May 17, 2017
FIRST THOUGHT: History, With a Side of Drama
If you’ve ever watched a reality show (Don’t worry, I won’t tell!), chances are you’ve occasionally seen women brazenly stereotype other women. They say things like, “I only have guy friends because they don’t want to start drama.” Puh-leeze! There’s even a meme floating around on the internet about this very thing, to which one reader replied, “Read a history book.” Indeed, we’ve all heard of the Trojan War, but what about the Pig War, the Pastry War or the War of the Stray Dog? These are legit historical wars, all started by men upset by this, that or the other.
Today, shed any stereotypes you may harbor, and remind anyone who thinks differently that there is a multitude of wicked cool, drama-free accomplishments women achieve every single day.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 15
During those times of hasty war-making decisions, women were considered background distractions. And if women wanted to write, maybe even about those wars, they did so privately, if they could. But smacking a woman’s name on a newspaper article? That was unheard of for ages throughout history. Thank goodness that’s no longer the case.
According to the most recent assessment of women in the literary arts, 15 of the 26 publications in the larger literary landscape had as many bylines by women writers as they did men, sometimes even more. Hooray for those publications that offer an outlet for female writers, and hooray for women writers who are literally getting their names out there!
WOMEN TO WATCH: Kaylen Ralph and Joanna Demkiewicz, Co-founders of The Riveter
We at On The Dot are excited to be part of a new media frontier in which women are the stars of the show. One element of this new wave of women-focused goodness comes in magazine form, and today’s Women to Watch are employing this medium to unapologetically expose the power of women as storytellers. They are Kaylen Ralph and Joanna Demkiewicz, the co-founders of a totally kick-butt contemporary magazine called The Riveter.
In a time in which it seems like our voices have been reduced to 140 characters, The Riveter is a breath of fresh air, and yes, quite riveting. This magazine celebrates women’s voices in long-form journalism, publishing thoughtful stories that can’t be summed up in a single sell line because, as The Riveter website notes, “women, as writers and readers, deserve more from a women’s magazine.”
Kaylen and Joanna founded their women’s publication in 2013, when they were journalism students. They were spurred into action after noticing that, in 2012, the American Society of Magazine Editors didn’t nominate one single woman for an award in any major magazine category. Then, while attending an event celebrating an Esquire magazine writer’s collection of 19 underappreciated young writers, Joanna, along with the predominately female audience, was totally baffled as to why only three of those chosen writers were women. These two journalism students defiantly told the writer they wouldn’t be purchasing his book, but rather, would start their own magazine featuring plenty of female writers, and in an amazing twist, he said he’d help.
The mission of Kaylen and Joanna’s magazine is to showcase women’s diverse storytelling, and serves as a powerful example of what women’s media should look like: thoughtful, dynamic and complex. They publish multi-dimensional stories alongside conversations about lifestyle, offering content on more traditional women’s magazine topics like beauty, fashion and health, but also delve deeply into topics like politics, sports and war.
Make no mistake about it, Kaylen and Joanna are hustling, as many millennial goddesses do. They both work at The Riveter full time, and hold other bill-paying gigs. They’re proof that when work is your passion and your passion aims to improve the world, you find the energy. Thanks, ladies, for demonstrating that, when it comes to women breaking new ground, no matter the industry, as Rosie the Riveter said, we can do it!
QUITE THE QUOTE
Today’s quote comes from renowned 20th century feminist writer Virginia Woolf, who said:
“For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.