Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Women-only Parking Spaces

So... this European and Asian phenomenon is making its way to North America.  My disappointment is great.  At best, these efforts write women onto public space as vulnerable entities in need of protection and special services that 'regular' people don't need. 

At worst, they are a vehicle for ridicule.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

New Converts to the Bathroom Project

My urban history students got quite lively in their discussion of public bathrooms today.  I think I'll treat them to a new pic of an unusual public bathroom every week.  Hmmm... what to start with????

"Chinese visit a four-story, free-of-charge public restroom in Chongqing, China Saturday July 7, 2007. They're flushing with pride in a southwestern Chinese city where a recently opened porcelain palace features an Egyptian facade, soothing music and more than 1,000 toilets spread out over 3,000 square meters (32,290 square feet). Officials in Chongqing are preparing to submit an application to Guinness World Records to have the public restroom listed as the world's largest, state-run China Central Television reported Friday. (AP Photo) ** CHINA OUT **"

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I ran across a reference to an organization called Citizens for Upgrading Prostitution in Detroit (CUPID) in a 1980 article from The Observer on the Women's Movement in the US.  Hunh.   Anybody know anything about them?  Well, I'll start asking around...

Young Woman Goes to the City (1970s-style)

"Dear Mom & Dad,
Have gone to Chicato to seek fame and fortune. Don't wait up.
-Love, T.R."

T.R. Baskin, 1971

I need to track down a copy of this film!  I remember seeing it once before, long, long ago and long before this research project existed.  I think it will help with my chapter on the 1970s and it can't possibly be worse than "Looking for Mr. Goodbar" or "An Unmarried Woman."

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Street Harassment in Belgium

Ms. seems to have street harassment on their radar of late.  Here is an article on a short film that is reminiscent of Hadleigh-West's War Zone.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Personal Space and Beach Volleyball

A recent article in The Atlantic raises many key points in just a few short paragraphs.  Not surprisingly, the author darts between culture, law, custom, and activism leaving them all underexplored.

"The perception of women’s bodies as public property to be commented upon and regulated is one of the universal undercurrents of urban life, no matter what we are wearing. Covered or uncovered, women are targets for judgment, appraisal, and harassment."

I particularly appreciated that the article offered a critique of "women-only spaces" by quoting a woman from Delhi: "Segregating men and women will never help anyone develop tolerance and respect for others’ PERSONAL SPACE."

Friday, May 11, 2012

Public Drinking Cultures across Time and Space

Here is a fun new project to follow: public drinking!


Five historians are blogging about their research in different eras and locations.  The project "looks at how public space is used, and how tavern culture produces places and social groupings; how these spaces are regulated in the name of order, morality and health; the rhetorics of drinking and taverns, of pleasure, harm and authority. The project asks if the performance of drinking, and ideas of spectacle and carnival, are still part of modern drinking culture, and if contemporary questions about public policy on drinking and ‘anti-social behaviour’ find resonances in the past."