Friday, March 11, 2011

Ohio University Diary

Hey Diary!

'Seven Things' is an improv warm up. Some one gives you a topic and you list seven things in response to that topic, while those listening count them off for you. So here it is: the top seven things I took with me from Ohio University (with helpful links):

1) Know what you want:

2) Chaos is a part of life

3) Enjoy the little (and the big) things

(photos 6 and 7)

4) There are an equal number of views about feminism in the world as there are women.

5) Indulge in a purple sofa to bring out the best in you and others (I didn't get to see the sofa anywhere on the website) :(

6) Have a good meal

7) Be heart healthy (thanks Lacey)

Thanks for a great time OU! xo

Edith Evans

February 24, 2011

Dear GGOT Diary,

It's been too long! This tour was my first in about 16 months. Not that I haven’t wanted to go on tour I’ve just been traveling the globe! Anyway, I have to admit that I was a little apprehensive about getting back out there. This time we performed in Athens, Ohio. Weather-wise, I think we experienced everything that an Ohio winter has to offer. It rained, sleeted, snowed, and I think there was even a little hail!

Ohio University has a beautiful campus. At first glance, it's the kind of school that would immediately draw the assumption that it has a powerful football team. That assumption would be incorrect. In fact we learned later -- Ohio U. is better known for it's journalism department (shout out to Matt Lauer!).

The show went smashingly (picked that up on my solo travels) Alas, for some reason, during the "Size 2 Pants" number, I forgot some of the choreography, and almost missed bringing Aphra a set of pants! She was not very happy about that one!

After the show did our usual Q and A with the audience. Started off great. They loved the show, and enjoyed our message. Some even wanted the lyrics to "Size 2 Pants". Our student volunteer remarked that although her form of feminism is a little more extreme, she enjoyed the light and playful way that we delivered our message. Then came a comment that "Size 2 Pants" made one audience member think back (badly) to when she was naturally very under weight. It was a difficult time for her. She misunderstood that we were saying that a size 2 is a bad thing. We explained that that was not our intention, and that all we were trying to convey is that women should be comfortable in their natural bodies, no matter what size it comes in. After that all hell seemed to break loose with one journalism major after the other calling us female misogynists (how could we say things like: Think like a man… and laugh?). It was like a journalism 101 free for all mean girls exchange. We just stood there while the mud was flung. And in keeping with our policy of closing every Q and A with a positive note we stopped when an audience member stood up and accused all the journalism students of being white men in disguise. Touche!

After the show we went to dinner and the rain began. It was very dark out and the streets were almost impossible to see. We ended up driving on to a sidewalk, and almost into the Hocking river! When Aphra discovered this, she tried to reverse back onto the main road. We then got stuck in a ditch. Edith and I jumped out and tried to push the car, and were immediately covered in more mud ! OU was a real mud fest from beginning to end. We called a tow truck. The driver was very nice. He arrived in no time and pulled us out.

One has so much more adventure when traveling with a touring pack of gorillas. On to the next tour!


Josephine Baker

Athens, Ohio

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Girls and Computers

“…females beginning before adolescence often prefer careers focusing on people, rather than things, aspiring to be physicians, biologists and veterinarians rather than physicists, engineers and computer scientists.” - Cornell Study.

“When I grow up I want to design Grand Theft Auto XXXIII.” - is a line you’ll never hear from little Sally or Suzie. They want to be marine biologists instead.

Is this really true? Or do girls just grow up to accept the myth that because of gender their math and science skills are not as good?

Girls are bombarded with images of perfection from and early age – they must be pretty, sexy and thin but must they also be dumb when they enter math class? Are we teaching girls that knowledge is power and power is unattractive? We have failed as a society if being a math geek (female or male) means you won’t have any friends. But it seems that’s where we are heading. Women now make up less than a quarter of degree holders and of employees, managers, engineers, technicians etc. in the high tech industry.

What’s to be done? Getting women into technology has to begin in early childhood and be supported through grade and high school. Teachers can become more aware of unconscious biases towards girls in their classrooms. They can engage all students equally. They can encourage girls and boys to work in cooperative teams.

OK so maybe Suzie doesn’t really want to design a version of Grand Theft Auto. But a “Feminists Are Funny” game would be awesome.

Here are some cool links to other solutions:

1) MIT’s Women’s Technology Program: To spark high school girls interest in the future study of Engineering and Computer Science.

2) The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology:

Since 1997, ABI has developed tools and programs designed to help industry, academia and government recruit, retain and develop women technology leaders to ensure that women will assume their rightful place at the table creating the technology of the future.”

3) National center for women in technology:

A coalition of over 250 prominent corporations, academic institutions, government agencies, and non-profits working to increase the participation of girls and women in computing and IT.

4) Women in Technology Project

Our mission is to build and strengthen the education to workforce pipeline by encouraging girls, women and other underrepresented groups into science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers.


On Another note: We are performing today at Keene State College, New Hampshire. Watch live stream at on our channel: Guerrilla Girls On Tour

Monday, March 7, 2011

Mothers of Invention

In honor of International Women’s Day today, (Tuesday, March 8, 2011) and this year’s UN theme - Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women.” - here is Guerrilla Girls On Tour’s! list of some of the most important inventions by women.

hand-crank ice cream freezer - patented in 1843 by Nancy Johnson.

The commercial oven - Emeline Hart, a member of the Shaker community, 1876.

The vacuum canning process - Amanda Theodosia Jones.

The clothes wringer – Ellen Eglin who sold her patent rights for a pittance rather than market it herself because she thought that if people knew a black woman invented the wringer, white women would not use it.

The modern intravenous drip - Justine Wanger.

The trash can with a step-on lever to open the lid - Lillian Gilbreth (shown in photo), best known for designing a model kitchen for the handicapped and the first woman elected to the National Academy of Engineers.

The dishwasher - Josephine Cochran, 1889.

The rotary washing machine - Margaret Plunkett Colvin, 1871.

The flat-bottomed paper bag - Martha Knight, 1870. She was also the

the first woman in the U.S. to fight and win a patent suit.

Liquid paper - Bette Nesmith Graham

You go girls!