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December 7

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 Herstory...


QUOTE by Hirabayashi Taisko.

...A Record of American Women's Past

      Ah, the glories of the "good ole days" --

      "Eliza W. Farnham called the male population of Illinois in the early 1800s 'unequivocally indolent. On a bright day they mount their horses and throng the little town in the vicinity of their homes, drinking and trading horses till late in the evenings.'
      "Thomas Ashe, noted: 'On entering the house... the Kentuckyan never exchanged a word with his wife or his children... notwithstanding he had been absent several days. No tender enquiry, not affection or sentiment, but a contemptuous silence and a stern brutality which block up all the avenues to the heart.'...
      "Women aged more noticeably on the frontier than did men. Because of frequent childbearing and the immensely difficult job of maintaining a home, caring for the children, and working in the fields, a thirty-year-old woman was already old and worn out. One journalist commented: 'Woman is expected to daily endure a strain that no man would tolerate for any length of time. Until what is modestly called housekeeping is recognized as a noble science that it really is, and is carefully studied, the slaughter of women by overwork will continue.'
      "Feminist Lucy Stone visited a frontier area of Illinois in 1856 and observed a wife who slept in an outhouse all winter while her husband had his bed near the fire in the cabin. He was punishing her for giving birth to a girl. The frontierswoman, whether the frontier was Illinois in 1805 or Wyoming in 1860, faced all kinds of hardships with courage and determination. She is the unsung heroic figure of the settlement of the West - she, not the series of Daniel Boones who have been memorialized in poetry and song."
            -- From Sochen, June. Herstory: A Record of the American Woman's Past, second edition. Sherman Oaks, CA: Alfred Publishing Co., Inc. 1981.
      [Ed. Note: In my studies of women's herstory and history I have been struck by the number of histories written by eminent feminist scholars that are almost unknown to the average student. One of the reasons, of course, is that the women's books are considered "outsider" histories about irrelevant things such as how people actually lived - and, I am firmly convinced, to keep women ignorant of the true facts of the past so they are not able to judge the present. The past was cruel, vicious, and death-dealing to women. And before any of you start up, remember women suffered the same kinds of deprivation as men throughout history, PLUS all that she had to suffer as a female. No one is comparing past with present... just men's past with women's past... and it ain't nice. --IS]

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B. 12-07-1760, Marie Tussaud, Swiss-born Frenchwoman founded the famous wax museum and the original Chamber of Horrors.

B. 12-07-1801, Abigail Hopper Gibbons, her New York home was a stop for runaway slaves, worked and influenced legislation to establish a reform woman's prison to improve conditions for female prisoners who were often regularly raped by their men guards.

Event: 12-07-1925, Edith Frances Nourse Rogers of Massachusetts begins the first of her 18 terms as a member of the U.S. House of Represenatives.

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      "I have worn myself out trying to find a man who lived up to my idealistic notions."
            -- Hirabayashi Taisko, "Self-Mockery."

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