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August 12

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

Examples of Sexual Harassment

Delivery Made Easier for the Doctor!

Will Make the Journey Yet Another Time


QUOTES by Gloria Steinem and Lillie Devereux Blake.

Sexual Harassment Examples

      For those congressmen and senators who said they didn't understand what sexual harassment was, this list was prepared by the Capitol Hill Women's Political Caucus.
      It defined sexual harassment in the workplace and set forth guidelines for offices on Capitol Hill.
      It was part of a campaign by the women's caucus to make sexual harassment visible on Capitol Hill following the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court judge Clarence Thomas during which Anita Hill testified he'd sexually harassed her.

    • unsolicited and unwelcome flirtations, advances, or propositions;

    • graphic or degrading comments about an employee's appearance, dress or anatomy;

    • verbal abuse with sexual connotations;

    • display of sexually suggestive objects or pictures;

    • ill-received dirty jokes and offensive gestures;

    • prurient or intrusive questions about an employee's personal life;

    • explicit descriptions of the harasser's own sexual experiences;

    • the abuse of familiarities or diminutive such as "honey," "sweetheart," "darling" "dear" or "baby"; this can including referring to adult women as "girls";

    • whistling, catcalls;

    • leering;

    • exposing genitalia;

    • unnecessary and unwanted physical contact: touching, hugging, kissing, patting, pinching, tugging at clothing, etc.

    • physical/sexual assault; and

    • rape.

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Delivery Made Easier for the Doctor!

Most women midwives prior to the mid 1800s insisted that a woman birthing "be delivered while standing, kneeling, or sitting on a pillow in the lap of a strong woman in an armchair." Delivery while lying down, especially if there were complications was discouraged.
      It was not until the mid 1800s (and through most of the 20th century) that male doctors who took over the bulk of birthing (for the money) insisted that women lie flat on their backs. Why did the "modern" doctors insist on a position that defied logic and thousands of years of experience? To make it easier on the physician: so he didn't have to strain his back and tire himself!

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Will Make the Journey Yet Another Time

    When the night mask takes center stage
    When the overwhelming rage
    Takes you over the edge of humankindness

    The sink holes that were once your eyes
          pierce their way into my being
          and deaden my soul

    I go to the Island of Catatonia
    Where the voices of despair cry
    This can't be happening
    Where the waters of forgetfulness
          lap the shores of unconsciousness.

    Until I remember the trick
          of jumping out of my body
    So that I can slip through the crack in the wall
          where my soul becomes whole once again.
    I wait.
    The fury will subside.
    I ride the current.
    The mask will dissolve and nest back into
          your face.

    I return to untie the knots in my stomach
          to ice the burning of my bruises
    To face the aftermask.
    The calm after the storm -
    A relief.
    But my eyes scan the wall
          mapping the spot where the crack appeared.

    For I know in the dark corner of my heart
    That I will have to make the journey
          yet another time.
                -- Anonymous

This poem was written by an anonymous woman who experienced battering in an adult relationship. It was brought to the attention of WOAH Lew Olson.
      (We must continue to help our sisters with their self-esteem and give them the support they need to escape through the door to freedom from harm rather than just temporarily through a crack in the wall while he batters and abuses her. Please support your local battered women's shelter with personal care items, food, and, of course, money.)

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B. 08-12-1566, Isabella Clara Eugenia of Austria - archduchess of Austria and governor of Spanish Netherlands (1598-1621). Her father made an unsuccessful claim to the thrones of England and France for her since she was related to Mary Queen of Scots and France's King Henry III and was - individually - the Catholic alternative following the deaths of both of them.

B. 08-12-1591, Saint Louise deMarillac - cofounder of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. The order developed a revolutionary idea that enlisted laywomen who lived outside the cloister into religious service. They devoted themselves teaching and medical work. She was canonized in 1934 when the Daughters of Charity were the largest group of women in the Catholic church. LdM was widowed with one child.

DIED 08-12-1679, Marie de Rohan-Montbazon - duchesse de Chevreuse, conspirator against Cardinal de Richelieu and other religious ministers who ruled in place of the weak Louis XIII and during the regency of Anne of Austria (1643-51).
      Historical notes on the duchess appear to leave out a lot. For one so "corrupt," one wonders why she never "died suddenly" as was the usual fate for traitors and meddlers, especially women. (She lived to age 79.) Instead, she was exiled, allowed to return, sent away, etc., always "allowed" to return. Richelieu, a man of many tricks and loyalties, also accused Anne of Austria of treason.

B. 08-12-1831, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky - principal founder of the Theosophy movment.

B. 08-12-1833, Lillie Devereux Blake - U.S. writer and suffrage activist. Widowed, she turned to writing to support herself. Prolific, she used a dozen pseudonyms as she churned out newspaper and magazine articles and novels.
      She was a main contributor to Elizabeth Cady Stanton's Woman's Bible that may be found in WOAH's library - http://www.undelete.org/library/library0041.html See some quotes below in Quotes du Jour.
      Unlike most women who retired to "private life" when she remarried, LDB lectured widely and headed the New York suffrage association.
      She led successful campaigns to have women matrons or physicians on duty at public institutions and police stations where it was customary to have males supervise jailed women in ALL aspects of their lives, often alone. The women had no way to object to any kind of treatment by the male guards, including rape or beatings.       She also was successful in having wives declared joint guardians of minor children in New York state, a provision that soon spread to other states. Up to the late 1890s (in spite of propaganda today by ultra- conservative forces) men had SOLE custody of his children and the mother had NO rights. LDB was a freethinker.

B. 08-12-1854, Edith Matilda Thomas - U.S. poet who wrote in the classic form. Her poetry was widely published and much in demand during her lifetime but has all but disappeared from modern anthologies.

B. 08-12-1859, Katharine Lee Bates - U.S. poet, writer, and professor of English at Wellesley College for 34 years.
      Inspired by the view from Pike's Peak, she wrote the poem "America the Beautiful" was then set to the music of Samuel A. Ward.
      A movement to make "American the Beautiful" the national anthem replacing the martial "Star Spangled Banner" was almost successful until Bates' lesbianism surfaced and the movement died. It remains, however, "America's hymn."
      She published more than a dozen books.

B. 08-12-1865, Emma Eames - celebrated U.S. operatic soprano.

B. 08-12-1867, Edith Hamilton - U.S. classicist, author and authority on ancient Greece and mythology. EH was headmistress of Bryn Mawr school in Baltimore (founded by Mary E. Garrett and M. Carey Thomas). She remained headmistress for 26 years until what has been termed a "disagreement" with Thomas in 1922.
      In her retirement, she was able to devote herself to her classical studies and writing and a second career that has made her a popular writer even today.
      At age 90- she was made an honorary citizen of Athens in recognition of her scholarly writings.
      EH wrote a number of articles before being urged to publish book length studies. She started The Greek Way (1930) and published a series of astoundingly easy to read yet scholarly books including the ever-popular Mythology (1942) that is still in print. Her other books are The Roman Way (1932), The Prophets of Israel (1936), Three Greek Plays, translations from Aeschylus and Euripides (1937), Mythology (1942), Witness to the Truth: Christ and His Interpreters (1949), The Great Age of Greek Literature (an expansion of The Greek Way,1943), Spokesmen for God (an expansion of The Prophets of Israel, 1949), and The Echo of Greece (1957).
      EH was the first woman to attend classes in Munich, Germany.
      After "a confrontation with Thomas" in 1922 at age 55, she left Bryn Mawr to live with openly with Doris Field Reid for the rest of her life, "staying home to keep house" and write while Reid continued as a noted investment banker.
      The couple bought a summer home on Mount Desert Island and later moved to New York city from Baltimore when Reid received the opportunity to go with a noted Wall Street firm. Later EH followed Reid to Washington when Reid was made head of the firm's offices there.
      EH's daughter was the famed Dr. Alice Hamilton, developer of industrial medicine. EH never considered herself a scholar, simply a writer and translator of ancient information.
      Reid's biography Edith Hamilton: An Intimate Portrait (1967) is a selective biography.

B. 08-12-1876, Mary Roberts Rinehart - U.S. novelist and playwright who was a war correspondent during World War I.
      The Circular Staircase (1908), the first of her more than 50 novels and mysteries, may be her best known work - although with sales that exceeded ten million copies in her lifetime (with many still in print and being reissued) it's really hard to pick a definitive favorite. Her autobiography My Story (1931) was revised in 1948.
      A number of her more humorous novels featured the redoubtable "Tish," Miss Letitia Carberry.

B. 08-12-1880, Radclyffe Hall - British writer whose novel The Well of Loneliness sent shock waves through society. It was banned in Britain for one line: "and that night she did not sleep alone." The ban was finally lifed on appeal after RH's death in 1943.
      A U.S. court case to ban it failed. It is the best known of any book that feature lesbians and it is still in print today.
      Although best known for the "Well," and her openly lesbian lifestyle, RH was a fine writer and anyone interested in literature should explore her other novels, The Forge, The Unlit Lamp and Adam's Breed (1926) (that won her the coveted Prix Fémina and the 1927 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction), The Master of the House (1932), and The Sixth Beatitude (1936).
      Radical lesbians condemn "Well" because it portrays lesbian life as depressing and many of its characters unhappy. They fail, however, to look at it in its historical context and the "courage" that it gave so many lesbians of the day who read for the first time of the existence of "like people." It remains one of the major publishing events of the 20th century according to most critics.

B. 08-12-1883, Pauline Frederick - U.S. actor.

B. 08-12-1886, Lily Ross Taylor - U.S. classical scholar, educator, editor, and dean.

B. 08-12-1893, Bashka Paef - Russian-American sculptor know for her bas-relief portraits.

B. 08-12-1908, Nina V. Makarova - Russian composer with great interest in Russian and Mari folksongs. She composed ballads and choruses, as well as symphonies and the opera Courage.

B. 08-12-1912, Jane Wyatt - U.S. film and TV actress. Best known as the suffering wife in the TV series Father Knows Best although most remember her acting in the film Lost Horizon (1939).

Event 08-12-1918: Opha May Johnson enlisted as the first woman marine reservist and worked as a headquarter clerk and advanced to (provisional) sergeant before being discharged in 1919. All women who enlisted in the armed service during WWI were discharged soon after the end of hostilities. No women were allowed to stay in the armed services.

B. 08-12-1919 - Eleanor Margaret Peachey Burbidge - Anglo-American astronomer and 1982 Bruce Medalist, director of the Royal Greenwich Observatory and a major developer of the instrumentation for the Hubble Space Telescope.
      EMB gained particular renown for her studies in the spectroscopic studies of quasars. In 1957 in conjunction with several other astronomers, EMB showed how certain elements are produced in the interior of stars. Educated in England, she worked at several California observatories including the University of California at San Diego.

B. 08-12-1921, Marjorie Reynolds - U.S. actor. (Peggy - Life of Riley)

Event 08-12-1936: Diver Marjorie Gestring is youngest Olympic gold medalist (13y 268d)

Event 08-12-1953: Ann Davidson, the first woman to sail solo across Atlantic, arrives at the Port of Miami.

B. 08-12-1959, Lynette Woodard - U.S. athlete. LW is consider one of the all-time great women's basketball player. At the University of Kansas she consistently led the nation in scoring, rebounds and just about everything else.
      LW set the women's college scoring record of 3,649 points and was elected collegiate All-American (1978-81). LW followed her collegiate career by playing on a number of teams that captured gold and silver medals in international play. LW then captained the 1984 team that won the first Olympic gold medal in women's basketball for the United States. In 1985 she signed as the first woman player with the Harlem Globetrotters, playing for them (mostly on the bench as the token female) for two years before leaving over a contract dispute.
      Her position on the globetrotters broadened the public's awareness that there were women who played good basketball and helped pave the way to today's professional basketball leagues. "There are a lot of other women who had the same dream I had, but they don't have any place to go after their college days."
      She has been honored widely for her playing and roll model abilities.

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      "Some of us are becoming the men we wanted to marry."

      "In the detailed description of creation we find a gradually ascending series. Creeping things, 'great sea monsters,' (chap. I, v. 21, literal translation). 'Every bird of wing,' " cattle and living things of the earth, the fish of the sea and tile 'birds of the heavens,' then man, and last and crowning glory of the whole, woman.
      "It cannot be maintained that woman was inferior to man even if, as asserted in chapter ii, she was created after him without at once admitting that man is inferior to the creeping things, because created after them."...
      "In verse 23 of Genesis, Adam proclaims the eternal oneness of the happy pair, 'This is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh;' no hint of her subordination.
      "How could men, admitting these words to be divine revelation, ever have preached the subjection of woman!
      "Next comes the naming of the mother of the race. 'She shall be called Woman,' in the ancient form of the word Womb-man. She was man and MORE THAN MAN
[emphasis WOAH] because of her maternity.
      "The assertion of the supremacy of the woman in the marriage relation is contained in verse 24: 'Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and cleave unto his wife.' Nothing is said of the headship of man, but he is commanded to make her the head of the household, 'the home, a rule followed for centuries under the Matriarchate...
      "Abraham has been held up as one of the model men of sacred history.
      "One credit he doubtless deserves, he was a monotheist, in the midst of the degraded and cruel forms of religion then prevalent in all the oriental world; this man and his wife saw enough of the light to worship a God of Spirit.
      "Yet we find his conduct to the last degree reprehensible. While in Egypt in order to gain wealth he voluntarily surrenders his wife to Pharaoh.
      "Sarah having been trained in subjection to her husband had no choice but to obey his will. When she left the king, Abraham complacently took her back without objection, which was no more than he should do seeing that her sacrifice had brought him wealth and honor.
      "Like many a modern millionaire he was not a self-made but a wife-made man.
      "When Pharaoh sent him away with his dangerously beautiful wife he is described as, 'being rich in cattle, in silver and in gold,' but it is a little curious that the man who thus gained wealth as the price of his wife's dishonor should have been held up as a model of all the patriarchal virtues."
            -- The above are some of LDB's comments in Elizabeth Cady Stanton's The Woman's Bible.

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