Thursday, November 5, 2015

Early computer programmer Ada Lovelace is one of only two women who appear in
the new British passport.
The booklet features nine men.
 An updated
version of the British passport has just been announced, and the UK government
is really excited about all the brand-new, anti-fraud security features it
comes with.
However, they’re less excited about the unexpected
controversy it stirred up.
Critics are arguing that the passport design is
sexist. Each page of the booklet is illustrated with a montage around the
theme of “Creative United Kingdom,” featuring portraits of
various luminaries of British history; in addition, every page has a watermark
of Shakespeare.
The problem is that, in total, the illustrations feature seven
men and only two women.
In a country run by a female monarch, it seems that
people expected a more gender-balanced approach.
The full list of male VIPs
is: William Shakespeare
19th-century painter John Constable
Contemporary sculptors Anish Kapoor and Sir Antony Gormley 
Architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, designer of the UK’s famous red
telephone box
“Father of the computer” Charles Babbage
Clockmaker John Harrison, who figured out how ships could tell their
longitude at sea
The only women honored in the 16 available pages are Elisabeth Scott,
architect of the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford, and mathematician
Ada Lovelace, who worked with Charles Babbage and who is considered the first
computer programmer.Related: How to Really Irk the Locals in EnglandOne of the
most outspoken critics of the new design is Member of Parliament Emily
Thornberry, who wrote an op-ed piece about it in the Telegraph.
She calls the
omission “exasperating,” and also tweeted about it; fellow MP
Stella Creasy asked her followers to send the government their
suggestions.
Sam Smethers, CEO of gender-equality advocacy group the Fawcett
Society, had some recommendations: “Instead of being celebrated and
remembered great British women are being airbrushed out of history,”
Smethers says on the group’s website.
“They could have included
the first feminist and writer Mary Wollstonecraft, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson,
Virginia Woolf, Bridget Riley – the list is endless.”
 
Reactions, as you can imagine, have been mixed.
Mark Thomson, director
general of the Passport Office has defended the design, arguing,
“Whenever we do these things there is always someone who wants their
favorite rock band or icon in the book.” And Twitter and the rest of
the Internet have both positive and negative things to say.Related: What
to Do if Your Passport Is Stolen — and How to Avoid itAt this point,
though, 28 million of the new passports have already been printed and will
start to be rolled out in December 2015, so the debate might be moot this time
around.
Fortunately for critics, though, a new UK passport is released every
five years in order to keep it up to date with technology, so the government
will soon have another chance to figure this out.WATCH: Know Before You Go
— Passport Tips For Every Traveler
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Early computer programmer Ada Lovelace is one of only
two women who appear in the new British passport.
The booklet features nine
men.
  An updated version of the British passport has just been announced,
and the UK government is really excited about all the brand-new, anti-fraud
security features it comes with.
However, they're less excited about the
unexpected controversy it stirred up..Early computer programmer Ada Lovelace
is one of only two women who appear in the new British passport.
The booklet
features nine men.
  An updated version of the British passport has just been
announced, and the UK government is really excited about all the brand-new,
anti-fraud security features it comes with.
However, they're less excited
about the unexpected controversy it stirred up.

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