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December 4

Even Chinese money has women's pictures on it

Compiled and Written by Irene Stuber
who is solely responsible for its content.

Gender and Primates

Emma Calve

Inez M.Boissevain

Christmas Past and Crass


QUOTES by Adrienne Rich, Dale Spender, Ayn Rand, and Dorothy Allison.

Matriarchy in Nature

      "Recent studies of primates indicate that previous interpretations of primate societies - in which adult males are portrayed as dominant over submissive harem of females - have wrongly projected the prevailing sexual inequality between HUMAN males and females on to our primate relatives. On the contrary, female apes and monkeys have now been discovered to occupy the central position in their societies, supported, in the complex matriarchy of mothers, aunts, grandmothers and sisters, by their alliances with their male and female offspring.
      "In fact adult males tend to be relegated to the periphery of this close-knit group of females and infants, their relative isolation being more an indication of their exclusion from the group rather than their dominance over it. And it is females who are the initiators of sex, not males. Far from being the sexual despots portrayed by primatologists of the past, recent research reveals that males must wait patiently until females have weaned their latest infant and are eager to have sex again. What is more, a female may initiate intercourse with a variety of males, while she is in oestrus, thus dispelling once and for all the myth of the passive primate harem, exclusive sexual property of a single promiscuous dominant male."

            -- Women a World Report, a new Internationalist Book, Part I, "Women: An Analysis". London: Oxford Press, 1985.

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Emma Calve

      "Emma Calve, stage name of Emma de Roquer(1864), a French dramatic soprano. Born of a Spanish father and a French mother she was brought up in a con vent school.
      "After studying under Laborde and Marchesi, she appeared successfully in 1884 at the Teatre des Italiens.
      "Since then she has sung in all the principal cities of Europe. For some years she was one of the stars at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York, where she gave her memorable impersonation of Carmen.
      "After 1909 she practically abandoned the stage, devoting her time to concert tours, and helping young girls to study in Paris. In 1921 she sang in New York, with her art unimpaired.
      "Mine. Calve's voice is a rich soprano with a contralto like low register, and her dramatic powers are of the highest order."
            -- Adelman, Joseph as written in his Famous Women, An Outline of Feminine Achievement Through the Ages with Life Stories of Five Hundred Noted Women, New York, The Pictorial Review, 1924. It is presented to show how women were written about before realistic biographies of human women began to be presented following the rise of feminism in the 1970s.

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Inez M. Boissevain

      "Inez Milholland Boissevain (1886-1916), an American woman suffrage leader and lawyer.
      "She graduated in 1909 From Vassar College where she was prominent in athletics and for her championship of radical social ideas.
      "During a vacation she went to England, joined Mrs. Pankhurst's forces, and was arrested in a demonstration. In 1912 she entered the Law School of New York University and the following year she was married to Eugene Boissevain, a Dutch electrical engineer.
      "During the next three years her enthusiasm and ability as a speaker and organizer made her invaluable to the Woman's Party, and there was deep regret at her early death, November 25, 1916, at Los Angeles, Cal., where she had been overtaken by illness during a speaking tour made in behalf of woman suffrage."
-- Adelman, Joseph as written in his Famous Women, An Outline of Feminine Through the Ages with Life Stories of Five Hundred Noted Women, New York, The Pictorial Review, 1924. It is presented to show how women were written about before realistic biographies of human women began to be presented following the rise of feminism in the 1970s.

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Christmas Past and Crass

In the December 5, 1994 Time magazine (and used without permission as a non-profit so PLEASE don't forward this... We learned through internal Clinton administration sources that the man, an appointee of the previous administration, was "eased" out of government even after being protected by higher ups - also previous administration appointees.)

"A ghost of Christmas Past (and Crass) at HUD - Three whole years after the Hill-Thomas hearings, Washington has learned how to handle sexual harassment cases, right? Maybe, maybe not. A high-level supervisor at the Department of Housing and Urban Development who handed out edible candy panties and chocolate penises to his female employees at a HUD Christmas party last year has been quietly transferred to a different department and allowed to keep his $69,000-to-$90,000 GS-15 salary.
'I guess they thought that was adequate punishment,' a HUD spokesman explains."
The name of the sleaze-ball who distributed the edible candy panties and chocolate penises to female employes was kept secret so that the women coming under his supervision in the next assignment would be unprotected from this sexual crackpot.
            [This little tidbit was sent to WOAH by Los Angeles NOW.]

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Feastday 12-04-000x, Roman Catholic Saint Barbara. Saint Barbara - another virgin martyr who was traditionally the patroness of artillerymen, probably because lightning allegedly killed her executioner. Barbara was dropped from the church calendar in 1969 because of grave doubts about her existence.

B. 12-04-1777, Dame de (Julie) Recamier, French hostess of great charm and wit whose salon attracted most of the important political and literary figures of early 19th-century Paris.

B. 12-04-1822, Frances Power Cobbe, English feminist and one of the founders of the Anti-Vivisection Society.

Event 12-04-1833: James Mott is instrumental in forming the American Anti-Slavery Society in Philadelphia and sees nothing contradictory in forbidding women from joining it.
        In retaliation - and setting her on the road that would climax in the first Women’s Rights Conference in 1848 - his wife Lucretia Coffin Mott, 40, a Quaker minister forms The Female Anti-Slavery Society.
        A few years later the Motts travel to London, England for an international anti-slavery conference and again women are barred.
        Lucretia, instead of obediently hiding behind curtains set up to segregate and silence women, boycotts the conference. Instead she spends time with another American woman, the very young Elizabeth Cady Stanton whose husband is also active in the freedom for black slaves but insist on keeping women slaves to men.
        From their discussions on the porch of the London boarding house where both couples are staying, the two dissimilar women (who in the ordinary course of life would have never met) comes the idea for a Woman’s Rights Convention.
        In 1848, Mott, 55. and Cady Stanton, 33, together with a few neighbors organize the first convention for women's human rights in the history of modern civilization in Seneca Falls, New York..

B. 12-04-1847, Cornelia Foster Bradford - U.S. social worker
        CFB, after training at Jane Addams’Hull House in Chicago, opened her own settlement house in Jersey City, New Jersey.
        It was located in the First Ward of overcrowded tenements/old homes that were terribly lacking even primitive sanitary facilities. Whittier House offered the new immigrant population of Italians, Poles, and Russians a better life through its full programs of educational, recreational, and social activities.
        Local reform efforts, particularly in health, housing, and child welfare aided the families.
        By 1900 Whittier House under the guidance of CFB had established Jersey City's first kindergarten, district nursing service, dental dispensary, and public playground and she had helped organize the New Jersey Consumers' League, which soon sponsored a Children's Protective League. She continued to head Whittier House until the mid 1920s.

B. 12-04-1854, Mary Reed, headed a leprosy colony in Chandag, India, for 52 years.
        MR contracted the disease while personally caring for the lepers. Although it stayed in remission until the 1930s when drugs were available to control the disease, she seldom left the compound and only left India twice
        Through her money-raising efforts with the Methodist church and the Indian government she able to replace the shacks and mud huts that traditionally housed the lepers with modern cottages, schools, garden areas, and livestock. The Mary Reed Memorial Hospital was built in Chandag in her honor.

B. 12-04-1861, Lillian Russell - U.S. opera singer and actor who symbolized beauty for a generation of women.
        However, her personal life - married four times, companion to Diamond Jim Brady for 40 years, and a woman who demanded her own artistic way and would go to court to get it - was kept from the adoring public who saw her as a buxom doll.
        In 1922 after her stage career was long over she went to Europe as a special investigator on immigration for President Warren G. Harding.

B. 12-04-1865, Edith Louisa Cavell, English nurse who was formally executed by the German government in World War I for helping Allied prisoners to escape.

B. 12-04-1878, Eleanor Elizabeth Bourne - pioneer Australian Medical practitioner and Public health worker
        EEB received her medical degree in 1907 and served as physician to the Hospital for Sick Children, Brisbane. In 1911 she became medical officer for the Dept of Public Instruction and worked for many years in child health, both in Australia and Britain.

B. 12-04-1883, Katherine Susannah Prichard, Fiji, Australian writer-poet of novels, plays, and short stories. Her novel The Pioneers was made into a 1926 film.

B. 12-04-1883, Jane Cowl - highly successful American actor and playwright.
        During 1919-22 JC gave 1,170 performances of Smilin' Through, a play she and Jane Murfin wrote under the pseudonym of Alan Langdon Martin. JC and Murfin wrote a number of other plays including Information Please (1918). JC appeared in a number of Hollywood films.

B. 12-04-1887, Gertrude Ethel Mallette - U.S. author of more than 200 juvenile books and many short stories and articles. In addition to her own name she wrote boys mysteries under the names of Alan Gregg and boys adventure stories under the name Pedar Larssen.

B. 12-04-1911, Thelma Carpenter - British billiard champion. TC was women's amateur billiards champion from 1932 to 1934, and professional champion from 1940 to 1950; in the latter year she also won the women's professional snooker title. From her Electronic Telegraph obituary:

"Thelma Carpenter's two great professional rivals were Joyce Gardner and Ruth Harrison, and she had to wait until 1940 to win her first women's professional billiards championship. Though Ruth Harrison was the better snooker player, Thelma Carpenter came to dominate women's billiards, and eventually retired for lack of rivals. In 1953 she was still good enough to make a break of 328.
        "After winning the women's amateur billiards championship in 1932, Thelma Carpenter was much in demand to visit clubs and take on the local champion. In 1934 she played an exhibition match against Sydney Lee, the men's amateur champion .... according to contemporary report. ‘The run of 41 close cannons which she made in the course of a break of 99 was really a high accomplishment, as very few men amateur players could do the same.’ Nevertheless, Lee emerged victorious by 10,258 points to 8,709."
B. 12-05(15)-1898, Grace Moore, American-born, international operatic singer, and Broadway and film actor. Singing on Broadway she introduced such songs as "All Alone" and "What'll I do," and finally won her Metropolitan Opera contract in 1927. She also appeared in a number of movies and was awarded honors for combining cinema with opera.

B. 12-04-1922, Deanna Durbin - U.S. film actress and singer.

B. 12-04-1945, Roberta Lynn Bondar - First Canadian woman astronaut in space

Event 12-04-1957, Commander Winifred Redden Quick is sworn in as director of the WAVES.

B. 12-04-1964, Marisa Tomei - U.S. actor of stage and screen. MT won the best supporting actress Academy Award in 1992 for her wonderful work in My Cousin Vinny.

DIED 12-04-2002 - Joanna Bistany - TV News executive.
        JB became a broadcast news executive when such positions attelevision networks were almost exclusively occupied by men.
        Her obituary in the New York Times reads:

"Ms. Bistany spent 17 years at ABC News, most recently as senior vice president from August 1998 until she left in June 2000 to become an independent program developer. Previously, she was vice president at ABC News, and from 1986 to 1998 was chief deputy to Roone Arledge when he was president. Mr. Arledge is now the chairman of ABC News. She joined the network in 1983 as director of news information after serving as President Ronald Reagan's special assistant for communications."

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      "The entire history of women's struggle for self determination has been muffled in silence over and over. One serious cultural obstacle encountered by any feminist writer is that each feminist work has tended to be receive as if it emerged from nowhere; as if each one of us had lived, thought, and worked without any historical past or contextual present. This in one of the ways in which women's work and thinking has been made to seem sporadic, errant, orphaned of any tradition of its own."
            -- Adrienne Rich, 1980.

      "It is the men, not women, who control knowledge, and I believe that this is an understanding we should never lose sight of. It is because men control knowledge that we do not know about our traditions as women; it is because men control knowledge that the knowledge we produce can be used against us in the same way that the knowledge of our foremothers was used against them, and is denied to us."
            -- Dale Spender

      "An embryo has no rights. Rights do not pertain to a potential, only to an actual being. A child cannot acquire any rights until it is born. The living take precedence over the not-yet-living (or the unborn). Abortion is a moral right - which should be left to the sole discretion of the woman involved; morally, nothing other than her wish in the matter is to be considered. Who can conceivably have the right to dictate to her what disposition she is to make of the functions of her body?"
            -- Ayn Rand

"The horror of class stratification, racism, and prejudice is that some people begin to believe that the security of their families and communities depends on the oppression of others, that for some to have good lives there must be others whose lives are truncated and brutal."
            -- Dorothy Allison, U.S. author, feminist, and lesbian. Allison had grown up in a very poor and dysfunctional South Carolina family.

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