10-12 TABLE of CONTENTS:
QUOTES by Naomi Wolf, Roslyn S. Willett, Louisa May Alcott, Patricia Highsmith, Shirley Hufstedler, and Jean Kerr.
The average lifetime, cumulative earnings for a 50-year-old woman vs. a 50-year-old men is $496,000 for a woman vs. $11million for a man. According to a Working Woman article by James Breenan women will not achieve pay parity with men until 2060.
If this doesn't make you angry and into the voting booths to change things by electing women and pro-women's rights men, read on. (The following information regarding the economic and leadership positions of women in 1999 are excerpted from an article in the AARP newsletter):
The number of women in entry and medieval managerial positions has risen from 34% in 1983 to 48% in 1998 which translates into almost as many women as men in the "pipeline" aimed at glass ceiling.
"We talk about the fact that women have to be "overripe" for promotion - they have to demonstrate they can do the next job before they get promoted to it, while men are promoted much earlier when they're hungry, not when (they're) ready." says Jennifer Allyn of Catalyst, a New York search group. The group also saw that top women executives only make 68 centers on each dollar earned by their male counterparts.
* * *
Cynthia Trudell, General Motors Corp vice president and Saturn car division president says that her company reflects the consumers who buy their machines. Trudell says 40% of her senior management teams are women.
"Companies on the cutting edge know it is to their advantage to dismantle these barriers (against women in business). There is a big war on for talent - companies just can't find enough good employees."
* * *
"Women are ambidextrous. We're used to doing two or three things at once. In business, it's a natural."
-- Marsha Serlin, President of United 'Scap Metal in Cicero, Ill, a top U.S. executive.
* * *
Midlife women were the most affected by pay inequalities. In 1998, women on an average earned 76 cents of every dollar a man earned but women by age 55 earned just 69. The disparity translates to much less retirement earnings by women.
* * *
Women are also entering male-dominated professions in greater numbers. Between 1970 and 1998, the proportion of women in law grew from 5 percent to 29 percent and in medicine from 10 percent to 27 percent.
The number of women engineers grew fivefold and the number of women architects more than quadrupled.
(It is generally conceeded that to substantially change things, the critical mass in almost every field is 36%, i.e., when a minority position reaches the magic 36%, it can substantially redirect the whole.)
And record numbers of women entrepreneurs are circumventing the glass ceiling by starting up their own businesses.
In 1998 there were more than 9 million women-owned businesses, up from 400,000 in 1972.
* * *
Women by the Numbers
- 3.8% of the highest-ranking corporation executives are women
- 2.7% of the top corporation earners are women
- 6.2% of the "in line" high ranking corporation jobs with profit and loss responsibilities are held by women
- 75% of the Fortune 500 companies have a least one woman in the corporate offices
* * *
A woman's median annual private pension income in 1995 was $3,000 a years as compared to $7,800 for a man.
* * *
According to the U.S. Census Bureau the official number of working women:
1900: 5.3 million
1950: 18.4 million
1997: 63 million
(according to the U.S. Census Bureau).
(WOAH author notes that it should be stated that many times census takers never even asked if the women worked outside the home - and so-called, self-described part-time work was generally ignored with the census taker never asking how many hours a week constituted "part-time." ( I know some of this from personal experience as late as 1960.) Census takers (by their own admission) often chose not to record the fact that many women did work outside the home - and many times there was no place on a census form to record such information.
Noting such omissions is why HERstory is so necessary.
The census always dealt with Head of Household who was assumed to be the man. His wife's (or other female family) income was not considered. (The same way it was ignored in credit checks until banned by federal law in the 1970s.)
However, not even the law acknowledged a woman's work and contributions in family businesses. A divorced farm woman had no claim on the value of the family farm which was considered to have been worked and made valuable by her husband's sweat alone, none of hers (she got free room and board, didn't she?)
And the census form never had a place regarding husband and wife businesses such as grocery stores, candy stores, or business ventures for the wife serving as secretary and treasurer because all business was considered conducted in her husband's name. And many women hid the fact that they worked because men considered it shameful that their wives worked - although they used the money.
Nurse Edith Cavell Shot for Her Spy/Espionage Work in WWI
Edith Cavell was shot as a British Spy in Holland during World War I by the German invaders.
Was she naive and believed she was merely doing a humanitarian work? Or too trusting in believing her own soldiers wouldn't betray her? Or just an ordinary patriot whose luck had run out?
Or was she actually sophisticated enough to be deserving of the firing squad for being a spy/espionage agent behind enemy lines?
English nurse Edith Cavell became head of nursing at the Birkendael Medical Institute in Brussels, Belgium, in 1907. It was a training school for nurses. After the Germans overran Brussels in World War I, Cavell, although a British subject, remained and treated the wounded regardless of their nationality or political allegiance.
However, she also allowed the school to be used as a stop in an underground railway for British soldiers crossing enemy lines to go to the Netherlands. Perhaps hundreds of soldiers, British as well as French, were passed along through Cavell's school. Dozens could be located there at times.
The English soldiers, bored while waiting for safe passage home and believing in their own invincibility, failed to use common sense and disregarded dangers. They put everyone in the hospital in danger when they went into Brussels to drink and carouse.
Naturally, by their drunken talk they betrayed the school and in August 1915, Cavell along with eleven workers at the school were arrested by the Germans.
She was court-martialed by the German high command, found guilty. She was executed by a German firing squad October 12, 1915. She was 50.
Princess Te Puea Herangi - Probably the Most Notable Woman of New Zealand's History
Princess Te Puea Herangi, probably the most notable woman of New Zealand's history died 10-12-1952. TPH, born in 1884, was the granddaughter of King Tawhiao.
Maori custom of the time did not encourage women to adopt a public role, certainly not to speak in public, but Te Puea was independent and outspoken.
As an adult, Te Puea received open criticism, and accusations of arrogance and not "knowing her place."
Historians tell us this disapproval ended when Te Puea dragged the King Mahuta to safety from a stampede of horses.
She became known far beyond her own tribe, and community leaders increasingly consulted her. During a great influenza outbreak in 1918 she cared for the sick and improved the sanitation conditions for the Maori people.
In the 1920s and 1930s she led a resurgence of pride in the Maori race. Te Puea set an example in the development of Maori lands by taking part in the the hard physical labour necessary for turning idle fields into productive units.
Although married, she had no offspring, but she adopted many young children in order to give them a start in life (one of the many babies for whom Te Puea cared was her grandniece, who is the current Maori Queen).
She was made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 1937, in the King's Birthday Honours List.
She was the first modern Maori women of more than tribal significance, and in New Zealand she is remembered with admiration by people of all races."
-- (Information supplied to WOA from Archdeacon Reg Nicholson, Hamilton, New Zealand. We thank you.)
Flotsam from the Files of Women of Achievement and Herstory
Did you know - The Barbie doll was the first child's toy to have breasts. The company developed "Growing up Skipper" doll whose breasts developed as the arm was turned. It was removed from the market after two years. The company cited feminists opposition but in reality, the sales were low.
Did you know - In 1927, in Buck v Bell, the very revered U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote that three generations of imbeciles are enough and sustained the rights of society which included vaccination to "prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind," by cutting a woman's Fallopian tubes.
Did you know - Minerva Bernardino, born in 1907, was one of the four women to sign the charter of the United Nations. She was minister for the Dominican Republic and was recognized as one of the best known feminist leaders in Latin America. She was secretary of Acciuon Feminista Domingo whose actions led to the granting of suffrage and civil rights to women in 1942.
10-12 DATES, ANNIVERSARIES, and EVENTS
10-12-1840, Helena Modjeska, Polish-American actor. Though she was the reigning queen of the Warsaw stage, HM was barred from Poland because of her anti-Russian attitudes. HM took intense English lessons while in her 40's and became one of the greatest actresses of her day in England and the United States. Her autobiography is Memories and Impressions of Helene Modjeska (1910).
12-1842, August Emma Stetson - U.S. religious personality. AES was an early reader with the Christian Science movement. She established the First Church of Christ Scientists with a school for training practitioners. Although a cult grew up around her and she was eventually excommunicated from the church, she continued to pledge loyalty to Mrs. Eddy and continued to preach her brand of Christian Science and live very nicely.
She attempted to replace the "unChristian and anti-British" Star Spangled Banner with the piece Our America. It received some support from World War I sentiments but like many other such attempts, soon died away.
B. 10-12-1855, Julia Richman - U.S. educational reformer. An outstanding teacher born into a family that contained from a long line of rabbis, JR soon became a principal. Again her leadership was recognized and promoted to supervisor and given the choice of all school district in New York city. JR chose the crowded, shockingly poor lower East Side district and moved there from her uptown residence. She was responsible for 600 teachers and 23,000 students where she emphasized care of the child's entire life and the need to improve its surroundings as well as instructing them in a solid educational curriculum. She even opened her home as a resident hall for some of her teachers and the social workers of the area.
"It is so much easier and so much more picturesque to teach children to wave flags while singing the 'Star Spangled Banner than to teach them to separate ashes from garbage, as required by law."
She co-authored several books on educational methods as well as on on Jewish ethics. She started a school lunch program, eye testing for children, etc. Naturally, there was protest from some immigrants that she was trying to destroy their ethnic individuality. When examined today, much of the opposition was gender related.
She was also a leader in the movement to teach Jewish immigrants to integrate into American society.
A rather remarkable woman.
B. 10-12-1860, Mabel Thorp Boardman - U.S. social worker. MTB masterminded a palace coup that unseated the aging Clara Barton as head of the American Red Cross. She also and engineered changes that led to modernization and greater public confidence in the Red Cross by hiring men for administrative positions.
She used her political powers to have the head of the Red Cross appointed by the President of the United States who happed to be her friend, Theodore Roosevelt.
Unfortunately, some presidents have used the appointment as a political plum to their supporters or to pay political debts.
B. 10-12-1889, Perle Mesta - U.S. businesswoman, diplomat and politician. A noted political hostess, businesswoman, diplomat, and feminist known as the (Washington, D.C.) "Hostess with the Mostes'."
PM built a vast fortune on investments based on the inheritance from her husband and father.
She was a member of the executive council of the National Woman's party (1938) and campaigned for the ERA. She left the Republican party after the conservatives failed to support Wendell Wilke after he became the Republican nominee for the presidency in 1940. PM became a friend of the Trumans and became the first hostess after he became president since Bess disliked arranging large parties.
Her experience in the steel industry (after her husband's death) qualified her for the post of Envoy Extraodinary and Minster Plenipotentiary to Luxembourg, a tiny nation, but one of the world's largest producers of steel. Newspapers (mostly Republican controlled) ridiculed her appointment as a political joke or plum for her party-giving reputation, completely ignoring her business experience.
Her life and elan became the unofficial model for the musical Call Me Madam.
B. 10-12-1891, Edith Stein - Jewish born, Roman Catholic "blessed." ES, born a Jew, renounced her faith at 13 to become an atheist, coincidentally at the age when boys were bar mitzvahed and made part of the synagogue. Girls at the time were not and never really became part of the religious life. She went on to become respected philosopher.
She converted to Roman Catholicism at 30 after reading the autobiography of mystic St. Teresa of vila. ES entered a Carmelite convent and then was moved to the Netherlands where it was thought she would escape the Nazi persecution of Jews along with her sister Rosa who had also converted. It was there that she wrote her major work Science of the Cross.
In spite of her conversion, after the invasion of the Netherlands by the Germans, she was arrested as a Jew and sent to Auschwitz in 1942 and she and her sister were gassed together.
In 1987 she was beautified by Pape John Paul II as a modern martyr. If she is sainted, it may be the first time a Roman Catholic was sainted for dying as a Jew. A number of Jewish organizations oppose the sainthood.
10-12-1897, Lillian Smith - U.S. author and civil rights reformer. The Massachusetts courts banned her best-selling novel Strange Fruit which features interracial love. The U.S. Post Office instituted action to bar it under the Anthony Comstock anti-pornography laws - the same laws that attempted to withhold birth control information from women. The federal matter was dropped when Eleanor Roosevelt intervened.
B. 10-12-1909, Dorothy Livesay - Canadian poet. DL won the 1947 Lorne Pierce Medal, Canada's highest literary award. Her poetry ranges from intensely personal lyrics to angry protests.
B. 10-12-1911, Ann Petry - U.S. journalist and novelist. She is best known work for The Street, a novel about a Harlem mother surrounded by inescapable violence and limitations.
B. 10-12-1923, Jean Nidetch - U.S. founder of Weight Watchers (1963.)
Event 10-12-1932: Frances Willis, becomes the first woman chargé d'affaires in US history, serving at Stockholm, Sweden, in a temporary capacity.
B. 10-12-1950, Susan Anton - U.S. actor and singer.
B. 10-12-1952, Megan Robert - U.S. multi-media composer and performer specializing in electronic music.
Event 10-12-1999: Dr. Nafis Sadik of the UN Population Fund said the Vatican has given up attempts to stop family planning for women in the poorest counties of the world.
She said that while the Holy See continues to express its oppostion to contraception, it has stopped trying to hold up proceedings by inserting reference to "natural methods" of birth control.
Quoted in a London Telegraph newspaper article, she said: "They believe that the debate has been lost. Even strongly Catholic countries such as Honduras or Malta have family planning and sexual health programmes and the Church has let it go."
Dr Sadik said that in some countries UN clinics and the Church's clinics were side by side and workers in the Catholic clinic sent some patients next door.
She said: "This doesn't mean that the Church at the top has changed its position. But it is accepted that the international community has accepted that family planning is one of the human rights of women. My opinion is that the Holy See has given up trying to change that position at the UN, though it always says at the end of the discussion that the Church maintains its position."
Some 350 million women - a third of all women of reproductive age in developing countries - still did not have access to modern methods of family planning, she said. About 120 million more women would use it if it were acceptable. About 585,000 women in developing counties died as a result of pregnancy and 70,000 died each year due to unsafe abortions. Aids caused by unprotected sex was shortening lifetimes in many countries.
The UN population report says the fastest-growing regions of the world are sub-Saharan Africa, parts of south Asia and west Asia.
QUOTES DU JOUR
"Men We Love must make a leap of imagination to believe in the female experience. They do not call women nags or paranoid when we embark on the arduous, often boring, nonnegotiable daily chore of drawing attention to sexism. They treat it like adults treat driving lessons: if irked in the short term at being treated like babies, they're grateful in the long term that someone is willing to teach them patiently to move through the world without harming the pedestrians. Men We Love don't drive without their gender glasses on."
--MS. July/August 1992, page 31, from the article "Radical Hetrosexuality."
WILLETT, ROSYLN S.
"Finally, when I did decide to have a child, most people, male and female were 'worried' about my continuing to work. I did work until the night before the baby was born...Two weeks after, I spent a day touring a client factory. My feelings about work was clued by my observation of pregnant alley cats. Belly or no, they continue to jump over fences. So can most women. When I was asked how I could continue to work with such a massive handicap, the answer was easy: a big belly only interferes with tying your shoelaces; it does not impair your intelligence. Ask any man with one." --Roslyn S. Willett, "Working in 'A Man's World'; the Woman Executive," which appeared in Woman in Sexist Society, edited by Gornick and Moran.
ALCOTT, LOUISA MAY
"Don t shut yourself up in a bandbox because you are a woman, but understand what is going on, and educate yourself to take part in the world s work for it all affects you and yours."
-- From Little Women.
"She knew what bothered her at the store...It was the waste actions, the meaningless chores that seemed to keep her from doing what she wanted to do, might have done -- and here it was the complicated procedures with moneybags, coat checkings, and time clocks that kept people even from serving the store as efficiently as they might -- the sense that everyone was incommunicado with everyone else and living on an entirely wrong plane, so that the meaning, the message, the love, or whatever it was that each life contained, never could find its expression.
"It reminded her of conversations at tables, on sofas, with people whose words seemed to hover over dead, unstirrable things, who never touched a string that played. And when one tried to touch a live string, looked at one with faces as masked as ever, making a remarks so perfect in its banality that one could not even believe it might be subterfuge."
-- Patricia Highsmith, aka Claire Morgan, in her novel The Price of Salt, 1952.
"I empathize with those who yearn for a simpler world for some bygone golden age of domestic and international tranquility. Perhaps for a few people at some time in history there was such an age. But for the mass of humanity it is an age that never was."
"I know what I wish Ralph Nader would investigate next. Marriage. It's not safe; it's not safe at all."
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