Saturday, April 9, 2011

Courtney Martin

Last Saturday I returned home from vacation at the Outer Banks a day early in order to have a meeting with Courtney Martin - the very same Courtney Martin who wrote Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters which I've blogged about several times.

A few weeks before, I'd googled Courtney to find out how to get in touch with her and happened to notice that she was going to be in Richmond at a conference for Women's Studies Professors and Students.  And furthermore, an acquaintance of mine was coordinating the conference!  I immediately wrote her to ask if it might be possible to arrange for me to meet Courtney.  I felt so led to try to meet with her.  My friend wrote Courtney to request the meeting, and Courtney very graciously agreed to it. 

It was a terrific meeting.  I am so impressed by everything Courtney has undertaken.  She has written not only the one book, but also at least two others:  Click: When we Knew we were Feminists and Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists.  In addition she goes all over the country to speak at universities to tell young women about the possibilities for helping to change the world so it's a better place for everyone.  She recently chaired a conference called Endangered Species Women.  Here's what the blurb on their blog says: 
The summit took place on March 18 and 19, 2001 at The New School, with over 500 people in attendance and an incredible diversity of content and conversation. Stay tuned for details about the imminent international campaign.
There have been 5 of these summits in 5 different major cities around the world.  Here's some of the press they received:
The fight-back has begun. Last month, women and men from the fields of fashion, feminism, politics, advertising, psychotherapy, education and the media got together in five cities around the world to shout loudly ‘enough is enough’. To the rallying cry of ‘Take back your body’, the events – called Endangered Species summits – galvanized a campaign for a new visual culture: one that reflects women’s diverse shapes, sizes, forms and skin tones, rather than perpetuating an unattainable beauty myth.
Katherine Baldwin, the journalist who wrote this piece, is also raising awareness over at her own blog. Check it out.

These women and women have the amazing audacity to think they can change the way women are portrayed in the media around the world!

As you can perhaps imagine, Courtney felt aligned with the work I'm doing which is basically the exact same thing.  I gave her a copy of my catalogue which she plans to share with the other organizers of the event.  She posted a blog entry about my work with one of my images on their site.  She was very generous in suggesting folks I could get in touch with who might be interested in my work.  It was fantastic speaking with her!  I'm excited to follow through on her suggestions (after I finish my darn taxes!) so I can start to get my work out into the world even more.  It's been a glorious month!

So many exciting things are happening, I can't even begin to relate them all tonight, but stay tuned the next few weeks!  There seems to be a groundswell happening in the world right now - not only with all the changes in the Middle East.  A similar rush seems to be occurring around women's issues.  Women are no longer content to stick with the status quo.  Things are shifting and changing.  Are you aware of any of these changes in your life/ neighborhood/ community?  Are you working to make any happen?  Share your work here, and let's keep the flow growing!

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