08-14 TABLE of CONTENTS:
QUOTES by Cornelia Otis Skinner, Liddy Dole, Beverly Sills, Julia Childs, and Stacy Allison.
Your Daughter Wants Herself
"There is no sadder sight in the world than that of a wasted life."
[This wonderful essay by Alys Pearsal Smith was published in that remarkable Nineteenth Century Women magazine which dared treat women as individuals with their own minds and sufferings, hopes and dreams. This cry for justice reaches across the times with a clear voice.]
They must arrange the flowers, helping with the housekeeping, pay the family calls, entertain the family visitors, always be at hand, well-dressed, cheerful, and smiling, like household angels, as they are often called, without any personal preferences or pursuits, ready to meet every call, and to contribute to everyone's pleasure but their own. All this, it is true, is a part, and a very essential part, of the duty belonging to an unmarried daughter at home; but it is only a part.
The tyranny comes in when it is considered to be all.
It is the fact that she must always be "on tap" (if we may use the expression) that make life so hard and dull in its effects. Under such circumstance the girl can never sit down to read or write without fear of being disturbed; she can never undertake any definite work or pursuit, lest it might interfere with some of these unceasing claims.
Never an Hour to Call Her Own
She never, in fact, has an hour that she can call absolutely her own, free from the danger of interruption. There is always something wanted by someday, and a girl of average conscientiousness would feel very selfish should she refuse to meet these unceasing claims, even though most of them may be very unimportant, and although she herself may have on hand at that moment some important work of her own.
Her brother, who is reading at home in his vacation, is never to be disturbed; but that, of course, is because he is reading for his examinations, and expects to do some thing afterwards. But are the girls, who are not going in for examinations, and who never expect to do any great things, not to be allowed some definite time for study and self-improvement, or for some outside philanthropic work?...
Suffering of Women Under These Circumstances Never Told
The suffering endured by many a young woman under these circumstances has never yet been told. Possessing no money in her own right, and obliged to be, too often from an unwilling father, for all she gets, a girl of character, as she grows into maturity, and lives on as a woman in her father's house, suffers from a sense of bitter humiliation that no one who has not experienced it can understand.
Many young women under these circumstances would gladly engage in any honourable labour, however menial, that would enable them to be independent and to won themselves.
Could the parents of these daughters... for one single moment get a glimpse into the hearts of the quiet, uncomplaining daughters, they would be astonished and perhaps horrified.
"What can our daughter want more than they have now?" they would ask. "They have a good home and every comfort and the society of the parent's friends; perhaps a carriage to drive in and horses to ride. What more can they possibly desire?"
To such parents I would reply; Your daughter wants herself... She wants to belong to herself. She has paths of her own she longs to walk in, and purposes of her own she is eager to carry out. She is an independent being, created by God for the development of her talents, and for the use of her own time...
How Would You Like to Live Someone Else's Life
Put yourselves in her place, and ask yourselves how you would like to have no independence, but be obliged always to live someone else's life, and carry out only someone else' purposes.
You have had aims and purposes in your lives, and have been free, perhaps to carry them out. Can you dare, as mere human beings like themselves, to lay hands upon the mature lives of your daughters and say, "It shall be as we please, not as they please?"
If they yield to your demands it can only be at the expense of a grievous waste of energies and capabilities that were meant by God to accomplish, through their instrumentality, some personal and instrumental work for Him.
There is no sadder sight in the world than that of a wasted life.
And when this waste is the result of carelessness or selfishness on the part of the strong towards the weak, it becomes no less a tragedy even although it is done under the name of parental love.
Such tragedies are not fiction, but the very common occurrence of everyday life around us. How wanton is the waste continually going on in the lives of thousands of women, whose powers, by the long course of trivialites and mental starvation, deteriorate year after years, until they themselves and all their friends suffer incalculable lose.
-- Alys Pearsal Smith, writing in The Nineteenth Century magazine, c 1880
Greece's Pioneer Women's Rights Advocate
Avra Theodoropoulou (1880-1963) was Greece's most important feminist of her era. A musician, she founded a school for working women and the League for Women's rights in the first two decades of the twentieth century. She headed the league into her late 70s. The league under AT's direction founded orphanages, after-hours schools for girls, and centers for teaching ways for women to earn money through things like home crafts.
Taurt, also called Taweret and Thoueris
Taurt is goddesss of ancient Egypt who protected fertility and childbirth as well as small infants. She was portrayed as a standing animal with the head of a hippopotamus, tail of a crocodile, claws of a lion, with breasts of a woman, Like all female Egyptian gods, Taurt was closely tied to the yearly innundations of the Nile so vital to the continued food production of the area.
Tamyris was a Famous Warrior Queen
According to legend, Cyrus the Great wanted to marry her to acquire her portion of Persia (Iran) that she controlled as head of the Massagetae tribe. She refused and gathered an army to stop him. When he son died in battle, she took his place and led her troops to victory. So many accounts of warrior women appear in legends and traditional accounts that one must assume they were more common in battle than most modern historians credit them.
Not all Women are Good; Dr. Rihab Rashida Taha aka Dr. Germ
A woman, Dr. Rihab Rashida Taha, may rank as the deadliest person on earth if rumors of her exploits can be sustained.
In an amazing 1998 article by Robert Windrem, NBC news investigative producer, he holds Dr. Rihab Rashida Taha personally responsible for the creation of Iraq's biological weapons while claiming she is both a marginal scientist and a poor administrator who gets (woman-like) hysterics in meetings.
Tagged "Dr. Germ" by U.N. inspectors, the claim is she heads Iraq's manufacture and testing of biological weapons as anthrax and botulinum toxin.
Writer Windrem calls her one of the "new breed of Third world weapons designers - highly nationalistic, Western-educated and willing to violate any international norms or scientific ethics."
He goes on to note several times in his exposee that she would turn hysterical in meetings. He makes it a point to quote those who say she was a marginal student and would not have received her British Ph.D. if she was not a foreign national.
That Dr. Taha is responsible for the highly dangerous, inhuman germ weapons constructs in Iraq is beyond a doubt, although "Gen. Amer Rashid al-Ubaidi, her husband of three years, has long been the man the U.N. inspectors deal with on the most sensitive superweapons issues, since he oversaw many of them."
The mother of one girl, Dr. Taha is undoubtedly on a war crimes list as a criminal of horrible proportions - and deserves it. And yet, she based everything she's doing on programs in the U.S. and Britain. Both nations have done extensive studies on germ warfare, and though the programs were supposed to be shut down, no one really believes it.
Windrem wrote, "[Dr.] Taha has been held up as an example to Iraqi women interested in science in spite of a career devoid of any accomplishment other than the development of germ warfare."
Windrem's one-sided and very anti-woman writing makes one wonder what "the rest of the story" is. However, if Irag's military government ever falls, one can be certain that Dr. Taha will be held personally responsible for the germ warfare crimes. One must always remember that the war crimes of Dr. Braun, the German inventor of the silent rockets that rained death on London during World War II, was never prosecuted. Instead, he was brought to the U.S., treated like royalty to help the U.S. in its rocket program. And a woman whose only crime was directing a couple of movies is still villified.
08-14 DATES, ANNIVERSARIES, and EVENTS
B. 08-14-1802, Letitia Elizabeth Landon - English poet, novelist, essayist, and socialite who rocked staid England with tales of passionate love.
Her novels as well as her poetry were very popular in magazine as well as in giftbooks. At 37 she deserted London society that she had so captivated with her charm and high spirits to marry and and move with her new husband to what is now Ghana. She died mysteriously by poisoning shortly afterward. He inherited her fortune.
B. 08-14-1860, Laura Drake Gill - U.S. educator who attempted to broaden the employment opportunities for educated women who were suffering from underemployment or no employment.
Her own professional life ranged from dean of Barnard College where she built that colleges first dormatories and established its Bachelor of Science degree, to the supervisor of the Red Cross nurses in Cuba during the Spanish-American war after which she did extensive humanitarian work. She established the first placement bureau for college women who were being underemployed. After service with several other colleges in employment positions, she ended her days as a house mother and teacher at Berea College in Kentucky.
B. 08-14-1879, Emily Wayland Dinwiddie - U.S. social worker and housing reformer.
B. 08-14-19??, Lila Murillo Maricibo - noted Spanish singer.
B. 08-14-1909, Winifred Stanley - Representative, U.S. Congress, New York, 1943-45. She filled the an at- large seat for one term that was abolished in the next census.
She favored the equal-pay-for-equal-work law that would not pass congress for another 30 years.
Her official biography reads,
"Stanley was appointed assistant district attorney for Erie County in 1938. She specialized in the prosecution of cases dealing with women and children and servedin that office until she ran for Congress. In 1942 the Republican Party of New York recommended that the state's two at-large seats in Congressbe eliminated, and they sought a candidate for the at-large election who would be willing to step down atthe end of a single term... [she] campaign[ed] with gubernatorial candidate Thomas Dewey. In a campaign that emphasized the need to prepare for a stable peace, Stanley promised to make official Washington observe the same sacrifices that faced the rest of the nation... In the November election she led a field of eight contenders for the two seats."
In general, WS voted with the conservative Republican line against the proposals of Democrats and President Franklin Roosevelt.
"[When her term was up], Governor Dewey appointed her chief counsel of the New York State Employees' Retirement System 1945-55. From 1955 to 1979 she was assistantattorney general with the New York State Law Department."
B. 08-14-1926, Alice Ghostly Montana - U.S. actor.
B. 08-14-1926, Alice Adams - U.S. writer and novelist.
One critic wrote, "Ms. Adams created richly textured, artfully constructed novels about women's lives that sometimes mirrored and sometimes anticipated changes in the society as a whole. Admirers particularly praised her ability to capture place and voice and the deceptively artful craft of her writing."
Her editor at Knopf for 25 years in particular praised her short stories, saying, "She was just so deft and had such a wonderful touch. She was a master at condensing so much, with so much resonance, into a short form."
Some found her work too mannerly. Critics, on the whole either loved or hated her work but she was a consistent seller.
Her major work consisted of the novels Careless Love (1968), Families and Survivors (1975), Listening to Billie (1978), and her best read book Superior Women (1984). She published 25 short stories in the New Yorker magazine.
Her divorced mother, a failed, unhappy writer, read poetry to her daughter and encouraged her to follow a writing career.
B. 08-14-1927, Elaine Ryan Hedges - U.S. author, educator, professor emeritus of English, and director of the University of Maryland women's studies program which she founded in 1972.
One of the most respected academics in revealing the contributions of women of literature and the arts, she wrote or edited more than a dozen books. Her Listening to the Silences (1994) is a beautiful collection of essays. She compiled the works of feminist writer Meridel Le Sueur in Ripening: Selected Works, 1927- 1980 (1982). Her edition of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "Yellow Wallpaper" for Feminist Press in 1973 was considered a classic in feminist literary criticism, and ranked among the 10 best-selling titles from university presses, according to the New York Times obituary, June, 1997.
B. 08-14-1928, Lina Wertmuller - Italian motion-picture director and screenwriter whose sexual comedies, Italian-style are a bit earthier and macho than usually seen in the U.S.
LW was an assistant to Federico Fellino. She has been criticized by some for using violence and sexual, macho stereotyping in her films. Her finest work was done during the 1970s. LW's mother divorced her father after 50 years of marriage after announcing she couldn't take it anymore!
B. 08-14-1941, Connie Smith - U.S. singer.
B. 08-14-1942, Robyn Smith (Astaire), (aka - Melody Dawn Miller/Caroline Smith).
As a runaway, she concocted fantastic stories to cover up an unhappy childhood. Her father deserted the family. Her mother (to whom Robyn was born when her mother was 17) was unstable and Melody Dawn Miller, as she was originally named was placed in a foster home.
She was adopted and named Caroline Smith. In a noted Oregan custody battle that hinged on religious issues, Melody Dawn was returned to her birth mother. Caroline Smith promptly ran away to return to her adoptive parents and then as Robyn Smith left the adoptive parents to live in a woman's residence.
She was an excellent jockey and was the first woman to ride a winner in a major stakes race. At 5'7" she was extraordinarily tall for a jockey and had weight problems. She retired to marry Hollywood legend Fred Astaire, 43 years her senior who died in 1987 leaving her a very rich widow.
B. 08-14-1946 Susan St. James - U.S. actor who perfected the airhead characterization who had innate common sense in a number of TV series including the hits MacMillan & Wife and Kate & Allie. In real life, she is a very sophisticated woman.
B. 08-14-1947, Danielle Steel - U.S. novelist with more than 100 million books in print in 42 countries with thousands more being sold every day.
Critics (primarily men) pan her books as "female fluff," or "chick chat," but she continues to be one of the top half-dozen authors in the world.
B. 08-14-1950, Princess Anne - daughter of Queen Elizabeth II of England. Anne is a noted equestrian and was third in the line for the throne before the birth of two sons to her oldest brother crown prince Charles. Under pressure from women and agreement by Queen Elizabeth, in another hundred years the oldest male OR female will inherit the throne; it will not longer pass through the male line first.
B. 08-14-1952 Debbie Meyer - U.S. Olympic gold swimmer. DM, in spite of a severe stomach infection, won the 200- 400- and 800- freestyle races at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City at age 16.
She set 15 world records in two years. She was named the outstanding amateur athlete of 1968. She suffered from asthma and refused medication during her outstanding 1968 Olympic performance because she was afraid it would disqualify her in drug testing.
B. 08-14-1956, Sharon Bryant - U.S. vocalist.
B. 08-14-1957, Jackee Harry - Afro-American actor who played a brash "manizer" in several TV comedy series including Sandra.
B. 08-14-1961, Susan Olson - U.S. actor.
B. 08-14-1968, Halle Berry - U.S. actor.
Event 08-14-1980: Dorothy Stratten, actor and Playboy magazine's 1980 Playmate of the Year met with her obsessive husband at his request to explain why their marriage was over.
Instead of talking, John Snider beat her, raped her, and then tortured her on a crude machine he'd prepared beforehand at the site he'd chosen for their meeting. He then shot her to death with a shotgun that destroyed her head .
QUOTES DU JOUR
SKINNER, CORNELIA OTIS:
"Women keep a special corner of their hearts for sins they have never committed."
-- Cornelia Otis Skinner
"Women share with men the need for personal success, even the taste for power, and no longer are we willing to satisfy those needs through the achievement of surrogates, whether husbands, children, or merely role models."
-- Elizabeth Dole, wealthy trophy wife of U.S. Senator Bob Dole who then became a member of President Reagan's cabinet and by his presidential appointment was appointed to head the U.S. Red Cross.
"A happy woman has no cares at all; a cheerful woman has cares and learns to ignore them."
-- Beverly Sills, U.S. operatic singer and manager. Nicknamed "Bubbles" because of her cheerful nature, she bore the pain of having two children who were handicapped.
"A passionate interest in what you do is the secret of enjoying life, perhaps the secret of long life, whether it is helping old people or children, or making cheese, or growing earthworms."
-- Julia Childs, chef extroidinaire who could have cooked earthworms and made them a delicacy.
"I had to realize that self-worth isn't built upon one's accomplishments. It's built through years of setting goals and reaching them."
-- Stacy Allison after she scaled Mt. Everest on her second attempt.
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