04-27 TABLE of CONTENTS:
QUOTES by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Anouk Aimee, Dale Spender, Susan L. Adkins, Roseanne Barr, and Pal Erdös.
First Woman Woman's Rights Advocate to Gain Voice in English Publishing "Called Hyena in Petticoats"
Mary Wollstonecraft (b. 04-27-1759), British author and woman's rights advocate who was forced to write to earn money - and against all gender odds became an honored and influential part of the London radicals which included Thomas Paine of U.S. William Godwin, Thomas Holcroft, William Blake, and, after 1793, William Wordsworth.
She also became the first woman's rights advocate to gain a voice in the closed patriarchal publications venues.
Her critics called her a hyena in petticoats. What was a woman doing associating as a equal with men and writing about women's thoughts, opinions and rights?
MW's most enduring works presented argument after argument for women's individual recognition legally, politically, economically, and socially.
Her best known work Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792) was written in an attempt to offset the ideas of Rousseau and the romantic age about women's inferiority, a view that was gaining ground in a period that historians choose to cite as the beginning of more representative government and more human rights.
However, the truth is that while men were being given more rights, regressive laws were being written in France and Germany as well as other European countries that took rights away from women - some claim it was done in direct proportion.
Men, for example, were given more rights that included such things as being the final determination of how long their wives could breast feed... usually longer for the boys.
As a child MW witnessed her drunken, vicious father openly beat her mother without her mother having any recourse from the law. MS left home to work for others doing household duties to earn money but returned home to nurse her dying mother,
Then, according to Margaret Olipant in her Literary History of England, 1790-1825, "When in 178... nearly thirty... she made a home for her brothers and sisters, supported her father in his village, and was the head of all family concerns...."
In 1794 MW had a daughter, Fanny, without marrying the father after a stay in France to observe the French revolution. She married a different man, one of the radical writers of her London group after becoming pregnant during their affair. She died 11 days after giving birth 09-10-1797 to Mary Wollstonecraft (Shelley), future author of Frankenstein. She was 38.
MW was a passionate, all-embracing cosmopolitan woman who traveled to Ireland, Spain, Scandinavia, and France.
Her early Thoughts on the Education of Daughters (1787) is well worth the effort to read. It will appear in the WOAH library shortly. Keep checking.
Although her essay A Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792) overshadows her other works, there are valuable insights in each of the others. They include Thoughts on the Education of Daughters (1787), The Female Reader (1789), and the uncompleted Maria (published posthumously in 1798). There is also A Vindication on the Rights of Man.
Her first novel Mary, a Fiction (1788) recounts a romantic friendship with Fanny Blood that many believe was lesbian. Fanny Blood also died in childbirth.
Virginia Woolf's Tribute:"She whose sense of her own existence was so intense, who had cried out even in her misery, 'I cannot bear to think of being no more -- of losing myself -- nay it appears to me impossible that I should cease to exist,' died at the age of 38.(Ironically, some of the very women who have benefitted the most from Wollstonecraft's strong positions are today are selling her and themselves out to make their way up the academic ladder. Several books by women academics published recently are claiming she was a bad writer, bad thinker, etc. Instead of helping her hero position they would make her irrelevant and destroy her feminist positions - and themselves. Pitiful.)
"But she has her revenge. Many millions have died and been forgotten in the 130 years that have passed since she was buried; and yet as we read her letters and listen to her arguments and consider her experiments, above all that most fruitful experiment, her relations with Goodwin, and realize the high-handed and hot-blooded manner in which she cut her way to the quick of life, one form of immortality is hers undoubtedly: she is alive and active, she argues and experiments, we hear her voice and trace her influence even now among the living."
-- Virginia Woolf in her epitaph on Mary Wollstonecraft.
Women in Legal Profession Find the Ladder Steep
In a report released in April of 2001, the American Bar Association found that although one-third of all attorneys in the United States are women, only a very small percentage ever makes it to prominence and large salaries. In fact, only 5% of the managing law partners in U.S. firms are women and only 15% of women are any kind of partner, the ABA study, "The Unfinished Agenda: Women and the Legal Profession" found.
The report also found that women make up only 10 percent of law school deans and corporate general counsels.
One of the reasons there are fewer women holding partnerships is that many women step aside for a few crucial years to begin families just at the point when most men are moving into the partnership fast track, but others say it is the old male prejudice of aiding those who are like themselves that cause the inequity.
Women were slightly less than half the law students enrolled in 2001.
[This article is based on an article by Scott Van Voorhis that appeared in the Boston Globe 04-27-2001.]
Dr. Ocloo 1990 Laureate of Africa Prize for Sustainable End of Hunger organization
Dr. Esther Ocloo with a successful business career and in 1990 became the first woman to receive the African prize for leadership . She is the found and chair of the Sustainable End of Hunger Foundation, and the founder and first board chair of the Women's World Banking association.
But perhaps more importantly for the future of Africa, beginning in 1975 Dr. Ocloo committed to providing two essential opportunities to African women: training and access to credit so that they may start their own enterprises.
Most African nations when they freed themselves from European rule turned all assets over to the men even though in most instances the women do the actual work.
It was at the 1975 workshop in Mexico City preceding the International Women's Year conference in 1975, that she put forth the idea of an international bank directed specifically to women. As a result, Women's World Banking plays a vital role for the empowerment of women. It provides guarantees for women who have historically been denied collateral so that they are eligible for a bank loans.
The program which often makes loans of tiny amounts by western standards is considered one of the most successful programs of the 20th century the raises people from poverty.
Dr. Ocloo became the first chairman of its board, serving in that capacity from 1980 to 1985.
Dr. Ocloo's life has been devoted to producing creative solutions to the problems of poverty, hunger and the distribution of wealth.
Now wealthy, Dr. Ocloo started off with a gift of ten shillings from an aunt. With the money she bought oranges and made 12 jars of marmalade which she sold at a nice profit.
Through the years she expanded into a major producer of packages foods using Ghanaian produce ranging from fruit juice to soups.
Active in gaining Ghana's independence, she was also found and first national president of the federation of Ghana industries. In 1964, she became the first female executive chairman of the Ghana National Food and Nutrition Board.
Dr. Pagels a Beacon for Women Seeking a Voice in Churches
Dr. Elaine Pagels, Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion, Princeton University is a towering force in the theological community and a beacon for women seeking a voice in the Church.
By exploring the suppression of women by early Church leaders, Dr. Pagels has raised the Christian community s consciousness about sexism in organized religion. Her impressive scholarship she possesses a working command of Greek, Latin, German, Hebrew, French, Italian and Coptic has earned her international respect. Her books the Gnostic Gospels, Adam, Eve and the Serpent, and The OrtAin of Satan, are among those rare works to win both scholarly and popular acclaim.
Victoria Ocampo was Argentinian Feminist
Victoria Ocampo once said that if she could have a magic lamp that would enable her to write like Shakespeare, Dante, Goethe or Cervantes she would reject it, because what she most wanted to do was to write like a woman in some new, unknown way.
A child of great privilege born of the small close-knit Argentinian upper class that controlled 97% of the country's wealth, she broke with the nation's religious tradition and left her husband to live independently - primarily with women.
She held salons and founded the literatory journal Sur that published many translations of European writers including Viriginia Woolfe with whom she claimed "a close intimate friendship."
She was a feminist who encouraged the rights of women. However, she opposed Evita Peron because she considered her an upstart and not a true feminist - a reflection of OV's class snobishness if nothing else. The
OV lived 1890-1978. and was a strong voice in encouraging women of the right sort to express their artistic ability.
Marie Anne Quinault, b. 1692, was a French singer and composer who was awarded the Order of St. Michael by the King of France in recognition of her musical accomplishments, the first time it was ever awarded a woman.
04-27 DATES, ANNIVERSARIES, and EVENTS
B. 04-27-1682, Caludine-Alexandrine Guerin de Tencin - , French author and literary patroness. She had legendary romantic attachments that, if her critics can be believed, put Cassanova in the beginners class.
B. 04-27-1806, Maria Cristina I (Maria de Borbon) - Queen Regent of Spain and absolute ruler 1833-40 following the death of Ferdinand VII.
She had prevailed upon her husband Ferdinand VII to put aside the Salic law that forbade a woman from succeeding to the throne and to name their daughter Isabella II as the future monarch.
Ferdinand's brother took this very hard and started a war. He didn't get the throne, but the liberal forces won acceptance of their constitution, Maria resigned the regency. She later attempted to influence the reign of Isabella but failed and was forced to flee the country.
Her secret morganatic marriage to a non-aristocrat in 1833 antagonized many.
B. 04-27-1810, Mary Ferrin - U.S. activist. A women's rights advocate, MF worked for married women's property rights which at the time were no existent. The laws stated that all rights and property in a marriage belonged to the husband (even the wife's clothes).
B. 04-27-1851, Alice Morse Earle - U.S. historical author. AME wrote of everyday things and is perhaps the foremother of the new style of herstory that concentrates on people's lives and environment rather than the incidental wars and political machinations that didn't have long range effects.
Her interest in her family's heritage branched out into antiques. Because of her meticulous research, her books and articles are much admired. Her studies centered around what is snidely called "domestic manners" by historians, but is in fact the very essence of civilization upon which all others things revolve.
Some of her titles: China Collecting in America, 1892, Customs and Fashions in Old New England, 1893, Costumes of Colonial Times, 1894, Colonial Dames and Goodwives, 1895, Colonial Days in Old New York, 1896, Curious Punishments of Bygone Days, 1896, Home Life in Colonial Days, 1898, Child Life in Colonial Days, 1899, Stage Coach and Tavern Days, 1900, Old Time Gardens, 1901, Sun Dials and Roses of Yesterday, 1902, and Two Centuries of Costume in America, 1620-1820, 1903.
B. 04-27-1859, Alice Tyler - U.S. librarian, AT became an authority on library law without holding a law degree which, of course, she could not obtain in her youth since American women were forbidden higher education during her youth. She became Dean emeritus, Western Reserve University School of Library Sciences, and served as head of a number of library associations and commissions.
B. 04-27-1906, Margaret Good - British pianist. MG was the dream of every cellist. Her outstanding piano accompaniment of her husband cellist William Pleeth enabled him to shine and present a master's face.
When MG decided to take up teaching and give up concert work, Pleeth retired.
MG was ranked as one of the leading pianists of her day and maintained a busy solo schedule. Pleeth only performed with her.
B. 04-27-1911, Elizabeth Rudel Smith - U.S. public official.
ERS was treasurer of the United States under John F. Kennedy replacing Ivy Baker Priest
ERS favored printing U.S. money in different colors by denomination but the conservatives turned down the suggestion. The U.S. money remains one of the hardest to differentiate according to denominations. ERS was a successful businesswoman and inventor before assuming the post of treasurer.
B. 04-27-1923, Betty Mae Jumper - Seminole Indian. Our virtual friend Copper Queen who sends WOAH lots of snippets on women's accomplishments recommends the Betty Mae Jumper website maintained by the Seminole Indian tribe.
"Betty Jumper was born in 1923, at Indianatown near Lake Okeechobee in southern Florida. After graduating from a primary school in Carolina, she went to the Kiowa Indian Hospital in Oklahoma and completed a year of nurse's training in the public health field. She then worked with the public health nurse serving the Seminole Reservation.
"In 1967 the Seminole people elected Betty Mae Jumper as the first woman to serve as chair of the Seminole Tribal Council. After retirement Jumper worked with the communications department, which published her brief memoir."
Seminole Tribe of Florida
6300 Stirling Road
Hollywood, Florida 33024
AN ASIDE: The compiler of WOAH was a newspaper reporter in Broward County, Florida when Betty Mae Jumper was elected president of the Seminoles. She was highly active in attempts to raise the living standards of her people but the local head of the Indian Affairs (headquartered then on State Road 7 in Dania, now Hollywood), was a bigoted, narrow-minded pinhead. My best remembered incident with him was when he was boasting how tough he was (mind you this was MODERN FLORIDA), so tough that he walked all day with a stone in his boot. One brave soul asked, why didn't you stop and take it out?
He glared at her! But didn't answer
Anyway, he made a deal with some builders using federal money that had been alloted for improved housing (the housing for the Seminoles was abomidable).
What the Seminoles got was flimsy pre-constructed wooden houses that were NOT up to Broward County or South Florida building code regulations and were set around one of the most awful, stinking, stomach-turning pig farms that anyone could imagine. The owners would collect garbage from area restaurants and dump it into the open fields that had no shade and just one trough of water. The stench was unreal. The farm was grandfathered when the area was incorporated into West Hollywood (Hollywood) and the land around it almost worthless because of the stench.
Betty Mae tried but it wasn't until that jerk was gone and the Seminoles learned they could sell cigarettes cheap because they didn't have to charge state/fed taxes on their reservation land that their income began to rise. The reservation in Dania is now the site of a gambling casino as well. The pig farm is gone too. (BTW, there was an overpass by the pig farm that gave motorists a perfect view down into the mess.)
B. 04-27-1927, Sheila Scott - British aviator. SS broke more than 100 light-aircraft records between 1965 and 1972. She was the first British pilot to fly solo around the world. SS penned I Must Fly (1968) and On Top of the World (1973; U.S. title Barefoot in the Sky, 1974).
B. 04-27-1927, Coretta Scott King, widow of Martin Luther. Civil Rights activist. and activist in her own right.
Following her husband's death, CSK finished raising her four children and supported efforts to immortalize his importance to the black civil rights movement.
She was studying to be a concert singer when she met MLK.
In 1969 CSK published My Life with Martin Luther King Jr. - an idealized version of his work and their relationship. She has never spoken of MLK's many affairs and appears determined with her unstinting dignity to erase them from public memory by irgnoring them in her several books.
B. 04-27-1934, Aimee, Anouk - French film actor. One of France's beauty icons who, in the French way, was allowed to age was also a much admired actor.
She became a symbol of modern woman overturning the antiquated social standards of the long distant past.
She became a symbol of modern woman.
Her best known films (known in the U.S.) are La Dolce Vita (1960, The Sweet Life) and Un Homme et Une Femme (1966, A Man and a Woman) that was reprised Un homme et une femme, vingt ans d'jà (1986; "A Man and a Woman, Twenty Years Later").
B. 04-27-1937, Sandy Dennis - U.S. actor. SC won Academy Award for her role in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) and became a household personality for her role in the TV series Up the Down Staircase (1967).
Ironically she won the 1963 Tony for best supporting dramatic actress in the play A Thousand Clowns beating out Melinda Dillon who had been nominated for the lesbian role Dennis reprised in the movie The Fox.
B. 04-27-1939, Judy Carne - U.S. comedic actor, featured in the fabulously popular TV series of the 1970s Laugh-In.
B. 04-27-1944, Bobbie Gentry - U.S. country singer. BG's first entry into the music world was the sensational top charted "Ode To Billie Jo," for which she won several Grammy awards. What was thrown off that bridge?
B. 04-27-1953, Maud Gonne - Irish patriot and one of the founders of the Sinn Fein (F^Âin) ("We Ourselves"). An actor, she had a famed, lengthy affair with poet W. B. Yeats.
B. 04-27-1953, Dr. Ellen Baker - U.S. astronaut who holds a doctorate of medicine degree from Cornell University. After serving as a medical officer at the Johnson Space Center, she entered the astronaut program and logged almost 700 hours in space as a mission specialist, one of which sent the space craft Galileo off towards Jupiter, and another was the first American docking with Mir and being part of the exchange of crews with the Russians.
B. 04-27-1959, Sheena Easton, Scottish-born, black pop singer. Her "Morning Rain" was number one in the USA, and she became the first singer to have singles in Billboard's top 10 black, pop, and disco charts.
B. 04-27-1967, Bridgette Gordon - U.S. basketball player. She was a member of the U.S. team that won Olympic gold in 1988.
B. 04-27-1969, Darcey Andrea Bussell - British ballerina. Although injury prone, DAB who dances with the British Royal Ballet is widely regarded as one of the finest ballerinas extant today. A long-legged, highly attractive woman, she has also worked as a model who has been featured in Vogue and Vanity Fair.
Event 04-27-1972: Alene B. Duerk, director of the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps, is named the first admiral in U.S. history who is also a woman.
Event 04-27-1990: Connecticut legislature passes bill to assure women's right to an abortion.
Event 04-27-1993: The Pentagon announces that Defense Secretary Les Aspin will order the military to drop most of its restrictions on women in aerial and naval combat, permitting them to fly as fighter and bomber pilots and to serve on many warships.
QUOTES DU JOUR
GILMAN, CHARLOTTE PERKINS:
"Young boys plan for what they will achieve and attain, young girls plan for *whom* they will achieve and attain."
-- Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935) in Women and Economics.
"You can only perceive real beauty in a person as they get older.
"For a certain type of woman who risks losing her identity in a man, there are all those questions... until you get to the point and know that you really are living a love story.
"It's so much better to desire than to have... The moment of desire, when you know something is going to happen -- that's the most exalting. What helps me go forward is that I stay receptive, I feel that anything can happen."
-- Anouk Aimee
"Quite a few of Wollstonecraft's critics have noted that she was the first person to apply the phrase legal prostitution to marriage... that she saw wife and prostitute as equally oppressed, and tried to work out the connection between the two... that she recognized that selling their bodies was a form of work for women."
-- Dale Spender, the extraordinary Australian feminist philosopher, writes extensively about MW in her marvelous Women of Ideas and What Men Have Done to Them, a book that WOAH recommends as THE primary MUST read book for women on how society and the laws treat women.
ADKINS, SUSAN L.:
"Women do not cry from physical pain. Instead we weep from pure anger. This woman cries for a country that in 1991 poured $2.2 BILLION into each B-2 bomber while it invested only $92.7 million in breast cancer research."
-- Susan L. Adkins, "After Mastectomy," Ms. Magazine Vol. IV, number 6.
"Why is it so shocking to see a woman kiss another women but not to see a woman raped, mutilated, and murdered every two seconds?"
-- Roseanne commenting on the controversial kiss between two women on her March, 1994 TV series episode.
"The young Lazlo Lovasz (another present-day hotshot combinatorial mathematician from Hungary) to Pal Erdös:
"'Why is it that so few women seem to achieve greatness in Mathematics?'
"'Tell me honestly, my boy -- If you never get a word of praise for your hard work and are looked upon as a monster, would you have continued on your mathematical career?'"
-- Pal Erdös who some consider the greatest of all modern mathematicians. Submitted to WOAH by email@example.com (Taiwan).
© 1990, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000
Irene Stuber, PO Box 6185, Hot Springs National Park, AR 71902.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org 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 |