I love everything about the Parkham Women’s Institute, a group of old ladies in the UK who got together to hear a local speaker, retired sea captain Colin Darch, and dressed up in costume for the occasion. Seeing as the talk was about pirates, they wore eye patches and peg legs, and carried swords and fake parrots.
The only problem is that as Captain Darch began speaking, the ladies realized they had it all wrong: Darch had been kidnapped by gun-toting Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean and held captive for 47 days before ransom was paid. He was there to speak about his new book on the terror, not-so-unclearly titled Capture By Somali Pirates And Other Events At Sea. Keep reading »
“Margaret Thatcher was a pioneer, willingly or unwillingly, for the role of women in politics. Her hard-nosed fiscal measures took a toll on the poor, and her hands-off approach to financial regulation led to great wealth for others. There is an argument that her steadfast, almost emotional loyalty to the pound sterling has helped the UK weather the storms of European monetary uncertainty. To have withstood the special hatred and ridicule, unprecedented in my opinion, leveled in our time at a public figure who was not a mass murderer; and to have managed to keep her convictions attached to fervent ideals and ideas — wrongheaded or misguided as we might see them now — without corruption — I see that as evidence of some kind of greatness, worthy for the argument of history to settle. To have given women and girls around the world reason to supplant fantasies of being princesses with a different dream: the real-life option of leading their nation; this was groundbreaking and admirable.”
— Here’s Meryl Streep, who portrayed former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the 2011 film “The Iron Lady,” remembering the politician, who died today at age 87.
After the jump, others remember the controversial yet pioneering Thatcher, who was Great Britain’s first and only female PM: Keep reading »
Once upon a time, a woman named Louise Mensch was an MP for Britain’s Tory political party. Last summer, Mensch suddenly resigned [last item], saying she could not juggle her young family and being a politician at the same time.
Since then, Mensch has taken up a somewhat … surprising … pursuit: she now runs a beauty and style blog called Unfashionista in which she blogs about how someone with tomboy style can please her man. Keep reading »
There’s artwork and then there is earthwork, which is just what it sounds like: artwork built into the ground. This naked woman is “Northumberlandia,” a 1,300-by-830-ft long piece of landscape sculpture located in Northumberland in the UK. It’s the largest piece of “human body” earthwork in the world. Keep reading »
Catherine Furey, 38, of the UK, died in December 2010 after drinking concentrated vinegar, a DIY abortion she read about on the Internet. Furey had a “violent reaction” to the vinegar, was rushed to the hospital and died.
The details of her death have only now come out in relation to a trial against Furey’s sister-in-law, Dawn Chadwick, who handed Furey the vinegar bottle. Arrested in 2011, Chadwick was later charged with “unlawfully supplying a poisonous or noxious substance with the intent to cause the miscarriage of a woman.” The charge was later upgraded to manslaughter, but she was eventually cleared of wrongdoing. The families of the two women, through their lawyers, have issued statements saying they do not blame the sister-in-law for Catherine Furey’s death. Keep reading »
Talk about an “extreme makeover”: a UK high school removed mirrors from the girls’ bathrooms after girls flouted the dress code rules about makeup. Shelley College in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, once allowed female pupils over age 14 to wear “discreet” makeup. But “five or six girls … the ones who wear the most makeup” continually overdid it in the tastefulness department, so the school felt forced to respond. Now all female students except for those in their six form (the British equivalent of 12th grade) are forbidden from wearing makeup at school and mirrors have been removed from the girls’ bathrooms to boot! “There comes a point when you need to stop teachers spending half an hour in the day talking to girls about their make-up,” the school principal told the UK’s Daily Mail. “It is more sensible to say it’s not allowed.” All teachers have been given makeup remover in case a girl runs afoul of the ban. Keep reading »