08-09 TABLE of CONTENTS:
QUOTES by Mary Wollstonecraft, Letty M. Russell, and Marie Manning .
She Held More Aviation Records than ANY Other Person, Male or Female!
"I might have been born in a hovel, but I determined to travel with the wind and stars," so said Jacqueline Cochran, U.S. aviator who held more aviation records than any other person - male or female.
Jacqueline Cochran was a foundling, a new born infant abandoned at Pensacola, Florida, who was taken in by a very poor family. Her birthdate or parentage is unknown. She was raised in abject poverty, forced to leave school in the third grade to work in the mills and tobacco sheds (as was everyone else in her adopted family). From the lack of schooling, JC remained virtually illiterate her entire life and took most of her aviation tests and conducted her business verbally. She had a prodigious memory.
She organized the Women's Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) during WWII, who transported military aircraft of all kinds - from testing unknown planes to moving wrecked and condemned planes from landing strips to junking locations.
They also helped in the training of male fighter pilots for combat. JC flew an unarmed U.S. bomber to England during World War II (and got straffed by an unknown plane) proving that it could be done by a woman, but U.S women were limited to transporting military aircraft to the U.S. and Canada because of what has been described as men's fear of losing their macho image.
She won the Bendix Air Race in 1938, the second woman to win that grueling trans-continental race of the best machines and pilots (primarily male).
In 1953 she became the first woman to break the sound barrier and at age 57 set a new world's record for speed at 1,429.2 miles an hour - two hours from sea to shining sea. In 1969 she was promoted to colonel in the reserves, from which she retired in 1970.
JC was elected to the U.S. Aviation Hall of Fame in 1971. She received several honorary doctoral degrees as well as the Billy Mitchell trophy in 1938, the Cross of the Legion of Honor from France in 1940, and the Gold Medal of the Federation Aeronautique Internationale in 1954.
In 1959-1963 she was the first woman president of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, and she was also a member of many other aviation and service-connected organizations.
She remained a "rough" character all her life and was shunned by many of the socially elite even though she married a millionaire and was, on her own, a highly successful cosmetic business executive.
While working in the most menial of jobs in the repressive South where women were not expected to amount to anything except obedient and supportive wives, her amazing ambition enabled her to somehow squeeze out enough time to get her beautician's license.
It was just about the only way that someone in her social class had of breaking out of her childhood poverty.
Remember, she was virtually illiterate so the accomplishment that included talking examiners into allowing verbal rather than written answers was even more remarkable. One wonders why Hollywood has never done her story... She indeed traveled close to the stars until her death 08-09-1980. Her birth is estimated to be in 1910.
"She is fearless of death..." said her husband, industrialist Floyd Odum who met her when she moved to New York City, and in 1934 founded Jacqueline Cochran Cosmetics, a highly successful cosmetics company and was designated Woman of the Year in Business by an Associated Press Poll of newspaper editors in 1963.
Industrialist Floyd Odlum with whom she had a four-year affair before their marriage in 1936 encouraged her to take up flying in 1932.
After only three years flying experience, she was one of the first women to enter the Bendix Transcontinental Air Race in 1935, and in 1938 she became the second woman woman to win it. Louise Thaden was the first woman to win the Bendix race.
In WWII JC served as a captain in the British Air Force Auxiliary and helped organized the women pilots who not only flew planes from factory to places of deployment for the RAF, they also moved planes away from coastal airfields where they were in danger from Nazi fighters and bombers.
The women also moved damaged aircraft from RAF fields to repair sites - a job that was considered too dangerous for the limited manpower of the RAF because the planes were usually very badly shot up and damaged in rough landings - often on the verge of being completely unflyable.
Attempts to organize such a program in the U.S. including flying planes across the Atlantic to beleaguered Britain failed. However, through the intercession of Eleanor Roosevelt who arranged for JC to speak with President Roosevelt, The Women's Air Force Service Pilots (WASPs) were organized with JC as its director.
The plan was opposed by most military men and the WASPs never received military recognition and very little support. They had to buy their own shoes! They did not get the $10,000 life insurance policies that the men doing the same kind of flying did.
In one example of the prejudices, men riding in planes piloted by WASPs got overseas ribbons when they were ferried to distant islands off the shores of California, the women pilots did not. Seemingly minor, such incidents unmask prevailing unfairness.
JC and the WASPs themselves helped the military cover up the death of a WASP pilot that was caused by a hot-dog male pilot who broke formation to buzz the women's planes. Not the pilot he thought he was, his wing cut into a woman's plane sending her to her death. It was felt that if the death became known, the public would blame the women (naturally) and the entire program would be killed. (He was not hurt.)
The women felt the WASPs were advancing the cause of women's aviation - which it was - and suffered many incidents of harassment and prejudice.
In 1953 she became the first woman to fly faster than the speed of sound. She twice set the world jet speed record for women: 1961, 625 miles per hour (1,006 kilometersper hour); and 1964, 1,429.2 miles per hour (2,300 kilometers per hour).
She also set a new altitude record for women in 1961: 55,300 feet (16,855meters). She was a six-time winner of aviation's Harmon Trophy.
In 1956 she received a Distinguished Service Medal for her work in organizing the Women's Air Force Service Pilots in World War II. (See WASPs in WOAH search for many references to that marvelous organization's accomplishments.) In 1969, she was awarded the U.S. Air Force Distinguished Flying Cross, the same year she was promoted to colonel in the reserve. She retired from the Air Force reserve the next year at age 60.
She received several honorary doctoral degrees as well as the Billy Mitchell trophy in 1938, the Cross of the Legion of Honor from France in 1940, and the Gold Medal of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale in 1954.
In 1959-1963 she was the first woman president of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, and she was also a member of many other aviation and service-connected organizations.
In her autobiography, she relates that she hired a private investigator to find out her birth background. When he presented his report in a sealed envelope, she gave it to her husband to be unsealed. He refused to open it, and the envelope was destroyed unread.
What was important to them was not where she came from but what she had made of herself.
In one of the big twists of fate, history records "under the tutelage of Chuck Yeager, Cochran became the first woman to fly faster than the speed of sound in an F-88 jet fighter plane."
True, but what they leave out is that JC was financially supporting Yaeger and his wife on her California ranch for some time. Mr. Right Stuff didn't have the stuff to manage his finances. (She often supported or housed a number of down-on-their-luck aviators.)
The U.S. Post Office on March 9, 1996 issued the 50 cent international post card-rate stamp featuring her image depicting her as the 1938 winner of the Bendix race. She flew from Los Angeles to Cleveland, Ohio, in eight hours and ten minutes.
Why no Hollywood films about this woman?
"When I dare to be powerful - to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid."
-- Audre Lorde
Gendered Television Coverage and the Olympic Games
Gina Daddario. Women's Sport and Spectacle: Gendered Television Coverage and the Olympic Games. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1998. ix + 174 pp. Bibliographical references and index. $49.95 (cloth), ISBN 0-275-95856-6.
Reviewed by ViBrina Coronado, The Union Institute Graduate School. Published by H-PCAACA (July, 1999)
Included in WOAH with permission -
It's only been in the last twenty years that women's athletic competitions have been widely televised. This has been largely due to Title IX legislation, which in 1972, mandated that federally funded educational institutions must provide the same athletic programs for women that they do for men.
While this may lead the average television viewer to conclude that the playing field has been leveled for female athletes, Daddario signals that we have yet to reach parity on the ball court, track field, swimming pool, and ski sloop.
In Women's Sport and Spectacle, she shows how the media, sports organizations, and educational institutions are complicit in keeping women in "sex appropriate sports" by not considering them serious athletes.
First Daddario interrogates the assumption that men are naturally better athletes than women. Because men and women are physiologically different - women have less upper body strength, for example - there has been a tradition of seeing some sports as suitable for women, swimming and figure skating among them.
Sexual difference has been the reasoning that women can not compete in the same sports that men do.
But women's natural strengths have been ignored. For instance because they have more stamina than males, females are better suited to endurance sports like the marathon and triathlon. That televised programming showcases men in some sports and women in others makes "sex appropriate sports" seem like a "natural" extension of biological difference rather than a media driven decision.
Unfortunately Daddario's wording of this concept is not always clear. In places, it seems Daddario agrees that the differences in physiological mean men and women should be playing different sports, even though she does not.
Along with this, Daddario examines the male heterosexual initiative in sports programming because the audience for televised sports is assumed to be male.
Viewing women as sexual objects in the media carries over into the sports arena because the producers of sports coverage are mainly men.
And the chauvinism does not stop there.
Great athletes are assumed to be masculine - otherwise why would be necessary to put the appendage of woman on titles like Women's National Basketball League or Women's World Cup. When a women is a particularly good athlete she is accused of "playing like a man." To add injury to insult, the Olympic organization tests female athletes to make sure they don't have Y-chromosomes, which, it's reasoned, would give them an unfair advantage.
Because of this partiality to male athletes, Daddario demonstrates that female athletes are subject to a strict media critique and that gender stereotyping abounds.
Commentators saddle sports women with pet names; put a disproportionate emphasis on their status as wife, girlfriend, sibling, or daughter; and paint them as over emotional or little and sweet.
Their athletic strengths are played down. If they don't live up to media-generated expectations to win Olympic medals, they are often the targets of "compensatory rhetoric," a questioning of their value as athletes, while similar male athletes are seen as just unlucky.
To put the games in an historical context, Daddario provides an overview of the Olympic games from Ancient Greece to 1996 from the perspective of female inclusion.
One interesting item is the created of the Federation Sportive Feminine Internationale by French women in the 1920s to sponsor international games for women when the Olympics barred track and field events for women.
When these women's games became popular, the modern Olympic organization solicited female participation in the Olympic games.
Robert Allen's definition of text as "a dynamic relationship between texts and interpretive communities" serves as Daddario's basis to analyze the "texts" of the summer and winter Olympic games from 1992 to 1996.
In this way she can include the audience of female sports viewers in her study rather than relying on studies that focus on the sports audience as males from a male perspective. This opens the possibilities of other readings of the televised Olympic games since the meaning depends on the audience.
For the televised coverage of Olympic games Daddario studies, she explains how the producers began to consciously court woman viewers since more women than men watch the Olympics.
One way they hoped to attract a female audience, as Daddario's original contribution to the analysis shows, is by structuring the competition like a soap opera using melodramatic elements.
This structure, a montage of competition footage, the athletes' lives off the playing field and interviews, transforms the competitions into compelling stories.
Here, for example, the Tonya Harding-Nancy Kerrigan "rivalry" is exposed as a media hyped event.
There are problems with the book. The most glaring is repetition. Daddario repeats examples and handfuls of information, although thankfully mainly by paraphrasing. But in at least two places, paragraphs on facing pages are verbatim! She also glosses over details that need definition.
She writes about the various Olympic games as if she knows readers viewed the televised coverage - but what of foreign readers or future readers who will be too young to remember the specifics of 1992 Summer games? Careful editing would have reigned in the repetition and over-familiarity. Luckily these deficits are overshadowed by her intelligent arguments.
This text would be a good introduction to the subject of gender, media and sports for undergraduates. It's an easy read, accessible and the tone is even-handed, intelligent, and chummy.
But if this text is used, it would be important to stress that the differences in male and female bodies are not a basis for deciding what sports they practice.
Library of Congress call number: GV742.3.D33 1998
Television and sports - United States
Women on television
Sex role on television
Olympics Women athletes - United States
Citation: ViBrina Coronado. "Review of Gina Daddario, Women's Sport and Spectacle: Gendered Television Coverage and the Olympic Games," B. 08- 08-1896 H-PCAACA, H-Net Reviews, July, 1999. http://www.h-net.msu.edu/reviews/showrev.cgi?path= 267 67931291185.
Used in WOAH with permission - Copyright © 1999 by H-Net and the Popular Culture and the American Culture Associations. It may be reproduced electronically for educational or scholarly use. The Associations reserve print rights and permissions. (Contact: P.C.Rollins at the following electronic address: Rollins@osuunx.ucc.okstate.edu).
Did Washington Marry for Money?
According to research conducted by Washington and Lee University, Martha Custis, widow, who ran the huge Virginia plantation Mount Vernon located on the outskirts of what would become Washington, D. C., had a fortune of 29,650 pounds when she married the near penniless soldier and surveyor George Washington.
Martha Custis Washington's fortune allowed Washington to become an important person and to pursue a leisurely, gentleman farmer life style.
By today's standards, the 29,650 pounds translates into $5.9 million dollars.
Washington was a well-known "womanizer" during his marriage.
Gold Medal Gave Her Husband Riches and a New "Friend"
Lia Manoliu - Romanian athlete who competed in six Olympic competitions throwing the discus. She won the gold in 1968.
People treated her differently because of her size. She was six feet and weighed 187 pounds - not immense by today's standards, but in those days it made her very different. She was known to have trained by jumping with 300 pound weights on her back. "I had to work for it all. For those moments of success, it's worth the price."
Her private life was a shambles. When she won the gold, her husband bought and expensive American car in Mexico where the Olympics were held, had it shipped to Bucharest, and promptly drove away into the sunset with his very young girlfriend.
In an obituary, she is quoted as saying, "I was a little in despair, after 10 years of marriage."
Superb Still Life Artist Stopped Painting at Marriage
Louise Moillon (1615 75) - French artist, primarily of still-lifes. An elegant artist and superior compositor, she used colors lushly in such masterpieces as The Fruit Seller (1629).
Marriage and three children ended her brilliant career that started when she was very young.
Queen Mab - the queen of English folklore fairies who was mischievous but never did any real harm. Shakespeare refers to her as the midwife who delivers sleeping men of their innermost wishes in the form of dreams. She was replaced in folklore by Titania as queen to Obernon's fairy king rulership.
Helen Aberson Wrote Dumbo
Helen Aberson (Mayer) wrote the children's story that inspired the 1941 Walt Disney cartoon, Dumbo. A graduate of Syracuse University she had a talk-radio show before her marriage.
There is some confusion about the first publication of the story.
The illustrator of the book was given co-authorship in a 1939 version called Roll-A-Book, a scroll-like apparatus inside a box. The first regular book was printed in about a thousand copies. Disney bought the rights to it shortly after its publication.
The book has been republished by Disney almost exactly as HA wrote it. She wrote other children's stories, according to her son, but none were published. She died in 1999 at age 91.
08-09 DATES, ANNIVERSARIES, and EVENTS
Died 08-09-0803, Irene, Saint - Irene was elevated to sainthood in the Greek Orthodox church because she was instrumental in restoring the use of icons in the Eastern Roman Empire.
Saint Irene is not to be confused with Irene Ducas, the Byzantine ruler. Irene Ducas (b, circa 1066-d. 1120) was regent, then co-ruler with her son, and later was sole Emperor. She was the mother of Anna Comnena.
B. 08-09-1669, Eudoxia was married to Peter the Great of Russia when he was 17 and still only interested in war games. She was sent to a monastery before she was 30 to clear the way for Peter's other conquests. She was said to be beautiful but lacking in ambition and not very intelligent yet was a pawn in various machinations including the treason trial of her son and the accession of her grandson Peter II.
B. 08-09-1762, Mary Randolph - U.S. Southern cookbook author who used specific weights and measures, breaking away from the English cookbook - tradition in cookbooks of just listing ingredients.
B. 08-09-1816, Ann Peck Sill - U.S. educator. APS created, developed, and led what became Rockford College in Illinois. Its most famous graduate was probably Jane Addams (before it was a degree-awarding institution) and it graduated hundreds of women leaders.
B. 08-09-1865, Janie Porter Barrett - Afro-American welfare worker. She founded the Locust Street Social Settlement, the nation's first black settlement organization.
B. 08-09-1869, Annie Minerva Turnbo-Malone - U.S. entrepreneur and philanthropist.
B. 08-09-1883(?), Daisy Elizabeth Lampkin - Afro-American civil rights reformer, suffragist, community leader. DL was most active with the NAACP. She emphasized the need for black women and youth to become involved in the NAACP so that their needs would be addressed.
B. 08-09-1899, P.L. Travers - Australian-born English writer who created the irrepressible Mary Poppins.
The first of the eight volumes of the life and time of Mary Poppins was published in 1934 and the last in 1989. The various adventures of the British nanny were translated into more than 20 languages.
She intensely disliked the Disney film version of Mary Poppins (1964) as was quoted in an obituary when she died at age 96. She complained that Disney's version saying it was too simplistic and had toned down the darker side of the nanny's character. "They missed the point," she was once quoted as saying. "It's not about sugar and spice, but something from which we grown-ups can learn."
PL had a lifelong interest in mythology. She was editor of the U.S. publication Parabola that is devoted to myth and tradition. PL lived among the America's Navajo Indians for a time to learn about their myths and culture. "I've been looking for an idea all my life. I know what it is and sometimes I come near to it, and that's all I will say," she told an interviewer in 1995.
She was born Helen Lyndon Goff, changed her name to Pamela Lyndon Travers but prefered P.L. She adopted a son but never married.
B. 08-09-1914, Marika Tove - Finnish artist and writer-illustrator of children's books which she wrote in Swedish, the language of the educated Finn. Her books about the moomintrolls have been translated into most languages.
B. 08-09-1930, Betty Margaret Andersen, noted Australian nurse and public health instructor.
B. 08-09-1948, Barbara Mason, singer.
Event 08-09-1956: South African women demonstrate against pass laws.
B. 08-09-1957, Melanie Griffith - U.S. actor. Her mother was Tippi Hedren, film actor who was Alfred Hitchcock's favorite actor. MG is perhaps best know for her work in the movie Working Girls.
B. 08-09-1958, Amanda Bearse - U.S. actor. She is known for her Marcy Rhoodes on Married With Children.
B. 08-09-1963, Whitney Houston - Afro-American, immensely popular Grammy award singer. WH was the first female artist in the history of the Billboard magazine's charts to have an album enter at No. 1. She did it again with Whitney '87.
B. 08-09-1968, Gillian Anderson - U.S. actor best known for her role of Dana Scully in the long-running TV series X-Files. Her awards included: 1991: Theatre World Award; Absent Friends 1995: Screen Actors Guild; Outstanding Female Actor in a Drama Series, The X-Files 1996: Golden Globe; Best Actress in a TV Series (Drama), The X-Files 1996: Screen Actors Guild; Outstanding Female Actor in a Drama Series, The X-Files. Her mother is computer analyst.
Event 08-09-1977: the Air Force released a news item saying that for the first time women would fly military planes, completely ignoring (and insulting) the thousands of women who flew military planes - from experimental radio planes to fighters to bombers - during World War II as members of the WASPs. Although women are still not allowed to fly in combat, several women have been killed flying helicopters in "support" roles during hostilities such as the Gulf war.
Event 08-09-2000: Three women and 12 men received the Medal of Freedom from President Bill Clinton who awarded the medals each year of his presidency. Year 2000 women honorees were Mildred "Millie'' Jeffrey, Dr. Mathilde Krim and Marian Wright Edelman.
Mildred "Millie" Jeffrey, a leading women's labor and Democratic party activist, was the first female to direct a department of the United Auto Workers. She worked for the UAW from 1945-1976, heading four departments and serving as a secial assistant to president Walter Reuther. She also served on commissions during the Kennedy and Carter administrations. (She was also president of the Women s Political Caucus).
Jeffrey was also a noted civil rights activist who in 1963 marched beside Martin Luther King in Montgomery, AL and with James Meredith to the University of Mississippi to support his entry to the state college.
In an Associated Press interview before the award, Jeffrey, 88, said, "I remember the parades" [in Iowa during the 1920s when she was young.] "They had a burning cross, and the men had the hoods over their heads and their gowns."
Since there weren't many blacks in Cherokee, Iowa, for the KKK to target, they concentrated on Jews and Catholics. Jeffrey said she was Catholic and had stones thrown at her. "No Catholic could get elected to public office, and I thought it was very wrong and that's when I became interested in justice and politics,'' she said.
Jeffrey was the director of the first woman's United Auto Workers department. She was the president of the Michigan Women's Foundation and was on the Wayne State University board of governors.
Dr. Mathilde Krim founded the AIDS Medical Foundation in 1983, Dr. Krim was one of the earliest leaders in the effort to find a cure for HIV/AIDS. She has had a distinguished medical career, working on topics ranging from cancer research to human genetics, and her foundation,which joined with the American Foundation for AIDS Research in 1985, has poured millions of dollars into HIV/AIDS research efforts. Her WOAH biography is here.
President Clinton's announcement read:"Marian Wright Edelman is the long time president of the Children's Defense Fund. Edelman began her career as an attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund in 1964. She is the first African American woman admitted to the Mississippi bar. In 1976, she became the chair of the board of trustees of Spelman College, her alma mater - the first African American and second woman to hold that post. She also was the first African American woman elected to the Yale University Corporation.Ms. Edelman broke with the administration over welfare reform passed by the Republican congress and signed by Clinton. However, later she worked with Clinton who quietly worked through executive order to repair the damage done to poor children by the mean-spirited congressional reform. She is a longtime personal friend of First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.
In 1999, President Clinton awarded the Medal of Honor to Evy Dubrow. His award statement read:"Evy Dubrow came to Washington more than 40 years ago, ready to do battle for America's garment workers - and do battle she did. When it came to the well-being of workers and their families, this tiny woman was larger than life. The halls of Congress still echo with the sound of her voice, advocating a higher minimum wage, safer work places, bettereducation for the children of working families. And in opposition, to President Ford and me, she also was against NAFTA." (Laughter and applause from the audience attending the awards.)The second 1999 award to a woman went to Sister Iolina Ferre. The President:
"No matter how divisive the issue, however, Evy always seemed to find a way to bring people together, to find a solution. As she put it, there are good people on both sides of each issue.And she had a knack for finding those people. By the time she retired two years ago, at the age of 80, she had won a special chair in the House Chamber, a special spot at the poker table in the Filibuster Room -- (laughter) -- and a special place in the hearts of even the most hard-bitten politicians in Washington; even more important, for decades and decades, she won victory after victory for social justice.""Sister Isolina Ferre. For more than 20 years, in a poverty-stricken barrio in Puerto Rico, Sister Isolina Ferre started passing out cameras to children. She told them to photograph whatever they saw. The point of the project, she later recalled, was not just to teach young people to take pictures, but to teach them to take pride in themselves.That is what Sister Isolina does best: teaching people to see the best in themselves and in their communities, and making sure they had the tools to make the most of the gifts God has given them. Armed only with her faith, she taught warring gangs in New York, City to solve their differences without violence. In Puerto Rico, her network of community service centers, the Centros Isolina Ferre, have transformed ravaged neighborhoods by helping residents to advocate for themselves. Her passionate fight against poverty, violence and despair have earned her many awards and countless tributes from all around the world.
Sister Isolina once said that a community grows only when it rediscovers itself. On behalf of the many communities you have helped to make that wonderful discovery, a grateful nation says thank you to you today. Formal citations are awarded all recipients." Addendum: Sister Isoline Ferre died August 2000. The President issued a statement that included the above recitation of her many accomplishments and added:"Hillary and I were saddened to learn of the death of Sister Isolina Ferre... Her lifetime of selfless commitment to others will remain her greatest legacy. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and many friends."
QUOTES DU JOUR
"...I wish to persuade women to endeavor to acquire strength, both of mind and body, and to convince them that the soft phrases, susceptibility of heart, delicacy of sentiment, and refinement of taste, are almost synonymous with epithets of weakness... [dismiss] then those pretty feminine phrases... supposed to be the sexual characteristics of the weaker vessel..."
-- Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792).
RUSSELL, LETTY M.:
"Women not only seek identity in history but begin to seek out their sisters so that, in community, they can build a strong feminist culture which supports the ideas and actions of those who do not think persons are inferior because of their sex. Here the emphasis is on vertical support from the past and from women of the past, as well as horizontal support from sisters close by, and in every part of the globe."
-- from Human Liberation In A Feminist Perspective, A Theology by Letty M. Russell. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1974.
"Unbelievable today was the apologetic spirit in which tax-paying women (were) asking for a trifling betterment of laws concerning women and children (at the turn of the century). Children at that time were working 8-10 hours a day in cotton mills and the gentlemen on (Capitol) Hill were quoting scripture to prove that the system was all that it should be."
-- Marie Manning, aka Beatrice Fairfax in her autobiography Ladies Now and Then (1944).
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