First Day Cover on the anniversary of
the founding of Hull House by Jane Addams
04-26 TABLE of CONTENTS:
QUOTES by Elizabeth Janeway, Anita Loos, Dorothy Allison, Taslima Nasrin, and Salman Rushdie.
Salic Law Said No Women as Rulers of France, but Women are All Over History as Ruling Regents
France was ruled by the Salic Law that stated no woman should rule France - but there were a number of women who were regents and ruled in place of their minor sons. They just didn't get the title (nor do historians give them the title.)
One such woman (non-ruling queen) was Maria DeMedici, queen consort of King Henry IV of France who ruled as regent 1610 through 1614 following her husband's death and the minority of her son, the future king.
MdM chose de Richelieu as a royal advisor and was responsible for his red hat. She also advised her son to adopt Richelieu as an advisor. As a reward, Richelieu turned on her and she died destitute in virtual exile.
Perhaps there were causes for her downfall and perhaps not. But she was certainly not any worse that the majority of kings. But history is always rather vague on some things, but then:
History has said she was not a good ruler - but then history says she didn't exist as a ruler. How can the historians have it both ways?
The law in many nations (primogeniture) allows only males to inherit (thus legal stealing from wives and daughters who were often left destitute when the eldest son or male relative inherites all lands and money, even those belonging before marriage to the wife). This primogeniture clause still controls many ancient estates in Europe, especially England, in the 21st century. It was in place in the early days of the colonial and theUnited States.
There is also a set of legal thinking/ laws that prevents a woman from ascending the throne as monarch or from a man inheriting the throne through a female ancestor.
In general these ideas follow the ancient Germanic Salic Law of Succession, although brought to a high art in France where the rule is derived from the Lex Salica, or the law of the Salian Franks.
Some had thought the Salic law was derived from the Roman (which kept women as legal minors) but Germanics appear to have developed the ideas independently although no one knows how much traveling (trading) there was between various tribes. Modern DNA investigation it appears women moved across much vaster areas than previously imagined supporting the supposition of trade with the resultant exchange of ideas.
The problem of no son to inherit in France did not become a problem until the early 14th century - and the no woman allowed was quickly carved into legal stone as was the ban on any man claiming the throne if he was descended on the female side.
Some claim the exclusion of women was because of the sometimes dual role of kings as priests or heads of churches - and women have always been specifically excluded from priesthood by most male godhead religions. However, it probably rose from the male idea that he controls his wife and therefor any husband would control a queen which ties into the long-standing male opinion that women have no minds.
The first official use of the Salic Law was to prevent the ascension of the Spanish child Isabella in 1593. She was the granddaughter of Henry II of France through his daughter's marriage to to the King of Spain.
Once used, the Salic Law that was so beneficial to men became permanent.
It blossomed into a statement to the effect that France was too (fair) precious (beautiful) to be ruled by a woman.
In England and many other nations there was no Salic Law but they did have the rule that all sons regardless of age were above all daughters in the line of succession. Thus in England the very young teenager Edward inherited the throne from Henry VIII. After Edward's death, his much older sister Mary ascended the throne and then at her death (also without "an issue") her younger sister and the last of Henry's children, Elizabeth I became queen.
And there were lots of arguments about that line because of Henry's many marriages.
In Spain, women were queens until Philip V the invoked his own version of the Salic Law in a 1712 decree.
In Russia, women easily ascended the throne, sometimes they were not even related to the late Czar, until an angry, women-hating grandson of a woman czar (she made him behave) barred all women from the throne when he became czar in the 19th century.
The Salic Law although first recorded in Latin is seen to have originated around the 6th century. It was perfected under Charlemagne and his successors as it went through a number of revisions. The original Salic Law was more a legal outline for crimes but did contain the rule that daughters could not inherit land (since husband's were given complete and total control of their wives' money).
The French kings then interpreted (some say incorrectly) the stricture to included inheritance of rulership. But as we all know, the winners get to make the rules and women were barred from the monarchy.
Ironically, less than 17 years after the Salic Law was used in France to bar Isabella of Spain from ascending the throne, Maria de Medici became ruling regent.
Nammu is the primeval earth goddess of Sumerian mythology.
In 1846 New Jersey housewife Nancy Johnson invented a portable, hand-cranked ice cream freezer which she called the Johnson Ice-Cream Freezer. HerJohnson Patent Ice-Cream Freezer would be patented in 1848 by inventor William G. Young.
Nelson First Australian woman to Win Olympic Gold in Field and Track
Marjorie Jackson Nelson of Australia, honored as one of Australia's living legends, won two gold medals at 1952 Olympics at Helsinki when only 17 years of age.
She won the 100m sprint and the 200m sprint. Not only was she the first Australian woman to win an Olympic gold in field and track but she was also the first Australian (male or female) to win a medal in field and track.
The overwhelming Australian presence in the Olympics postdated Nelson's astounding wins. Her victories and the resulting worldwide publicity probably inspired the resultant rush to Olympic gold by Australians.
She was known as the Lithgow Flash as she won every major running event in the sprints. She has devoted her entire life to forwarding sports in Australia and a broad number of civic projects.
Ala Naitto First Woman to Perfect Forward Somersault on the Tightwire
Ala Naitto, an Italian-American tightwire performer, was one of the first woman to perfect the forward somersault on the tightwire.
Until Ala Naitto did it, the feat had been accomplished by only one man, Australia's Con Colleano - and it was "assumed" no women could do it..
Ala Naitto, who was adopted by the Naittos troup, was seldom allowed to perform the feat in public, the troup preferring their natural daughter Nina to do it. Nina was adept at the backward somersault but the forward somersault sometimes took her as many as 11 tries before she successfully completed it.
Ala Naitto was known in America as "The Female Colleano."
According to her obituary in Great Britain (although she lived in the U.S, and died in Florida at 76 in 1997):
"Ala Naitto achieved some extraordinary balancing feats - handstanding on the head ofher partner, Nio; standing on her shoulders to juggle rings; headstanding on Nio's head while she walked up a flight of steps, across the thin wire and down the steps on the other side. No other women in the circus have performed these feats."
Ala Naitto was born in Russia in 1920, and adopted into the Chinese-Russian Naitto circus and theatre troupe at the age of seven, according to the Electronic Telegraph obituary.
The troup left Russia and in 1932 was performing in Germany, then in Great Britain. Later they moved to the United States and became part of the Ringling Brothers circus. The troupe was featured in several movies in UK as well as the U.S.
04-26 DATES, ANNIVERSARIES, and EVENTS
Event 04-26-1777: Sybil Ludington, age 16, rode through towns in New York and Connecticut to warn that the Redcoats were coming... the redcoats were coming to Danbury, CN. All very Paul Reverish, except Sybil completed HER ride, and SHE thus gathered enough volunteers to help beat back the British the next day.
Her ride was twice the distance of Revere's. No poet immortalized (and faked) her accomplishments. Revere did NOT complete his ride; two other men actually did most of the warning ride.
Her hometown was renamed after her. However, recently the National Rifle Association established a Sybil Ludington women's "freedom" award for meritorious service in furthering the purposes of the NRA as well as use of firearms in competition or in actual life threatening situations although Sybil did not carry nor ever fired a gun. Also, some HIStorians have proved to their satisfaction that the Ludington story is *not* accurate.
B. 04-26-1795, Frances Manwaring Caulkins - U.S.author.
B. 04-26-1820, Alice Cary - U.S. author.
AC collaborated with her sister Phoebe on volumes of poetry as well as writing essays, sketches and other works.
They are not considered major writers, but they were well respected in their time.Their home in New York was a meeting palce for many literary figures.
Alice served as the first president of Sorosis, the pioneer women's club founded by Jane Croly.
Sister Phoebe whose poems are now more admired than Alice's for their depth did not accomplish as much in the way of writing since she was in charge of keeping the house (her choice).
Both women were staunch supporters of women's rights and Phoebe served on the Stanton-Anthony Revolution magazine.
Among Alice's books were two volumes of reminiscent sketches entitled Clovernook Papers (1852/1853), Hagar, a Story of To-day (1852), Lyra and Other Poems (1852), The Maiden Oftiascala (1855), The Clovernook Children (1855), Married, Not Mated (1856), Pictures of Country Life (1859), Ballads, Lyrics, and Hymns (1866), Snowberries: a Book for Young Folks (1867), The Bishop's Son (1867), and The Lover's Diary (1868).
B. 04-26-1828, Martha Finley - U.S. author. MF was denigrated in her lifetime by male critics who snidely sneered at her for her "womanly writings."
Without their approval, she still produced more than 100 works that sold extremely well, including the immensely popular Elsie
The Dinsmore series that is still in print more than 150 years later. Her writing brought her fame and fortune, so, as the saying goes, the best revenge (to the critics) is living well.
B. 04-26-1836, Erminnie Adele Platt Smith - U.S. anthropologist who studied the Iroquis Indian culture, gathering their legends and language. Her ethnographic studies surpassed any others in the field.
She started off after her degree at Troy Seminary in Troy, New York and further studies in Germany. She was primarily a geologist who at about age 40 organized the Aesthetic Society that had as many as 500 in her parlor meetings about scient, literature, and art. It was at one of the meeting that she heard about the new field of anthropology. Her studies of the Iroquois Federation enabled her to preserve a large segment of their legends and language. She wrote numerous scientic papers with Myths of the Iroquois (1883) as her best known book
B. 04-26-1875, Natalia Curtis - U.S. musicologist, particularly of Indian music.
NC went to the pueblos of the New Mexico/Arizona Indians to record on site. Through her influence with President Teddy Roosevelt, the ban against Indians performing their music was lifted. Her The Indians Book (1907) remains an important source for students of Indian culture.
By 1911 she had turned to studying and transcribing Black music and published the major four-volume Hampton Series Negro Folk Songs (1918- 1919) as well as other books.
[WOAH note - Overlooked in most U.S. histories is the fact that the U.S. government tried to destroy the Indian culture by forbidding them access to their rituals, religion, and music. The U.S. government bodily shipped thousands of Indian children away from the reservations and their families, sending them to cities where they had no access to their heritage. No people have suffered more at the hands of the U.S. population that North American Indians and the genocide of millions of Western Hemisphere Indians that preceded the cultural blackout. The WOAH compiler has been in several western Indian pueblos and on several eastern reservations and as a white face never felt a moment of fear although she knew that few people have suffered as much as the American Indians. They are remarkable people.]
B. 04-26-1878, Ethel Griffies - British actor who became the world's oldest living, performing actress. EG started her career in 1881 and was still on Broadway in 1967 at age 86.
B. 04-26-1882, Jesie Redmon Fauset - U.S. black editor, teacher, and writer. JRF was probably the first black women to receive the Phi Beta Kappa.
Because of her fine writing ability, W. E. B. DuBois invited her to join the NAACP staff as literary editor of its publication Crisis.
Fauset then played a major role in the literary tradition of the Harlem Renaissance by encouraging young writers. Her much praised personal writings often dealt with racial prejudice. She was a high school teacher and after her marriage she stopped her activism.
B. 04-26-1886, Gertrude Pridgett "Ma" Rainey, one of the true greats of the Negro Minstrel shows when they were a true art form. She is considered the mother of what has evolved into modern blues singing.
She developed the blues from various threads of African music she heard in her native Missouri.
Ma Rainey recorded at least 92 songs as a blues singer. Always helping, she gave Bessie Smith her start. Rainey is gradually being recognized as one of the most important influences in the transition from African music to jazz.
B. 04-26-1893, Anita Loos - U.S. actor, film producer, screenwriter, playwright and novelist.
Her fabulously popular Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1925) which went through more than 85 editions (plus a 1949 Broadway play and a 1953 Hollywood movie). He followup book But Gentlemen Marry Brunettes (1928) was less popular.
AL wrote extensively for the stage, as well as novels, and completed two autobiographies. She got her start in 1916 she wrote the first dialogue titles for silent films
B. 04-26-1895, Dorothy Varian - U.S. artist. Her well- known works include: "Sandra in a Pink Slip" and "Interior with Stone and Nude".
B. 04-26-1907, Julia Godman Ruuttila - U.S. union organizer.
The following was written by Sandy Polishuk (who is writing a book about Ruuttila):
"Julia Godman Ruuttila helped organize the International Woodworkers of America (IWA) in Oregon mills and was the first president of its ladies' auxiliary. In the late `30s she founded the Free Ray Becker Committee (FRBC) to win the release of the last IWW (Industrial Workers of the World) martyr of the "Centralia Massacre" (a fatal confrontation between the IWW and the American Legion in Centralia, Washington, in 1919).
"In order to mobilize support for Ray Becker, she began writing for the IWA newspaper, launching a career as a journalist and investigative reporter that would continue until 1987. She also wrote poetry and novels. In addition to the FRBC, Ruuttila was active in numerous defense committees. She was secretary of the Committee for Protection of Foreign Born, fighting deportation of foreign-born union activists, which earned her a subpoena to HUAC (House Committee on Un-American Activities) in 1956.
"Throughout her life Ruuttila was active in civil liberties,civil rights, and peace organizations, and in drawing the labor movement into these struggles. She participated in lunch-counter protests to remove Oregon's 'White Trade Only' signs and fought against racism in the union movement.
"She was active in the Democratic Party and the ladies' auxiliary of the ILWU (International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union).
"She died in Alaska in 1991."
B. 04-26-1909, Margaret Blackwood - Australian educator, botanist and geneticist. She received the MBE, DBE in 1981.
She served in the WAAF 1941-1946 during World War II rising to wing officer.
B. 04-26-1908, Gale Wilhelm - U.S. author of the lesbian classics WeToo Are Drifting and Torchlight to Valhalla both published by mainline New York publishers in the 1930s.
The latter was supposedly the first lesbian mainstream novel where the lesbians were allowed to be happy at the end although most publicists insist that Claire Morgan's Price of Salt was the first.
"She wanted to melt and pour herself around Morgen like wax."
B. 04-26-1914, Lilian Vera (Lilian Verna) Rolfe - French World War II hero.
Her family had relocated to South America from France before World War II. There, she wa asked to report on German shipping in Rio de Janeiro while she was working for the British Embassy.
She was accepted into the S.O.E. in 1943 and was soon in France, a radio transmitter/receiver strapped to her body. She reported almost daily to England on Nazi troop movements, etc., in spite of the presence of the Gestapo.
She was captured by the Nazi when she was fighting German troops 07-31-1944 with members of the French resistance and sent to Ravensbrück concentration camp (primarily for women). Sometime in January 1945, a very ill and mistreated Rolfe was executed with one shot through the back of her head.
Event 04-26-1918: the right to vote and stand for political office for women of the Canadian Province of Nova Scotia was validated. The general enfranchisement of women in Canada occured 05-24-1918.
B. 04-26-1918, Fanny Blankers-Koen, amazing Dutch track star who won four gold medals in the 1948 Olympic Games at age 30 - and would probably had won seven that year if Olympic officials had not determined that WOMEN could only compete in three singles events because too much physical exertion was unhealthy for women.
Many argue that FBK is the most remarkable of all women who have competed in track and field events.
Her career that started so brightly in the 1936 Olympics wast off by World War II before it hardly began as the Germans invaded the Netherlands and all international sports competition was cancelled.
During the German occupation of the the Netherlands she married and had two children. She suffered badly from malnutrition because of food shortages.
Had the war not intervened and had the Olympics committee not been so sexist, it is possible that she could have won more than 14 gold medals in the various track events at the 1948 games. She excelled in everything from the 100m dash to shot put and won the initial Penthalon.
Dubbed "The Flying Dutchwoman," she was harshly criticized in 1948 for not staying home and taking care of her family. She was quoted in one magazine article as saying, "The people didn't like it, especially the women. They wrote me that it was a shame that a mother of two children was running in little short shorts in a stadium. I always said that these women are jealous."
However, at the time of the 1948 Olympics the shouts and newspapers articles were so vicious that she broke down in tears and was going to leave. She detested the next race, the 200 m. Her husband talked an exhausted FBK out of giving in and she won by seven yards.
Another magazine article describes how Blankers-Koen and her family rode in an open coach drawn by four white horses in a parade in her honor in Rotterdamn.
"All I've done is run fast," she said at the time. "I don't quite see why people should make so much fuss about that." Yet as one reporter wrote, "Holland has won four gold medals in track and field history, and Fanny has been part of them all." Her neighbors gave her a bicycle "so she won't have to run so much."
As it was, she set a total of 7 world records in 7 individual events. Her time of 11.0 seconds in the 100-yard dash in Amsterdam in 1938 tied a world record.
By the time of the 1948 Olympics she was the world-record holder in the 100, the hurdles, the high jump and the long jump.
B. 04-26-1922, Jeanne Sauvé - first woman Governor-General, the 23rd of Canada.
After a long, distinguished career in journalism, JS entered politics and was elected a member of Parliament (1972) on the Liberal party ticket. Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau made her a Cabinet member and she held successive portfolios of science and technology 1972-74, environment 1974-75, and communication 1975-1979.
In 1980 she was appointed the first woman speaker of the House of Commons and served for four years. JS was named governor-general in 1984 for a five-year term that ended in January 1990. She died on Jan. 26, 1993, in Montreal.
B. 04-26-1926, Harper Lee - U.S. writer who wrote only one novel, but what a novel! It was To Kill A Mockingbird (1960).
B. 04-26-1926, Vera Nikoiaevna Maslennikova - Soviet war hero and professor of mathematics.
Dr. Maslennikova received the Order of Patriotic War for her actions in the defense of Moscow during World War II.
After earning her Ph.D., she taught at the Stkelov Mathematical Institute until in 1975 she was named to the chair of differential equations and functional analysis at the Patrice Lumumba University.
B. 04-26-1932, Jill Allibone - British preservationist of Victorian buildings. Her two books on investigating and preserving are required reading for students of the 19th century.
B. 04-26-1933, Carol Burnett - U.S. comedian, singer, actor, one of the great entertainment marvels of our era.
She starred in her own comedy shows on TV 1967-1979. She made a number of movies and TV dramas.
She is truly one of America's funniest ladies.
She was known for her spectacular "Tarzan" yell was well as helping other actors. Her shows always drew top talent; she was never afraid of the competition.
B. 04-26-1938, Lee Bennett Hopkins - U.S. children's author.
B. 04-26-1943, Prudence Leigh Acton - Australian fashion designer and cosmetics executive of companies bearing her name.
B. 04-26-1944, Cathie Black - U.S. president, Hearst Magazines, the world's largest publisher of monthly magazines.
No woman has ever wielded as much power in the publishing industy as CB did.
She was the final word for such magzines as Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Esquire, and Harper's Bazaar. The Heart chain had a monthly readership of 126 million.
She started as advertising manager for Ms. Magaine in 1972, then publisher of the weekly New Yorker magazine, and then the first president and publisher USA Today newspaper.
B. 04-26-1947, Donna de Varona - U.S. swimmer, holder of 37 national swimming titles and two Olympic gold medals. She set a number of world records.
Considered one of the finest exponents of the difficult 400-medley races that combined backstroke, butterfly, breaststroke, and freestyle, the Olympics did not hold the event for the women, just the men before 1964. She has been a battler for equal rights for women athletes.
Verona cofounded and served as president of the Women's Sports Foundation,
Died 04-26-1998, Dominique Aury - French author.
DA is the author of the S&M classic The Story of O (1954) that she wrote under the pen name of Pauline Rage.
QUOTES DU JOUR
"Like their personal lives, women's history is fragmented, interrupted; a shadow history of human beings whose existence has been shaped by the efforts and the demands of others."
-- Elizabeth Janeway in Women: Their Changing Roles.
"So this gentleman said a girl with brains ought to do something else with them besides think."
"I'm furious about the Women's Liberationists. They keep getting up on soapboxes and proclaiming that women are brighter than men. That's true, but it should be kept very quiet or it ruins the whole racket."
-- Anita Loos
"Stupid or smart, there wasn''t much choice about what was going to happen to me... Growing up was like falling into a hole... I might not quit school, not while Mama had any say in the matter, but what difference would that make? What was I going to do in five years? Work in the textile mill? Join Mama at the diner? It all looked bleak to me. No wonder people got crazy as they grew up."
-- Dorothy Allison in her acclaimed autobiographical Bastard Out of Carolina.
"...The insistence of fundamentalists on divine justification for human laws; second, the insistence of fundamentalists upon the superior authority of faith, as opposed to reason; third, the insistence of fundamentalists that the individual does not count, that the individual is immaterial. Group loyalty over individual rights and personal achievements is a peculiar feature of fundamentalism. Fundamentalists believe in a particular way of life; they want to put everybody in their particular straitjacket and dictate what an individual should eat, what an individual should wear, how an individual should live everyday life everything would be determined by the fundamentalist authority.
"Fundamentalists do not believe in individualism, liberty of personal choice, or plurality of thought. Moreover, as they are believers in a particular faith, they believe in propagating only their own ideas (as autocrats generally do). They do not encourage or entertain free debate, they deny others the right to express their own views freely, and they cannot tolerate anything which they perceive as going against their faith. They do not believe in an open society and, though they proclaim themselves a moral force, their language is hatred and violence. As true believers, they are out to "save the souls" of the people of their country by force of arms if necessary."
"The fundamentalists want to replace democracy with theocracy and to impose old theocratic laws instead of modern secular laws on the members of their own society, not on other distant powerful states which they consider their enemies."
"I believe in plurality of culture, and I have nothing against Western culture as such. But in the past, feelings of cultural superiority among the Western rulers were a constant irritant to the people of non-Western countries. When fundamentalism looms large, the West should be very careful in handling the culture of Asian, African, and Latin American peoples. There is no such thing as a "superior or inferior" culture, there are only various cultural patterns which make up this beautiful, multicolored mosaic."
-- Dr. Taslima Nasrin, Bangladeshi feminist author who is under a death sentence (fatwa) from the so-called holy men of her homeland. (TN's fatwa is not discussed very much in the western media probably because she is "only" a woman and perhaps because the Muslim forces have decreed that they should not.
Instead the media glorifies Salman Rushdie who was under the same kind of death threat (fatwa) for the one book that the fundamental Muslims found blasphemous. Rushdie received British government protection and apologized for any wrong he may have committed in his book.
TN fled to Sweden, received no taxpayer-paid protection and she has REFUSED to apologize or step back from her statements in which she says that the abuse and subjugation of women is not part of the Muslim religion. (TN had stayed in her home inspite of the fatwa to nurse her mother and didn't flee until after her mother died.)
In a 2001 article published in Britain, Rushdie tells women to beware of women, blaming women for the missing girls of India. Rushdie says that it is the women who do not stand up to their husbands and abort girl foetuses that are to blame for the growing one-sexed population of his nation.
Salman Rushdie, like so many men in a patriarchal society, refuses to see the obvious.
In India many wives who do not obey their husbands, or the husbands want larger dowriess, suffer "kitchen accidents" where they are burned to death from kerosene spills. They are ostracized and locked up, or thrown out into the streets, etc., if they do not bear sons.
Rushdie blames the victims, of course. In many cases the sons' MOTHER is the one who commits the crime. She has a choice. Either she dies or the daughter-in-law dies.
In his defense he describes the household where he grew up, one filled with professional women who were his aunts and others. He then uses this class of wealthy women to denigrate and condemn the poorer women who are tied by necessity to "old India" traditions.
"While I was growing up, the family's houses, in India and Pakistan, were full of the instructions, quarrels, laughter and ambitions of these women, few of whom resemble the stereotype of the demure, self-effacing Indian woman. These are opinionated, voluble, smart, funny, arm-waving persons - lawyers, educators, radicals, movers, shakers, matriarchs - and to be heard in their company you must not only raise your voice but also have something interesting to say. If you aren't worth listening to you will most certainly not be heard.
As a result, I feel, to this day, most at home in the company of women. Among my close friends, the girls far outnumber the boys. [GIRLS!!! Rushdie is of a mature age.]
"In my writing, I have repeatedly sought to create female characters as rich and powerful as those I have known."
He then points out "ultrasound tests to determine the gender of unborn children are increasingly being used all over India to identify, and then abort, obscene quantities of healthy female foetuses."
While claiming to be pro-choice and pro-woman, Rusdie makes this preposterous statement:
"What should be done when a woman uses her power over her own body to discriminate against female foetuses?"
He continues blaming women for the abortions saying that it is women who favor the male although he does admit vague "myriad pressures of a man-centred society, including the expenses of the dowry system."
"Women beware women: an old story, given a chilling new gynaecological twist," Rushdie writes.
Rushdie says the lack of acceptance of birth control or family planning to curb the population is blamed on "Sanjay Gandhi's attempt to introduce birth control by diktat during the forced-vasectomy excesses of the mid-70s." (Sanjay was assassinated.)
The population problem that will soon make India more populous than China with smaller lands and resources, Rushdie says.
"Will girls become more valued than they are today, or will the masculinism of Indian society, reinforced by the weight of numbers, simply create more and more macho men, and increasingly downtrodden women? Not all problems are capable of instant solution," Rushdie writes.
He then suggests stronger government controls including bonuses for girl children and taxes for boy children among others methods while suggesting nothing to alleviate the "old India" traditions of female dowry that can bankrupt a family with any girls.
It is also the female dowry tradition that results in so many "kitchen fires" where wives are "accidentally" burned to death allowing a man to marry a second or third time for new dowry monies from the parents of the new brides.
Rushdie's position is a typical macho male one in which the man thinks he is being so, so reasonable by only seeing the surface problems from the intellectual male viewpoint - never once attempting to get inside a woman's skin in a land where women (other than the very wealthy) have few human rights and fewer breeder rights.
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