Posts By: Jeremy Porath

Girl with no hands wins penmanship contest

Holding the pencil between her wrists, first-grader Anaya Ellick formed neat letters, earning her the Nicholas Maxim Special Award for Excellence in Manuscript Penmanship.

“When she wanted to draw, she learned how to balance a crayon or marker between her arms,” the Pilot wrote. “By the time she was 5, she stopped using prosthetics.” Her mother, Bianca Middleton, said they were “slowing her down more than helping.”

Cheryl Perera

At 19, Cheryl Perera founded OneChild Network and Support to combat the sexual exploitation of children.

Perera and her group of friends worked with Air Canada to “produce an in-flight video that was shown on all flights for several years starting in 2005 to warn of the penalties for child sex tourism and urge passengers to report suspicious activity. The effort was highlighted as a best practice by the U.N. World Tourism Organization.

You can contribute to OneChild at their website.

Get your own deck of Woman Cards

Get ready for the best royal flush you’ve ever seen.

In response to Donald Drumpf’s characterization of Hillary Clinton as playing “the women card,” two Iowa City siblings started a Kickstarter to make an all-female deck of playing cards. They were funded in mere hours.

Maria Toorpakai Wazir

Growing up in the tribal region of Pakistan, Maria Toorpakai pretended she was a boy in order to compete as a weightlifter. Later she became an internationally known squash player.

“Sometimes I don’t believe who I am today. It’s unbelievable for me. I come from that region and there the girls are not allowed to go outside the house, they are not allowed to get education. [At a] young age they are getting married. So it’s a very sad situation in there for girls, and I am very lucky to be who I am today.”

(image taken from this article)

Ma Rainey

In the 1910s and 20s, Ma Rainey took the stage with an ostrich feather in one hand and a gun in the other.

“She was, in the words of historian Robert Philipson, ‘one of the first black divas in history.'”

Sukeban, the schoolgirl street gangs of ’70s Japan

Japanese schoolgirl fashion hasn’t always existed for male fantasies only. Meet the ‘sukeban’ crews who used the power of DIY style to pierce through the patriarchal bubble

When all-male gangs wouldn’t let them join, all-female sukeban> gangs formed their own identities — starting with the uniform.

Lydia Pinkham, the first woman to user her image to sell merchandise

“You ought to feel solemn… that your face pervades the mind of the nation like a nightmare,” wrote one early hater.

“Some confused newspapers began using Mrs. Pinkham’s face to stand in for other famous women, including Susan B. Anthony and a few presidents’ wives.”

And then, as you could imagine, her bold public stance brought in a tide of haters. If you’ve ever seen flame wars on the Internet, you know what you’re in for with this article.

(If Pinkham and her vegetable compound reminds you of “Lily the Pink”, that’s where the song originally came from–it’s an update of an older folk song called “The Ballad of Lydia Pinkham.” In the original, the lyrics “most efficacious in every case” were “and now all papers print her face.”)


On the wrestling mat, this young woman from an unassuming Indian village fights back against patriarchy and prejudice.

“Even people who had spoken ill of me, said, ‘Train our daughters to wrestle. Make them like you.’ “

Mumtaz Shaikh

“Right to Pee” activist Mumtaz Shaikh makes it to BBC’s 100 most inspirational women – Right to Pee network has been successful in developing 96 such toilets in Mumbai in last one year

“Mumbai has 3,000 free public urinals for men whereas women do not have a single one,” Shaikh said, while simultaneously pointing out the significant risk of sexual assault that Indian women face when going to the few bathrooms available. “Do planners of towns think we are less human?”

You can watch the BBC segment here (warning: video autoplays). And this New York Times article from several years ago provides some better context.