importance of becoming part of the canon themselves.


This survey of French lithography was selected almost entirely from the Zimmerli’s rich holdings of 19th-century French graphic arts, with a number of works on view at the museum for the first time. The Zimmerli’s collection, which extends from the medium’s introduction in Paris around 1815 into the 20th century, has been an anchor for the museum’s collecting and exhibition programs since its founding in 1966. The museum began to actively build the collection, acquiring numerous works, during the 1970s. A gift of nearly 150 lithographs in 1980, followed by other significant gifts throughout the decade and into the early 1990s, contributed to the collection’s breadth and depth in French lithography.


Set in Stone: Lithography in France, 1815-1900, organized by Christine Giviskos, Curator of Prints, Drawings, and European Art, is on view January 20 to July 29, 2018. The exhibition is funded in part by Ruth Schimmel, the Estate of Arline DuBrow, and donors to the Zimmerli’s Major Exhibition Fund: James and Kathrin Bergin, Alvin and Joyce Glasgold, Charles and Caryl Sills, the Voorhees Family Endowment, and the Jerome A. Yavitz Charitable Foundation, Inc.–Stephen Cypen, President.

Posted by tammyduffy at 4:56 PM EST
Sunday, 7 January 2018
Tips On Avoiding Going To Work For the Wrong Company






Tips On Avoiding Going To Work For the Wrong Company



There's no way around it. Celestial navigation using a sextant is a complex and involved process that involves a fair amount of calculating, correcting, referring to tables, knowledge of the heavens and the Earth, as well as a lot of common sense. (No wonder it's been so quickly replaced by the satellite-dependent Global Positioning System, or GPS But the basic principles behind celestial navigation are fairly straightforward. The basic principles for workplace equality, positive work environments free of harassment. We are still using a sextant to navigate this issue. We need an updated GPS system to navigate without harm. 


Why does this seem like such a difficult path for corporations to navigate? Corporations will have employees once a year do training. This training is normally done online demonstrating some extreme scenarios. Scenarios that really do represent the real world of what is happening. This training is the sextant in corporations. Why are corporations not using a solid GPS system?  This seems so basic, but the basics are being ignored.


There are too many managers in Corporate America who only manage upwards. Many people would say the purpose of managing-up is to have the by-product of your efforts enhance the work of those you report to. While I have nothing against this concept (I call it doing your job), I do have a problem with the reality that many practitioners of managing-up miss the point altogether. When the practice of managing up gets confused with promotion of self-interest, brown-nosing, manipulation, the gymnastics of corporate climbing, or other mind games, a good theory rapidly becomes twisted resulting in a false and dangerous reality. They completely ignore their employees when they do this. This is when bad things happen and bad behaviors become pervasive.


While the premise of “managing-up” is sound, the reality of how it’s most commonly implemented is representative of everything that’s wrong with business today. It’s human nature to attempt to control circumstances where possible. It’s also quite normal to desire to position yourself well with those you report to. That said, it’s important to understand the realities, rules and boundaries associated with organizational structure. Newsflash – as much as you don’t want to hear this, there is a good reason why you’re reporting to someone else – you’re probably not ready to be the boss yet.


Here’s the thing – the best way to be looked upon favorably by those you report to is not through various charades and other forms of skullduggery, but by simply doing your job and serving them well. When the emphasis of your efforts shifts away from others and to yourself you have placed yourself on a very slippery slope. If you want to move up in the organization let it be the quality of your work that catapults you upward, not your skill in manipulation. If your timetable for career acceleration isn’t matching up with that of your employer, surface your concerns with them in a straight-forward fashion. We have seen leaders become completely silent on sexual harassment issues, unethical behavior, etc,  to ensure their move up the corporate ladder. When female leaders do this, this is the worse kind of female leader in a corporation. These are the women who should not be leaders, yet alone promoted. Silence should never ensure a ticket up the ladder. This type of compromise is toxic for an organization.


There is little debate that some subordinates are more intelligent and gifted than those above them. In fact, if you’re lucky enough to be considered a high potential in your organization, you might want to give your boss some credit as the best leaders make every attempt at building their organizations with people who are brighter and more talented than they are. This is a laudable practice that should be admired by workers, not resented. If your work doesn’t speak for itself, or if it does and isn’t being recognized, rather than play silly games, move on honorably and look for a better fit.


The rules should be pretty basic for corporations. However, many seem to struggle to stay within the lines. The color outside the lines as it pertains to integrity, ethics, and basic business acumen. Corporations should ensure fair and comparable wages, hours, and benefits for comparable work for all employees. They also need to undertake concrete, verifiable actions to recruit women and diverse candidates and retain women and diverse employees from traditionally underrepresented groups and for non-traditional positions. The need to eliminate all forms of discrimination based on attributes such as gender, race, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or cultural stereotypes in all work-related activities or privileges, including wages, hours, benefits, job access, and working conditions should be second nature.


Having these goals is not enough. There needs to be solid governance that the rules are being followed by everyone. Corporations must hold employees accountable when they ignore the policies. When corporations ignore the governance and accountability, they get into trouble. They need to establish policies and have proactive efforts to recruit and appoint women and diverse candidates to managerial positions and to the corporate board of directors needs to take place. However, it needs to be the right candidate.


Indicators that a corporation is missing the mark on sexual harassment and women's issues, is If you look at a corporations board members and executive committee and see that it is "very white", lacking diversity, red flag. If you attend their corporate sales meeting and stand on the stage, look outward and see a sea of white, this is a huge red flag. The likelihood that an atmosphere of white male privilege is prevalent and pervasive is guaranteed.


Corporations are known for their surveys to employees. Yet, employees rarely hear about the results of the surveys. If the leaderships MBO's (management by objective) are set based on numbers only, do not go to work there. If they are not including compensation plans for their executives that include improving gender equality as a factor in performance measures and provide resources to support gender initiatives, then don't go to work there. Ask the question in your interview. Ask the question if you already work there to see if they are making this alteration.  If they are ignoring what is happening in the workplace, you may want to look for a new job.  


A corporation needs to maintain ethical marketing standards by respecting the dignity of women in all sales, promotional, and advertising materials.  Minimize or eliminate any form of gender or sexual exploitation in marketing and advertising campaigns. They need to encourage and support women's entrepreneurship.  Seek business relationships with women-owned businesses and vendors, including micro-enterprises, and work with them to arrange fair credit and lending terms. Ask the question in your interview, if they do not do this and the hiring manager has no idea if this is being done do not go to work there.


When a corporation done not clearly forbid business-related activities that condone, support, or otherwise participate in trafficking, including labor or sexual exploitation, do not go to work there. You need to ensure that these principles are observed not only with respect to employees, but also business partners such as independent contractors, sub-contractors, home-based workers, vendors, and suppliers. Ask in your interview who are some of the suppliers, do your own homework and call the suppliers, see how they behave towards them.


Many corporations hang their hats on their community engagement. Here is a tip.....do a Google search on the corporation you are interviewing with.  Google: "name of corporation" community and the last three years...type in each year and search each year separately.  See what comes up. If what you see is no more than an advertisement for the products they sell, this could mean their heart is not into community change. It could also mean that they are, but have a suboptimal marketing team that is sharing their message. So dig deeper. Many corporations have foundations. Find their foundations annual report and read it. Are they doing things that encourage philanthropic entities that promote gender equality through their grant-making, programmatic initiatives, and investments. If so, there is hope for the organization. Is the foundation doing things that encourage women and girls to enter non-traditional fields by providing accessible career information and training programs designed specifically for them. If so, there is hope.


In today's corporate environment there must be respect given to female employees’ rights to participate in legal, civic, and political affairs —including time off to vote—without interference or repercussions in the workplace. Do a search on the CEO statement for the company and see if he makes any reference to being committed to gender equality through a CEO statement or comparably prominent means and prominently display the commitment in the workplace and/or make it available to all employees in a readily accessible form. Do this same search on the board members.  If you do not see a positive result from these searches, as a woman, this is not a place you may want to work at.  If you do take the chance to work there; you run into the chance that there is no established clear, unbiased, non-retaliatory grievance policy allowing employees to comment or complain about their treatment in the workplace. That if you open your mouth, your life will become a living hell and you will be pushed out of the organization.


Don't walk into the hell on purpose, do your homework.If you are in the hell, hold them accountible, do not lower your standards to the lowest limbo level. Stand up for what you believe is right, do not embrace their mediocrity.



Posted by tammyduffy at 9:52 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 7 January 2018 11:07 AM EST
Sunday, 31 December 2017
Corporate White Male Privilege
 Corporate White Male Privilege 
Silence is golden, or so we were was told when we were young ladies. Later, everything changed. Silence equals prolonged harassment, toxic work environments, and dominant white male privilege in corporate America. Silence is the ocean of the unsaid, the unspeakable, the repressed, the erased, and the unheard. It surrounds the scattered islands made up of those allowed to speak and of what can be said and who listens.

Silence occurs in many ways for many reasons; each of us has their own sea of unspoken words. English is full of overlapping words, in regards to silence as what is imposed, and quiet as what is sought. The tranquility of a quiet place, of quieting one’s own mind, of a retreat from words and bustle is acoustically the same as the silence of intimidation or repression, but psychically and politically something entirely different. What is unsaid because serenity and introspection are sought and what is not said because the threats are high or the barriers are great are as different as swimming is from drowning. Quiet is to noise as silence is to communication. When women are silenced; no one wins. When women do not matter; no one wins.

What is sexual harassment? It takes many forms.ower is at the core, while popular characterizations portray male supervisors harassing female subordinates, other aspects suggest that women in authority may be more frequent targets. Relative to non-supervisors, female supervisors are more likely to report harassing behaviors and to define their experiences as sexual harassment. Sexual harassment can serve as an “equalizer” against women in power, motivated more by control and domination than by sexual desire. This points to social isolation as a mechanism linking harassment to gender non-conformity and women’s authority, particularly in male-dominated work settings.

Sexual harassment is classified as a form of sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines it as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature” that interferes with one’s employment or work performance, or creates a “hostile or offensive work environment” (U.S. EEOC 2011). Due, in part, to varying definitions and indicators, prevalence estimates vary dramatically (Welsh 1999), leading many researchers to adopt a strategy of triangulation that considers multiple forms or measures (e.g., Houston and Hwang 1996Uggen and Blackstone 2004).

Feminist scholarship situates sexual harassment within broader patterns of discrimination, power, and privilege, linking harassment to sex-based inequality.  "Masculinities” in ways that often exclude and cause harm to women as a group, even when this is not intended.

Women are targeted if they challenge their subordinate position in the gender system. Sexual harassment may thus act as a tool to police appropriate ways of “doing gender” in the workplace, and to penalize gender non-conformity.

This type of “contrapower” harassment suggests that gender, race, and class positions imbue harassers with informal power, even when targets possess greater organizational authority than their harassers. Women holding authority positions thus offer an intriguing paradox on sexual harassment.  The first, a “vulnerable-victim”, suggests that more vulnerable workers—including women, racial minorities, and those with the most precarious positions and least workplace authority—are subject to greater harassment. The second, the “power-threat” woman, suggests that women who threaten men’s dominance are more frequent targets.  These women are most likely to face harassment and discrimination

The idea of “masculine overcompensation”—where men react to threats to their manhood by enacting an extreme form of masculinity also helps explain why men may harass women in power.  Women who are “too assertive” threaten the gender hierarchy and are denigrated through harassment. Also, females with greater tenure, independent of age, were more likely to view sexual harassment as a problem for them at work, concluding that the practice is used instrumentally against powerful females who encroach on male territory.

Regardless of their organizational rank, sexual harassment objectifies workers and reduces women to sexual objects in ways that “may trump a woman’s formal organizational power” Women repeatedly speak about feeling isolated, and of harassment by co-workers and subordinates directed toward putting them “in their place.” Still, they tolerated such harassment to keep their jobs. To report the harassment creates even more discomfort. Social isolation may also represent an important mechanism linking expressions of gender and industry sex ratios to harassment, in keeping with our second and third hypotheses. Whether attempting to prove they could lead a team of workers or prove themselves as women in masculine fields, women’s isolation in these positions repeatedly left them vulnerable to harassment. Women  are told “this is no place for women,” while men and women who diverged even slightly from rigid gender expectations elicited taunts and more menacing responses.

There is clear evidence on the effects of workplace authority on sexual harassment, with consequential implications of gender and power. In particular, it is found that female supervisors are more, rather than less, likely to be harassed, supporting the notion that interactions between workers are not driven strictly by organizational rank. Instead, co-workers’ relative power is also shaped by gender.  When women’s power is viewed as illegitimate or easily undermined, co-workers, clients, and supervisors appear to employ harassment as an “equalizer” against women supervisors, consistent with research showing that harassment is less about sexual desire than control and domination.

While sexual harassment policies are put in place to protect workers, organizational practice is often misaligned with formal policies or grievance procedures, calling into question fundamental assumptions many sociologist make regarding organizational.  A worker reported an incident of sexual harassment to a female supervisor that her manager did. It was not until a month later that the workers manager came back to the victim to apologize and admit to the offense. The worker found this odd due to the fact the conversation was not supervised. Turns out, the female supervisor never took the incident to the HR management. She was silenced to ensure her steps up the corporate food chain.

Power in the form of supervisory authority also provokes backlash from clients, subordinates, and fellow supervisors. This paradox of power represents both a challenge and an opportunity for existing frameworks. Beyond gender, characteristics such as race or class may similarly trump formal organizational authority in determining workplace power. While firms are increasingly adopting policies to increase diversity in management.

While legal and organizational responses to sexual harassment have evolved not evolved to keep in pace with changing workplace realities. Many still view the typical harassment scenario as one involving a sleazy male boss and a powerless female secretary.  Moving away from such stereotypes is a critical step for improving organizational policies and training procedures on sexual harassment. Effective training must go beyond male boss/female subordinate role-playing exercises and better reflect the diversity of harassment experiences. Effective grievance procedures must also enable targeted workers to come forward without undermining their own authority. For women who become bosses themselves, their positions create a paradox of power in a gender system that continues to subordinate women. In taking on positions of authority, they also take on a greater risk of sexual harassment.

The quiet of the listener makes room for the speech of others, like the quiet of the reader taking in words on the page, like the white of the paper taking ink. When we women offer our experience as our truth, as human truth, all the maps change. There are new mountains.  The new voices that are undersea volcanoes erupt in what was mistaken for open water, and new islands are born; it’s a furious business and a startling one. The world changes. Silence is what allows people to suffer without recourse, what allows hypocrisies and lies to grow and flourish, crimes to go unpunished. If our voices are essential aspects of our humanity, to be rendered voiceless is to be dehumanized or excluded from one’s humanity. And the history of silence is central to women’s history.

Words bring us together, and silence separates us, leaves us bereft of the help or solidarity or just communion that speech can solicit or elicit. Some species of trees spread root systems underground that interconnect the individual trunks and weave the individual trees into a more stable whole that can’t so easily be blown down in the wind. Stories and conversations are like those roots.

Being unable to tell your story is a living death, and sometimes a literal one. If no one listens when you say your ex-husband is trying to kill you, if no one believes you when you say you are in pain, if no one hears you when you say help, if you don’t dare say help, if you have been trained not to bother people by saying help. If you are considered to be out of line when you speak up in a meeting, are not admitted into an institution of power, are subject to irrelevant criticism whose subtext is that women should not be here or heard.

Violence against women is often against our voices and our stories. It is a refusal of our voices, and of what a voice means: the right to self-determination, to participation, to consent or dissent; to live and participate, to interpret and narrate.

A husband hits his wife to silence her. A date rapist or acquaintance rapist refuses to let the “no” of his victim mean what it should, that she alone has jurisdiction over her body. Rape culture asserts that women’s testimony is worthless, untrustworthy. Anti-abortion activists also seek to silence the self-determination of women. A murderer silences forever. A corporate executive silences a female subordinate by threatening her job and creating a hostile environment for her.These are assertions that the victim/woman has no rights, no value – is not an equal.

Other silencings take place in smaller ways: the people harassed and badgered into silence online, talked over and cut out in conversation, belittled, humiliated, dismissed.

Having a voice is crucial. It’s not all there is to human rights, but it’s central to them, and so you can consider the history of women’s rights and lack of rights as a history of silence and breaking silence. Speech, words, voices sometimes change things in themselves when they bring about inclusion, recognition: the rehumanization that undoes dehumanization. Sometimes they are only the preconditions to changing rules, laws, regimes to bring about justice and liberty.

Just being able to speak, to be heard, to be believed, are crucial parts of membership in a family, a community, a society, a corporation. Sometimes our voices break those things apart.

And then when words break through unspeakability, what was tolerated by a society sometimes becomes intolerable. Those not impacted can fail to see or feel the impact of segregation or police brutality or domestic violence; stories bring home the trouble and make it unavoidable.

By voice, I don’t mean only literal voice – the sound produced by the vocal cords in the ears of others – but the ability to speak up, to participate, to experience oneself and be experienced as a free person with rights. This includes the right not to speak, whether it’s the right against being tortured to confess, as political prisoners are, or not to be expected to service strangers who approach you, as some men do to young women, demanding attention and flattery and punishing their absence.

Who has been unheard? The sea is vast, and the surface of the ocean is unmappable. We know who has, mostly, been heard on the official subjects; who held office, commanded armies, served as judges and juries, wrote books, and ran empires or companies over past several centuries. We know how it has changed somewhat, thanks to the countless revolutions of the 20th century and after – against colonialism, racism, misogyny, against the innumerable enforced silences homophobia imposed, and so much more. We know that in the US, class was levelled out to some extent in the 20th century and then reinforced towards the end, through income inequality and the withering away of social mobility and the rise of a new extreme elite. Poverty silences.

Silence is what allowed predators to rampage through the decades unchecked. It’s as though the voices of these prominent public men devoured the voices of others into nothingness, a narrative cannibalism. They rendered them voiceless to refuse and afflicted with unbelievable stories. Unbelievable means those with power did not want to know, to hear, to believe, did not want them to have voices. People and corporation fail when people are not heard.

If the right to speak, if having credibility, if being heard is a kind of wealth, that wealth is now being redistributed. There has long been an elite with audibility and credibility, and an underclass of the voiceless.

Earned strength, unearned power distinguishes between earned strength and unearned power conferred privilege can look like strength when it is in fact permission to escape or to dominate. But not all of the privileges on my list are inevitably damaging. Some, like the expectation that neighbors will be decent to you, or that your race will not count against you in court, should be the norm in a just society. Others, like the privilege to ignore less powerful people, distort the humanity of the holders as well as the ignored groups. We might at least start by distinguishing between positive advantages, which we can work to spread, and negative types of advantage, which unless rejected will always reinforce our present hierarchies. For example, the feeling that one belongs within the human circle, as Native Americans say, should not be seen as privilege for a few. Ideally it is an unearned entitlement. At present, since only a few have it, it is an unearned advantage for them. We need to acknowledge what we see;  that some of the power that I originally say as a human being in the United States consisted in unearned advantage and conferred dominance. I have met very few men who truly distressed about systemic, unearned male advantage and conferred dominance. Difficulties and angers surrounding the task of finding parallels are many. Since racism, sexism, and heterosexism are not the same, the advantages associated with them should not be seen as the same. In addition, it is hard to disentangle aspects of unearned advantage that rest more on social class, economic class, race, religion, sex, and ethnic identity that on other factors.  Does you corporate annual sales meeting demonstrate an audience of whiteness…male. If so, the likelihood that white male privileged sexual harassment; is running rampant in your organization. Still, all of the oppressions are interlocking. The silences and denials surrounding privilege are the key political surrounding privilege are the key political tool here. They keep the thinking about equality or equity incomplete, protecting unearned advantage and conferred dominance by making these subject taboo. Most talk by whites about equal opportunity seems to me now to be about equal opportunity to try to get into a position of dominance while denying that systems of dominance exist. It seems to me that obliviousness about white advantage, like obliviousness about male advantage, is kept strongly enculturated in the United States so as to maintain the myth of meritocracy, the myth that democratic choice is equally available to all. Keeping most people unaware that freedom of confident action is there for just a small number of people props up those in power and serves to keep power in the hands of the same groups that have most of it already. Although systemic change takes many decades, there are pressing questions for me and, I imagine, for some others like me if we raise our daily consciousness on the perquisites. What will we do with such knowledge? As we know from watching men, it is an open question whether we will choose to use unearned advantage, and whether we will use any of our arbitrarily awarded power to try to reconstruct power systems on a broader base.


Women cannot be silent anymore. If corporations really want to make a positive impact on this issue, they will acknowledge what is happening. The continued lack of acknowledgement is a huge issue in our society.


This new swirl of focus on sexual harrassement at this point is only swirl unless there are large changes that happen in corporate America.  It will take time to make changes and women must unite to ensure change.


Women have to matter in business. When they don't businesses fail.  

Posted by tammyduffy at 1:23 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 7 January 2018 11:09 AM EST
Monday, 25 December 2017
Change Agents: Madeline Albright

Change Agents: Madeline Albright

There is plenty of room in the world for mediocre men, but there is no room for mediocre women.’

Madeleine Albright

 ‘It’s important to have more than one woman in the room.’
Interview found in Time Magazine... 

Before I became Secretary of State, when I was teaching at Georgetown University, I always told my female students to be prepared to speak and to interrupt when necessary. When I walked into my first meeting of the United Nations Security Council, there were 15 seats and 14 men—all looking at me.

I thought, Well, I don’t think I’ll talk today. I don’t know who everybody is … I want to figure out if they like me, and I want to kind of get a feeling for things. Even though I had advised all of my female students to speak, I myself hesitated. You are worried that whatever you say could sound stupid. Then some man says it and everybody thinks it’s brilliant, and you think, Why did I not talk? Which is why I used to advise my students all the time to be ready to interrupt.

That day, I looked down at the table and saw a plaque that read THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. And I thought, If I do not speak today, the voice of the United States will not be heard. When I finally did speak, it was the first time that I represented the country of my naturalization, the place where I belonged.

An experience I think all women have, and I have often, is of being the only woman in the room. But if we are in a meeting, we are there for a reason—not to just sit there and absorb but to state what we believe in. We can and should contribute. If you do not, then you should not be in the meeting. If you are there but you are not speaking, you may create the impression that you are not prepared to be there or that you have no business being there. Then you are made to feel inferior, because you are just a fly on the wall.

If you are going to speak, you need to know what you are talking about and you need to do it with a firm voice. And if someone disagrees with you or you disagree with them, try to understand where they are coming from—compromise is not a bad word. But I do think that women have to earn respect. It is unfortunately true that there is plenty of room in the world for mediocre men, but there is no room for mediocre women.

It’s important to have more than one woman in the room, because we can agree with each other. What men do is say, “As Bill said …,” which strengthens them. With another female voice in the room, we can act as a team.

I went to an all-girls high school, which I loved, and then to Wellesley, which continues to be a premier college. Being at a women’s college meant that we had leadership roles and felt we could really run things. We worked very hard in the classroom, and our views were respected—you did not have to hide your light.

There were periods of my life when I was not sure if I would be able to carry out the desires that I had when I was in college. I had twin daughters when I was 24—they were born prematurely—and I initially stayed at home with them. But as much as I loved being a mother, I could not figure out why I had gone to college just to figure out how to get them in and out of the apartment or give them baths. I went through a time when I did not see any value in what I had done. I recently found a letter that I wrote at the time:

When I stepped off the platform after accepting my B.A. degree, I was confident that I was stepping into one or a series of interesting jobs. It was not the life of a career girl I was after, exactly. I was already up to my ears in plans for my wedding, three days hence. Still, I believed that in the natural course of events it would not be difficult to find interesting work that fit in with my political-science major. Two years later, I’m obsolete. Now it seems incomprehensibly naive for me to have thought a woman could compete on an equal basis with men for interesting jobs.

My desire had been to become a journalist. I worked on my college newspaper as an editor, and while my husband was in the Army I worked at a small newspaper in Missouri. When we moved back to Chicago, where my husband already had a job as a journalist, we were having dinner with his managing editor, who said, “So what are you going to do, honey?” And I said, “I’m going to work at a newspaper.”

He responded, “I don’t think so. You can’t work at the same paper as your husband because of labor regulations.” I mentioned that there were three other papers in Chicago at the time, but he said, “You wouldn’t want to compete with your husband.” I know what you are thinking, and I know what I would say now. But at the time I simply saluted and went to find another life.

Other women were very critical of me when I was in graduate school, saying things like, “Wouldn’t it be better if you were in the carpool line instead of the library?” And that my hollandaise sauce was not as good as theirs. And then, when I was working full time, they wondered what I was doing. That is where my statement originated—there is a special place in hell for women who do not help each other. We have to give each other space to be able to do what makes us feel that we are responsible and helping others, and doing what we want to be doing. We need to support each other in the lives that we have chosen. Men do not do that to each other, in terms of projecting their own ideas of weakness. Women need to take advantage of being women.

Albright served as U.S. ambassador to the U.N. from 1993 to 1997 and U.S. Secretary of State from 1997 to 2001.

Posted by tammyduffy at 8:36 AM EST
Sunday, 17 December 2017



What Happens When Women Demonstrate Courage
Sexual harassment is subtle rape. Judging from the millions of dollars U.S. companies are being forced to spend to combat sexual harassment, American men have apparently become subtle rapists and sexual predators on a scale unimaginable even to the most vocal feminists of a decade or two ago. Companies have allowed this to happen. The good old boys network is stronger than ever. 
The worse environment imaginable is where you have a female leader who is silenced. Silenced by the men in leadership positions in trade for her climb up the corporate ladder. This silence by female leadership creates a roar amongst the female employees and allows this subtle rape to accelerate.
A male leader recently showed a subordinate a photo of himself having anal sex with his wife. When confronted by his actions at first he denied them, screaming at the employee. He later apologized to the employee and admitted to what he had done. He stated it was his way of bonding with them. How is this bonding? How is it that these behaviors are rewarded by management in any company? No one from the HR department ever called the employee who was victimized. So what does this mean? Does it mean that the companies management just spoke amongst themselves to slide it under the rug? You be the judge of that. 

The rapid growth of the sexual harassment industry is nothing less than liberalism’s tax on the business world. The culture of victimization is becoming so embedded in the courts and, increasingly, the state legislatures, that a handful of sexual harassment lawsuits are now seen as representative of the average working woman’s lot—and both working women and their employers are paying the very high cost. The continual rise in sexual harassment claims, even as women are poised to take over the reins at 50 percent of the small and mid-sized businesses in one recent survey (to use just one example), suggests that the sexual harassment industry itself is in large part to blame for this phantom epidemic that has employers so scared.

Rather than limiting themselves to explanations of the law, the experts are teaching women to spot lechery and lasciviousness behind every friendly smile. In such a world, where every man is considered a potential rapist (subtle though he may be), sexual harassment lawsuits easily become a tool for revenge. Of course, there is certainly boorish behavior going on in workplaces all across America, but for much of that, too, we can thank liberalism. The degradation of manners and proper social behavior that is the legacy of the anything-goes Sixties merely compounds workplace situations in which women are encouraged to go to the courts for every little slight. 

The women who have come forward showed tremendous courage, and it’s not enough to provide support after they speak out about being subjected to sexual misconduct. Rather, we must start making real, meaningful changes today to reduce and eliminate this disgraceful behavior in the future.

Changing the culture that has allowed sexual harassment and assault to become so widespread won’t be easy — especially when sexism is so ingrained in our society — but that hard work is necessary to finally move to a place where women have equality.

Right now, women are too often evaluated based on different criteria than men, and they are subjected to different treatment in our unequal society as a result. Simply acknowledging this reality is one of the first steps in the process of changing our cultural norms.

We need to ensure that we have more women in leadership positions. I’m proud that women hold the majority of senior staff positions on my campaign, including as my campaign manager and field director, and I’m committed to always making sure women have a seat at the table in senior decision-making roles.

We can also take some immediate steps to reduce harassment. In the workplace, we all have a responsibility to create a harassment-free environment. Companies must take this responsibility seriously and have a zero-tolerance policy for any type of harassment, including verbal, physical and sexual harassment.

Unfortunately, almost every woman has experienced an unwanted sexual advance, and millions of women have been sexually assaulted. It’s not enough to condemn this pervasive problem after the fact. Instead, we must take concrete steps to show that we are truly committed to a society where women and men are equal and treated with the respect and dignity they deserve. If your company does not fire these people, you probably should leave. It won't get better. People will continue to do what they do, what they get away with. The behaviors will accelerate to become even more sexually pervasive in nature when not condemned by corporations. 

The more inroads women make into the workplace the more they will have to deal with office curmudgeons and critics, louts and loudmouths, backstabbers, brutes, and, yes, boors—as working men have always had to do. This is clear. The men who are guilty of these actions will do everything in their power to demean, destroy and demoralize the women who speak up. When a woman is cast in with a colleague from the last of these categories, the best advice for handling him comes not from any high-priced sexual harassment expert but from the pages of literature. As Cervantes once said, “The woman who is resolved to be respected can make herself so even amidst an army of soldiers.”


Posted by tammyduffy at 10:04 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 17 December 2017 10:07 AM EST

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