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August 5

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

Runs imminent risk of being ravished


QUOTES by Indira Mahindra, Andrea Dworkin, and Deborah Crombie.

Rape was Common in American Revolutionary War on BOTH Sides

British Captain Francis Rawden wrote his uncle in a letter dated 08-05-1776:
"A girl cannot step into the bushes to pluck a rose without running the most imminent risk of being ravished [raped], and they are so little accustomed to these vigorous methods that they don't bear them with the proper resignation, and of consequence we have most entertaining courts martials every day. To the southward they behaved much better in these case, if I may judge from a woman who, having been forced by seven of our men, made a complaint to me 'not of their usage,' she said -- 'No, thank God, she despised that' - but of their having taken an old prayer book for which she had a particular affection.' "
            -- [Rawden's letter taken from Evans, Elizabeth. Weathering the Storm, Women of the American Revolution. New York: Scribner's Sons, 1975]

Rapes of women were common by both the British and American troops, particularly since so many women were alone with their menfolk away at war and often living in isolated areas - as well as the prevailing culture that blamed a woman, not the man.

Documents in the Library of Congress support the charges of mass rapes. The U.S. Congress placed Benjamin Franklin in charge of having a report published about rapes by British troops, but he never did it, perhaps because it might have opened the door to charges of American rapes - or simply that he didn't think rape was important. He was a known "womanizer," who could not have held a post in the American government of the 1990s.

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B. 08-05-1846, Clara Dorothy Bewick Colby - U.S. suffragist.

B. 08-05-1861, Mary Ellen Richmond - U.S. social worker who favored private rather than government help for the disadvantaged.

B. 08-05-1876, Mary Ritter Beard - U.S. historian and writer on women's roles in society. She believed women were central to human society and that much of the feminist movement had devalued women by emphasizing their victimization.
      MRB did not believe that women should conform to men's standards of behavior. She believed that the more women knew of women's past, the more they could develop their own future.
      Her books that claimed women's history has been distorted to lower their contributions were soundly condemned by male historians at the time. It has only been recently that women have rediscovered her viewpoint. Her marvelous Woman as Force in History (1946) is a must- read.
      MRB's mother had been a school teacher, a well-educated woman who guided MRB's early education.

B. 08-05-1880, Ruth Sawyer - U.S. children's author and storyteller.

B. 08-05-1897, Virginia Salgado Fiuza - Brazilian teacher and composer who became deputy director of the Brazilian Conservatory of Music (1948).

B. 08-05-1907, Irene Rice Pereira - U.S. geometric abstract painter. IRP was important in the art movements of the 1930s and 1940s. She defined her work as based on the reality of light and space. Her mother was an artist, primarily of sketches.

B. 08-05-1914 Anita Colby, U.S. model-actor.

B. 08-05-1920 Selma Diamond - U.S. comedic actor.

Event 08-05-1924: The long running comic strip Little Orphan Annie by Harold Gray, made its debut.

B. 08-05-1926, Betsy Jolas - Franco-American composer of more than 100 classical works. She became professor of Advanced Musical Analysis at the Conservatoir National Supérieur de Musiqu (1975), and professor of composition (1978). Born of American parents in Paris, her mother was a noted singer.
      BJ won the Grand Prix National de La Musique award (1974) and was composer in residence at Tanglewood and the Berkshire Music Festival (1976-77).

B. 08-05-1933 Joan Weldon - U.S. actor.

B. 08-05-1933, Vera Katz - U.S. legislator and mayor. She was a member of the Oregon House of Representatives and was elected mayor, City of Portland, Oregon, 1993.

B. 08-05-1941, Andrea Seastrand - U.S. Congressional Representative from California. Her official biography states she graduated DePaul University, B.A., 1963; elementary school teacher; California Federation of Republican Women, President; member, California State Assembly, 1990-1994; Assistant Minority Leader; elected as a Republican to the One Hundred Fourth Congress (January 3, 1995-January 3, 1997); was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection to the One Hundred and Fifth Congress. [Biographies of women in Congress can be found here.]

B. 08-05-1943, Sammi Smith - U.S. country singer.

B. 08-05-1946, Shirley Ann Jackson - U.S. theoretical physicist. SAJ was the first African American female to receive a doctorate in theoretical solid state physics from MIT. SAJ was appointed as Commissioner of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission by President Bill Clinton and became its chair 05-02-1995. She was a research associate with the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, with Bell Telephone Laboratories and Professor of Physics at Rutgers University.
      Clinton also appointed another brilliant woman, Greta Dicus to the commission.

B. 08-05-1946 Loni Anderson - U.S actor.

B. 08-05-1950, Rose Mittermaier - German-French athlete who won the 1976 Olympic gold for the slalom/downhill.

B. 08-05-1950, Holly Palance - U.S. actor.

B. 08-05-1953, Samantha Sang - U.S. singer.

Event 08-05-1962: Actress Marilyn Monroe, 36, was found dead in the bedroom of her Los Angeles home. A cottage industry that supports many writers has grown up around the events surrounding her death even though her death was ruled a suicide. Through the constant retelling and quoting from other books and authors that has turned speculation into folk truth, even in death, she remains a woman abused and taken advantage of by men.

Event 08-05-1967: Bobby Gentry releases her only hit "Ode to Billy Joe" and the American people began the national debate on the imponderable question: "what was dropped off the Tallahachee bridge?"

B. 08-05-1975, Ami Foster - U.S. actor.

Event 08-05-1986: Artist Andrew Wyeth revealed that he had, over a 15-year period, secretly created 240 drawings and paintings of a woman named Helga Testorf, a neighbor in Chadds Ford, Penn. The critical furor, other than that caused by the adultery, was fueled by the (indignation) fact that Helga was not young and not beautiful.

Event 08-05-1993: The first piece of legislation Bill Clinton signed as president was the Family Leave Act which went into effect on this date. It provides up to 12 weeks of emergency unpaid family leave to care for newly born infants or sick relatives with a guarantees that the person's old job (or equivalent) is there.
      Most European countries provide up to 36-week guarantees - three times the U.S. guarantee that was supposed to destroy the economy.

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"When self-respect takes its rightful place in the psyche of woman, she will not allow herself to be manipulated by anyone."

"I would like to see us stop trying to be so damn civil to the people who are hurting us. I would like for us to stop thinking we need to prove anything to them. They need to prove to us that they can respect our lives enough to make social policy that stops battery."
            -- Andrea Dworkin, "Freedom Now", in Life and Death, 1997

      In her book Leave the Grave Green, Deborah Crombie's character Gemma is a divorced woman reflecting of her ex-husband:
"Gemma thought of Rob's automatic assumption that she would provide for his every need, both physical and emotion0al. It had never occurred to him that she might have a few of her own."

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