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February 4

Congressional Gold Medal of Honor
awarded to Rosa Parks

Compiled and Written by Irene Stuber
who is solely responsible for its content.
This document has been taken from emailed versions
of Women of Achievement. The complete episode
will be published here in the future.

Example of how women are erased from history


QUOTES by Riane Eisler.

Herstory Erased

      Historians sometimes erase women from history by simply not seeing them, only looking at their own images in the mirrored past. Often it is inadvertent but intentional or not, it makes women's accomplishments and experiences non-existent. There are two notable examples of erasing women's terrors in modern mayhem by ignoring them.
      There were originally no women's names on the Viet Nam War Memorial... But women raised a fuss and now for the first time in our nation's history, a national memorial lists some of the women who perished defending their country during that awful conflict.
      The other is even more indefensible, though probably unintentional: the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. exhibits opened with an almost total absence of depictions of women's lives and experiences. Probably as many women as men died in the holocaust, Nazi Germany's concentration camps. At Auschwitz, 348,820 men's suits were found and 836,515 women's dresses. In addition to the "usual" tortures - hunger, overwork, etc., women were also subject to even greater horrors: biological reproduction experiments, forced prostitution, and rape, object and penile.
      Los Angeles NOW wrote a Call for Action letter which said, "They did an amazing job of encapsulating the experience but the stories/history of women are suspiciously absent. Throughout the entire museum, the question arises, 'What about the women?' In the artifacts, what belonged to the women? The museum, only two years old, is considered far from complete and we must make sure that the experience of women is included. Both the director and the head of the research institute need to be made aware of this lack of inclusion and representation through the entire museum experience."

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B. 02-04-1887, Sheila Kaye-Smith English novelist.

B. 02-04-1906, Mirra Komarovsky, legendary chair, department of Sociology, Barnard College.

rpks.gifB. 02-04-1913, Rosa Parks, refused to surrender her seat on a bus to a white man 12/1/1955 in Montgomery, AL and started the activist civil rights movement. This brave woman had been an outspoken black rights advocate for more than 20 years, long before Martin Luther King popularized the movement.
On Tuesday, June 15, 1999, President Clinton and top lawmakers honored civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks with the prestigious Congressional Gold Medal of Honor. "This medal is encouragement for all of us to continue until all have rights," said Parks, 86, during her brief remarks. Parks' refusal to give up her bus seat to a white passenger in Montgomery, Alabama, on December 5, 1955, triggered a black boycott of the city's bus system that lasted more than a year and eventually led to laws that ended legalized segregation.

B. 02-04-1918, Ida Lupino, actor and director, after a series of pretty-face movies, finally got the cockney role of Bessie In the Light that Failed (1939) and quickly became a Hollywood star everyone loved to hate with a series of psychopathic and evil roles, turned to directing and became the most renowned women director since the silent movies.

B. 02-04-1921, Betty Friedan, writer, social activist. One of the founders and first president of the National Organization for Women 1966-1970, founder of the National Women's Political Caucus, 1971. She wrote The Feminine Mystique.
      Her mother was editor of the women's pages of a Peoria, IL, newspaper who had to quit when she married.
      Friedan was a battered wife even after her NOW activities began.

Event: 02-04-1976, Kathryn Lis, Susn Kollmeye and Cynthia Snead became the first U.S. Coast Guard Academy cadets by finishing in the top one percent of the more than 10,000 men and women who competed for admission.

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      "History as taught in most schools is largely a matter of the struggle for power among men and nations. It is the dates of battles and the names of kings and generals noted for alternately constructing and destroying fortresses, palaces and religious monuments."
            -- Riane Eisler, The Chalice and the Blade.

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