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December 19

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.

A Quote for the Season...


QUOTES by Christine de Pizan and from Lewis and Simon.

Pregnancy and Work

      "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.

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B. 12-19-1820, Mary Ashton Rice Livermore, author, reformer, lecturer, and women's rights advocate. Succeeded Lucy Stone as president of the American Woman Suffrage Ass'n 1875-78, and was president of the Association for the Advancement of Women and several state organizations. During the Civil War, with her friend Jane C. Hoge, developed the Chicago Branch of the U.S. Sanitary Commission into the leading branch of the nation.

B. 12-19-1829, Jane Cunningham Croly, probably the first syndicated woman columnist in the U.S. An ardent feminist she believed women would get suffrage and other reforms when women assumed their proper place in the economic system. She formed Sorosis and called the first national convention of women's clubs.

B. 12-19-1829, Ada Lydia Howard, first president of Wellesley College, 1875-1881.

B. 12-19-1865, Minne Maddern Fiske, actor who was an early advocate of stage realism. Producer, director and developer of new talent, she was named one of the 12 greatest women in 1923 and again in 1931.

B. 12-19-1868, Eleanor Hodgman Porter, wrote more than a dozen books but goes down in history for Pollyanna (1913).

B. 12-19-1881, Hetty Goldman, archaeologist, her amazing systematic excavations and recording of details at her four major excavation sites showed the relationship between Greece and the eastern Mediterranean. Her evacuations of Tarsusin Turkey traced the city's development for more than 6,000 years. She was the first woman appointed professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ.

B. 12-19-1891, Dr. Pauline Berry Mack, chemist, educator: studies of calcium chemistry of bones led to the technique of measuring bone density. Director, Ellen H. Richards Institute for research, Pennsylvania State College. Her mother co-operated the family store and was in real estate.

B. 12-19-1915, Edith Piaf, the brown sparrow of Parisian cabaret fame, composed La Vie En Rose. Her mother was a cafe singer who abandoned her. EP was blind for four years as a child. She was the "godmother" of French prisoners held in Germany and aided a number of them to escape as well as helping Jewish refugees. Her efforts during World War II were clouded because she was one of the few who stayed in France after the conquest by the Germans and she actually went into Germany. The facts were finally brought out after she was accused and cleared of collaboration charges. She had a wavering, deeply moving voice which cried of shattered lives, lost loves, and hopeless futures.

Event 12-19-1976, women win 13 of the 32 available Rhodes scholarships in the first year of allowing women to compete for the prestigious awards.

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      "If it were customary to send little girls to school and to teach them the same subjects as are taught to boys, they would learn just as fully and would understand the subtleties of all arts and sciences. Indeed, maybe they would understand them better ... for just as women's bodies are softer than men's, so their understanding is sharper."
-- Christine de Pizan (1365-1430) in the Prologue of her epic work, The Book of the City of Ladies. What? You never heard of it? Wonder why. She was probably the first woman to earn her living (and support her family) with her writings.

[Ed. Note: Christine de Pizan (b. 1365) has variously been translated as being named Christine de Pisan and Christine of Pisa. Her book, The Book of the City of Ladies or Le livse de la cite des dames was written about 1400. The first English translation was by Brian Anslay in 1521 who published Boke of the Cyte of Ladyes. I would recommend, however, the SECOND translation done 460 years later by Earl Jeffrey Richard, Persea Books, ISBN 0-89255-066-x(pbk), now in its third printing. The first 29 pages will knock your socks off. --IS]

      "Listen to the voices of women and the voices of men; observe the space men allow themselves, physically and verbally, the male assumption that people will listen, even when the majority of the group is female.
      "Look at the faces of the silent, and those who speak.
      "Listen to a woman groping for language in which to express what is on her mind, sensing that the terms of academic discourse are not her language, trying to cut down her thought to the dimension of a discourse not intended for her."
-- Lewis and Simon, "A Discourse Not Intended for Her: Learning and Teaching within Patriarchy," (1987). Harvard Educational Review, Vol. 56, No.4.

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