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Showing posts from May, 2019

Urdu’s Unsung First Female Poet

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From  Telangana Today :  The first woman poetess of Deccan remains unsung and uncrowned. Not many are familiar with her name either. In fact, many think it is Mah Laqa Bai Chanda, the famous poet courtesan, who is the first woman poet. The debate persists. But, the fact remains that it is Lutfunnisa Imtiaz who is the first Sahibaan-e-Diwan (woman poetess). Well-known scholar, Naseeruddin Hashmi, has done extensive research to show that Lutfunnisa clinches this honour by a whisker. Her book of poems was published in 1796 while Mah Laqa’s works were published a year later in 1797. The Deccan region, where Urdu took deep roots, has the distinction of being home to the first male and female poet of Urdu — Muhammed Quli Qutb Shah and Lutfunnisa Imtiaz respectively. Sadly, not much is known about Lutfunnisa. Like many famous personalities, her life is shrouded in a veil of secrecy. The little that is known is also drawn from her poems. read more here @  Telangana Today

Ennigaldi-Nanna, curator of the world's first museum

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From  The Conversation :  Ennigaldi-Nanna is largely unknown in the modern day. But in 530BC, this Mesopotamian priestess worked to arrange and label various artefacts in the world's first museum. Ennigaldi-Nanna was the priestess of the moon deity Sin, and the daughter of the Neo-Babylonian king, Nabonidus. In the ancient Mesopotamian city of Ur, around 530BCE, a small collection of antiquities was gathered, with Ennigaldi-Nanna working to arrange and label the varied artefacts. This collection was considered by the British archaeologist, Sir Charles Leonard Woolley, to be the earliest known example of a “museum”. The museum, over 2,500 years old, was centred on cultural heritage, and it is thought to have perhaps had an educational purpose. Along with her other roles, Ennigaldi-Nanna is believed to have run a scribal school for elite women. When considering the discovery, Woolley noted that the discovery of a museum associated with the priestess was not unexpected, given the clos

Malawi Chief - Theresa Kachindamoto

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Female chief comes to power, annuls 850 child marriages and sends girls back to school. Theresa Kachindamoto refuses to see young girls in the district she governs in Malawi robbed of their childhoods and a chance at an education. She's made it her mission to save them from the horrors of child marriage - and she doesn't mind ruffling some feathers to make sure her laws are enforced. Kachindamoto never expected to become chief since she lived in a different town, had so many older siblings, and had 5 of her own children to care for. But her reputation as “good with people” led to her surprise election and her people told her she would have the job “whether I liked it or not”, she recalled. read more here @ Relieved

Gentleman Jack | the real history behind BBC1's drama about Anne Lister

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From  Radio Times :  The real history behind BBC1's Gentleman Jack about Anne Lister's coded diaries starring Suranne Jones and Sophie Rundle. “Anne Lister is unique and fascinating,” Sally Wainwright begins in the foreword to Anne Choma’s biography, Gentleman Jack . “She is known primarily as a diarist, and as a great lesbian lover who recorded her adventures with other women in secret code, but there are a myriad other things to know about this extraordinary woman.” The screenwriter’s new BBC1 drama Gentleman Jack gives us a window into a crucial moment in Anne Lister’s life, introducing us to Suranne Jones as the 19th century English landowner. But in case that leaves you hungry for more, we’ve answered some of the big questions about the true story behind the drama… read more @ Radio Times

Ancient, Pregnant Native American Woman Who Was Shot and Killed by Arrows Discovered by Archaeologists

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From  Newsweek :  An archaeologist in Pennsylvania is starting to unravel the mysterious burial of an ancient, pregnant Native American woman who appears to have met a violent end. Bioarchaeologist Robyn Wakefield-Murphy found four arrowheads in the torso of a woman who hailed from Pennsylvania's Monongahela archaeological tradition. Wakefield-Murphy described her research in a poster at a meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists in March. The young woman’s bones were originally uncovered in the 1950s excavation of a site in southwestern Pennsylvania. The Monongahela, who lived from about 1050 C.E. to 1635 C.E., according to Ohio History Central, built relatively large villages featuring dome-shaped houses. They cultivated crops like maize and would have traded with other Native American groups. Beyond western Pennsylvania, the Monongahela tradition spread to parts of eastern Ohio, western Maryland and West Virginia. The group is named for the Monongahela Riv

Bones unidentified for centuries may belong to one of England’s most historically important queens

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From  The Independent :  Early England’s forgotten monarchs are set for a high-profile comeback – more than 1,000 years after they died. Scientists are investigating the remains of up to 18 Anglo-Saxon kings and queens to try to determine their identities, potentially including the pivotal figure of Queen Emma. Emma of Normandy was the wife of two kings and the mother of two others, and one of the most significant figures of late Anglo-Saxon England. The trove is believed to be the largest assemblage of medieval royal skeletal material ever scientifically analysed anywhere in the world. The detailed scientific investigation into the bones will take several years to complete and should enable scientists to determine, in some cases, which bones belonged to which kings. read more here @ The Independent

Minnette de Silva: Sri Lanka’s first woman architect built a lasting legacy in a man’s world

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From  Scroll.in :  Dismissed for being a woman, Minnette de Silva still paved the way for modern Sri Lankan architecture. A woman of many firsts, her single biggest feat is also one that has been largely forgotten: she was Sri Lanka’s very first female architect. De Silva was also the first Asian woman to become an associate of the prestigious Royal Institute of British Architects, and liked to refer to herself as “Asian Woman Architect”, for its defiant ring in a male-dominated profession. Despite being a visionary architect, de Silva’s career was stymied by her reputation as difficult and unreliable. According to those who knew her working style, de Silva had a creative temperament but struggled with time management. Her projects would often take a lot of time to complete, making it difficult for her to retain clients. read more here @ Scroll.in

A brief history of vaginal douching, and why women used disinfectants as a contraceptive

From  Inews :  According to a market research report published by  Technavio , the ‘vaginal odour’ business is expected to increase by five per cent every year for the next five years, which will translate to an annual incremental growth of $1,000,000 [£764,000]. Business may be booming, but it stinks. Have you ever wondered why the vulva requires a multi-billion-dollar industry and a range of specialist cleaning equipment to stay match fit when the penis can make do with a swill in the sink? Supermarkets do not stock peen clean, bollock balm, or scrotal soap, and yet ‘feminine hygiene’ products can fill an aisle. Dr Jennifer Gunter, gynaecologist and author of ‘The Vagina Bible’ , campaigns tirelessly to dismantle myths around vulval health. When she’s not shining a light on jade love eggs, she’s calling out the quacks who believe the vagina needs steam cleaning. “The myth of the dirty vagina or rogue uterus has been around since the time of Hippocrates,” she explains. “Medicine knows

Japan's shrinking royal family reignites debate on women's role

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From  Nikkei Asian Review : The ascension of the new emperor has left Japan with just three eligible heirs to the throne, raising serious concerns about stable Imperial succession and likely rekindling a debate about expanding the role of royal women, including allowing female emperors. But such a change is firmly opposed by traditionalists within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe remains reluctant to embrace the idea, making an immediate change unlikely. The 2017 legislation that permitted now-Emperor Emeritus Akihito to abdicate called for the government to consider ways to address the succession issue "speedily" after the law's implementation and report its findings to parliament. The legislation specifically mentions the possibility of allowing women to remain in the Imperial family after marriage and form their own houses. read more here @ Nikkei Asian Review   and @ Citizen Digital

The Royal Mistress: Often the Most Powerful Person in a King’s Court

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From  HISTORY :  It was pretty common for kings to have a mistress in those days, in part because marriages were arranged for political gain and not personal companionship. “They would often be paired with someone who they may not have known very well or they may not have liked,” says Danièle Cybulskie, author of the forthcoming book Life in Medieval Europe: Fact and Fictions . Adultery was still frowned upon, and kings could be deposed if they appeared to act too immorally, but people mostly tolerated a king having one mistress at a time. read more here @ HISTORY

Examining Claims that Bring Into Question Amelia Earhart's Piloting Skills

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From  The Vintage News :  One of the most enduring mysteries of the 20th century and beyond: What happened to Amelia Earhart? 81 years after her disappearance during a flight over the massive Pacific Ocean, while attempting to circumnavigate the globe, the legend endures. Yet many historians believe that not only was the American icon an overrated pilot, but she wasn’t in the same class as some of the other female pilots in the early days of aviation. Simply put, Earhart’s actual skill at 10,000 feet couldn’t quite match her sheer courage and talent for creating headlines. Early on, Earhart showed an alarming propensity for wrecks, though twisted metal and bruised ego aside, the mishaps weren’t serious. read more @ The Vintage News