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May 2

Katharina Von Bora

Compiled and Written by Irene Stuber
who is solely responsible for its content.


Katharina Von Bora, A Married Nun Living Like Any Other Woman

No Doubt Her Constancy Did Much for the Cause of the Reformation

Eva Burrows Salvation Army General and World Leader

Queen Kong

Arsinoe II, Queen of Egypt And Libya

Alarming Statistics About Women in Prison

In Czech Society, Women Still Possession of Men

A Victory for Maryland's Justice and Liberty State Seal


QUOTES by Marianne Barisonek, Gillian Roberts, Margaret Adams, Flora Tristan, Queen Victoria, Aileen Riggin, and Jane E. Strohl.

A Married Nun Living Like Any Other Woman with Her Own Family - and the Respect of the Community

Katharina Von Bora - When in 1525 Martin Luther took a wife, a former nun, Katherine von Bora, theologists and historians say a new image of the ministry appeared in western Christianity:
      A married pastor living like any other man with his own family. The woman's role in all this is, of course, is understated or ignored. One can only imagine the social pressures that were heaped on Katharina Von Bora after she "escaped" the nunnery and then married one of the most divisive men in history - plus living with a man whose opinion of woman was decidedly boorish.

With Katharina von Bora a new woman appeared in western Christianity:
      A married former nun living like any other woman with her own family - and respected by the community.

Katharina von Bora was born to an impoverished noble family in 1499 and after attending a convent school in Brehna near Halle entered a convent in Nibschen near Torgau and took her vows in 1515.
      In 1523 she fled the convent with eight other nuns and lived with a family in Wittenberg.
      KVB "developed feelings" for a student but his family blocked any marriage. She turned down at least one offer of marriage and then is supposedly to have told someone that she wanted to marry Martin Luther who wanted to marry a different former nun Ave von Schoenfeld.
      However, Luther and KVB married 06-27-1525. She was a great organizer and businesswoman expanding the household's holdings dramatically. She had six children but only the lineage of her youngest daughter Margarethe (b. 1534) exists today.

A few quotes from Martin Luther regarding women:

"Female government has never done any good. God made Adam master over all creatures, to rule over all living things, but when Eve persuaded him to set himself above God's will, she spoiled everything. 'Tis you women, with your tricks and artifices, that lead men into error."

"If a woman grows weary and at last dies from childbearing, it matters not. Let her only die from bearing; she is there to do it."

"Men have broad and large chests, and small narrow hips, and are more understanding than women, who have but small and narrow chests, and broad hips, to the end, they should remain at home, sit still, keep house , and bear and bring up children."

"An earthly kingdom cannot exist without inequality of persons. Some must be free, some serfs, some rulers, some subjects."

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No Doubt Her Constancy in Her Domestic Vocations Indirectly Did Much for the Cause of the Reformation

[Details and insight into Katharina von Bora's life are contained in an excellent sermon by Professor Jane E. Strohl delivered 01-29-1999 to mark the 500th anniversary of Katie Luther's birth.]

Over the last two decades Martin Brecht has written the definitive three-volume biography of Luther; if there is a scoop to be had, it will show up somewhere in those pages.
      And at times the story sounds pretty promising
      Luther's marriage to Katherine von Bora in June 1525 surprised both his friends and his enemies and attracted a great deal of attention; nevertheless, there was a history behind it...

[continued below in Quotes]

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Eva Burrows Second Woman General and World Leader of Salvation Army

Event 05-02-1986: the High Council elected Eva Burrows General and world leader of The Salvation Army. She officially took office 07-09-1986. Australian born, both her parents were involved in the Salvation Army.
      After getting her BA at Queensland University, Australia, went to The William Booth Memorial Training College in London and was commissioned an SA officer in 1951. She taught at Howard Institute in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and trained a large number of African teachers.
      EB served in Britain as the Leader of the Women's Social Service in London and then spent 10 years in territorial commands from Sri Lanka, Scotland, and in Australia.
      As General, EB commanded the worldwide forces of The Salvation Army, giving spiritual and administrative oversight and direction to the movement. She was the 13th General and only the second woman to hold the title. The first woman was Evangeline Booth daughter of the founders of SA.
      Burrows served seven years before retiring to Melbourne, Australia. In 1994 EB was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia.

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Queen Kong

When Dee Booher (b. 1938) was growing up in a small town in California, she faced all the difficulties of being a girl - plus the problems of being a girl who was WAY bigger than everyone else - and that included the boys.
      The social pressures and jibes wereunmerciful.
      And then, at a critical time of her young life, she attended a college wrestling match and it was instant love. She entered El Camino College in 1971 and became an instant star of their wrestling team. Booher, as the first collegiate woman wrestler in the U.S., won 75 percent of her vs male matches in the 200-lb. class and helped propel the team to the state championship.
      In thousands of matches, she pioneered mixed collegiate style wrestling as she moved easily into show biz and mud and oil wrestling. She was also featured in several movies.
      Known as both Queen Kong and Matilda the Hun, her size plus her willingness to learn new skills earned her national recognition and respect.

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Arsinoe II, Queen of Egypt And Libya 316 - 271 B.C.
by Rebecca Bartholemew, from her excellent book Lost Heroines:

Picture Princess Diana of Wales. Personal, social and political forces, some of them beyond her control, have broken up her marriage.

Now her main concern is for her sons. (Of course, she may also feel a gleam of desire for revenge.) So she negotiates with the royal family for a position that will insure a friture for her children and herself

Now picture another princess: Arsinoe (are-SIN-oh-uh). She was born in Macedonia two thousand years before Diana. Macedonia was a province in northern Greece that, under Alexander the Great, had expanded until it dominated much of the Mediterranean world. Arsinoe's family still lived in the shadow of Alexander, even though he had been dead seven years. Upon his death, no one leader had been central enough to take his place. So his kingdom had been divided among his generals. Arsinoe's father, Ptolemy, had received one of the two prize pieces: Egypt/Libya.
      Immediately Ptolemy used his army to expand Egypt's borders. He even tried to take parts of southern Greece, but the city-states there successfUlly banded against him and other aggressors. So Ptolemy turned his energies to making Alexandria, a world-class seaport founded by Alexander, the commercial and cultural rival of Athens. It was here Arsinoe was born.

Arsinoe's home city stood on a ridge in the Nile Delta overlooking the Mediterranean. Although only six years old, it already had a population of 300,000 Greek, Egyptian and Jewish citizens. It had at least again that many slaves and visitors.
      The city was both beautiful and cultured. Its long, colonnaded streets met a right angles, with the most gracious quarter of the city situated on the harbor which was guarded by the Pharos lighthouse. In addition, Alexandria boasted a mausoleum to Alexander, the Temple of Poseidon, a grand theater, and a massive emporium one of the world's first shopping malls.

Arsinoe's father established a library in Alexandria. He appointed scholars such as Zenodotus and Callimachus to assemble and catalog the greatest collection of ancient scrolls anywhere in the world.
      It was through the work of the Ptolemeic scribes, who made copies of these "books" to send to other Greek libraries, that most of the ancient works we enjoy today survived.

Thus Arsinoe grew up in the premier cultural and scientific center of the ancient world. However, as a Greek princess she probably received only a "finishing school" education.
      And when she turned sixteen she was married off Her husband, Lysimachus, was a 45-year-old widower and military leader from Thrace, another Greek province.
      Thrace had often rebelled against Macedonian domination, and after Alexander's death it tried again. Arsinoe's father no doubt arranged this marriage to solidify an ally. Also, as Lysimachus's wife Arsinoe might one day become ruler (or at least mother of a ruler) of Macedonia itself

But in 285 B.C. Arsinoe's father abdicated the throne of Egypt/Libya to her brother, Ptolemy II. Soon Arsinoe's mother died, and in 283 her father died as well. Two years later her husband was killed in battle.
      Not only had Arsinoe lost both parents and her spouse but now her three sons' lives were in danger as potential threats to Ptolemy II's reign.

Arsinoe was now 35 years old. Instead of dependent and fragile, she let adversity turn her into a mature, capable woman. She studied her options and decided her best approach was to flee to Macedonia, where she could ask another brother (actually her half-brother, who was now the Macedonian king) for asylum.
      According to custom among the ruling class, she married this brother, thus assuring her sons and self both safety and royal privilege. She was no angel, for there is evidence she helped to have her stepson (Lysimachus's son) killed so he could not challenge her own children for the Macedonian throne.

But her half-brother was no angel, either. He had her two younger sons put to death. Soon after this he himself died. The rivalry for his throne put Arsinoe's surviving son, Ptolemaeus, in danger. So Arsinoe returned with Ptolemaeus to Egypt.

In Alexandria Arsinoe married again, this time to her full brother, Ptolemy II, to whom her father had abdicated six years earlier. No doubt during his sister's absence Ptolemy had consolidated his authority. Now, with Arsinoe as his queen, Ptolemy II's power increased.
      For not only was the former princess popular with both Alexandria's Greek and native Egyptian subjects, but some historians say she was an even better ruler than her brother.

At the very least Arsinoe had great power as queen and co-regent. Some accounts credit her for continuing to attract to Alexandria a circle of brilliant scholars, writers and artists. The Alexandrian library continued to expand until it contained almost half a million scrolls.

Like their father, Ptolemy II sought to enlarge his realm. He waged a three-year war against Macedonia's other rich satellite, Syria. Only through Arsinoe's skill in foreign policy did he escape defeat in this campaign. For her contribution, he had her deified.

But in 271 B.C., aged 45 and at the height of her powers, Arsinoe died. Even then Ptolemy II continued to cite her name in connection with royal decrees, and some of the people continued to worship her as a goddess.
      For all her efforts, Arsinoe's son never ruled Egypt or Macedonia. One moral of this story is the importance of constitutional government. In the United States when a public official dies, there are rules for selecting a successor. Without such rules, anyone can fight for power out of ambition or to protect oneself against other contenders who consider one a threat.
      With such rules, personal ambition (of which Arsinoe apparently possessed a good deal) is kept within bounds.

    [Source: Diana Bowder, editor, Who Was Who in the Greek World (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1982)]

Marguerite Bourgeoys (b 1620), Canadian, founded the Congregation de Notre-Dame de Montreal. The order set up schools and the nuns taught in NewFrance. Today the order has several thousand members and has expanded its work to the USA and Japan.

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Alarming Statistics About Women in Prison -
They Don't Even Have Equal Access to Medical Care

  • In the past decade, the female prison population has grown by 202%, the male by 112%. [1]
  • There are 17 times more men than women in prison. [3]
  • 73% of women in prison are under 30 years of age. [2]
  • 66% of women in prison were unemployed before incarceration. [2]
  • 92% of women in prison had less than a $10,000 yearly income. [2]
  • 58% of women in prison have less than a 12th-grade education. [2]
  • 54% of women in prison are women of color. [2]
  • Over 80% of women in prison are mothers. [2]
  • 1 in 4 women entering prison is pregnant or has recently given birth. [3]
  • The percentage of women who give birth while in prison has been estimated at 9%. However, the thousands of statistics published by the U.S. Department of Justice include no information on prison births. [9]
  • New York is the only state that allows infants to stay in a prison nursery with their mothers. [9]
  • In the U.S. there are 48,000 women in state and federal prisons and another 42,000 in city and county jails, totaling 90,000 women in prison. [8]
  • The imprisonment of women has left an estimated 167,000 children without mothers. [8]
  • Women in prisons and jails are diagnosed with HIV infection at twice the rate of their male counterparts. [10]
  • Of the women incarcerated in New York, 80% are mothers, 80% have substance abuse problems, 30% are homeless, and over 25% are HIV positive. [10]
  • Doctors are available to women in prison 2 days a week versus 5 days a week for men. [2]
  • 5-10% of women in prison have VD or gynecological problems, though there are no gynecologists available for female inmates. [2]
  • The federal prison system's only hospital for women, in Lexington, Kentucky, does not employ a full-time obstetrician-gynecologist. [3]
  • Mood-altering drugs are prescribed 2-3 times more often for women in prison than for men. [2]
  • Prison terms for killing husbands is twice as long as for killing wives. [6]
  • 60% of all women in federal prisons have been convicted of drug-related offenses. Estimates of the number that are indirectly drug related are 95%. [3]
  • 64% of women in prison are drug users, and 68% of these used drugs daily before incarceration. [2]
  • One study found that 93% of the women who had killed their mates had been battered by them; 67% indicated the homicide resulted from an attempt to protect themselves and their children. [2]
  • 10% of street gangs are girls; there are an estimated 7,000 girl gang members in the U.S. [5]
    [1] "An Unequal Justice," New York Times, July 10, 1992
    [2]National Coalition for Jail Reform, Washington D.C.
    [3] "Women: The Road Ahead," Time, Special Issue, Fall 1990
    [4] U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Statistics, 1988
    [5] Anne Campbell, "The Girl in the Gang," cited in June Stephenson, Men Are Not Cost Effective: Male Crime in America, Diemer Smith Publishing, 1991
    [6] "20/20," ABC-TV, August 4, 1992
    [7] "Dykes on Death Row," Village Voice, October 5, 1992
    [8] "U.S. Prisons Challenged by Women behind Bars," New York Times, November 30, 1992
    [9] Jean Harris, "The Babies of Bedford," New York Times Magazine, March 28, 1993
    [10] "Hoppier Home," Women's Prison Association, New York, 1992.
          -- [Submitted to WOAH by donna@nnflp.org.]

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In Czech Society, Women Still Possession of Men

In any Czech magazine or newspaper, it is Julia Robertova or Meryl Streepova, not Julia Roberts or Meryl Streep, according to a Cox News service article.
      That's because in Czech and some other Slavic languages the suffix "ova" is added to the last names of all females.

It literally means "belonging to the male," as belonging to a woman's male relatives such as father, husband, brother.
      It is also common in Russia, but not a hard and fast rule.

Although the conservatives have long resisted it, the winds of women's equality are blowing there, in spite of its dependence on "tradition."
      Legislation was recently proposed by the Czech Republic's Ministry of Interior that would allow a woman to remove the "ova" suffix from her name. A boy son would be named John Caron. A daughter would be named Jane Caronova. The legislation would allow the woman to assume the family name without sex differentiation.
      The ministry claims that it is simply keeping up with a changing world but Eva Kavkova, who runs Re location Management International, a Prague-based firm that helps companies relocate to the Czech Republic, said some women have started to consider the use of "ova" demeaning.
      "They use it reluctantly because they accept it as part of life here," she said.

Yes, when U.S. Secretary of State was referred to in the Czech press her name was changed to Madelein Albrightova.
      But what we want to know, does Martina Navratilova know about this?
            [Based on a 2001 Cox News article.]

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A Victory for Maryland's Justice and Liberty State Seal

The Maryland State Archives is displaying the complete 1794 Justice and Liberty Seal, or Peale Seal, on its official website for the first time.
      Added in 2001 was the female-oriented obverse, or front, of the Great Seal which was Maryland's first state seal (1794-mid-1817).
      The State Archives thereby is acknowledging Charles Willson Peale's beautiful design, featuring the Goddess of Justice holding her scales and an olive branch, and standing tall in the rays of the sun, with an insignia of Goddess Liberty near her. This apparently is the only female imagery on a Maryland state seal.
      The change in the State Archives' website is the result of research presented to government officials by California-based writer Ann Forfreedom. She rediscovered this (nearly) lost seal while doing research for a book about "America's Goddess Liberty." She wrote the State Archives officials, Governor Parris Glendening, Lt. Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, and other Maryland officials, asking them to recognize the full seal and, in her words, "Please bring Justice and Liberty back to Maryland."
      The 1794 silver seal is housed in the State Archives today. But for decades, the obverse was excluded from State Archives' materials and posters. Today, the State Archives has several website links to what it terms the "Maryland Seal of 1794."

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B. 05-02-1729, Catherine II (Catherine The Great) - Empress of Russia.
      She no doubt assisted in the coup deposing her husband Peter whose sanity was in question and certainly his loyalty to Russia.
      Catherine became absolute ruler of Russia in 1762, welcmed and crowned with great pomp. She ruled for 34 years.
      With steadfast purpose and political acumen she modernized and westernized Russia and made it a world power. Catherine ranks next to Elizabeth I as one of the most lastingly influential rulers in the history of Western Civilization.
      She reorganized its laws and aimed at social reforms. However, she was unable to change the basic nature of the Russians and serfdom was actually increased under this ruler who would have preferred it abolished. She was a great art and literature patron, she herself carried on correspondence with many of the leading intellectuals of Europe including a correspondence in French with the philosopher Voltaire.
      Catherine encourged the sciences, founded schools, revamped the official administrations in most of the "states" of her nation, attempted to form a liberal constitution but it was too advanced for her country's social development and basic nature.
      She secularized the property of the clergy, who owned one-third of the land and serfs in Russia, greatly reducing their power - and many of the slurs against Catherine's character can be traced back to this single event.
      She sponsored the first school for girls in Russia and establisheda system of elementary schools. During 1767 to 1768 she held a legislative commission to codify Russian laws with a constitution, but the edelegates produced no results and the idea was shelved as impractical for a nation. Her attempts to free the Serfs (owned by the nobles body and soul) also failed and her subsequent actions actually increased the hold of the nobles.
      She aggressively added the Crimeau and much of Poland to Russia.

Unlike the virgin queen Elizabeth I of England, Catherine had large sexual appetites and satisfied them with both men and women. She also liked to play poker.
      A number of rather ribald legends were spread about her sexual behavior in attempts to blacken her name. While it is true that Catherine had one of her friends "try out" potential male lovers, other outrageous stories about her sexual appetite were the result of attempts to lessen her hold on history and her views at lessening the power of the nobles in favor of the people.
      She was German-born in Prussia and at 15 assumed the title of Grand Duchess Catherine Alekseyevna and married her young cousin, Peter. One historian wrote:

      "Russia at the time was ruled by Peter the Great's daughter, the empress Elizabeth, whose 20-year reign greatly stabilized the monarchy. Devoted to much pleasure and luxury and greatly desirous of giving her court the brilliancy of a European court, Elizabeth prepared the way for Catherine.
      "Catherine, however, would not have become empress if her husband had been at all normal. He was extremely neurotic, rebellious, obstinate, perhaps impotent, nearly alcoholic, and, most seriously, a fanatical worshipper of Frederick II of Prussia, the foe of the empress Elizabeth.
      "Catherine, by contrast, was clearheaded and ambitious. Her intelligence, flexibility of character, and love of Russia gained her much support. She was humiliated, bored, and regarded with suspicion while at court, but she found comfort in reading extensively and in preparing herself for her future role as sovereign.
      "Although a woman of little beauty, Catherine possessed considerable charm, a lively intelligence, and extraordinary energy. During her husband's lifetime alone, she had at least three lovers; if her hints are to be believed, none of her three children, not even the heir apparent Paul, was fathered by her husband. Her true passion, however, was ambition; since Peter was incapable of ruling, she saw quite early the possibility of eliminating him and governing Russia herself."

Catherine, although held responsible for her husband's death probably did not intend his murder but wanted him imprisoned where he could do no harm. Her supporters probably saw him as a continuing, neurotic problem and eliminated him.
      In 1774 a man masquerading as the dead Czar incited a huge rebellion that Catherine was forced to put down with crack troops.
      The rebellion changed the direction of her rule which had been aimed at instilling the ideas of Rousseau into Russian government. (It also marks the rise of the influence of Grigory Potemkin.)
      Historians given a great deal of credit for the successes of Catherine's reign to her one-time lover Potemkin who acted as her minister. (Usually she didn't mix pleasure and business but Potamkin was an exception.) His sphere of influence began in 1774 and he died in 1791 - although their affair lasted only two years.

Perhaps no ruler in history had so many of her extensive accomplishments ignored in favor of her personal life, a personal life though unusual for a woman of her era was boring when compared to the average male czar. Well witnessed, Catherine died of a common stroke at age 67 - not in the picturesque ribald way legends imply.

B. 05-02-1858, Edith Anna Somerville - British author. EAX was half of the Irish cousins who wrote 15 novels together under the name of Somerville and Ross.
      They had a lifelong romantic friendship which they didn't hide although a number of recent literary critics have attempted to deny their relationship. They resided together and traveled extensively together.
      When Violet Martin (aka Martin Ross) died in 1915, Somerville continued to write under both their names saying she was still inspired by Martin..
      Both women were experienced at the hounds; Martin suffered a bad fall from which she never fully recovered and contributed to her death. Somerville was the master of foxhounds.
      After Martin's death, Somerville traveled extensively with Dame Ethel Mary Smyth, the British composer and lesbian.

B. 05-02-1872, Higuchi Ichiyo - Japanese poet and and novelist.
      HI was the most important Japanese woman writer of her period. Her novels which included This Child and New Year's Eve, often dealt with the licensed pleasure (prostitute) quarters of Tokyo. She died of tuberculosis at age 24 after seven years of poverty living with her destitue mother and sister following the death of her father. At the time there were few ways for a woman to earn a living.

B. 05-02-1878, Nannie Helen Burroughs - U.S. educator.
      NHB founded a school to train girls for non- traditional jobs. Her school was the first; first to require Black history courses,

B. 05-02-1885, Hedda Hopper - U.S. journalist, actor, and Hollywood gossip columnist.
      After a lengthy but overall unpretentious movie and stage career, Hopper was chosen as someone who could be controlled by the major studios to challenge Louella Parsons who as then queen of the Hollywood gossips had a tendency to reveal more about stars than the studios wished.
      At her gossipy height, HH appeared in 85 metropolitan newspapers, 3,000 smaller dailies and 2,000 weekly newspapers.
      HH turned into an ultra-conservative after World War II and several newspapers declined to run her columns because of their political content. She urged Richard Nixon to try for Congress and vigorously supported other reactionaries.
      Her autobiographies were From Under My Hat (1952) and The Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth (1963).
      Her one marriage ended in divorce; she had one son.
      She channeled all her energies into her entertainment reportage which was ho-hum until she started dishing the dirt. She supposedly worked 130 hours a weeks with a small professional staff as well as hundreds of informants ranging from chauffeurs to pool cleaners.
      She built a palatial home in Berverly Hills that she dubbed "the house that fear built."
      Following the retirement of her main rival, Parsons, HH became autocratic and believed herself omnipotent. She strongly supported the red scare UnAmerican hearings

Event 05-02-1892: After hearing Jane Addams speak (and instructed in subsequent conversations) William Kent donated the land and the first public playgrounds in Chicago were opened. Later he donated larger tracts of land for more playgrounds and parks.

B. 05-02-1905, Mildred Walker - U.S. author.

B. 05-02-1905, Charlotte Armstrong - U.S. author and playwright.
      Her science fantasy books regarding dragons have made her one of the most popular authors in the nation.

B. 05-02-1906, Aileen Riggin (Soule) - U.S. athlete.
      AE won three Olympic medals and was the first competitor to win a medal in both the swimming and diving events in the same Olympics.
      Only 14 at the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp, Belguim, she was the first woman to win the gold in springboard diving. In 1924 she won a silver in springboard and a bronze in the 100-metre backstroke. She stood 4'7" tall and weighed 65 pounds.
      The 1920 American women's team that captured the gold in every aquatic event except platform diving almost didn't make it. It was the first time women competed in the Olympics and sponsors were concerned for the morality of the women traveling with 331 men athletes. Strong and encompassing chaperoning that limited the freedom of the women solved the problem by protecting them. (Such concerns belie the well publicized notion that the moralities of yesterday were much higher than today's.) And lest you confuse today's venues in perfect settings, in war-impoverished Belgium, the aquatic events were held in a muddy canal. Soule remembers her fear of getting stuck on the bottom.
      Ethelda Bleibtrey of the United States won gold medals in all three swimming events
      After a highly memorable amateur career in the U.S., Riggin turned professional then became a sportswriter. She continued to swim at the masters' level and held six world records during the 1980s in the 85-89 age group. In a ntional article, Soule is quoted as saying: "I'm afraid to stop swimming, so I just keep on going."
      She also "does not understate her own role, or that of her teammates in Antwerp, in creating competitive opportunities for women.
      "I think we were responsible for giving it to them," she said. "Every little breakthrough may have been small at the time, but it added up. There was nobody to follow. We were the first ones."
      Also among the first was her mother who was an active suffragist .
      In a 1931 article for Love Mirror magazine when she was 25, she cheered the nation's new exercise consciousness.
      "I believe the girls of our age have probably been the most benefited by all of this," she wrote. "We can thank our lucky stars that we are no longer expected to sit by the fireside and knit, while watching our brothers get the most of the fun out of life."

B. 05-02-1906, Air Comdt Dame Nancy Snagge - British military leader.
      NS was Air Commandant and second director of the Women's Royal Air Force and developed the WRAF as a permanent service and to "and to fashion it in the traditions of the Royal Air Force."
      Although full intergration of women into the RAF did not occur for 44 years, NS is credited for having laid a solid base of service and tradition that enabled the transition.
      In her obituary following her death at age 93, it was explained

"Nancy Snagge's charm, clear aims and objectives won over air staff and senior Air Ministry officials, some of whom had been dubious about the wisdom of establishing a permanent women's service.
      "Whitehall warriors also discovered that Nancy Snagge's gentle manner and feminine dignity masked a steely determination. It helped, too, that on ceremonial occasions she set off her uniform well.
      "Moreover, Nancy Snagge was the complete exemplar of Dame Felicity Peake's dictum that women have to do much better than men or they don't get there."

      She was commissioned into the WAAF in 1939 and her administration ability at a barrage balloon site was soon recognized and she was quickly promoted and by 1946 was part of the WAAF directorate.
      In July 1950 she was appointed director, WRAF, retiring in 1956. She was appointed OBE in 1946 and DBE in 1955.

B. 05-02-1910, Phillada Sewell - British actor-singer.
      Her stage career ranged from age 20 when she made her first state debut to age 87 when she appeared in a 1997 West End play Eminently. She had extensive film and television credits also.
      What was particularly striking about her was her amazing energy. During WWII while serving as a "land girl," working the farms, she also gave operatic recitals with her cousin soprano Nella Burra and to hold drama classes.
      During most of her acting career she combined work with care of her mother and then later cared for her aunt, pianist Rosamond Ley.

B. 05-02-1913 (1909), Grazyna Bacewica - Polish composer and violinist.
      GB taught at the Lodz Conservatory before and after World War II. She won first prize for her Fourth String Quartet in the Li‚ge 1951 competition. 02-05? (Date problems caused by the Russian calendar changes and exacerbated by records displacement during the revolution.)

B. 05-02-1939, Irina Zaritskaya - Russian born pianist.
      A 1960 winner of the Chopin competition, a critic wrote of IZ later, "Her pianism had a light, singing touch that suited the music of Chopin, and her innate sense of rhythm helped to colour the vivacity and sensitivity of her fingers on the keys.
      "But her repertoire was muchbroader... whereupon the light touch would be replaced with a full-blooded, magisterial tone."
      For 16 years she taught at the Royal College of Music in London where she was noted for "bringing out the personality of her students rather than imposing her own style."
      Her mother was a pianist, her father a cellist, and both were teachers at the Kiev Conservatory.
      In 1972, she and her husband wer finally able to leave Russia and settled in Israel where her husband became a teacher and she languished.
      In 1985, the couple moved to London and Zaristskaya was sought as a teacher but her performing career "had rather passed her by" although it was claimed that she did not miss the intense street and traveling that performing requires.
      Her daughter, Alla Andrievsky continues the maternal tradition of pianism.

B. 05-02-1945, Bianca Jagger - pop music personality.

B. 05-02-1946, Lesley Gore - U.S. singer.

B. 05-02-1948, Catherine Margaret Branson - crown solicitor for South Australia, appointed 1984.

B. 05-02-1952, Christine Baranski - U.S. actor. A noted stage actor, CB garnered two Tony awards for her portrayals in The Real Thing (1984) and Rumors (1989). CB won the 1983 Obie (off Broadway) award for A Midsummer Night's Dream (1983).
      It was in the field of TV where she made the greatest impact as along with star Cybil Shepard they made history by honestly portraying a close, adult, woman-to-woman friendship. CB won the best supporting actress Emmy several times for her portrayal of Cybill's best fried Maryann Thorpe,
      CB continues to appear in movies but has yet to find a really good part to add Oscar to her other three prestigeous awards.

Event 05-02-1960, Margaret Leech, by winning the 1959 PulitzerPrize in history for In The Days of McKinley to add to her 1941prize for Reville In Washington becomes the first woman in history to win two of the prestigious awards.

B. 05-02-19 62, Elizabeth Berridge - U.S. actor.

B. 05-02-1963, Vivian Ramon - Cuban International Woman Grandmaster of Chess.

Event 05-02-1970: Diane Crump becomes first woman jockey to ride in the Kentucky Derby. No woman jockey has won the derby and only

Event 05-02-1990: The Mormon church says it is dropping some secret rituals that are viewed as offensive to women. It retains the requirement that a woman must be married and taken into heaven by her husband.

Event 05-02-1991: Sarah Williamson, 16, becomes the first woman in Boys Town history to be elected mayor. Boys Town began admitting girl-women in 1980.

Event 05-02-1992: Mayor Daley declares "Bessie Coleman" day, 66 years after her death.
      Coleman's brief but intense life led from humble origins to triumphant days as the first African American woman to fly a plane.
      Tradition has it that her brother, returning from service in France during World War I told her about the French women's freer lives that included careers.
      She was unable to find an flying instructor who would teach a black woman to fly so she learned French and moved to France "where race would not be an issue."
      She returned triumphantly to the U.S. to be featured in flying shows and circuses, widely written about all over the world as "Queen Bess."
      She felt blacks had to keep up with the times and learn to fly to succeed as a race. She had hoped to start a flying school but at age 34 she failed to secure the new fangled invention called the seat belt, and when he plame flipped almost a mile above the earth, she fell to her death.
      The former manicurist from "The Stroll" area of Chicago now has a street named after her.
      For a few short years, Bessie Coleman who had been born in Texas in the cotton fields where illiteracy and abject poverty were the way of life reached the stars.
      An amazing life.

Event 05-02-1997:

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (AP) -- Elena Kondakova, one of only three Russian women who have flown in space, prepared for her second launch, this time aboard the U.S. shuttle Atlantis.
      She apparently snared the coveted seat over the objections of her husband, a former cosmonaut and top Russian Space Agency manager, who said today that he believes women should stay home to clean house and raise children.
"It's my opinion that a wife should stay at home for the most part... not at work and not in spaceflight,'' Valery Ryumin said through a translator during a press conference Friday. "And I think the majority ofmen would support me, because the majority of us would prefer that everything in our homes is taken care of.''
      Ryumin said his wife accepted an offer from shuttle commander Charles Precourt to join the crew. "I was forced to accept it because being in her shoes, I would have accepted it as well,'' said Ryumin. Kondakova later defended her husband's remarks, explaining that Russia does not have baby-sitters and other child care providers.
"In Russia, it is still customary to think that a woman should dedicate her life to her family,'' Kondakova said.
      The couple have a daughter, whois now 11 and living with a family friend in Houston where Kondakova has been training.
      NASA's shuttle-Mir manager Frank Culbertson echoed Kondakova's sentiment.
"Despite what Ryumin may have sounded like to an American audience, his wife has been working in the space program for a number of years... the reality speaks a lot more about what the real situation iswhen you look at where we're going and what we're doing.''
      Atlantis launched May 15 to excahnge crews with the Mir space station.

      [WOAH note: The first woman in space was a Russian woman - the first American woman in space was 20 years later. Russian woman have always worked. Ryumin was lamely expressing his idea of male superiority to make himself feel good while he is forced to sit on the sidelines as his wife out-accomplishes him.]

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      "Another thing I don't understand about this stay-at-home stuff is what exactly are we women supposed to do there after our kids go to school? Clean house, watch TV, bake cookies? Sounds like fun - after you've had the lobotomy."
            -- Marianne Barisonek

      "Through history, people have searched in vain for what to say about, what to make of death... Judging by expressions and uncomfortable silences and the overfussing with the dishes they'd brought, I knew I wasn't the only one feeling inadequate because I didn't know what to say or do.
      "In another culture, it would have been easier. We would have fallen upon each other and sobbed, wailed, keened. That used to been seem primitive to me. I now recognized it as astoundingly perceptive, and wise."
            -- Gillian Roberts in her novel Helen Hath No Fury, an Amanda Pepper mystery (2001).

      "The primary imperative for women who intend to assume a meaningful and decisive role in today's social change is to begin to perceive themselves as having an identity and personal integrity that has as strong a claim for being preserved intact as that of any other individual or group."
            -- Margaret Adams in her Woman in Sexist Society (1971).

      "Of course the fate of the married woman is very much sadder than that of the spinster; at least the unmarried woman enjoys a certain freedom, she can enter society, and travel with her family or with friends, whereas once a woman is married, she cannot stir from the house without the permission of her husband."
            -- French writer Flora Tristan, 1840

      "You cannot really wish me to be the 'mamma d'une nombreuse famille' . ..men never think, at least seldom think, what a hard task it is for us women to go through this very often."
            -- Queen Victoria in a reply to Leopold I of Belgian who has sent her good wishes on the birth of a child.

      "We can thank our lucky stars that we are no longer expected to sit by the fireside and knit, while watching our brothers get the most of the fun out of life."
            -- Aileen Riggin who in 1920 was the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in diving in a 1931 magine article. One of her lucky stars was her mother who was an active suffragist.

      "No doubt her constancy in her domestic vocations indirectly did much for the cause of the Reformation."
            -- Sermon for the 500th Anniversary of Katie Luther's Birth
            Delivered by Professor Jane E. Strohl January 29, 1999:

Over the last two decades Martin Brecht has written the definitive three-volume biography of Luther; if there is a scoop to be had, it will show up somewhere in those pages.

And at times the story sounds pretty promising. "Luther's marriage to Katherine von Bora in June 1525 surprised both his friends and his enemies and attracted a great deal of attention; nevertheless, there was a history behind it."

Quite a colorful one: Katherine was one of twelve nuns who in 1523 escaped from a Cistercian monastery in the "other" Saxony; that is, the convent of Marienthron lay within the borders of the land ruled by Duke George, Frederick the Wise's cousin and Luther's implacable enemy.
      Luther appears to have taken the initiative in the escapade, arranging with the man who delivered supplies there to spirit the women away. The merchant allegedly hid them in empty herring barrels.

Three of the liberated women found shelter with relatives, but the other nine were delivered to Wittenberg, where Luther worked to find housing, and even better marriages, for them.

The impoverished Katherine became part of the household of the famous artist Lucas Cranach. And soon after she seemed to have a hot prospect. The son of a Nuremberg patrician, previously a student in Wittenberg, and Katherine "developed a mutual liking," as Brecht puts it, adding, "from which we may conclude that Katherine had a certain attractiveness."
      But the guy returned home and was never heard from again, even though Luther wrote to encourage him to pursue Katy before she married someone else. Most likely his family did not regard a marriage to a former bride of Christ as desirable.

So Luther came up with another candidate, a pastor named Caspar Glatz. Katy, we are told, had "neither desire nor love" for him, and appealed to Luther's friend Nicholas von Amsdorf to deliver her from such a marriage. Brecht informs us that Amsdorf also thought that Katy was not suited for "the old skinflint," and laid into Luther: "What the devil are you intending to do, persuading the good Katy and forcing her...?"
      Ironic indeed, since Luther vehemently reproached parents and families who compelled girls to become nuns and allowed vows, in conflict with their natural instincts, to be extorted from them.

Brother Martin backed off. Katie, meanwhile, had even more to say. She announced to Amsdorf that she had three potential marriage partners in mind, any one of whom would be acceptable, that is, "if it could be and if it were God's will." Two of the finalists were Amsdorf himself and Luther. Amsdorf never married.

Luther, however, had not categorically ruled out the possibility of matrimony. As Brecht assures us, "[H]e, too, was not made of wood or stone and he recognized his sexual needs." But he also expected martyrdom, which would not be conducive to family life, and so he kept himself off the marriage market.
      Yet, many urged him to take a wife, more or less on theological principle: Luther mounted such a forceful case for the marriage of priests; why didn't he take the step he recommended to others?

At this very time he wrote to a doubtful clergyman: "Put any reservations out of your mind, and go forward happily. Your body demands it and needs it. God wills it and compels it." And he told Spalatin that if their opponents continued to condemn the estate of marriage and to ridicule the inconsistency with evangelical theology of his own continued celibacy, he was almost ready to show them by getting married himself.

The thought soon led to the deed. Luther had other potential partners in mind, but for one reason or another, these didn't work out. It came down to Katy. "[Luther]", Brecht tells us, "had no affection for Katherine von Bora. He thought she was arrogant. As we have already seen, Katy knew what she wanted. She had a strong personality. But she was the only one left, and Luther took the rejected one... In no way was he blind to his wife's faults -- particularly her frequently too energetic behavior and her quick tongue -- but he cherished her good qualities far more."

And despite the joy of the "pillow weeks," when the couple slept on one pillow and Luther was filled with wonder at being entangled "in the pigtails of my girl," Brecht assures us that "Luther certainly was never a passionate lover."
      A lot of mean things got said. And not just from Catholic opponents who gleefully took fire at "Luther's alleged wife," the scandalous sinner who abandoned her sacred vows for the carnal pleasures of the marriage bed of a heretic.
      Unanimously Luther's friends reacted negatively:
"Not that one, someone else!"
      Even the Leisetreter Melanchthon dumped on Katharine in a letter. He was furious with Luther for not taking him into his confidence, for marrying at such an inopportune time (in the midst of the Peasants' War), and he was all the more offended by his choice of a partner, the snooty, conniving Katarina von Bora.

So what do we have here -- a pushy vixen or the patron saint of the Protestant parsonage? Alas, we don't possess much in the way of direct testimonies to illuminate us about Katie's view of it all. We do know that she kept a fine house, had a good head for business, and regularly prevented her fiscally inattentive husband from pushing the family over the brink of poverty. (Brecht tells us that in the Table Talk, the student recorders took their revenge on Katie, "who was always after them for their board money," by drawing caricatures of her.)

We know too that she bore six children and lost two of the girls, one in infancy and one in adolescence. After she and her husband had brought their eldest, Hans, home from school to say good-bye to the dying Magdalena, she did not want to send him back.
      Broken with grief, she feared to let another of her beloved children out of her sight. She stood faithfully by her husband through ill health, ill temper and public controversy.
      And if we are to judge by his letters, she made him feel loved. No doubt her constancy in her domestic vocations indirectly did much for the cause of the Reformation.

Standing on the brink of a new semester, I find her a heartening model of discipleship. The multi-tasking is about to swing into high gear for us: balancing the demands of work and school and household, raising children, trying to keep the operation solvent.
      We will have to live with the criticism of those who find us too pushy or too mouthy; we may perhaps be contending with a high-maintenance spouse, enduring loss and sorrow, combatting despair. And through it all, keeping the faith.

For Katarina von Bora was bold enough to make her own confession, to leave the certainty of the convent which had been her home since childhood. She embraced the freedom of the Gospel; she embarked on ventures of which she could not see the ending; and she never looked back.

Thanks be to God! Amen.
            -- Sermon delivered January 29, 1999.


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