04-28 TABLE of CONTENTS:
QUOTES by Gloria Steinem, Virginia Woolf, Simone de Beauvoir, Gillian Roberts, Judy Herman, and Jennifer Baumgardner.
APIOL Produces Menstruation; 19th Century Discovery
From the early 19th century, a substance called APIOL made from the essence of parsley seeds has been used to "produce menstruation" for women whose periods have stopped.
Small doses proved effective were available openly in the medical sections of most general stores or pharmacies by the 19th century as a self-administsered abortifacient. It became the preferred method of self abortion only second to lead plaster (diachylon, or black stick). Black stick is quite dangerous to the nervous system and can even be fatal in large doses.
Of course, in spite of relative safety, APIOL was withdrawn in the 1950s except by prescription in the U.S.
Apiol was developed by two Parisian doctors searching for an alternative to quinine.
More Than 100 Million Women are Missing - Murdered at Birth, Dead by Neglect, or Murdered
In an article 09-11-95 in U.S. News & World Report, Susan Dentzer wrote about the "case of the missing women - MORE THAN 100 MILLION OF THEM, to be exact."
On her way to pointing out that populations ratio are off in much of Asia, North Africa and parts of Latin America, she wrote: "It's a curiosity of human biology that women are hardier than men and thus outnumber Japan."
But in South Asia, females constitute less than 47 percent of the population when it should be 52.5 percent.
Dentzer then quotes from statements from Harvard economist Amartya Sen who concludes that well over 100 million women are in effect "missing" from the planet - the presumed victims of premature and preventable deaths.
The complex reasons, including poor health care and outright violence against women and girls, add up to pervasive neglect of females in many heavily populated nations, Sen concludes.
Also, of the 1.3 billion people living in poverty worldwide, a staggering 0 percent are women (repeat: 70 percent!), notes a recent report by the United Nations Development Program. Dentzer goes on to say, "One of the reasons for the "missing" (translate that to murdered) girls and women is because worldwide women earn 30 to 40 percent LESS than men (standards set by the ruling men, of course).
"That means that poor families spend their few dollars on educating and taking care of the boys in hopes that their investment will be returned when they reach earning age. Girls are either neglected or killed to prevent a drain on the family." [In these primitive societies women are usually forbidden to work in meaningful jobs which are limited to the men, therefor their women have no economic (social) value as they have in developed nations.]
Harvard economist Amartya Sen says that the way to save women's health and lives is to increase their earning capacities. He points to the Indian state of Kerala, where property inheritance among an elite group passes through the female line. Dentzer comments, "Perhaps it is no coincidence that the state also has the most developed school system in India, and that the ratio of females to males approaches that of the United States and Europe. That lesson in the apparent consequences of women assuming more power translates even to the United States which ranks well down on the roster of major industrialized countries in the number of women in the national legislature.
"And women themselves may owe it to the memories of more than 1million of the missing to attempt no less."
They Attribute the Same Functions to Both Sexes
"In Europe there are people who, confusing the divergent attributes of the sexes, claim to make of man and woman creatures who are, not equal only, but actually similar.
"They would attribute the same functions to both, impose the same duties, and grant the same rights; they would have them share everything work, pleasure, public affairs. It is easy to see that the sort of equality forced on both sexes degrades them both, and that so coarse a jumble of nature's works could produce nothing but feeble men and unseemly women... That is far . . .between the man and woman. They think that nature... learly intended to give their diverse faculties a diverse employment... The Americans have applied to the sexes the great principle of political economy which now dominates industry... In America, more than anywhere else in the world, care has been taken constantly to trace clearly distinct spheres of action for the two sexes.
"... inexorable opinion of the public carefully circumscribes woman within the narrow circle of domestic interests and duties, and forbids her to step beyond it."
-- From Democracy in America (De La Democratie en Amerique) published in 1835 by Frenchman Alexis-Charles-Henri-Maurice Clrel de Tocqueville who attributes the prosperity and growing strength of the American people to "the superiority of their women."
She Flew Atlantic Seven Times, the Last When She was 83, the First When She was 70 - After She Sailed Around the World ALONE
She flew solo across the Atlantic Ocean seven times - the last when she was 83 year old which really wasn't a matter of spacing her trips out since she didn't learn to fly until she was 54.
She didn't make her first non-stop from Newfoundland to Ireland until she was 70 and that wasn't even solo. Seven solo trips in 13 years, plus one with a navigator.
But before she took on the Atlantic by air, she had sailed her own 71-foot ketch around the world, most of it alone, during the years 1936-39.
Marion Rice Hart was referred to as a sportswoman and author when she died in 1990 at age 98 although she was the first woman to graduate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a chemical engineering degree and a masters in geology from Colombia University. During World War II she served with the Army Signal Corps.
In 1976 she was awarded the coveted Harmon International Trophy for "her consistently outstanding performances as a private pilot operation small aircraft on a global scale. She continued to fly alone to every and all parts of the world until she was 87, logging more than 5,000 air hours.
'Tis said that when she finished her first transatlantic flight she calmly walked in the bar at the Irish airport and downed a large glass of whisky and said, Ah, now I feel better. I was a bit fatigued."
Her autobiography is I Fly as I Please (1953) which unfortunately leaves out the very busy later years.
Feminism: A movement with a long history.
Three basic propositions of feminism during 1400-1789: (1) a conscious stand in opposition to male defamation and mistreatment of women; a dialectical opposition to misogyny. (2) a belief that the sexes are culturally, and not just biologically formed; a belief that women were a social group shaped to fit male notions about a defective sex. (3) an outlook that transcended the accepted value systems of the time by exposing and opposing the prejudice and narrowness; a desire for a truly general conception of humanity.
-- Joan Kelly 1982, 6-7. Kelly, Joan. 1982. "Early Feminist Theory and the Querelle des Femmes, 1400-1789." Signs, 8:1 (Autumn), 4-28.
Has as its goal to give every woman "the opportunity of becoming the best that her natural faculties make her capable of."
-- Millicent Garret Fawcett 1878, 357. Fawcett, Millicent Garrett. 1878. "The Future of Englishwomen: A Reply." Nineteenth Century, 4, 347-57.
"I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat..."
-- Rebecca West, 1913, The Clarion, Nov 14. West, Rebecca. 1911-17. Selections of Rebecca West's Writings. In The Young Rebecca. Ed. Jane Marcus. London: MacMillan, 1982.
"Mother, what is a Feminist?"
"A Feminist, my daughter,
Is any woman now who cares
To think about her own affairs
As men don't think she oughter."
-- Alice Duer Miller 1915; in Redstockings eds. 1975, 52. Redstockings of the Women's Liberation Movement, eds. 1975. Feminist Revolution. New York: Random House.
All above from: A Feminist Dictionary, by Cheris Kramarae and PaulaTreichler, Pandora Press, 1985 p. 161.
-- Submitted by Laura X, noted feminist activist.
04-28 DATES, ANNIVERSARIES, and EVENTS
Event 04-28-1429: Joan of Arc, entered besieged city of Orleans to lead the French to victory over English.
Event 04-28-1788: Maryland becomes the seventh state in what will become the United States of America. It is named in honor of Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of King Charles I of England.
B. 04-28-1882(?), Frances Elliott Davis - U.S. nurse and community leader.
FED broke the color line of the American National Red Cross nursing staff and administration.
B. 04-28-1907, Angna Enters - multi-talented mime, painter, and author who founded her own touring company.
B. 04-28-1912, Odette Hallowes, G. C., M.B.E. - One of the most renowned of the British wartime heros of the Special Operations, World War II.
Excerpts from The Times obituary, 17 March, 1995:
"Of all the women who took part in special operations in France, Odette . . . perhaps best symbolised the indomitable spirit of resistance to Nazism.
"Captured by the Gestapo in France and consigned after being cruelly tortured in Paris's notorious Fresnes prison, to Ravensbr^Á Ück concentration camp, she emerged emaciated, weak and gravely ill at the end of the war.
"But in the years that followed, her undiminished mental and moral energy, combined with a complete absence of bitterness towards her tormentors and the nation that had spawned them, became a beacon to others who had suffered disfigurement, pain or bereavement.
"Indeed the theme of her postwar working life, with its service to various charities and help for the underpriviledged, was the healing of those wounds, both physical and mental, which had been inflicted upon individuals by the war,
"Her George Cross, she always maintained, was not to be regarded as an award to her personally, but as an acknowledgment of all those known and unknown, alive or dead, who had served the cause of the liberation of France.
"Her wartime experiences had taught her two great truths; that suffering is an ineluctable part of the human lot, and that the battle against evil is never over.
"Fame came to her - notably, through the film 'Odette' which celebrated her life - but she never sought it. In her entry in 'Who's Who' she styled herself simply: housewife."
She married and has three daughters - and then came World War II.
"After the catastrophe to French arms in the early summer of 1940, she longed to do something more active than looking after her young ones. By a stroke of luck she got in touch with the independent French section of the Special Operations Executive.
"Yet when she was first interviewed there were some doubts about her suitability as a clandestine SOE courier. Would she be able, as a mother of three young daughters who might be constantly on her mind, to undertake missions requiring steely nerves and an ability to concentrate on the task in question to the exclusion of all else? On the other hand, from certain points of view she seemed an ideal candidate. She was young, attractive, vivacious. She knew France, she had a winning manner. Furthermore, she had a burning desire to redeem by direct action the disgrace her country had suffered in its capitulation of 1940."
Accepted and after training,in such matters as driving, wireless operation, etc.) "she returned to France secretly, by small boat... October 1942, with orders to join a new circuit in Burgundy.There she got on so well with Peter Churchill, SOE's organiser on the spot, that he secured London's leave to keep her on the Riviera.. . (betrayed by a member of their groups) Odette was sent to Paris where, at the notorious Fresnes prison, she endured excruciating torments, including having her toenails pulled out (for a year after her homecoming she could not wear shoes and had to walk on her heels until several operations restored her to normal mobility).In June 1943 Odette was condemned to death and eventually sent to Ravensbrück Concentration Camp, north of Berlin. The sentence was never carried out but for the remainder of her stay there her lot was one of alternate molly-coddling and beating which is the traditional procedure of the interrogator."
She made no admissions of importance.
"At the end of the war, when the Red Army's advance approached Ravensbr^Áck, Fritz Suhren, the camp commandant, drove in a sports car with Odette beside him into the American lines in the hope that he could use her charms to save himself. She at once denounced him and he was hanged after trial. Odette became a national heroine, subject of innumerable newspaper articles, a book by Jerrard Tickell and the film Odette which starred Anna Neagle in the title role. She was appointed MBE in 1945 and in the following year awarded the George Cross. In 1950 she was made an officer of the Legion d'Honneur. She believed that the George Cross had been given to her, not because she had been especially gallant, but because she had had the good fortune to survive, unlike 11 other women in her section who had died in German hands, some of them shot within earshot of her cell."
B. 04-28-1926, Blossom Dearie - U.S. supper club style singer, pianist, and recording artist. Her mother, a Norwegian immigrant, also played the piano.
B. 04-28-1926, Harper Lee - U.S. author. HL wrote only one novel, To Kill A Mockingbird which won the 1961 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and a cash prize of $500.
It was made into a successful Hollywood movie that still reruns on TV today.
B. 04-28-1934, Lopis Duncan - U.S. author, primarily of children's books.
B. 04-28-1937, Jean Redpath - renowned Scotts folksinger.
B. 04-28-1938, Beverly F. Albert - U.S. architect.
B. 04-28-1941, Ann-Margaret (Olsson) - Swedish-born American actor and singer. AM received a 1971 Academy Award nomination for her work in the cult film Carnal Knowledge.
AM developed a popular cabaret act. A stage accident almost ended her life but she fought back and returned to films, seamlessly changing from femme fatales to older women roles. Her family moved to the U.S. when she was five,
B. 04-28-1942, Ghislaine Hermanez - U.S.architect.
Event 04-28-1945: Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and his mistress, Clara Petacci, were executed by Italian partisans as they attempted to flee the country when U.S. and allied forces conquered the fascist army in World War II.
The execution of a wife or mistress along with that of an evil leader is common, even in cases of women who did nothing wrong and probably had no choice but to submit to the tyrant.
Petacci was exhibited to the crowds hung upside down with her skirt hanging over her head as a mark of contempt.
DIED 04-28-1953, Sara Adler - Russian-born Yiddish theater actor who with her second husband revitalized Yiddish theater in America.
She had performed as part of the Heine troupe in Russia but left during the pogroms of the 1880s when Jewish plays were banned. She was an extremely moving, realistic actor who could have easily starred on Broadway.
DIED 04-28-1957, Belle Baker - U.S.-Yiddish vaudeville entertainer. She introduced Irving Berlin's "Blue Skies" on Broadway (1926).
Event 04-28-1981: The National Academy of Sciences declared that the idea that life begins at conception has no scientific validity.
The statement was made in answer to a bill proposed by Senator Jesse Helms and Congressman Henry Hyde that would have had the U.S. government define life as starting at conception, or, as it is informally known, the sacred sperm theory.
Life, the scientist said, evolves gradually as the physical body develops.
Event 04-28-1992: Betty Boothroyd, 62, is sworn as the first woman speaker in the 700-year history of Britain's House of Commons. She was a onetime dancer and a Labour member of Parliament since 1973 and has a record of support for women s rights. Only 60 of Parliament's 651 members were women in 1992.
When she retired her picture is placed in another area than her all-men predecessors because of space constraints - that was changed!
Event 04-28-1993: Take Our Daughters to Work Day, sponsored by the Ms. Foundation for Women, is observed by some U.S. companies as part of the campaign "to make girls visible, valued, and heard," One hundred and fifty girls crowd into the cattle pit at Chicago's Mercantile Exchange to trade mock pizza- future contracts, but Beverly LaHaye president of Concerned Women for America, says "Noticeably missing from the Ms. Foundation's definition of the workplace is the home, where mothers do their most important work... This is another example of feminists denigrating motherhood and the choice of many women to remain in the home."
Mrs. LaHaye - who probably hasn't seen the inside of her kitchen for years, now a multi-millionaire from her ultra-conservative campaigns - forgets that most girls are ACTUALLY in the kitchen 364 days a year with their mothers because real mothers take their daughters (and sons) to their home work place EVERY day (the kids and mom live there) - so maybe one day out ain't so bad.
Mrs. LaHaye's quote, which was and is widely printed, fails the common-sense-logic test but that never stopped the anti-human-rights-for-women people.
QUOTES DU JOUR
"I have met brave women who are exploring the outer edge of human possibility, with no history to guide them, and with a kind of courage to make themselves vulnerable which I find moving beyond words."
-- Gloria Steinem
"I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman."
-- Virginia Woolf
BEAUVOIR, SIMONE DE:
"For him she is sex -- absolute sex, no less. She is defined and differentiated in reference to men and not he in reference to her; she is the incidental, the inessential as opposed to the essential. He is the Subject, he is the Absolute -- She is the Other..."
--Simone de Beauvoir
"I wished there was a tribal council waiting under a tree in the village. A council of elder women, good and hardened souls who'd have accumulated more wisdom than I, who together would know things about the world and how this powerless girl could fit into it and save herself.
"The closest thing I could imagine to that village council was my book group, with all its good-natured disagreements and detours that lay atop years of hard-won knowledge about how it was to be."
-- Gillian Roberts in her novel Helen Hath No Fury, an Amanda Pepper mystery (2001).
"It is very tempting to take the side of the perpetrator. All the perpetrator asks is that the bystander do nothing. He appeals to the universal desire to see, hear and speak no evil. The victim, on the contrary, asks the bystander to share the burden of pain. The victim demands action, engagement and remembering."
-- Judy Herman
"Women can rarely get political asylum in the United States based on crimes (domestic violence) that happen within the home (or even that which happens when a woman is a visitor to the U.S. and in a hotel,etc.) Women make up only 10 percent of requests for asylum each year."
-- Jennifer Baumgardner
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