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Suzanne Scoggins, Director of Women's History
The Google Doodle logo honoring Alphonse Mucha, which Google ran on July 24, 2010, instead of honoring Amelia Earhart, whose birthday was the same day.  But hey, why honor a real-life heroine when you can put up calendar art of a fantasy sylph in a transparent gown?

The Google Doodle logo honoring Alphonse Mucha, which Google ran on July 24, 2010, instead of honoring Amelia Earhart, whose birthday was the same day. But hey, why honor a real-life heroine when you can put up calendar art of a fantasy sylph in a transparent gown?

Earlier this month I came across Shelby Knox’s post on how Google Doodles (you know what those are, right?) manage to almost entirely ignore women. I thought at the time, “oh wow, we have got to pull this together with our EVE stuff.”

And now we have. Or rather, Shelby Knox has, in this wonderful post about Google Doodles, Amelia Earhart, and EVE:

Saturday marked the 113th anniversary of the birth of Amelia Earhart, the pioneering female pilot who blew the world’s assumptions of women’s abilities out of the sky by becoming the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic.

Saturday also marked the 150th anniversary of the birth of Alphonse Mucha, a Czech Art Nouveau painter known for his images of delicate white women with long flowing hair that you’re most likely to have seen on greeting cards.

Which one Google did decide to honor with one of its homepage Google Doodle designs? If you guessed the man who drew women instead of the woman, you’re cynical – but rightfully.

No offense to Alphonse Mucha, but come on, Google.

As Shelby explains:

When I first wrote about the almost complete invisibility of women in Google Doodles, I explained why parity in internet graphics should concern feminists:

…we’ve lived with the myth that men created the world and everything good in it for long enough. As long as men get to designate who and what in history is important, young women will continue to learn that all their sex has contributed throughout all of history is their wombs. If we can’t see ourselves as the inventors, artists, revolutionaries and creators that came before, how the hell are we supposed to fashion ourselves into the modern versions?

Since writing that, I’ve become hyper-aware of the almost complete absence of women, especially women of color, in every venue and form in which we as a society honor our political, artistic, and cultural forebears.

She then goes on to talk about…us! EVE. It’s a terrific post, with lots of info and links and explanations of what we’re doing, including our Amelia Earhart balloon.

Thank you, Shelby. And welcome to the quest for gender parity!

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3 Responses
  1. wrapped up in books says:

    Google did at least acknowledge Frida Kahlo’s birthday with a Google Doodle in early July, and they’ve also recognized Beatrix Potter in the past. Might it be that, given their druthers, Google’s doodlers are more apt to honor other visual artists, and that the lack of Google Doodles devoted to women stems from ignorance of women’s contributions to the art world?

    (That being said, I’m totally on board with the cause, and wish I could pitch in for the Amelia Earhart balloon–alas, I’m too poor!)

  2. EVE says:

    That may be part of it. But Google Doodles have also honored inventors, pioneers — all kinds of people. Or rather, all kinds of men.

    Thanks for the good thoughts about the Amelia balloon. We can’t all afford to donate, but just helping spread the word is a big help too!

  3. Take the poll: Should Women’s Equality Day be a federal holiday? : EVE | Equal Visibility Everywhere says:

    [...] of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote. Following up on a previous conversation, I was pleased to see Google observing the day on its home [...]