10-07 TABLE of CONTENTS:
QUOTES by Rosalyn Baxandall et al., Euripides speaking as Medea, and Helen Neurborne.
The Horror Drug Thalidomide Is Back
There are all sorts of revisionist, wanna-be history-lines that claim the horror drug Thalidomide was NEVER prescribed in the U.S. This is simply NOT true.
For example, in 1962 a pregnant Sherry Finkbine who was a TV entertainer/celebrity discovered that she had been been given a drug called Thalidomide as a SLEEPING PILL. The drug was revealed as causing an epidemic of gross fetal deformities in Europe.
Thalidomide was immediately banned in Europe but doctors continued to prescribe it in the U.S. for a short time.
As a result of the damage from Thalidomide, babies were born with flippers instead of arms or legs, or had no arms or legs at all - and worse.
Sherry's OB recommended an abortion but when she presented the evidence the hospital refused to have the abortion performed. Not even a medical abortion was allowed in many hospitals during those pre-Roe v Wade times.
She then gave the story about Thalidomide to a newspapers in an attempt to get an abortion and to also warn other women of the dangers.
Sherry received death threats from anti-abortionists that got so bad that the FBI had to protect her life - and, as it turned out, held her in a kind of protective custody.
News photographs exist of her being threatened and hounded; her life turned into a media event over what should be one of the saddest and most intimate of times of a woman's life.
SHERRY WAS REFUSED A VISA by the U.S. government - an almost unheard of suspension of a U.S. citizen's rights - but she was finally able to avoid her "watchers" and was able to get to Sweden. There the abortion show that the fetus was grossly deformed and could not have survived.
She received a number of threats after her return to the U.S. and there were efforts made to prosecute her in the U.S. for the foreign abortion. However, since many so-called vacations to Europe by wealthy women were known to be for abortions, nothing ever came of the threats.
The U.S. did ban Thalidomide and for decades it has been the poster-drug for those who claim that drugs should have thoroughly checks - especially when it involves drugs for women and drugs for women that affect conception, pregnancy, and birth.
Yet, after decades of being banned the U.S. Food and Drug administration recently approved Thalidomide for male AIDS treatment. It is specifically refused for women with AIDS for fear that she could have a deformed fetuses should she get pregnant.
Virtually no studies have been made to ascertain that Thalidomide does not affect his sperm so that the sperm would produce fetal defects - or pass the effect down through future generations.
KNOW WHAT DRUGS YOUR SEX PARTNER USES. Women are urged to make sure they know ALL the drugs she and her sexual partner are using.
After Women of Achievement and Herstory published this article in its email edition, we were deluged with denials that Thalidomide had ever been prescribed in the U.S. and several doctors demanded a retraction. When we pointed out the several several TV documentaries about the drug and the news clippings about Sherry, they said that - and we paraphrase - that doctors NEVER prescribed Thalidomide for pregnant women.
We said, "Yeah?" We were adults when the Thalidomide horror unfolded and we personally saw some of the results.
And now we have another time-bomb on our hands - a drug to reduce prostate swelling that is so potent, pregnant women are warned they should not even TOUCH the pills. Yet the pills are being prescribed (and advertised widely in such non-medical magazines as Time in order to stir up business) even though any male fetus conceived by a man on the medication could be born with severely deformed genitalia. Even if a man on this medication has sex with a woman who is pregnant with a male fetus, it can have serious effects. It's that deadly!
Mab, Queen of English Fairies
Mab, Queen - the queen of English forlklore fairies 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.
Ma'at, Egyptian God(dess) of Truth, Justice, and Law
Maat - Ma'at, or Mayet- is the ancient Egyptian god(dess) of truth, justice, and law. Although today she is primarily shown as the judge of the dead, she was more importantly the example of cosmic order in nature as well as in the hearts of humans. As the daughter of Ra (Re) who created the world, Ma'at is the entity who makes the rules and enables humans to construct a harmonious world. But most importantly, the other gods had to live by her truth and order.
She was the post death test against which the morals of the deceased was judged. She is illustrated in the Book of the Dead as the measure against which the heart of the deceased is weighed. Her symbol, an ostrich plume, appears on the god Osiris's scale of justice opposite a human heart.
Mendez was First Puerto Rican Woman in a State Legislature
Olga A. Mendez was the first Puerto Rican woman elected to a State Legislature in the United States mainland. Senator Mendez represents the 28th Senate District, encompassing parts of the Bronx, East and Central Harlem, Roosevelt Island and Upper Washington Heights.
Senator Mendez was first elected to the Senate in 1978, winning a special election with 89% of the vote. She has been reelected with consistently increasing margins. In fact, the subsequent elections show Senator Mendez winning with 90% of the vote.
Born in the City of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, Senator Mendez received her B.S. from the University of Puerto Rico, a Master's Degree in Psychology from the Teacher's College at Columbia University, and in 1975 her Ph. D. in Educational Psychology from Yeshiva University.
A full-time legislator, Senator Mendez has devoted herself to supporting and promoting legislation which fights discrimination and removes many of the existing barriers faced by minorities and women.
-- From an official biography of Sen. Mendez.
Women Often Fill Role of Happy Slaves
In her article "Women's Liberation in Historical and Cultural Perspective" Rosemary Ruether describes this dialectic of liberation from the superstructures or mental structures of culture as a 'struggle against cultural oppression.'  Her description is similar to studies of acculturation by social anthropologists.
She suggests that women and Third World groups go through a continuing dialectic with oppression in reaction against the projected images of the dominant society. The stages she lists in this dialectic are those of emulation, harking back to the past, and new communal personhood. In order to clarify more fully how self-awareness happens in relation to the cultural superstructures, it is important to look at the various stages in more detail, with particular emphasis on the feminist perspective.
Women and other groups often begin with an attitude toward the accepted roles of their culture which maybe characterized as the happy slave. Here a woman sees herself as fulfilled in the accepted roles of mother, secretary, servant, sex symbol. In the face of suggestions about other options she is fearful and defensive and sees "women's lib" a threat. Nelle Morton aptly describes this stage in the following way:
"Women seem to go to great length to make clear to other women that even though life may be tough on them at times, in the long run all is well. They have been conditioned to be loyal at all costs to husband, children, boss, and colleagues.
"Irrelevant claims are exchanged -
'I love my husband';
'I have been liberated for 25 years';
'It is my choice to keep house;'
'Any woman can make it if she has what it takes.' 
Or women and people of oppressed groups may perceive their cultural roles in such a way that they seek to gain equality with the "others" by emulating the oppressor. In this stage a person focuses attention away from her or his own group in order to devote all the energy possible to excellence of performance in order to "get ahead."
Every group has such people who often have to be intelligent and hardworking, as well as lucky. For blacks these are the black colonialists, "Uncle Toms" or "oreo cookies" (black on the outside but white on the inside). Indian Americans call such people "apples"; Asians call them "bananas"; and so the list goes.
Women in such a position are frequently referred to as "Aunt Thomasinas" or "marshmallow bunnies" hard on the outside, but soft inside.  This type of "ideological scorn" is an indication that such a man or woman has surrendered to the status quo by accepting the old infrastructures and seeking to become like the respected white, Western male.
-- Excerpts from Human Liberation in a Feminist Perspective - a Theology by Letty M. Russell. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1974. Dr. Russell is a graduate of Wellesley College, Harvard Divinity School, and Union Theological Seminary (NY). She was Assistant Professor of Theology at Yale University Divinity School.
10-07 DATES, ANNIVERSARIES, and EVENTS
B. 10-07-1675, Rosalba Carriera, Venetian portrait painter who developed an immediacy with pastels that changed the sitting styling of portraiture. She was the originator of the Rococo style in France and Italy. Masterful in her use of color, RC introduced ivory as the support for her brilliant pastel miniatures technique.
She never married and her diaries and correspondence show a literate and charming woman who was totally dedicated to her work. In her late 80s, her eyesight began to fail and the end of her life was filled with depression. She had the ability to portray unattractive subjects in a pleasant way without sacrificing physical honesty. Art critics who have studied her very complex style believe there was no one in Venice who could have taught her - "her technique was very much her own personal invention."
Louis XV of France, Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI, and Augustus II of Saxony sat for her.
DIED 10-07-1727, Jeanne-Agnes Berthelot de Pleneuf, Marquise de Prie, who became the real ruler of France through her influence with Louis-Henri, Duke of Bourbon (1723-1725) when she was his official mistress. She was exiled when one of her most notable ploys at redirecting the leadership of France failed and was said to have committed suicide.
B. 10-07-1833, Margaret Fox - U.S. spiritualist. MF who along with her younger sister Catherine (1839) are said to have invented the field of spiritualism. At least they were among the most popular and much sought-after spiritualists of the era of table tapping and sounds from the dead.
Later in life Margaret turned to religion and sister Catherine recanted spiritualism and then recanted her recanting.
As teen-agers they appeared to have attracted poltergeist-like manifestations. The primary divination method used by the Fox sisters in seances was table tapping - a method in which those in the spiritual (after death) realm used tapping sounds on the table, the walls and the floor to communicate. According to tradition, one of the sisters was able to snap her big toe on the floor to create the tapping sound. Horace Greeley was convinced the sisters were authentic and they got the backing of his New York Tribune.
Both women began to drink heavily with Kate actually losing custody of her children because of her drunken behavior. It is agreed that both sisters were under great pressure in the seance business and that neither quite understood what it was all about. There is some indication that there was more to the results than could be easily explained by the method of toe snapping that was supposedly the main "noise making." The way people "believed" and depended on the women also added to their burden.
Both sisters died in poverty as drink and the confusion of living in two worlds took over. Charlatans or mystics? Or a little of both? Or a little of some mystic-like power and then using false methods when pressured to perform when "the spirit didn't move them."
B. 10-07-1836, Mary Amelia Dana Hicks Prang - U.S. educator. MAHP was director of the noted Prang Educational correspondence school and wrote a number of well-known textbooks.
MAHP had married and lived a life out of the spotlight until her husband's death. Then she changed completely. She took over and improved her husband's business and played a leading role in the drive for women's suffrage. She worked for prison and tax reforms and in various peace movements. She earned her degree at Radcliff in 1916 (age 80) and in 1921 obtained her masters in education from Harvard, age 85.
B. 07-1842, Kate Josephine Bateman - U.S. actor.
B. 10-07-1858, Rosa Smith Eigenmann, U.S. ichthhyologist,
B. 10-07-1866, Martha McChesney Berry, pioneer of the work-study education programs. In 1902 MCB opened a school on her Georgia plantation after she rather accidentally started teaching with story-telling incidents with local children. She was appalled at their lack of education. By the time of her death in 1942, her school had 125 buildings - all built by the students- and contained an accredited college with an enrollment of 1,300.
All the students worked in various capacities at the school for board and tuition. MCB was named one of the greatest American women and her methods were copied extensively both in Georgia and other states.
Her schools are one of the great examples of people helping themselves. Of course, MMB was a genius at tapping the pocketbooks of the wealthy like Henry Ford and Andrew Carnegie. She was said to have arranged tours of the schools for potential contributors that were pure showbiz - and it worked.
B. 10-07-1894, Bernice Kelly Harris - U.S. author. BKH, a white woman, won honors for her book Janey Jeems that was about a family in North Caroline that happened to be black.
B. 10-07-1907, Helen Clark MacInnes, Scots-born, U.S. author of immensely popular and critically acclaimed adventure-suspense-spy novels. More than 23 million of her books were sold in the U.S. alone and she was translated into 22 languages. Hollywood films were made of several of her books. Her first book Above Suspicion (1941) was a blockbuster success and the movie was also very sucessful.
B. 10-07-1913, Elizabeth Hall Janeway - U.S. novelist and editor. EHJ was best known for Man's World, Woman's Place, Daisy Kenyon (1945) and Between Myth and Morning: Women Awakening ( 1974). She took a short story course at Barnard College several times to force herself to write.
B. 10-07-1914, Sarah Churchill - British actor. Her father was Winston, war-time prime minister of England and her grandmother was Jennie, the subject of a biography that tore the mask off the upper class and its treatment of women in Victorian and Edwardian England. SC was a competent actor but not of lasting star quality.
B. 10-07-1917, June Allyson - U.S. film actor, singer and dancer. JA was the immensly popular, perennial good girl, the ideal "girl next door" of the 1940s-50s Hollywood movies. She had an appealing, slightly husky voice and an open face that invited trust. JA had a popular TV series of her own 1959-61. In the 1990s, she became the spokesperson for an adult system to aid incontinence and set up a foundation.
B. 10-07-1926, Diane Lynn - U.S. actor.
B. 10-07-1948, Diane Ackerman - U.S. author. DA describes herself as a sensuist , "someone who rejoices in sensory experience."
B. 10-07-1952, Lyudmila Ivanovna Turishcheva - Russian gymnast who was European champion (1971 and 1973), world champion (1970 and 1974), and multi Olympic medal winner from 1968 through 1976.
Event 10-07-1975: As authorized by the U.S. Congress, women would be eligible to enter the military service academies.
Event 10-07-1999: Adrienne Clarkson was sworn in as Canada's new governor-general, the representative of Queen Elizabeth II as head of state in Canada.
Clarkson, 60, was born in Hong Kong and evacuated to Canada as a refugee with her family in 1942, at the height of World War II.
She was a journalist and broadcaster with the English- language Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. She served as Agent-General for the province of Ontario. She did post-graduate work at the Sorbonne in Paris.
Clarkson will be the the second woman to hold the post.
Jeanne Sauvé was governor-general from 1984 to 1990. Sauvé was also a journalist and broadcaster but abandoned it for a career in politics in which she also excelled, rising to the national cabinet, the first Quebec woman to hold that rank, and then four years as the first woman who was also the Speaker of the House of Commons.
Romeo La Blanc, 71, retired early as Governor-General because of health. He had also been a journalist and broadcaster before embarking on a distinguished political career.
QUOTES DU JOUR
From America's Working Women:
"The neglect of working-class women in social history has not been accidental. It is part of a systematic exlusion of the working class from the history and social record of our country, and an attempt to dissuade the contemporary working class from imagining that it could be in control of its own destiny. We want to change this pessimism... women's experiences must be made central to both an analysis of what's wrong with today's world and a projection of how to create a better one."
-- Documentary History 1600 to the Present. New York: Vintage Books, Random House. 1976, compiled and edited by Rosalyn Baxandall, Linda Gordon and Susan Reverby.
EURIPIDES as Medea:
"They say we live a life free from danger in the house while they fight! What fools! I'd be ready to take my stand in battle three times rather than give birth just once."
-- Medea in the play written by Euripides (431 B.C.) [Euripides uses the neuter word oikourema for woman - a thing for looking after the house, not an independent person.]
"The answer is that gender absolutely counts, regardless of the politics of a given administration. With only one woman on the Court in over 206 years, the appointment of another woman justice is long overdue.
"Janet Reno is now in place as our nation's first woman Attorney General and chief law enforcement officer, at least in part because the women's movement would not let the President forget his promise.
"Is it coincidence that she was the only big city District Attorney to put real resources into protecting children and battered women? No, it was the force of her experience of living as a woman that told her that children and battered women were worth spending scare resources on."
-- Helen Neurborne, Executive Director, NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund.
© 1990, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000
Irene Stuber, PO Box 6185, Hot Springs National Park, AR 71902.
Email email@example.com with any corrections, additions, or suggestions.
Distribute verbatim copies freely with copyright notice for non-profit use.
We are accepting donations to help offset the
of posting and archiving of WOA.
To receive the email versions of Women of Achievement
(and in the body of the note), subscribe WOAH-Herstory
Undelete: Women's Internet Information Network Inc.
A non profit organization dedicated to telling herstory.
Irene Stuber, Director. All rights reserved.
| TOC | WOAH | About Us | Catts Claws | Exhibit Hall | Benefactors |
| Library | Search | Abigails | Irene Stuber | Military Women | Home |