FEMINIST FRIDAY 2018

On Friday, January 20, 2017, we lost one of the best First Ladies I have been privileged to watch.  She was an outstanding example of how to balance many different roles and be the very best at all of them.  The following is a love letter to Michelle Obama written by Rashida Jones.  It says it all.

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SENIOR SALON 2018

 

 

Dear Senior Salon Members,

I am sorry to say that this will be the last Senior Salon.  I find that taking the road that is providing new challenges has not left me enough time to devote to my very well loved Salon and I don’t want to keep this project going without giving it the proper love and attention.

I am not going away from Haddon Musings and will continue to read and follow the members of the wonderful tribe that has formed here.

Anyone interested in taking up the baton and opening the door of their site to form a Salon is very welcome to do so.

Thank you everyone for all your support and friendship.

FEMINIST FRIDAY 2018

 

“I want to be remembered as a woman … who dared to be a catalyst of change.” — Shirley ChisholmI

Shirley Chisholm was our  first black U.S. Congresswoman.  Her body of work is a legacy that is sadly, for all American citizens , slowly being destroyed.

Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm was born November 30, 1924, in Brooklyn, New York to immigrant parents. When she was young, her parents sent her to Barbados to live with her maternal grandmother along with two of her sisters. She returned to the United States when she was 10 years old. In 1942, Shirley graduated from Brooklyn Girls’ High and went on to attend Brooklyn College where in 1946 she graduated cum laude. While in college, Shirley was on the debate team and her professors encouraged her to consider working in politics. In 1951, Shirley earned a master’s degree in early childhood education from Columbia University. She went on to become the director of a child care center and a consultant for the New York City Bureau of Child Welfare.During this time, Shirley had become more politically active joining organizations like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), League of Women Voters, and the Brooklyn Chapter of the National Association of College Women. In 1964, she ran for the New York State Legislature and won. She was only the second African American. While working in the state legislature, she extended unemployment benefits and sponsored a program that would benefit disadvantaged students who wanted to attend college. In 1968, Shirley ran for a seat in Congress and won — making her the first black woman elected to the U.S. Congress. Her campaign slogan was “Unbought and Unbossed” which later became the title of her autobiography.

Once in the U.S. Congress, Shirley began working to expand the food stamps program in addition to a specific program to provide greater access to food for women and children who couldn’t afford it. She continued to fight for equality through introducing bills and eventually in her role on the Education and Labor Committee. Shirley had experienced racial and gender discrimination during her campaigns so she decided to hire all women to work in her office, half of them being black. In 1969, she was one of the original members of the Congressional Black Caucus and in 1971, she co-founded the National Women’s Political Caucus which to this day remains “a multi-partisan grassroots organization dedicated to increasing women’s participation in the political process.”
Shirley made history again when she sought the 1972 Democratic Party presidential nomination. She was the first African-American candidate to run for president in a major-party but wasn’t given a fair shot due to discrimination. Her campaign was underfunded and she wasn’t viewed as a serious candidate. Shirley also received numerous death threats during her campaign. But despite these odds, she still gained 10% of the total delegate votes at the convention placing her in fourth place overall.

After her failed presidential bid, Shirley continued her work in Congress succeeding in to give minimum wage rights to domestic workers and supporting an increase in spending for education, health care, and social services. She even gained a leadership role within the House as the Secretary of the House Democratic Caucus.
In 1983, Shirley retired from Congress but continued to support women in politics co-founding the National Political Congress of Black Women. She also became a professor at Mount Holyoke College teaching courses in politics and sociology in addition to speaking at campuses around the country about tolerance and acceptance. In 1993, Shirley was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. Shirley Chisholm died January 1, 2005, at the age of 80.
After her death, a documentary film about her presidential campaign was accepted into the Sundance Film Festival and won a Peabody Award. At her alma mater Brooklyn College, the Shirley Chisholm Project on Brooklyn Women’s Activism is a historical collection of “Brooklyn Women’s Activism from 1945 to the Present.” And in 2015, she was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. With historical moments like the presidency of Barack Obama and nomination of Hillary Clinton, Shirley’s legacy lives on. Thank you, Shirley, for paving the way for those who have followed you.

 

SHIRLEY CHISHOLM YOU ROCK!

The information for this post came from Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls.

If you have a post about an inspiring woman, please feel free to leave a link to it in the comment section.

SENIOR SALON 2018

 

creaturity3

We have walked our paths a long time and have a lot to offer. Come and reveal your artistic vision.

The SENIOR SALON is dedicated to showcasing the talents of the post 9 to 5 generation. The generation who finally has time to get in touch with the right side of their brain.  The SENIOR SALON features art, music, writing, poetry, photography, creative cooking, creative fashion, and anything else that you can dream up.   Allow YOUR muse to guide you into a new creative endeavor or enhance an existing creative endeavor.

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FEMINIST FRIDAY 2018

I

This is my first post honoring women during Black History Month.  Please take a moment to get to know Septima who is considered the Grandmother of the Civil Rights Movement.


The Woman Who Schooled the Civil Rights Movement
Erin Blakemore
Feb 16, 2016

Who was the “queen mother” of the American Civil Rights movement? If you answered “Rosa Parks,” you’re wrong—a woman named Septima Poinsette Clark earned that moniker for her pioneering civil rights work years before Parks made her fateful ride. The daughter of a slave, Clark made her mark on the movement not in a bus or at a lunch counter, but in the classroom.

Born in Charleston, S.C., Clark was one of eight children. Her father, Peter Poinsette, was forced to serve as a messenger to Confederate troops as a young slave during the Civil War. After the war, he married Victoria, who grew up a free black in Haiti and resented her husband’s nonviolent attitude towards the racial repression of the postwar South. Both of them instilled their daughter with a love of education and made sacrifices on behalf of her schooling, so it made sense for Septima to become a teacher.

But when she got her teaching license, she realized she would not be able to teach any children—black or white—in her native Charleston. “Segregation was at its height,” she later recalled, and black teachers were barred from teaching any students in South Carolina’s capital. For a while, she taught on John’s Island outside of Charleston instead, but in 1919 she joined the NAACP and returned to her hometown. Emboldened, she went from door to door, collecting signatures of black parents who wanted their children educated by black teachers in Charleston schools. Eventually, two-thirds of the city’s black population signed the petition. A year later, Charleston’s ban on black teachers was overturned.

Clark could have settled into life as an elementary school teacher, but she kept pushing. Along with other NAACP members, she began to agitate for higher salaries for black teachers. It took her more than 20 years to help win equal pay for her colleagues, but in 1945 teacher pay was equalized.

As the NAACP began to rack up victories, pressure to declaw the organization mounted from whites who clung to the South’s Jim Crow policies. Clark was fired from her job in 1957 for refusing to renounce her membership in the NAACP under a law that forbade public employees to belong to the organization. At almost 60 years of age, Clark was ousted from the profession that was her vocation.
But Clark’s career was only just beginning. A few years before being fired, she had discovered a Tennessee school that featured integrated workshops on citizenship and civil rights. She began to teach literacy there, educating black students about citizenship laws and civil rights.

This commitment to educating her fellow black citizens came with a price: The state of Tennessee revoked the school’s charter, forcibly closed down its buildings and arrested teachers on bogus charges. Clark was accused of illegal alcohol possession and arrested, though the charges were later dropped. When she was released from jail, Clark was invited to continue her work in Georgia by none other than Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The “Citizenship School” model she started became a juggernaut. It helped fill educational gaps left by segregated school systems that made black students the last priority.

The classes Clark established schooled thousands of students in basic literacy and civil rights, producing savvy new voters and changing the course of the Civil Rights movement. Among her mentees was Rosa Parks, who openly admired her patience and courage.

Though Clark’s work took place in the background—and was often minimized by male leaders in the movement—the fight for racial equality in the United States simply would not have been the same without one teacher bent on making the most of her hard-won education. “The greatest evil in our country today is not racism, but ignorance,” Clark wrote in 1965. By bringing education to the struggle for civil rights, Clark fought both.

SEPTIMA CLARK YOU ROCK!

 

If you have a post about an inspiring woman, please feel free to leave a link to it in the comment section.

SENIOR SALON 2018

 

creaturity3

We have walked our paths a long time and have a lot to offer. Come and reveal your artistic vision.

The SENIOR SALON is dedicated to showcasing the talents of the post 9 to 5 generation. The generation who finally has time to get in touch with the right side of their brain.  The SENIOR SALON features art, music, writing, poetry, photography, creative cooking, creative fashion, and anything else that you can dream up.   Allow YOUR muse to guide you into a new creative endeavor or enhance an existing creative endeavor.

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FEMINIST FRIDAY 2018

When women speak truly they speak subversively — they can’t help it: if you’re underneath, if you’re kept down, you break out, you subvert. We are volcanoes. When we women offer our experience as our truth, as human truth, all the maps change. There are new mountains. That’s what I want – to hear you erupting. You young Mount St Helenses who don’t know the power in you – I want to hear you.”
Bryn Mawr College commencement speech, 1986,

Ursula K. Le Guin wrote in a genre that was male dominated and lent a gentle feminist perspective and gentle buddhist thought to her writing.  Her creativity will be missed but at least we have her books to read and to give to our children to read and learn a way of thinking about gender that seems finally coming into its own time.

 

Author Ursula Le Guin at home with her cat, Lorenzo, in 1996. The writer’s “pleasant duty,” she said, is to ply the reader’s imagination with “the best and purest nourishment that it can absorb.” Jill Krementz, All Rights Reserved

Ursula K. Le Guin, the immensely popular author who brought literary depth and a tough-minded feminist sensibility to science fiction and fantasy with books like “The Left Hand of Darkness” and the Earthsea series, died on Monday at her home in Portland, Ore. She was 88.

Ms. Le Guin embraced the standard themes of her chosen genres: sorcery and dragons, spaceships and planetary conflict. But even when her protagonists are male, they avoid the macho posturing of so many science fiction and fantasy heroes. The conflicts they face are typically rooted in a clash of cultures and resolved more by conciliation and self-sacrifice than by swordplay or space battles.

Her books have been translated into more than 40 languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide. Several, including “The Left Hand of Darkness” — set on a planet where the customary gender distinctions do not apply — have been in print for almost 50 years. The critic Harold Bloom lauded Ms. Le Guin as “a superbly imaginative creator and major stylist” who “has raised fantasy into high literature for our time.”

“The Left Hand of Darkness,” published in 1969, takes place on a planet called Gethen, where people are neither male nor female.

Ms. Le Guin’s fictions range from young-adult adventures to wry philosophical fables. They combine compelling stories, rigorous narrative logic and a lean but lyrical style to draw readers into what she called the “inner lands” of the imagination. Such writing, she believed, could be a moral force.

“If you cannot or will not imagine the results of your actions, there’s no way you can act morally or responsibly,” she told The Guardian in an interview in 2005. “Little kids can’t do it; babies are morally monsters — completely greedy. Their imagination has to be trained into foresight and empathy.”

The writer’s “pleasant duty,” she said, is to ply the reader’s imagination with “the best and purest nourishment that it can absorb.”

She was born Ursula Kroeber in Berkeley, Calif., on Oct. 21, 1929, the youngest of four children and the only daughter of two anthropologists, Alfred L. Kroeber and Theodora Kracaw Kroeber. Her father was an expert on the Native Americans of California, and her mother wrote an acclaimed book, “Ishi in Two Worlds” (1960), about the life and death of California’s “last wild Indian.”

At a young age, Ms. Le Guin immersed herself in books about mythology, among them James Frazer’s “The Golden Bough,” classic fantasies like Lord Dunsany’s “A Dreamer’s Tales,” and the science-fiction magazines of the day. But in early adolescence she lost interest in science fiction, because, she recalled, the stories “seemed to be all about hardware and soldiers: White men go forth and conquer the universe.”

She graduated from Radcliffe College in 1951, earned a master’s degree in romance literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance from Columbia University in 1952, and won a Fulbright fellowship to study in Paris. There she met and married another Fulbright scholar, Charles Le Guin.

Author Ursula K. Le Guin in July 1996. Jill Krementz, All Rights Reserved

On their return to the United States, she abandoned her graduate studies to raise a family; the Le Guins eventually settled in Portland, where Mr. Le Guin taught history at Portland State University.

The Earthsea series was clearly influenced by J. R. R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. But instead of a holy war between Good and Evil, Ms. Le Guin’s stories are organized around a search for “balance” among competing forces — a concept she adapted from her lifelong study of Taoist texts.

She returned to Earthsea later in her career, extending and deepening the trilogy with books like “Tehanu” (1990) and “The Other Wind” (2001), written for a general audience.

“The Left Hand of Darkness,” published in 1969, takes place on a planet called Gethen, where people are neither male nor female but assume the attributes of either sex during brief periods of reproductive fervor. Speaking with an anthropological dispassion, Ms. Le Guin later referred to her novel as a “thought experiment” designed to explore the nature of human societies.

“I eliminated gender to find out what was left,” she told The Guardian.

But there is nothing dispassionate about the relationship at the core of the book, between an androgynous native of Gethen and a human male from Earth. The book won the two major prizes in science fiction, the Hugo and Nebula awards, and is widely taught in secondary schools and colleges.

Much of Ms. Le Guin’s science fiction has a common background: a loosely knit confederation of worlds known as the Ekumen. This was founded by an ancient people who seeded humans on habitable planets throughout the galaxy — including Gethen, Earth and the twin worlds of her most ambitious novel, “The Dispossessed,” subtitled “An Ambiguous Utopia” (1974).

As the subtitle implies, “The Dispossessed” contrasts two forms of social organization: a messy but vibrant capitalist society, which oppresses its underclass, and a classless “utopia” (partly based on the ideas of the Russian anarchist Peter Kropotkin), which turns out to be oppressive in its own conformist way. Ms. Le Guin leaves it up to the reader to find a comfortable balance between the two.

“The Lathe of Heaven” (1971) offers a very different take on utopian ambitions. A man whose dreams can alter reality falls under the sway of a psychiatrist, who usurps this power to conjure his own vision of a perfect world, with unfortunate results.

Ms. Le Guin always considered herself a feminist, even when genre conventions led her to center her books on male heroes. Her later works, like the additions to the Earthsea series and such Ekumen tales as “Four Ways to Forgiveness” (1995) and “The Telling” (2000), are mostly told from a female point of view.

In some of her later books, she gave in to a tendency toward didacticism, as if she were losing patience with humanity for not learning the hard lessons — about the need for balance and compassion — that her best work so astutely embodies.

At the 2014 National Book Awards, Ms. Le Guin was given the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. She accepted the medal on behalf of her fellow writers of fantasy and science fiction, who, she said, had been “excluded from literature for so long” while literary honors went to the “so-called realists.”

She also urged publishers and writers not to put too much emphasis on profits.

“I have had a long career and a good one,” she said, adding, “Here at the end of it, I really don’t want to watch American literature get sold down the river.”

URSULA K. LE GUIN YOU ROCK!
The information for this post came from the New York Times Obituary written by Gerald Jonas on January 23,, 2018.
Please feel free to leave a link to your blog story about an inspiring woman.  We can never read too many of these stories especially these days.

SENIOR SALON 2018

 

creaturity3

We have walked our paths a long time and have a lot to offer. Come and reveal your artistic vision.

The SENIOR SALON is dedicated to showcasing the talents of the post 9 to 5 generation. The generation who finally has time to get in touch with the right side of their brain.  The SENIOR SALON features art, music, writing, poetry, photography, creative cooking, creative fashion, and anything else that you can dream up.   Allow YOUR muse to guide you into a new creative endeavor or enhance an existing creative endeavor.

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CONVERSATION WITH…The Cow Who Jumped over the Moon…Dreaming of Overcoming Her Overactive Bladder

A funny take on a common problem.

OVER THE HILL on the YELLOW BRICK ROAD

Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 12.38.43 PMRecently, I met up with a highly successful athlete and super mom, The Cow Who Jumped over the Moon.   She was coming in for a landing on the Yellow Brick Road and was kind enough to chat.

Cow, it’s a real privilege meeting you.

COW:  Oh thank you.

So, you’ve definitely made your mark.  I mean, every night, jumping from your barn all the way over the moon and back to your barn has inspired cows throughout the world. What does it take to keep this up every night?

COW:  An overly ridiculous amount of drive.

I hear ya. But I have to admit,  I’ve heard rumors that after a very long career, you have an age- related issue that might bring your moon jumping days to an end. What’s going on?

COW:  Can I be frank?

Of course.

COW:  After giving birth and years of wear and tear…

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What We Leave Behind

Cynthia shared this story of her friend Jenni. Jenni is a woman I wish I had met.

Cynthia Reyes

One fine spring day, my husband  and I drove by the old farmhouse his family once owned. We were so amazed by what we saw that he stopped the car. The two “small” weeping willows he planted decades ago at the front of the property were now sprawling giants.

At the top of the driveway, to the left, towered a beautiful light blue pine, almost as tall as the house. It glistened in the sunshine, its colour even more breathtaking now than when we first planted it. 

Subsequent owners had preserved these trees, but removed many others that we’d planted. 

It made me think of legacy. What we leave behind. What others deem worthy, and what they don’t.

There are the usual possessions, of course. The dwelling, the furniture, the coin collection, the lovely dishes.

Blog Photo - Afternoon Tea pink cup and saucerThings we acquire.  And even the trees we plant.

But the older one gets, the…

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