08-06 TABLE of CONTENTS:
QUOTES by Dale Spender, Sarah N. Cleghorn, and Susan B. Anthony.
Intelligence is Not Linked to the Y Chromosome - a Review of Dr. Olga Wasserman's The Door in the Dream: Conversations with Eminent Women in Science.
In 1969-70, its first year of coeducation, Princeton University had only two female assistant professors and ONE female tenured professor out of a faculty of 709.
In 1968, Yale College had only TWO women professors and 12 women on the tenure track out of 672 men.
So much for the liberalism of liberal arts universities.
Things, of course, are a bit better today but far from being equal either in professorships or pay - but perhaps more importantly, in opportunity for women in the sciences (in academia) as can be seen in a remarkable book by Dr. Olga Wasserman: The Door in the Dream: Conversations With Eminent Women in Science, Joseph Henry Press (imprint of the National Academy Press - National Academy of Sciences).
Dr. Wasserman interviewed 70 eminent women scientists, all member of the academy who described their experiences in pursuing their dreams.
In the preface, Rita Colwell strikes a remarkable chord as she tells of the "valley of death" in education
"where girls grades 4 through 8 are, in subtle and not so subtle ways, discouraged from pursuing science and engineering... dearth of role models... those with a natural bent toward science are too often directed elsewhere."
Dr. Wasserman herself was a victim of that "valley of death," although in her case it was after she received her doctorate in organic chemistry. The valley is deep and wide, often neverending.
In her "elsewhere" career, she was assistant dean of the Yale Graduate school in the fall of 1968 when in the heady early years of women's drive for civil/human rights, Yale decided to admit women to its undergraduate school for the first time. Women had been allowed in graduate school on a very limited basis for years, especially during war years when male enrollment dropped, but none was allowed to become an Eli. Maya Lin's noted sculpture at Yale features a spiral of zero's next to the years Yale was in existence without women being allowed to enroll.
When Dr. Wasserman was approached to head the integration of women into Yale,
"I naively expected, however, that I would transfer my status as assistant deal from the graduate school to the undergraduate college. I was promptly informed that the assistant deans at Yale College all of whom were male would be too threatened if a woman were to join their ranks as a fellow dean and thus as a quasi equal."
The Yale president proposed that Dr. Wasserman serve as "Special Assistant to the President on the Education of Women and chairman of the Committee on Coeducation." "This was 1968 and I reluctantly agreed to this less than elegant title. I still had much to learn."
And learn she did!
She faced a terrible anger from her former boss at the graduate school who felt that she should have stayed loyal to him and not taken the other position, after all, she was expected to be "grateful forever, even though this dean had always encouraged male assistant deans top move on and upward."
(Legends of women have faced such a hissy-fits from their former mentors or bosses who assumed "ownership" of their women subordinates.)
Dr. Wasserman writes that she believes the Yale administration thought the mandate to make Yale "okay" for women was a matter of "full-length mirrors, bathtubs, separate lockers in the gym, and little else."
"At the time there were 12 women among 672 tenure-track faculty members, including two full professors, one in English and one in history," Wasserman wrote.
"Through regular networking with women in similar roles at other institutions - Sheila Tobias (Wellesley), Adele Simmons (Hampshire College), Patricia Graham (Princeton), Jacqueline Mattfield (Barnard), and others," Dr. Wasserman tried to make progress but instead of seeing tangible progress, the way was barred by another committee to study... and then another.
By 1973, when the initial transition had taken place, she moved on to study law at Yale Law School. Her resignation from the Yale administration was primarily because Yale male officials refused to hire additional women faculty members and led to her interest in equal-access issues.
She went on to a very successful family law practice, but since she herself had veered away from a career in the sciences, she remained interested in why women "drift out of science for reasons that have nothing to do with their innate ability or their interest in science."
The experiences of those who did stayed in the sciences and attained the rarified air of membership in the National Academy of Sciences make up the main thrust of this very important book.
"The profiles that follow convey the obstacles that these pioneering women overcame in order to pursue their passion for science. I continue to be amazed that they succeeded."
The summarizing last chapters, "Shared Experiences," "Balancing Career and Family," and "Righting the Balance" give the prospective woman scientist and struggling woman scientist concrete and practical solutions to the problems most professional women share, but are seldom able to network with peers.
Joan Steitz, molecular biologist who learned to do research very well because that's all she thought she'd ever do. She did it so well that she became famous:
"I presumed I would be a research associate in somebody's lab because that was what all women did... all of a sudden people started offering me jobs. I was flabbergasted... scared."
Instead of insisting that they stay put at Berkeley where he was employed, her husband agreed to go east to fulfill her dream.
"Self doubt, timidity, and dislike of conflict do not contribute to success in the competitive arena of scientific research... Some of this is quite insidious," another scientist said.
"After a lifetime of not feeling entitled to having our scientific careers, we can use that against ourselves... We have to get the word out that women can trust their own voice and then follow it."
"I realized that these women differed from other talented but less successful women scientists precisely because each of them learned relatively early in life how to overcome or totally disregard such internal barriers. Having done so they were able to pursue the work they loved with passion and without expending energy dealing with self-doubt or guilt,"
Dr. Wasserman writes. The book also reports an insult in a Johns Hopkins study that is seldom brought to light:
"one-third of the women reported that their mentor's used the woman faculty member's work for the mentor's own career benefit, rather than to benefit the woman's career, but only 10 percent of men reported similar experiences."
(WOAH recites numerous examples of this "stealing" of a woman's work in the sciences as well as in music with noted composers co-opting works of wives or sisters.
Some of the WOAH examples in music are Clara Schumann and her husband Robert and Fannie Medelssohn Hansel and her brother Felix.
In the sciences, two of the most blatant examples occurred to Rosalind Franklin (B. 07-25-1900) and Jocelyn Bell (B. 07-15-1943) when the co-opting resulted in the men "thieves" receiving Nobel prizes.)
A careful reading of the profiles in Dr. Wasserman's book makes it apparent that "even for the highly talented members of the National Academy of Sciences their playing field is not yet level... the scarcity of women at the top can no longer be blamed on the scarcity of women in the pipeline. More than 5,000 women now earn science doctorates each year."
It is simply that
"universities and research facilities were established for men by men, Their policies are based on the once-valued premise that each scientist has a wife at home to whom all responsibility for family and domestic responsibilities would be delegated... The difficulty of combining family and career responsibilities remains a major obstacle for women scientists who must continue to find ways to fit their lives into an environment designed for men.
"The women scientists who attained membership in the National Academy of Sciences did so by adapting their lives to prevailing expectations through ingenuity, doggedness, and extraordinary energy."
After reading The Door in the Dream, I donated my copy to my local library, as Rita Colwell said in her preface, "to provide readers whether scientists or not, with a glimpse of the excitements and rewards to be found in scientific research as we confront a vast range of unresolved problems waiting to be tackled."
Probably because she concentrated on women in the sciences, Dr. Wasserman did not explore the Yale experiences of Dr. Hanna Holborn Gray ( B. 10-25-1930) that led to her becoming president of the University of Chicago (1978) and the first woman to head a major coeducational university in the U.S.
Dr. Gray had been acting president of Yale University but took the Chicago post while the committee selection for Yale president was underway. Rumor had it that SHE was not going to be named president because she was a SHE.
Yale officials denied gender bias in their selection process - and have even gone so far as to claim it had a woman president (Dr. Gray) without actually having had one by ruse of counting Gay's tenure as ACTING president as a regular president.
Women and Divorce Finances
Check with your attorney who sometimes doesn't volunteer such information to a woman, or may overlook it.
In most states a spouse's pension is considered part of marital or community property at the time of divorce. Disposition of the pension should be negotiated just as other assets, regardless of how long from retirement the spouse is.
Your Pension Rights at Divorce; What Women Need to Know is an excellent book for women who are realists. Realists know that nothing is promised forever, and they face the fact that 40% of all marriages end in divorce. Because of most women's dreams that love is forever so often blinds them in financial matters and they consistently do not get their fair share of marital/community property, or credit for their work - or enough child support.
Study after study shows that most divorces turn ugly only when the woman decides to assert her financial rights, such as alimony, child support, or exploring the husband's hidden assets.
In some cases when a marriage is dissolved without pension splitting, the financial settlement may be renegotiated when the woman becomes aware of her rights.
Your Pension Rights at Divorce; What Women Need to Know, published by Pension Rights Center, 918 16th St NW suite 704, Washington DC 2006, $14.50 including shipping. Add $2 for first class postage.
A Tale of a Woman Gone Bad but Kept from her Grave
This is one of the many legends of women gone bad who wander the earth like the Flying Dutchman...
According to much told and retold legend (that many an author claims as authentic and publish versions in their "histories" or "stranger than fiction" books), on August 6, 1905, a beautiful young housewife in Louisville Kentucky asked her husband for one new hat too many - there is a photograph in some books of a Hazel Farris and she IS attractive and note that the argument was HER fault because of something trivial SHE wanted, namely a new hat.
The story gets better.
The couple's argument grew into a tussle. Hazel Farris, it is said, grabbed a pistol from an nearby bureau and fired. Her husband fell to the floor, dead.
The shot was heard by three passing policemen on their way to the station house that was in the vicinity. They burst in on Hazel who still had the gun in her hand and she fired "until there were four dead bodies piled on the floor."
A crowd began to form and someone summoned a deputy sheriff who now cautiously entered by the back door in an attempt to take Hazel by surprise. He fired, shooting off Hazel's ring finger but her deadly aim was better and she fired her fifth bullet of the morning to kill the deputy.
She remarkably got away out the back door and left Kentucky. A $500 dollar reward was posted.
In 1906 she was perhaps sighted in Bessemer, Alabama and some say she took up the life of a sedate boarding housekeeper while others say she became the madam of the best house of prostitution in town.
According to folklore, the city of Bessemer at the time had 32 bars on one street (among many streets that had bars) and whiskey was poured out of tank cars for bottling by local proprietors.
One of the stories has Hazel turned into an alcoholic because of guilt and remorse, others that she drank heavy in secret (the secrecy was necessary because she was a school teacher).
This legend and its many incarnations, retellings and statements to its absolutely truth gets even more complex.
Supposedly she fell in love with a Bessemer policeman. She wanted to start over again so she confessed to the murders. He immediately turned her in. She committed suicide by taking poison before she could be arrested. (You may take your choice as to what kind of poison but rat poison seems to have the edge in the tales.)
Her body was washed with camphor (the only preservative in those days) and taken to a furniture store that sold caskets. With no known relatives, the furniture store owner started to charge 10 cents a look at the woman's body which instead of decomposing naturally mummified. (The exhibiting of the dead bodies of notorious people was a common thing and according to one version of this tale of an evil woman, the custom extended into the 1970s.)
Now the story-legend-biography changes tone a bit. The "mummy" supposedly changed hands several times until O.C. Brooks got it in about 1907 (or so) and exhibited her in her mummified state for more than 40 years.
The carnival legend about such exhibitions are famous and by the time Brooks retired near Baton Rouge he was said to have amassed a fortune of more than $2 million dollars by exhibiting Hazel around the world.
Well, the fortune disappeared and when Brooks died he willed Hazel to his nephew saying that she must never be buried (she had to stay above ground to atone for her sins!) and must never be exhibited again except for charity.
The nephew Luther Brooks used Hazel to raise money to build five churches in Tennessee.
Hazel was exhibited in the 1970s to raise fund for the Bessemer Hall of History.
'Tis said the body still exists in a mummified state which some feel was spontaneous because of the large amount of alcohol she consumed and the poison she ingested. Hazel or whatever or whomever she/it is, was supposedly never embalmed and the legends claim that she still has all her internal organs, eyelashes and teeth, etc.
The idea that a living body can ingest enough alcohol to embalm itself is, ah, rather far- fetched. And there was never any proof that the body called Hazel was a Hazel from Kentucky or that... The fabrication, legend, or morbid story in all its many versions takes its endurance from people's easy acceptance of a woman gone very wrong and getting her come-uppance throughout eternity.
This charming painting Young Girl in a Red Hat was done by Lilian Hale, the almost unsung wife of the son of the author of The Man Without a Country who was also a painter.
She is, however, appreciated in her home city of Boston where many of her paintings hang in the Museum of Fine Arts and many of the homes of art collectors in New England. Their daughter Nancy Hale was a writer of note.
Carol Galley of the U.K. was vice-chair of Mercury Asset Management, which controlled 70 billion pounds in investment funds, when she was chosen as one of "The 100 Most Powerful Women in the World" by Australiam Magazine in May, 1996.
First Woman Rabbi of Major U.S. Congregation
In 1994 Laura Geller, the fourth woman rabbi in the United States, became the first woman SENIOR rabbi at a major metropolitan Jewish congregation, Temple Emanuel in Beverly Hills, California that has more than 1,000 members.
She estimated that about 300 women serve as assistant, or associate rabbis, even senior rabbis in smaller congregations in the U.S.
There have been "issues of gender at every step of my career," Rabbi Gellersays,"and some people, even within this congregation, still find it an issue." But, she adds,
"I'm grateful that I came to this position as a middle-aged woman... I'm fully clear that it' s their problem, not mine.
"When they say, 'I like you very much, but I'm just not comfortable with a woman rabbi,' they're telling me something about themselves, not about me."
Sally J. Priesand, ordained in 1972, was the first woman rabbi in the United States, at the Monmouth County Reform Temple in New Jersey. Regina Jonas was the first woman rabbi in the world, ordained in 1935.
Lucy Ball: America's Clown
Lucille Ball, b. 08-06-1911, became America's clown in 1951 when she burst onto the fledgling TV industry with a previously undiscovered flair for comedy.
She had a successful but lackluster career in Hollywood B movies before teaming with her husband in October 1951 to star in the TV comedy I Love Lucy. In fact, because LB was so minor a person, her husband Desi was considered the star when the series premiered. Lucy's untaped comedic talent blossomed and it soon boosted the show into one of the most successful series in TV history. It is also one of the longest running TV shows. It has been running regularly in reruns for the past 45 years with no end in sight.
In 1957-58, the show's title was changed to The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show, perhaps in deference to a husband who was so completely overshadowed on small screen. The loss of Desi's star rating was affecting their marriage.
Playing the scatterbrained redhead that belied her shrewd comedic and business sense, Lucille Ball won the Emmy in 1952 and 1955.
LB and her husband formed a production system that became one of the major producers of TV shows other than their own. Legend says that Arnaz was the brains but two years later in 1960, LB took over as president of Desilu, the first woman to head a major TV production company. As Lucy's TV fame increased, their marriage dissolved.
Lucy played Broadway again then came back to TV with The Lucy Show in 1962-1968, winning Emmys in 1967 and 1968.
Not content with being just a major Hollywood power and beloved of millions of viewers who appreciated a good laugh, she made several more movies, sold Desilu, and opened her own production company.
Ball and Arnaz pioneered 3-camera technique (now standard) and they/she developed the concept of syndicating TV shows.
However, the duos most daring action was not technique but a challenge to repressive social rulings on what was proper on TV. Lucy became obviously pregnant on the show and then birthed a baby boy. Although condemned by religious moralists, the public warmly embraced the mother and her son.
The chocolate factory scene, the stomping of the grapes, and the Harpo Marx mirror episodes have to be some of the funniest routines ever recorded on film - and the most recognized.
LB was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1984.
08-06 DATES, ANNIVERSARIES, and EVENTS
Died 08-06-1661, Mere Angelique aka Jacqueline-Marie-Angelique Arnaud - French nun/abbess who made her nunnery a center for Jansenism. One of six sisters, her family forced her to become a nun at 9 and she became an abbess at age 12 of an ancient religious house near Versailles. She reformed her nunnery and several others making them more devote and spiritual. She was the daughter of a prominent Jansenist theologian. (M´re Ang´liquet
Event 08-06-1727: the first Roman Catholic convent in America is occupied by the Ursaline nuns in New Orleans. The convent/school is still occupied today although rebuilt several times and much enlarged.
Event 08-06-1777: Mary Brant, a Mohawk, had nine children with the British superintendent of Indian Affairs. She managed his household and was his hostess for almost 25 years until his death in 1774. She then retired to upper New York state and was a loyalist during the American revolution. She supplied intelligence and ammunition for the British in the the battle of Oriskany, August 6, 1777. Brant and her brother who was a warrior leader of of the Iroquois were instrumental in aligning the entire Iroquois nation on the side of the British in the American revolution. Following the defeat of the British, she joined other refugees in Kingston, Ontario.
B. 08-06-1829, Marie Elizabeth Zakrzewski - pioneer U.S. doctor. MEZ graduated from a school for midwives without incident but when she was appointed chief midwife and professor, male opposition forced her resignation. On arriving in the U.S., she met Elizabeth Blackwell who helped her enter Western Reserve medical school for regular medical training. She assisted the Blackwell sisters in the New York Infirmary and ran the institution while Elizabeth was in England.
She served as physician and professor at th New England Female Medical College in Boston but left because the founder saw women's position in medicine limited to midwifery. She founded the New Englandl Hospital for Women and Children in 1862 and served in various capacities there until 1899.
In addition to her pioneering medical work, she developed lunchrooms for the working poor women and aid for poor Jews.
Her New England Hospital was the first one to trained nurses and offer social services.
B. 08-06-1845, (Mary Caroline) Myrtle Page Fillmore - U.S. religious activist. MPF's accomplishments are inseparable from those of her husband as they jointly organizeds and were principle theorists of the Unity theory of Christianity that proffered solutions to health, mental, and other problems.
B. 08-06-1861, Edith Kermit Roosevelt - second wife of Theodore, President of the United States.
B. 08-06-1873, Mary Carr Moore - U.S. singer and composer. MCM composed six operas and a number of orchestral, chamber, and piano works. She was guest conductor for several West Coast orchestras.
B. 08-06-1876, Mary Louis Curtis Bok Zimbalist - U.S. music patron and philanthropist.
B. 08-06-1881, Louella Oettinger Parsons - U.S. personality journalist. LP is best known as a Hollywood gossip columnist. During the heyday of the studio star system she held unbelievable power over the individual actors futures as their moral judge. Her column appeared in more than 400 newspapers. Many of her critics claim she was vindictive and spiteful but she kept the aura of Hollywood glamour alive when many of the stars were less than nice. She was as much the creator of the Hollywood myth as the makeup artists and the studio press people.
She was an ultra conservative who supported right wing causes financially. She saw herself as the arbiter of morals who believed her way and only her way was right. She forced many stars to do her bidding to either curry favor or to prevent her from publishing scurrilous innuendos that were often false.
In the prime of the Hollywood star system, she was arguably the most powerful person in the business.
B. 08-06-1886, Florence Laura Goodenough - U.S. psychologist. FLG was developmental psychologist, chief psychologist at the Minneapolis Child Guidance Clinic (1925) and research professor at the Institute of Child Welfare at the University of Minnesota until her retirement in 1947.
She developed cognitive tests for children and was recognized as "an innovator of the first magnitude in the observational study of children behavior." She argued that research "that claimed superiorities and inferiorities of different groups of people ignored the pervasive cultural patterns that affected the intelligence results."
Her most acclaimed book was Developmental Psychology which she revised three times.
B. 08-06-1886, Mary Brooks Picken - U.S. author. MBP was the author of more than 100 books on home sewing and decorating. MBP compiled the first dictionary ever compiled by a woman The Language of Fashion. Her grandmother taught her to card wool, spin, and weave fabrics, and how to sew clothes when she was very young.
She taught sewing and dressmaking for many years even to women prisoners of Leavenworth Penitentiary. Contracted by the Women's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences in Pennsylvania to prepare a complete courses on sewing and dressmaking, the 64 volumes were used to teach more than a half-million students.
B. 08-06-1892, Ruth Suckow - U.S. author.
B. 08-06-1896, Gertrude Sprague Carraway - U.S. community activist. GSC was elected president of the Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.) in 1953.
B. 08-06-1902, Brigadier Dame Monica Golding - U.K. army Matron-in-Chief and director of nursing services 1956-1960.
MG was an experienced nurse in action having set up a clearing station during the 1940 British defense in France. She saw service in India and Hong Kong as well as in Africa.
Enrollment rose during her tenure as head of nursing and some who view women as merely vacationing from beauty parlors say it wasn't better leadership but prettier uniforms that drew recruits
B. 08-06-1905, Clara Bow - U.S. film actor. CB was called the "'It' girl" as she portrayed the carefree flapper in early Hollywood films.
She starred in moe than 30 films including the classic Wings but her strong Brooklyn accent prevented her from making it in talking pictures. Her various sex scandals also lost fan support but it was her voice that ended her movie career.
She won a beauty contest while still in high school that sent her to Hollywood. A good biography is J. Morella's The 'It' Girl: the Incredible Story of Clara Bow (1976).
B. 08-06-1908, Helen Hull Jacobs - U.S. tennis player. HHJ won the Wimbledon singles in 1936 among dozens of other titles but was always overshadowed by Helen Wills Moody whom she just could not beat. HHJ was arguably the second best woman tennis player in the world for most the the 1920s and 30s.
B. 08-06-1921, Ella Raines - U.S. actor.
B. 08-06-1925, Barbara Bates - U.S. actor.
Event 08-06-1926: Gertrude Ederle became the first woman to swim the English channel and did it two hours faster than any man had swum the channel to that time, in about 14.5 hours. (also see WOAH 10-23)
B. 08-06-1929, Janice Lee York Romary - U.S. Olympic fencer (1952-1968) who in 1968 became the first woman to be the U.S. flag bearer in the opening ceremonies of the Olympics (Mexico City).
B. 08-06-1929, Anneliese Kuppers - German equestrian, winner of the 1956 Olympic Silver in dressage.
B. 08-06-1941, Jane Adams Amero. Elected to the Maine Senate 1992, she became assistant majority leader of the that body.
Event 08-06-1942: Queen Wilhemina of the Netherlands became the first reigning queen to address a joint session of Congress, telling lawmakers that despite Nazi occupation, her people's motto remained, "No surrender."
B. 08-06-1944, Swoosie Kurtz - U.S. actor of stage, and TV.
B. 08-06-1951, Catherine Hicks - U.S. actor.
B. 08-06-1956, Stephanie Kramer - U.S. actor. (Claudia-We Got it Made, Hunter)
Event 08-06-1993: Former Japanese Socialist party head Takako Doi, 64, won election as Speaker of Parliament. She is the first woman to hold such a prestigious position in modern Japan.
QUOTES DU JOUR
"We need to know how patriarchy works. We need to know how women disappear, why we are initiated into a culture where women have no visible past, and what will happen if we make that past visible and real. If the process is not to be repeated again, if we are to transmit to the next generation of women what was denied transmission to us, we need to know how to break the closed circle of male power which permits men to go on producing knowledge (and history) about themselves, pretending that we do not exist."
-- From Dale Spender's Women of Ideas and What Men Have Done to Them. London: Pandora, 1988. This book is MUST reading.
CLEGHORN, SARAH N.:
"The golf links lie so near the mill
"That almost any day
"The laboring children can look out
"And see the men at play."
-- Sarah N. Cleghorn: "The Conning Tower," New York Tribune, Jan. 1, 1915
ANTHONY, SUSAN B.:
"So while I do not pray for anybody or any party to commit outrages, still I do pray, and that earnestly and constantly, for some terrific shock to startle the women of this nation into a SELF-RESPECT which will COMPEL them to see the abject degradation of their present position; which will force them to break their yoke of bondage, and give them FAITH IN THEMSELVES; which will make them proclaim their allegiance to WOMEN FIRST; which will enable them to see that man can no more feel, speak or act for women than could the old slaveholder for his slave. The fact is, women are in chains, and their servitude is all the more debasing because they do not realize it.
"O, to compel them to see and feel and to give them courage and conscience to speak and act for their own freedom, though they face the scorn and contempt of all the world for doing it!"
-- Susan B. Anthony, 1870. (Brought to our attention by Wendy Brewer who said: "Makes you wanna stand up & clap doesn't it ? Does me...")
BTW, to those women who think Susan B.'s words no longer apply, remember that the average woman today makes 70 cents to a white man's $1.00 (a black woman earns even less) and that a male high school graduate's earning capacity matches that of female college graduate.
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