Miscellanea, June 19, 2021

miscellanea /mɪsəˈleɪnɪə/ n. pl. : a collection of miscellaneous objects or writings [Latin]

This week in miscellanea: the 94-year-old woman who made Juneteenth a holiday in the US; why the bumbling Dad stereotype is BS; conscientious objection and feminism in Israel; and a brief history of Fabergé eggs.

One Woman’s Decades-Long Fight To Make Juneteenth A U.S. Holiday

The US declared Juneteenth a national holiday this week, a decision that some have dismissed as empty symbolism. I am in no position to judge the value of the holiday, but I love Opal Lee’s story and her determination to get this thing done. At the age of 89, she started a walking campaign–2 ½ miles to represent the 2 ½ years it took for enslaved people in Texas to learn they were free–to draw attention to Juneteenth and galvanize popular support for a national holiday.

“For Opal Lee, whose paternal great-grandmother was born into bondage in Louisiana, this Juneteenth ‘is like a dream…I knew I would see it happen in my lifetime,’ she said with a throaty laugh. ‘But I have to keep my cool.’…She’s delighted the day will be an official holiday. When she straps on her white sneakers for the annual 2½-mile walk, the nonagenarian said everyone ‘all over the country can cherish it as a day of unity.’” NPR

It’s a total myth that women are better at keeping track of household chores

There are many reasons to get rid of the bumbling dad stereotype, including the fact that it’s insulting to men and boys everywhere. But there’s also the point covered in this article: women are not innately better at being organized or managing a household; it’s just something expected of them.

“Personality traits presented as innate thus turn out to be context dependent, particularly for men. While women are expected to be equally ‘on’ at work and at home, the executive functioning skills that help the project manager and the surgeon excel in their careers are somehow deactivated once they leave the office. The idea that he ‘just isn’t wired’ to plan ahead, as one woman told me about her husband, is certainly more appealing than the idea that he just doesn’t want to, even if the latter seems more likely.” The Guardian

A young woman refused to serve in the Israeli Army. This is what happened to her. 

A young Israeli woman discusses her conscientious objection, its connection to feminism, and her ongoing solidarity with Palestinians against the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. 

“I think that the feminist nature of the movement is strongly connected to conscientious objection, due to the rejection of militarism and the very patriarchal values that accompany it: violence as the only option for a solution, the oppression that comes with the patriarchy, and the internal violence against women – and men – in the army. And all of these are ideas that are more accessible to young women in Israel.” Haaretz

Secrets of the Fabergé Eggs

Fabergé eggs are a premier example of the excesses that characterized the Romanov family, but as artistic objects, they are quite incredible. I loved reading that a female designer created two of the most renowned. The Winter Egg is one of them and it is spectacular.

“The genius behind a pair of the most celebrated eggs was Alma Theresia Pihl, one of two women who worked as designers at the House of Fabergé at the beginning of the 20th century.”  Town & Country

Pinecones image by Crystal Smith

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