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November 17

Compiled and Written by Irene Stuber
who is solely responsible for its content.
This document has been taken from emailed versions
of Women of Achievement. The complete episode
will be published here in the future.

Excerpt from Eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven


QUOTES by Rosalyn Yalow and Simone de Beauvoir.

Virgin Birth

      "The New Testament's presentation of the Virgin Birth should not be understood as expressing hostility to sex and marriage, although it has been misunderstood in this sense. The Old Testament did not promise a biological Virgin Birth, nor did the New Testament wish to describe such a birth as a historical event.
      "Matthew I and Luke I use the Virgin Birth as a metaphor, like other metaphors in the New Testament. As for the prophet Isaiah (8th century B.C.) he never speaks of a Virgin Birth at all. The supposed promise of the Virgin Birth by the prophet does not correspond to the Hebrew text. In Isaiah 7:14 it says:
'Behold, a young woman (alma) shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.'
      "The appearance of the word "virgin" in Matthew 1:@3 comes from the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Bible (third century B.C.), which translates the word 'alma' as "parthenos" (virgin). The Hebrew word CAN mean virgin, but need not do so any more than every young woman MUST have preserved her virginity."
            -- From Uta Ranke-Heinemann's Eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven, Women, Sexuality and the Catholic Church, New York, Doubleday, 1990, ISBN 0-385-26527-1, discusses the oppression of women in Western Society, particularly by the male-dominated religions. It is also available as a paperback. Ranke-Heinemann remains a Catholic calling for change.
      She holds a Ph.D. in Catholic theology and qualified as a university lecturer at the University of Essen, West Germany, in 1969, the first woman to do so. She became a full professor of Catholic theology in 1970 but lost her academic chair in New Testament and Ancient Church History for interpreting Mary's Virgin Birth theologically and not biologically (see above). In 1987 she held the chair for the History of Religion at the University of Essen.

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Died 11-17-0680, Saint Hilda, her abbey was one of the great religious centers of NE England. Patron saint of business and professional women.

Event 11-17-1558, Elizabeth I, ascended the throne of England and immediately settled the religious wars by siding with the protestant moderates. The daughter of beheaded Ann Boleyn, she had a brutal childhood that included prison and the always threat of death as her father, syphilis-infected Henry VIII, became more and more irrational as he went through wife after wife trying to get a healthy male heir.

B. 11-17-1815, Eliza Wood Burhans Farnham, opposed women's political rights because she thought it would lessen women's actual influence; became superintendent of women at Sing Sing prison and made a number of humanitarian changes. Her Woman and Her Era espouses the natural superiority of women over men and claimed the modern social structure was based on the unconscious recognition by men that women were not to work or live on a equal basis, but to occupy a higher level to oversee the morality of life.

B. 11-17-1870, Winifred Holt established the Ticket Bureau for the Blind, worked closely with others in the Lighthouse (for the blind) movement, and established them in the U.S. and France.

B. 11-17-1878, Grace Abbot, worked with immigrants at Jane Addams' Hull House, and was innovative director of U.S. Children's Bureau 1921- 34.

B. 11-17-1881, Mary Harriman Rumsey, born into wealth, organized in 1901 what became the Junior League movement. She was active in consumer affairs throughout her life.

Event 11-17-1975, the Supreme Court invalidates a Utah law that claims a woman in her third trimester of pregnancy should be presumed unable to work and therefor not eligible for unemployment benefits.

Event 11-17-1976, Dr. Rosalyn S. Yalow becomes the first woman to receive the Albert Lasker prize for her research. She would later be awarded the Nobel Prize. She earned a Ph.D. in nuclear physics and in a partnership with Solomon Berson over a 20-year period developed a method of precise measurement of substances in the blood (radioimmunoassay) that earned them the Nobel and Lasker awards.

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      "I believe it would be a great loss to the community as well as to women if talented women did not have children. They should have at least as many, if not more, children than less talented women. [I am] concerned with the need for universities, industry and particularly government to take the initiative in providing for expert high-quality day-care for children."
            -- Rosalyn Yalow, Nobel Laureate and mother. At her acceptance speech for the 1977 Nobel Prize in Medicine in Stockholm, Yalow said,
"We still live in a world in which a significant fraction of people, including women, believe that a woman belongs and wants to belong exclusively in the home; that a woman should not aspire to achieve more than her male counterparts and particularly not more than her husband... The world cannot afford the loss of the talents of half its people if we are to solve the many problems which beset us."

      "What woman essentially lacks today for doing great things is forgetfulness of herself; but to forget oneself it is first of all necessary to be firmly assured that now and for the future one has found oneself."
            -- Simone de Beauvoir.

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