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Director Sam Mendes

Director Sam Mendes. He made his feature film debut in 1999 with American Beauty which won an Academy Award for Best Picture. Mendes also won an Oscar for directing. Prior to that Mendes made his mark directing theatre productions in London (revival of Cabaret and The Rise and Fall of Little Voice)and on Broadway (The Blue Room). He directed the new film Road to Perdition starring Tom Hanks, Paul Newman and Jude Law.


Sociologist Cheryl Benard

Sociologist Cheryl Benard is the author of the book, Veiled Courage: Inside the Afghan Women's Resistance. Under the Taliban, the group known as RAWA (The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan), educated girls and women in underground schools, ran small businesses and secretly photographed Taliban beatings and executions. Benard has worked with the organization for ten years. She is also the wife of an Afghan refugee who is one of President Bush's key Afghanistan advisors.


Jane Farrell-Beck and Colleen Gau

Jane Farrell-Beck and Colleen Gau, authors of the book, Uplift: The Bra in America. It's a sociological and historical look at the undergarment. Farrell-Beck is Professor of Textiles and Clothing at Iowa State University. Colleen Gau is President of CPRTex, Inc., a home-based conservation of textiles business, and a writer.


Lt. Colonel Martha McSally and Lawyer John Whitehead

Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Martha Mcsally is our nations highest ranking female fighter pilot. Last month she sued the Defense Department for its policy toward women military personnel stationed in Saudi Arabia. When traveling off-base women are required to wear traditional Islamic religious clothing, covering themselves from head to foot. They also have to be chaperoned by a male, and are required to ride in the back seat of any vehicle.


Human Rights Lawyer Asma Jahangir

Human Rights Lawyer Asma Jahangir. Shes been at the forefront of the movements for womens rights, human rights and peace in Pakistan for twenty years. She co-founded the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. In her work shes defended a boy against the charge of blasphemy-the penalty would have been death. Shes defended the right of women to chose their own husbands. Because of her efforts shes been arrested, received death threats, and been the target of hostile propaganda.


Life During the War in Serbia.

Serbian writer Jasmina Tesanovic. She’s just published a book called “The Diary of a Political Idiot,” (Midnight Editions 2000). The book, comprised of excerpts from her personal journal, narrates daily life in Belgrade during the political upheaval and bombings in Serbia. She is one of the founders of 94, the first feminist publishing house in Serbia. She lives and works in Belgrade.


Musicians Kathleen Hanna and Johanna Fateman.

Kathleen Hanna and Johanna Fateman of the band, Le Tigre (lay-TEE-gruh). Hanna was the lead singer of the 90s band Bikini Kill. Bikini Kill was part of the music/cultural/feminist movement know as “Riot Grrl,” which focused on the concept of ‘girl power” and young women’s empowerment. The movement was based primarily in Washington, DC and Olympia, WA, and its members formed bands, wrote fanzines, and held meetings, protests and festivals. HANNA was a leader and spokesperson for the movement. Her first solo project after Bikini Kill was called Julie Ruin. She then formed Le Tigre.


Physician and Activist Vjosa Dobruna.

Dr. Vjosa Dobruna (“Vee-YO-sa Doe-BRU-na”) is one of this year’s recipients of the Jonathan Mann Award for Global Health and Human Rights. She’s being recognized for her work as founder of the Pristina Center for the Protection of Women and Children, which treats those victimized by rape, torture, or psychological trauma. Dobruna is a pediatrician neurologist. During the war, she fled to Macedonia and set up work in a Macedonian refugee camp. Dobruna narrowly escaped arrest last year. Her colleague, Dr. Flora Brovina, is the other recipient of the award.


Maureen Corrigan Weighs in on Faludi's Controversial Book.

Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews "Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man" (Morrow) by Susan Faludi. It's a non-fiction account of the myths and betrayals American society has perpetrated on men. Faludi's first book was the highly acclaimed "Backlash."


The Biology of Being Female.

New York Times science writer Natalie Angier talks about her new book "Woman: An Intimate Geography." (Houghton Mifflin)She is also a Pulitzer Prize recipient for her writing in The Times. Her other books include: "The Beauty of the Beastly," and "Natural Obsessions." She lives in Takoma Park, Maryland.


Women Gain New Rights in South Africa

South African Judge Tandaswa Ndita. Her focus is family law. She's been educating rural communities about the new constitution and the new rights accorded to women. For the first time under the law, women are no longer considered household property, and have been given the status of personhood. The Judge can also be seen in the new documentary "A Woman's Place" which premieres nationwide on PBS, November 27th.


Erotic Film Pioneer Doris Wishman.

Filmmaker Doris Wishman. She's considered to be a pioneer of sexploitation movies, of the "nudie" and softcore sex genre films. Between 1960 and 1978 Wisman wrote, directed and produced 24 low budget films. Her films include "Bad Girls Go to Hell," "Nude on the Moon," and "Too Much, Too Often." Revivals of her films have recently been shown in Boston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and New York. In August she will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Chicago Underground Film Festival.


Escaping Female Genital Mutilation.

Fauziya Kassindja and Layli Miller Bashir have co-written "Do They Hear You When You Cry". It is published by Delacorte Press. The book is based on their experience. Kassindja fled Toga, Africa to escape female genital mutilation. Bashir as a law student fought for Kassindja's freedom. Bashir is the founder of Tahirih Justice Center, which assist women facing human rights abuses.


The Dilemmas of Being a Modern Woman.

Mary Gordon is the author of several bestselling novels which are often about the conflicts facing contemporary women. Her novels include "Final Payments" and "The Company of Women." She's also the author of the memoir, "The Shadow Man: A Daughter's Search for Her Father" (Vintage Books, paperback). Gordon's newest novel is "Spending" (Scribner) about a woman painter who finds a patron, muse, and lover in a wealthy commodities broker.


The First Second-Generation Feminist.

Historian Ellen Carol Dubois teaches at the University of California, Los Angeles. She's the author of the new biography: "Harriot Stanton Blatch and the Winning of Woman Suffrage" (Yale University Press). Blatch was the daughter of the famous suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton. When her mother died, Blatch carried on her mother's work, encouraging women of all classes to participate. Dubois also edited "The Elizabeth Cady Stanton-Susan B. Anthony Reader" (Northeastern University Press)


Spiritualism and Women's Rights.

Historian Barbara Goldsmith. Her new book is both biography and a history of the time. It tells the story of the 19th century feminist and spiritualist Victoria Woodhull, "Other Powers: The Age of suffrage, Spiritualism, and the Scandalous Victoria Woodhull" (Knopf). Victoria Woodhull was the first woman to run for president. She was an ardent feminist who championed for women's rights, but her spiritualism put her outside the mainstream suffrage movement, as well as her attempts to blackmail her enemies.


The Life of Jane Austen.

Claire Tomalin, author of the biography "Jane Austen: A Life" (Knopf). The biography addresses Austen's world, family, and works, many of which in recent years have inspired popular film versions. Tomalin is also the biographer of Mary Wollstonecraft and Nelly Ternan.


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