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December 1

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.

Louisa May Alcott

What is Sexual Harassment


QUOTES by Dorothy Smith and Senator Joe Biden.

The Misinterpreted Life and Talents of Louisa May Alcott

      For money and for no literary satisfaction, in 1868 Louisa May Alcott produced the book Little Women. Fortunately she kept the copyright on it not because she thought it was good, but because she didn't think she could get much money for it. It became a runaway best seller and she was able to pay all the family bills and enjoy a little bit of luxury after the grinding poverty of her childhood and young womanhood.
      Bad health, however, plagued her (probably caused from her impoverished childhood and scanty diet) and when, as a dutiful daughter, she nursed her dying mother and then her dying father, her health failed and she died within weeks of her father.
      Although some fiction writers passing themselves off as biographers point out that Louisa May died just a few weeks after her father and use it as proof of her devotion, an early letter shows her thinly disguised contempt. "I am very well and very happy. Things go smoothly, and I think I shall come out right and prove that although an Alcott I can support myself."
      She wrote differently to her mother when she sold her first book for $32. "Dear Mother, Into your Christmas stocking, I put my 'first born' knowing that you will accept it with all its faults (for Grandmothers are always kind) and look upon it merely as an earnest of what I may yet do; for with so much to cheer me on, I hope to pass in time from fairies and fable to men and realities."
      Alcott was a noted suffrage advocate as well as temperance and abolitionist activist. Her early works were signed A. M. Barnard or Flora Fairfield. She wrote poetry and amateur theatricals. In all, she wrote more than 270 works although it was Little Women and the sequels that made her fortune. She hated them and wanted it known she wrote them for money not pleasure or pride. In 1943 Leona Rostenberg in a marvelous job of investigation collected some of LMA's "unknown" stories in Some Anonymous and Pseudonymous Thrillers of Louisa May Alcott yet nothing more of her "lost" writings came to light until 1975 when Behind a Mask: The Unknown Thrillers of Louisa May Alcott was published. More of her "unknown" works were published in 1995.

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Examples of Sexual Harassment

This list of EXAMPLES OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT was prepared by the Capitol Hill Women's Political Caucus to define sexual harassment in the workplace and set forth guidelines for offices on Capitol Hill for those men who pretend they don't know what politeness, equality, or no mean:

  • unsolicited and unwelcome flirtations, advances, or propositions;
  • graphic or degrading comments about an employee's appearance, dress or anatomy;
  • verbal abuse with sexual connotations;
  • display of sexually suggestive objects or pictures;
  • ill-received dirty jokes and offensive gestures; -prurient or intrusive questions about an employee's personal life;
  • explicit descriptions of the harasser's own sexual experiences;
  • the abuse of familiarities or diminutive such as "honey," "sweetheart," "darling" "dear" or "baby"; this can including referring to adult women as "girls";
  • whistling, catcalls;
  • leering;
  • exposing genitalia;
  • unnecessary and unwanted physical contact: touching, hugging, kissing, patting, pinching, tugging at clothing, etc.
  • physical/sexual assault; and rape.

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B. 12-01-1083, Anna Comnena, Byzantine historian who recounted the reign of her father Alexius I, Emperor of the East in The Alexias. AC attempted to prevent her brother John II from assuming the throne and retired to a convent when she failed.

B. 12-01-1770 (?07-15-1772?), Angelique Gretry, French composer of four very successful operas, the first composed when she was 14.

B. 12-01-1813, Ann Preston, refused entrance to medical colleges because of her sex, eventually entered the Female Medical College of Pennsylvania's first class. Later she became a professor and was instrumental in forming a Woman's Hospital because women physicians were barred from working in teaching clinics in Philadelphia and was the first woman dean of the Woman's Medical College.

B. 12-01-1847, Christine Ladd-Franklin, psychologist who produced a method defined in her paper "The Algebra of Logic" to reduce all syllogisms to mathematical formulas. She had not only been refused admission to John Hopkins University because she was a woman, but after completing studies under a special fellowship program, she was also refused her Ph.D. Turning to a study of binocular and color vision, produced the universally acclaimed Ladd-Franklin theory of color vision. She lectured for many years at both Johns Hopkins and Columbia. In 1926 at the age of 79, Johns Hopkins finally awarded her its Ph.D.

B. 12-01-1879, Lane Bryant, Lithuanian-born American entrepreneur began as a seamstress and created first chain to sell stout-sized clothing in the U.S.

B. 12-01-1900, Martha Hill was a pioneer dance educator and promoter of modern dance, founder of the American Dance Festival and the dance departments at Bennington College and the Julliard School. She established a dance graduate program at New York University where she taught 1930-1951, and then taught dance at Julliard 1951-1985.

Event 12-01-1955, Rosa Parks, refused to give her seat to a white man on an Montgomery, Alabama, bus and the modern black civil rights movement began. Four days later Dr. Martin Luther King, a virtually unknown minister, called for a boycott of the Montgomery bus line by Blacks. Ms. Parks is considered the Mother of the Civil Rights Movement.

Event 12-01-1968, The New York newspapers, the Times, Post, Daily News, and Village Voice, ended sex-segregated want ads after several years of campaigning by women's groups led by NOW.

Event 12-01-1971, American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) is named "the largest oppressor of women workers in the United States," in a blistering report by the Equal Employment Commission to the Federal Communications Commission.

Event 12-01-1989, Rosabeth Moss Kanter, becomes the first woman to assume the editorial reins of the prestigious Harvard Business Review. She is a professor at the Harvard Business School.

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      "Because men have power, they have the power to keep it."
            -- Dorothy Smith, 1978, when describing what she called the "circle of men" who are the philosophers, politicians, poets, and policy-makers who have been writing and talking to each other about issues which are significant to them since the beginning of recorded history in their partial view of the world.

      "I don't care is she's walking stark naked from here to the Capitol.
      "I don't care if she is a prostitute or a nun.
      "No man has a right to touch a woman without her consent, and that's what we've got to get across."
            -- Joe Biden, Chairman, U.S. Senate Judiciary committee.

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