Myth-Busting Periods

About a month ago, Girl Museum posted a blog about the need to update sex education lessons in schools, which got me thinking about the visits to our school from the ‘tampon lady.’ By the time schools had got round to arranging these visits the majority of girls who sat in on them had already started their periods and were well into puberty. The information they gave was an hour of explaining the ovulation process and how to use a tampon. While this is information that all girls need, the timing was years too late and the information that girls really wanted to know was missed out, either...

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The Empress Cixi

Author Jung Chang is known for her bestselling book, Wild Swans, which delved into the history of China through the female lines of her own family. This year she has released a new book focusing on the Empress Dowager Cixi, a woman who effectively ruled over China for around half a century. In 1852 the 16 year-old Cixi was brought before the 21 year-old Emperor Xianfeng, along with many other girls who had reached puberty, for their chance to be chosen as one of the Emperors concubines. The girls would have been chosen for attributes of their character such as courteousness, graciousness,...

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A Quiet Read

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8520610-quiet I don’t usually opt for non-fiction books, but when I read a few quotes from Susan Cain’s book Quiet, I rushed out to find a copy. The book describes the world from an introvert’s point of view, the need to recharge the batteries, and the preference for in-depth one-to-one conversations as opposed to group discussions: Introverts, in contrast, may have strong social skills and enjoy parties and business meetings, but after a while wish they were home in their pyjamas. They prefer to devote their social energies to close...

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L’Oréal’s Women of Science

http://www.unesco.org.uk/l%27oréal-unesco_for_women_in_science_programme Women love their makeup and the art of self-decoration goes back thousands of years: from the ancients Egyptians using soot to paint their faces, through the 6th century when women bled themselves with the aim to make their faces paler, to the 19th century when rouge was popular. The development of makeup has advanced significantly in the last century, though, with the use of a wide range of chemicals and technology. Many products take years and a team of scientists to create. For these developments to continue the...

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Hollywood’s Mermaid

Esther Williams, Hollywood’s go-to mermaid in the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s,  shows off her swimmer’s body. http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv-movies/hollywood-mermaid-esther-williams-dead-91-article-1.1365196 Esther Williams, known as “Hollywood’s mermaid,” died peacefully in her sleep this week, at the age of 91. Esther started her career as a champion swimmer, specialising in male-dominated strokes such as the butterfly. She had three national titles by the age of 16. When the outbreak of World War II prevented her from competing in the 1940...

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Girl, aged 10, gives a lesson in grammar

Rebecca Lee, 10, from Bristol, wrote to Education Secretary Michael Gove over punctuation errors in her SATs. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2327400/Pupil-10-spots-grammar-mistakes-English-exam-writes-letter-complaint-Education-Secretary-Michael-Gove.html Grammar: a word that strikes fear into the hearts of many people, including myself. It brings up memories of finding nouns, adverbs, adjectives, and verbs, adding commas in the correct places and identifying the clauses in the sentences put in front of you at school. Grammar is also something which the current Education Secretary,...

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Sew your way into business

Photo: Getty It seems now that baking may be old hat. Sewing is the new trend that women (and some men) are beginning to pick up and run with. This year saw the first showing of the Great British Sewing Bee on the BBC and it showcased the talent and passion out there for the hobby. Why have these kinds of craft hobbies become so popular? James Hesse, the sewing trade association’s director, says, “Because people haven’t been going out as much and have been cutting back on lots of luxury items, they’ve turned to their hobbies as a way of escapism.” Sewing,...

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The Tale of Genji

http://booksandunusuals.com/used-books/literature-fiction/the-tale-of-genji-by-murasaki-shikibu-modern-library-giant Did you know the world’s first novel was written by a woman? The Tale of Genji was published in Japan around 1000 A.D. and written by Murasaki Shikibu. It is known that Murasaki Shikibu was a lady of the Heian Court and the daughter of a scholar, but her real name and exact date of birth is not known; Murasaki Shikibu is the name by which she would have been known in the court. After the deaths of her mother, older sister, and then later in life, the death of her...

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The females of Formula 1

Suzi Perry, the BBC’s new anchor for F1 coverage. Photo: Geoff Pugh http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/motorsport/formulaone/9762375/Suzi-Perry-lands-plum-BBC-role-presenting-Formula-One-coverage.html Female sports presenters are a rare thing and even more rare is a female presenter who gets to take the lead on presenting a sport is dominated by men. Earlier this year, it was announced that TV presenter Suzi Perry would be taking over from Jake Humphrey as the lead presenter of the BBC’s coverage of Formula 1, after Jake moved on to new pastures. On this occasion the BBC have not...

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Girl Guides take a stand against Page Three

http://nomorepage3.org/news/girlguiding-says-no-more-page-3/ This month the Girlguiding movement publicly gave its support to a campaign to urge UK newspaper The Sun to drop its page three topless pin-ups. The Sun has been featuring topless models (known as Page Three Girls) in its papers since 1970 and has featured an online version since 1999. For some time this feature has been seen in many eyes as out of date and derogatory towards women. After a poll of Girl Guides resulted in almost 90% voting in favour of banning the feature of topless models in the newspaper, the movement took action...

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