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September 2

Compiled and Written by Irene Stuber
who is solely responsible for its content.
This version of Women of Achievement has been taken
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The full text of this episode of Women of Achievement and Herstory
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Part 3 of Dr. DiFonzo's review of the Michael Grossberg book exploring a Victorian Age custody battle


QUOTE by William Leuchtenburg.

      To read this entire article, see: | 1 | | 2 | | 3 | | 4 | | 5 |

Part 3 of Dr. DiFonzo's review of the Michael Grossberg book exploring a Victorian Age custody battle

[Part 3 of 5 parts of Dr. DiFonzo's review of the Michael Grossberg book exploring a Victorian Age custody battle when common law doctrine granted full sway to a father's decisions regarding child custody and family residence.]

"Ellen thus faced a seemingly insurmountable obstacle. Since Gonzalve had not physically abused her or violated any other obligation of his marriage oath, she had no right to seek a divorce. [3]
      "Yet the law refused to intervene on behalf of married women. All were subject to their husbands' power and protection.

"Grossberg describes in fascinating detail how Ellen and her Philadelphia lawyers devised a strategy that would challenge the accepted legal formulation along its emerging cultural fault line. Essentially, their scheme was to emphasize Ellen's maternal role, and to characterize Gonzalve's actions as mental cruelty, which, though insufficient to warrant a dissolution of the conjugal union, rendered him unfit to usurp the mother in the care of an infant.
      "Gonzalve's legal team, on the other hand, focused on Ellen's marital fault in deserting the husband's home, and relied on Gonzalve's paternal rights to custody of his child.

"In Grossberg's earlier book, Governing the Hearth: Law and the Family in Nineteenth-Century America, [4] he outlined the fall of the hierarchical family in the face of burgeoning attention to notions of child nurture. [5]
      "The makeover to a "best interests of the child" standard allowed both mothers and "surrogate" parents - that is, the state or an adoptive family - to circumscribe traditional paternal prerogatives. However, this power shift placed increasing options in maternal hands at the cost of having virtually the whole of family life supervised by what Grossberg called a "judicial patriarchy." [6]
      "In the present work, Grossberg has excavated a single site both more deeply and more broadly. He centers his analysis on one custody struggle and has unearthed a cache of primary sources from the participants. But he also presents this case in the light of a wide array of cultural and anthropological studies. The range of sources he employs is truly sweeping. For example, in one stretch of five pages suggesting that trials are complex social performances that should best be seen in the "anthropological meaning of social dramas: events that reveal latent conflicts in a society and thus illuminate its fundamental social structures" (p. 89), Grossberg cites texts in cultural history, drama and rhetoric, journalism and mass media, anthropology, a contemporary newspaper account, biography, and legal discourse (see pp. 254-55, nn. 1-11).

In seeking both judicial and public vindication, Gonzalve had bet on the past, Ellen on the future of family life. But their trial took place, as all do, in the contested present. In rehearsing the scene, Grossberg nicely captures both the contingency of history and the delicate interaction of popular and legal norms. He does so by emphasizing how the determinative moments in the d'Hauteville social drama consisted of a dialectic of law and culture.

To read this entire article, see: | 1 | | 2 | | 3 | | 4 | | 5 |

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Died 09-02-1651, K"sem Sultan, Ottoman empire sultana who was a power behind the thrones of her husband, valide sultan (mother of the sultan on the throne) twice for two sons, and the grandmother of yet a fourth sultan. She was murdered by garrote by followers of her grandson's wife.
      Safiye Sultan who died between 1605 and 1619 was another sultana who had unusual influence in several reigns. Believed to be Albanian, she was said to have favored wider trade with the west. The Malikah Saiyah mosque in Cairo is named for her.

B. 09-02-1820, Lucretia Peabody Hale, U.S. author of many short stories and books on games, religious subjects, and needlework. Her primary fame rests on the stories of the Peterkin family, a series of children's classics credited with originating the American genre called nonsense tales. Like many other early women writers, she wrote to earn money because her family went broke.

B. 09-02-1821, Anne Whitney, noted U.S. sculptor whose many portrait busts and full-size figures included. She modeled Lucy Stone, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Harriet Martineau, among others.
      The reception of her life-size "Lady Godiva" encouraged her to study in Rome where she networked with other American woman sculptors Harriet Hosmer and Edmonia Lewis.
      She personally supervised the cutting of the stone for the statue of Samuel Adams that stands in Statutory Hall in the U.S. Capitol.
      Several of her sculptures of prominent Massachusettians are installed at various places in Boston. Her best-known work is probably "Roma" which was completed in 1869 and she reprioduced it in a larger version for the 1893 World Exposition.

B. 09-02-1838, Lydia Kamekeha Liliuokalani, Queen of the Hawaiian Islands, the first reigning queen of the islands and the last native sovereign to rule.
      In 1891, the powerful Sanford Dole, leader of Hawaii's (haole) foreign businesspeople formed the Hawaiian Republic. In a "revolution" the haole Americans took over the main government buildings and imprisoned Liliuokalani. The revolution was the preparation for the takeover by the United States which the queen opposed.
      Sentenced to life imprisonment, they released her within the year because of extensive political pressures, including the U.S. President. Dole and the haole then refused to acknowledge the authority of the U.S. President in Hawaii until she abdicated.
      She was forced to abdicate in 1895 to free many of her supporters who were still under arrest.
      The United States annexed the islands in 1898 and created a territory in 1900. It became the 50th state of the U.S. in 1959.
      After her abdication she wrote Hawaii's Story by Hawaii's Queen and the ever haunting Aloha Oe. She composed more than 100 other songs.
      Homage from both natives and visitors marked her retirement and she holds an exalted place in the islands' history.
      The haole strategy kept the islands from almost certain annexation by Japan.

B. 09-02-1853, Emma Curtis Hopkins, editor of the Christian Science Journal. She broke with Mary Baker Eddy and formed her own spiritual science movement that became highly influential in what became known as the New Thought movement.

B. 09-02-1861, Henrietta Foster Crossman, American actor.

B. 09-02-1881, Elisabeth Christman, U.S. labor leader. As a teenager, EC organized a union at the glove factory where she worked. She became secretary-treasurer of the National Women's Trade Union League (1912). During World War I she was the chief of women field representative for the National War Labor Board.
      EC was the first woman appointed to the National Recovery Administration by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. In 1943, EC convinced male union members who were blocking equal wages to women for equal work that such inequities would eventually be to the detriment of male veterans returning to their jobs following WWII.

B. 09-02-1892, Isabella Holt, author of numerous novels recounting the American Midwest, upper middle-class familial experiences.

B. 09-02-1894, Bryher, (Annie Winifred Ellerman) British writer. Bryher published in many literary fields and became quite admired for her historical fiction.
      Historically, however, she is best known as the longtime companion of poet H.D. who said she owed her life (sanity) to Bryher. Bryher adopted H.D.'s daughter. AWE adopted the name Bryher when she began to write so that publishers would not be influenced by her family's fame. Her father was a wealthy British industrialist.

B. 09-02-1910, Jean Dalrymple, theatrical publicist, producer, and director.

Event 09-02-1910: A.S. Wells, was appointed the first woman police officer in Los Angeles.

Event 09-02-1910: When famed aviation pioneer Glenn Curtis took Blanche Stuart Scott's money to teach her to fly, he fixed her controls so she could only taxi around the field. Blanche, however, disconnected the device and took off to become the first woman to pilot a plane. She was 19.
      BSS became a daring fixture at air shows, retiring at 27.
      She spent a lifetime campaigning to get women licensed to fly commercially was still bitter when she died in 1970 that women could not earn a living flying.

B. 09-02-1923, Marge Belcher Champion, the Marge of the noted dance duo of Marge and Gower Champion.

Event 09-02-1925: Pattie Hockaday Field named the United State's first vice consul who was also a woman. Her first assignment is the Netherlands.

B. 09-02-1943, Rosalind Ashford, U.S. singer with the Vandellas.

B. 09-02-1947, Laurie Lynn Jones, U.S. editor. LLJ rose from assistant editor (1974) to managing editor Vogue Magazine (1992).

B. 09-02-1948, Christa McAuliffe, New Hampshire school teacher, chosen among 10,000 applicants to be the first ordinary American citizen to be launched into space. CM was killed along with the six-member NASA crew when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded January 28, 1986, 73 seconds after liftoff from Cape Canaveral.
      Astronaut Judith Resnick also died in the explosion.

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      "By 1930 more than ten million women held jobs. Nothing did more to emancipate them!"
            -- William Leuchtenburg.

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