04-21 TABLE of CONTENTS:
QUOTES by Georgia E. Harkness, Caryl Rivers, and Helen Dery Woodson.
Amerind Women were just Protecting their Own Property
A note from Alicia Graybill Regarding WOAH's reportage on the place of women in Amerind society:"My sister was a history major in college and did her thesis on two men, (Samuel Ellis and John Dunbar) and the diaries they kept while traveling in the Nebraska area in the 1850-1870s. One was a "missionary' and the other just a traveler in the area.WOAH has heard from a number of other Native Americans (including men) and it is a certainty that we have been mistaught about what the First People's lifestyle was and women's place in it.
"Oddly enough, they made exactly the same comments about Native Americans living in this area, i.e. how the women were 'slaves' and 'forced' to do all the work while the men just sat around and occasionally went out hunting.
"Apparently, neither man understood that the reason the women were doing all the work was that they owned everything and made most of the major decisions. for example if and when the warriors would go into battle.
"(BTW, the character Kevin Costner played in the movie Dances with Wolves was also named John Dunbar but Costner's character was in no way based on the real guy - who was not very nice).
"Maybe the reason the government felt they had to wipe out all the Native Americans was that they didn't want 'white women' to find out that a matriarchy could exist."
Divorced Women May Retain SOME of Their Belongings
April 1848: New York State passes a Married Women's Property Act which allows divorced women to retain some of their possessions. Ernestine L. Rose, one of the most prominent suffragists addresses the legislature five times in support of the bill. Also addressing the legislature was Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
In 1632, It was an Englishman's Legal Right to Beat His Wife (with no rights for her to beat him)
A legal manual published in 1632 for women's edification states that it is a husband's legal right to beat his wife and there is no legal redress for her to prevent it or object to its severity.
The manual goes on to state that under English law woman s personal belongings, money, furniture, linens, and the like become the absolute property of her husband when she marries, and he is under no obligation to pass them on to her designated heirs. The laws prescribing a wife's possessions (and earnings) belong to her husband for his exclusive disposition did not change until the latter half of the 19th century - and then only slowly.
Her dowry, however, did pass to her heirs; her husband enjoyed the use of it only during his lifetime. If she predeceased him, he used her land until his own death.
Most other Western countries have similar laws and customs.
[While HIStory may gloss over it, HERstory shows that when men have absolute power over women they are absolute despots.
By owning her property, a woman had not choice but to stay in a marriage even if she were miserable and being injured. -- IS]
Some Statistics Regarding Domestic Violence
Some statistics about domestic violence that women should remember - especially in light of the various ultra-right, anti-women's rights organizations like the men's rights (father's rights) groups who are trying to claim that a woman (at 5'2") abuses a man (at 6'2") - or that a slap across the face is as violent as a punch in the face that breaks the woman's nose and knocks out a couple of teeth.
These men's "rightsters" are constantly lobbying legislators and congressional representatives to repeal any protective laws regarding women abuses in domestic violence including funding for the Violence Against Women Act which finances women's shelters and education for police and judges:
- Traditionally, 30% of female homicide victims were killed by their husbands or boyfriends. (Uniform Crime Reports, FBI.); in contrast, 6% of male homicide victims are killed by their female partners. ("Crime in the United States." )
- Arrest is the least frequently used response to domestic violence. In 1990, only 110 cities had domestic violence intervention programs requiring mandatory arrest. ("Testimony before Senate Labor and Human Resources Subcommittee on Children, Family, Drugs and Alcoholism," Police Chief Eli Miletich.)
- Approximately two-thirds of reported domestic violence incidents are classified as "simple assaults," which is a misdemeanor, but as many as 50% of these "simple assaults" were as serious or ore serious than 90% of all rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults in terms of physical injury. ("Preventing Domestic Violence Against Women ").
- A Police Foundation study conducted in Detroit and Kansas City found that in 85 % to 90% of domestic homicides, police had been alled at least once in the two years preceding the murder; in more han half of these cases, they had been called five times or more. "Understanding Domestic Violence," National Woman Abuse Prevention Project.)
- Only ten states and the District of Columbia have laws requiring that evidence of spouse abuse create a presu0ption that children should not be placed in the custody of an abusive parent. Even though experts agree that spouse abuse is one of the leading indicators of child abuse and neglect, many abusive spouses continue to receive custody of the children. ("Testimony to the House Subcommittee on Administrative Law and Governmental Relations," Evan Stark, Ph.D.)
- Due to lack of space shelters turn away nearly 40% of all those who need help. (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)
The Short but Fascinating Life of Isabelle Eberhardt
Her mother ran away from her husband (a general of the Russian army attached to the court of the czar) to live with her children's tutor in Switzerland.
It was there IE was born illegitimate but raised brilliantly by the tutor who taught her five languages including Arabic.
Her unusual childhood turned her into a ill and suicidal girl who became dependent on drugs and alcohol.
Leaving Switzerland, the mother and daughter moved to West Africa and became Muslims. IE became a devoted Muslim and often took off into the desert disguised as a boy. She wrote lurid articles for Paris publications about sex and drugs with the nomads.
Her lifestyle made her notorious - there was even an assassination attempt on her probably because she worked as an agent of the French government against the Algerian fight for independence.
Her marriage with an Arabian sergeant kept her in Algeria but it subjected her to strong criticism by society - and she lived in virtual poverty.
She did some work for a newspaper on a French military campaign in Morocco but became ill. Strangely, she was drowned at 27 in a flash flood in the desert.
Her writings have been collected into Dans /'omhre chaude de lslam (1906), Notes de Route (1908), Pages d'Islam (1920), Cartes et Pavsages (1923), and Au Pays de Sables (1944). Her one novel was translated by Annette Kobak as Vagabond (1988).
First Woman to Receive Honary Doctorate from Vienna University
Marie Ebner-Eschenbach, [Countess Dubsky] (1830-1916) was highly respected for her novellas that described contempary life in Austria and surrounding areas with especial consideration for the poor.
Her best known work is probably Das Gemeindekind (1887) that describes the sone of a murderer trying to win respectability.
In 1900 she became the first woman to be awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Vienna in 1900.
04-21 DATES, ANNIVERSARIES, and EVENTS
Executed 04-21-1534: Elizabeth Barton, an English servant of limited intelligence and education who after a serious illness began to publicly condemn Henry VIII and his proposed second marriage, claiming she heard the words in trances.
Her prophecies were at first mystical after her illness but became political as she warned of terrible things that would happen to Henry if he divorced Catherine of Aragon and abandon Anne Boleyn.
She was finally arrested and admitted without torture that she was making it all up. She was executed for treason although no one could understand why she did it - except she was in the service of the Bishop of Canterbury who opposed King Henry.
She had very limited intellect and no education. It is not clear if she even understood the charges against her that led to her death.
B. 04-21-1814, Baroness Angela Georgina Burdett-Coutts - English philanthropist who spent great amounts of money on charitable causes ranging from housing for the poor, schools, and founding of churches.
In 1871 she was made a peeress in her own right.
When she married, her husband got control of all her money under English law and stopped the philanthropy. She was, however, not forgotten and was buried in Westminster Abbey.
B. 04-21-1816, Charlotte Bronte - British novelist.
CB is best known for her novel Jane Eyre, one of the great works of fiction that has been made into several movies and copied in numerous plays.
She later wrote Shirley (1849) and Villette, but neither approached the greatness her first novel.
Her married name was Mrs. Arthur Bell Nicholls.
B. 04-21-1838, Charlotte Emerson Brown - an organizer and first president of the General Federation of Women's Clubs.
The various women's clubs had an undercurrent of political activism and networked women who were forbidden by society to take active positions in public life. If not directly, they often financed such enterprises as as domestic shelters, consumer protection, etc.
Many conservative men including President Grover Cleveland spoke out against them.,
CEB was one of a Sorosis (an important New York women's club) committee that formed the General Federation of Women's Clubs.
B. 04-21-1879, Lady Raden Adjeng Kartini - Javanese noblewoman who was active in the movement for Indonesian women's rights as well as independence for her nation.
Javanese women were forbidden an education and were not allowed to leave their homes from puberty (12-14) until their marriage.
Her letters are national treasures and her birthday is celebrated as a national holiday. She died at 25 from complications in childbirth.
B. 04-21-1891, Rev. Dr. Georgia Elma Harkness - theologian, author, seminary professor, champion of women, peace, and ecumenicity, the most visible woman theologian in mid-century America.
In spite of her education and ability, she was awarded only local ordination in the Methodist church (1926), and not receiving an official pastoral until 1956.
She was a noted author of more than two dozen books. DEH was Professor of Applied Theology, Elmira College, N.Y. (Serving with the department 1923-37).
She was active with the World Council of Churches.
Her local ordination permitted her to exercise most ministerial roles but denied her membership in Annual Conference.
In 1944 (after a bad period needing psychiatric help) she began to share a home with Verna Miller, a musician, finally settling in California. Although she disclaimed militant feminism she was not reluctant to call the church a "bastion of male dominance" or to argue forcefully for the full participation of women.
GEH advocated equal status for women in the church.
B. 04-21-1895, Geraldine Pratt May - first director of the U.S. Women in the Air Force (WAF).
Within a year after officer's training school in 1943, GPM became staff director for the Air Transport Command with women serving under her in 41 different bases world-wide.
Following the war she was assigned to the army's general staff and in 1947 was named Women's Army Corps staff director.
When the WAF was organized in 1948 by an act of Congress, GPM was appointed director with the rank of colonel She oversaw the critical first three years of the service and resigned in 1951. She was succeeded by Col. Mary J. Shelley
B. 04-21-1902, Phyllis Ashworth - Australian-British bacteriologist and biochemist.
She was appointed the first biochemist and electrocardiographer in 1926 at the Baker Institute before a director was chosen (male of course).
Her speciality was eclampsia. She served as bacteriologist at the British Postgraduate Medical School at Hammersmith Hospital until returning to Australia in 1940 and assigned to work in munitions (medical).
She then worked as a bacteriologist at St. Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne.
B. 04-21-1907, Sanora Babb - U.S. journalist and novelist who wrote under her own name and that of Sylvester Davis.
She described in vivid detail the hardships of migratory farm workers and especially the starving women giving birth alone on the floor of a tent to dead babies while her other small children cried and begged for food.
B. 04-21-1907, Dorothy Dodds Baker - U.S. novelist and short story writer. Her Young Man with a Horn (1937) became an instant classic and later the movie version also became a classic.
DIED 04-21-1924, Marie Corelli - English author.
Critics lambasted her work but her 28 romantic novels were very popular and made her a very rich woman (to support the old adage that the best revenge is living well).
She wrote in a melodramatic and popular style often combing psychic experiences. She werote several novels about religious events in non scholarly ways that brought her extreme criticism from the critics.
She moved to Stratford-upo-Avon and was a leader in the movement to retain the village in its original form for posterity.
B. 04-21-1926, Elizabeth II - queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain.
B. 04-21-1939, Mary McClure - U.S. government official.
MM was appointed special assistant to the President of the United States for intergovernmental affairs 04-06-1989 "for responsibility for liasion with state legislators."
A Fulbright scholar,"Senator McClure was elected to the State senate of South Dakota in 1974. She was the first woman to serve as senate president pro tempore, as well as national chairman for the Council of State Governments, since 1979. Senator McClure has served on the executive board of the Legislative Research Council since 1977, and was on the executive committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), 1982 - 1985 and in 1988... Prior to her service in the South Dakota legislature, Senator McClure was a teacher,"according to the official White House announcement.
B. 04-21-1942, Anne McGill Gorsuch - administrator of the U.S. Environmental Agency and the second ranking woman in the Reagan Administration (1981). An attorney, she served in the Colorado House of Representatives 1978-1981.
B. 04-21-1944, Cathie Black - U.S. publisher.
CB was president of Heart Magazines, the world's largest publisher of monthly magazines with readership of nearly 125 million.
Among the magazines under her overall direction were Cosmopolitan and Esquire.
B. 04-21-1947, Barbara Park - U.S. children's author.
B. 04-21-1947, Patti LuPone - U.S. actor and singer who starred in several of the most outstanding musicals on Broadway.
She won the 1979 Tony for her work in Evita. Her mother was the administer of the C.W. Post College library and her great, grand aunt was the legendary opera singer Adelina Patti.
B. 04-21-1958, Andie MacDowell - U.S. actor and advertising model.
AM was featured in a number of movies such as Sex, Lies and Videotape (1989), Green Card (1990), Groundhog Day (1993), Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), Multiplicity (1996) and Michael (1996).
A former Clavin Klein model, AM is best known for her hair product commercials.
B. 04-21-1966, Judy Diduck - U.S. hockey player.
B. 04-21-1971, Shannen Doherty - U.S. actor.
SD is best known to teenagers for her stint on the TV series Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990-94). She continues her career in movies.
QUOTES DU JOUR
HARKNESS, GEORGIA E:
"To those who fear that we women would not make a success of the ministry, we reply, `Try us and see!' Is there anyone who really believes that a woman with proper training cannot preach as good a sermon as a man?"
"To those who say that the standing of the Church in the eyes of the public would be lowered if women were admitted to its ministry, we reply that if it would, then it is time for public opinion to be re-modeled."
-- Georgia E. Harkness, "The Ministry as a Vocation for Women," The Christian Advocate, April 10, 1924.
"The corporate culture is still stuck somewhere back in the 1950s. Too many bosses still believe the typical worker is a man with a wife at home. So they call meetings at 8 a.m., they think they have to give the raise to the guy who comes in every Saturday. People are saying not that we want to go back to the 1950s, but that we need to have some arrangement where the fact that we all have family lives is built into the way we manage."
-- Boston University professor Caryl Rivers, author of She Works, He Works: How the Two-Income Family is Happier, Healthier and Better Off.
WOODSON, HELEN DERY:
"If my children were in a burning building, I would try to rescue them. I am trying to rescue them from a burning world."
-- Helen Dery Woodson, conservation activist.
© 1990, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2002
Irene Stuber, PO Box 6185, Hot Springs National Park, AR 71902.
Email email@example.com with any corrections, additions, or suggestions.
Distribute verbatim copies freely with copyright notice for non-profit use.
We are accepting donations to help offset the
of posting and archiving of WOA.
To receive the email versions
of Women of Achievement and Herstory
| TOC | WOAH | About Us | Catts Claws | Exhibit Hall | Benefactors |
| Library | Search | Abigails | Irene Stuber | Military Women | Home |