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in the News
Welcome to Women in the News, a website that reflects the discussions of the Women in the News courses at the Open College of Ferris University in Yokohama, Japan. These courses are designed to stimulate English language discussion, using advanced discussion skills, as facilitated by instructor Dr. Hamilton Armstrong. Especially, the Wednesday gatherings reflect a focus on women as remarkable human beings, with special qualities and vital contributions to humanity. While it may seem odd, even "sexist," to exclude men's various newsworthy efforts, it must be admitted that men have historically received the most attention, frequently crowding out or even erasing women from the records. This course is a small chance to examine, using English, the work and lives of notable women and the issues they champion.
10/3/2002 We opened the course by focusing on Empress Michiko of Japan and her recent trip to Switzerland. For more on this, go to http://www.okada.de/archive-japanasitis/empress/empress.html We went on to talk about Braille translater Mitsuko Iwata, Mother Teresa, and Sadako Ogata. For next week: early life info on Mrs. Ogata and Mother Teresa.  Also, bring in information on women in the news that you want to discuss.  Let 's clarify the  terms "Cinderella Complex" (hint: Collette Dowling, 1981) and`"Peter Principle" (hint: Lawrence J. Peter, 1969).
Women of the Week
The music for this site is entitled "Estudos Brasileiros" by little-known woman composer Cacilda Borges Barbosa (b. 1914). For more Early Music, Art, and Poetry composed by women, check out
Comments? Questions? Please contact Webmaster Hamilton at hamilton-a@muc.biglobe.ne.jp
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10/9/2002  This week we followed up on information from last week, noting new biographical  facts on the Empress, and on Mrs. Ogata (but not so much personal information).  We want to find out more about  Mother Teresa's early life. These classes are fortunate to have students with lots of  interesting information on the lives of women around the world. Qatar and the Middle East became a focus of discussion.  We also moved from the highest women of attainment to women who are in the news for, ahem, infamous reasons. Particularly, we noted the "Chilean geisha" Anita Alvarado, a golddigger who married a brazen embezzler. Boo! Hiss! Question: What is high-ranking American Condeleeza Rice's title? Next week: human rights vs. cultural traditions. Please bring your own interesting discoveries of notable women in the news.
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10/16/2002  The woman of the week is former professor and current independent politician Ms. Yoko Tajima.  Right or wrong, she speaks with a strong voice for women. Our working questions were "Are there fundamental universal human rights? and "Where is the point at which women's rights end and possibly oppressive cultural traditions begin?" Female circumcision? The Indian tradition of sati? For interesting facts on working women in Japan, please press here.  For yet another of the many faces of strong women in Japan, try Steel Butterflies. J. K. Rowling (creater of Harry Potter) has been an inspiration of the power of women to fulfill their dreams. More on these women and ideas next week . . .
10/23/2002  "Creativity" was the word of the week. Women embody the original creative spirit, through their bodies and lives. Ms. Kaori Sasaki has begun eWoman university and Global English. Martha Stewart (also check here) has excelled as the premier American homemaking consultant and CEO of that empire. Unfortunately, she has had image troubles recently.  Her professional mistakes? The revenge of the patriarchy? Or just other's jealosy of a strong woman? On the other hand, we have Harumi Kurihara, who seems to have appealed to her public and culture in just the right way. Let's consider how women and men can contribute to wider support systems for various images of woman (not just "career woman" or "homemaker"), in order to offer many possibilities in society. Next week, how about more ordinary women who have accidentally achieved fame (or infamy)? 
Visit the Vocabulary and URL Page!
Visit the Vocabulary and URL Page!
10/30/2002 My sincere apologies to all class members this week.  I woke up this morning with a cold and sore throat infection that had also traveled up into my ears. I certainly didn't  want to give this to anyone else so I thought it best to cancel class. We'll find a time to make this up later. Keep scanning the media for information and interesting news about women and their lives. Enjoy National Culture Day. See you next week.
11/5/2002 Excellent discussions today! Class members reported on the background of Ogata Sadako -san and also a bit about Inokuchi Kuniko, new chairperson of the UN Disarmament Conference. Shimada Yoshiko has been described in the media as "Japan's premier feminist artist" but no one seems to have heard much of her. In fact, much has been writen about her work from outside of Japan, for more info, go to Legacy Project or Ota biography.  Next week, we will try to focus on gender, language, and perhaps have time to look at the lives and work of Kuroyanagi Tetsuko and Yoko Ono. See you then.
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