FEMINIST FRIDAY 2018

Since we are approaching the 4th of July I though I would share a brief biography of Abigail Adams.  Abigail is considered by many people to be the First Feminist First Lady.  The following quote from her is what inspired me to do some research.

“Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of husbands. Remember all men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the Ladies, we are determined to foment a Rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice, or representation.”

The following article gives use good glimpse into Abigail’s life.  It was written by Bruce G. Kaufmann on October 30, 2013 and can be found at history lessons.net.

Abigail Adams – America’s First Feminist

Had there been a National Organization for Women in America in the late 18thCentury, Abigail Adams, the wife of our second president, John Adams, would have been a charter member.  The woman who once admonished her husband to “remember the ladies” when considering legislation in the Continental Congress was a firm believer in women’s rights, and she lived a life that proved it.

It was a life defined by the American Revolution, which, because its demands on her husband kept him away from home so often, only strengthened her independence, self sufficiency, and confidence that she was the equal of any man.  It was Abigail who ran the family farm while John was in Congress or representing America abroad.  That meant she was up before dawn, starting the fire, feeding the livestock, cooking the family meals and — because the war had shut down the schools — home schooling their children.

It was Abigail who also managed the family finances, and probably did a better job than John would have done.  Ignoring his advice to invest in land, for example, she bought public securities that eventually turned a fair profit.  Yes, the times being what they were, a man (her uncle) had to execute those financial transactions, but it was Abigail who made the decisions — and kept a share of the profits.

It was Abigail who also saw first-hand America at war, and did what she could to support it.  In her native Massachusetts the fighting was pervasive, with American soldiers regularly afoot, and she often invited them into her home to rest and take a light meal.  She even made musket balls for American rifles by melting pewter spoons in her fireplace.

And then, late at night, her work done, she would sit down and write her husband one of her many letters — the correspondence between John and Abigail was voluminous and touched on a wide range of subjects.  Abigail was a political junkie, constantly craving news of Congress’s activities and freely giving John political advice.   And in her letters to John she also regularly complained about the lack of women’s rights, including a woman’s inability to hold political office (a complaint that, back then, must have astonished John!).

In sum, she considered herself John’s equal partner, as proven by the fact that, years before she died, which she did this week (Oct. 28) in 1818, she wrote a will and testament, even though, technically speaking, she had nothing to bequeath because in those days all property in a marriage was legally the husband’s.

Abigail didn’t care, and it was hardly a surprise that most all of her bequests in that will went to the women in her family.

ABIGAIL ADAMS YOU ROCK!

Now, if you are in the mood for further reading, I give you Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who Abigail Adams would have been very proud of.

Who Is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? A Democratic Giant Slayer

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with her campaign staff at her victory party in the Bronx on Tuesday night, after she defeated the incumbent Democratic representative, Joseph Crowley.David Dee Delgado for The New York Times

She has never held elected office. She is still paying off her student loans. She is 28 years old. “Women like me aren’t supposed to run for office,” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said in a viral campaign video released last month.

They certainly weren’t supposed to win.

But in a stunning upset Tuesday night that ignited the New York and national political worlds, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, a Bronx-born community organizer and member of the Democratic Socialists of America, defeated Representative Joseph Crowley, a 19-year incumbent and Queens political stalwart who had not faced a primary challenger in 14 years.

Mr. Crowley, who is twice Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s age, is the No. 4 Democrat in the House of Representatives and had been favored to ascend to the speaker’s lectern if Democrats retook the lower chamber this fall.

If Ms. Ocasio-Cortez defeats the Republican candidate, Anthony Pappas, in the predominantly Democratic district in November, she would dethrone Elise Stefanik, a Republican representative from Central New York, as the youngest person in Congress (Ms. Stefanik was 30 when she took office in 2015).

“I’m an organizer in this community, and I knew living here and being here and seeing and organizing with families here, that it was possible,” a visibly shocked Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said in an interview at her victory party on Tuesday. “I knew that it was long odds, and I knew that it was uphill, but I always knew it was possible.”

The daughter of a Puerto Rican mother and a Bronx-born father, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez earned a degree in economics and international relations from Boston University but worked as a waitress and bartender after graduation to supplement her mother’s income as a house cleaner and bus driver, according to The Intercept. Her father, a small-business owner, had died three years earlier of cancer; after his death, her family fought foreclosure and her mother and grandmother eventually moved to Florida.

She dabbled in establishment politics during college, working for Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, on immigration issues, but soon turned her attention to the grass-roots work that would come to define her candidacy.

Returning to the Bronx after graduation, she began advocating improved childhood education and literacy, starting a children’s book publishing company that sought to portray her home borough in a positive light, according to a 2012 article in The New York Daily News. The importance of education had been instilled in her from a young age: As a child, she was sent to school in Yorktown in Westchester County because of the dearth of quality schools in the Bronx.

She returned to national politics when she worked as an organizer for the 2016 presidential campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders, independent of Vermont. But even then, the idea of one day seeking office herself seemed unattainable.

“I never really saw myself running on my own,” she told New York magazine this month. “I counted out that possibility because I felt that possibility had counted out me. I felt like the only way to effectively run for office is if you had access to a lot of wealth, high social influence, a lot of dynastic power, and I knew that I didn’t have any of those things.”

But if Ms. Ocasio-Cortez has, overnight, become the face of progressives’ hopes for ousting not only Republicans but also moderate Democrats who they see as insufficiently outraged about President Trump, her bid against Mr. Crowley predates the anti-Trump backlash that has fueled what many see as a “blue wave” across the country.

She has credited her decision to seek office with her experience protesting at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in 2016 against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Soon after, she was contacted by Brand New Congress, a newly formed progressive organization that asked her to run.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, who has called for Medicare for all, tuition-free public colleges and the abolition of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, made her underdog status the central pillar of her upstart campaign.

In her bid against Mr. Crowley, she was unafraid to foreground race, gender, age and class. When Mr. Crowley sent a Latina surrogate to debate Ms. Ocasio-Cortez last week, citing scheduling conflicts, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez blasted him on Twitter for sending someone with a “slight resemblance to me.” She attacked Mr. Crowley for taking corporate money, for not living in the district and for looking increasingly unlike the constituents of the Bronx and Queens he was elected to represent.

“These communities have been so ignored,” she said in an interview with The New York Times earlier this month. “What other leaders or what other choices does this community even have? For me, I just feel like it’s a responsibility to show up for this community.”

She has joined activists in Flint, Mich., calling for safe drinking water, and traveled to the Mexican border this past weekend to protest family separations of migrants.

Like Mr. Sanders, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez made her rejection of corporate donations and reliance on small donors a rallying cry for supporters; nearly 70 percent of her campaign funds came from individual contributions under $200.

“Not all Democrats are the same,” she said in her May campaign video, adding — her voice rising with emotion — that a Democrat who “doesn’t send his kids to our schools, doesn’t drink our water or breathe our air cannot possibly represent us.”

“Congress is too old,” she told a reporter from the website Elite Daily. “They don’t have a stake in the game.”

Before Tuesday’s victory catapulted her to the front of the political conversation, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez seemed to find readier audiences with outlets such as Elite Daily, Mic or Refinery29 — websites most often associated with millennial and female audiences — than with national publications.

That is about to change.

“I’m hoping that this is a beginning,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said at her victory party on Tuesday. “That we can continue this organizing and continue what we’ve learned.”

Still, shock seemed to be the predominant emotion at Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s party on Tuesday. “Oh my God, oh my God,” she said as she realized she had won, her hands flying to her mouth and her eyes widening. Throughout the night, as more and more people flooded into the packed Bronx pool hall, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez was trailed by a swarm of reporters, supporters and campaign staff clamoring for hugs, selfies or just a glimpse of the woman behind a feat many had considered impossible.

She added, “I hope that this reminds us of what the Democratic Party should be about, which is, first and foremost, accountability from the working-class people.”

Follow Vivian Wang on Twitter: @vwang3.

Shane Goldmacher and John Surico contributed reporting.

 

Please feel free to add a link in the comment section to one of your posts about an inspiring woman.

SaveSave

SaveSave

FEMINIST FRIDAY 2018

“Migrants and refugees are not pawns on the chessboard of humanity.”

Pope Francis

 

The news this week of children being separated from their parents at our country’s border is so upsetting and heartbreaking.  I decided to let Lady Liberty speak about this policy.  I hope that we will consider her words a call to action and that many of us will contact our representatives and demand an immediate change.

 

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Emma Lazarus, 1883

 

I invite you to take action to stop this abomination of American ideals.  A list containing the contact information for your representatives can be found at http://www.commoncause.org/find/lawmaker.

FEMINIST FRIDAY 2018

Something a little different for Feminist Friday, a wonderful thank you note from a feminist father for allowing him to be the father to his daughter that he desires.

Thanks, feminist movement, for making Father’s Day better for dads’s

UPDATED 

Sunday was Father’s Day. My second as a dad, though the first one where I actually got to spend all day with my daughter. Since I’ve taken this job, I’ve discovered this amazing thing called The Weekend, which I now have free.

We went to the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx on Saturday, then Sunday to a local street fair and the park, and it was all pretty blissful. One of the most remarkable things about fatherhood, something I did not fully comprehend before I became a father, is just the genuine joy I get from hanging out with my kid. You could have tried to explain this to me before became a father, but I wouldn’t have quite gotten it.

I now look forward to spending time with Ryan the way I looked forward to playing a little league game when I was nine. Or going to a great concert when I was 21. The thing I want to do with my time is hang out with my daughter, hang out with my wife, spend time together as a family. And as I was going to bed last night, thinking about what an awesome Father’s Day I had because I got to spend more time with my family, I remembered this incredible study that Pew had done.

What you see there is how mothers and fathers spent their time nearly 40 years ago. Fathers spent most of their time working, very little time doing housework, and even less time with their kids. Only two and a half hours a week, on average. Moving up toward present day, it’s still an unequal society, but it is vastly more equal. The time fathers spend with their kids has nearly tripled since 1965.

The numbers from the 1960s show us the complete divide in the roles of parents of the pre-feminist era. Men go outside the home and earn money. Women look after the children and do housework. This was how mothers and fathers spent their time. The great demand of social revolution that was feminism was to equalize those roles. To push them more in line with each other. Today, we think about the feminist revolution as being largely defined by women transitioning to work outside the home.

Mothers spend an average of 21 hours per week at work, up from eight hours per week in 1965. And another recent Pew survey showed that in four out of ten households, women are the breadwinners. It’s a concept so foreign to many in the male power structure, that it made conservative heads explode.

But the evidence tells us that these dudes should really calm down. The Pew study shows us the opposite of feminism killing the family unit and our social order. Feminism made the family stronger. The amount of time both parents spend with their kids is double what it was in 1965. So, while the primary takeaway of feminism is how the movement affected women’s lives,the other side of it is the tripling of the time dads get to spend with their kids. It’s an incredible transformation both for men and for their kids, a huge net benefit in human happiness.

And I think about walking around my neighborhood in New York, seeing all these new dads my age, with kids on bikes, or being pushed in strollers, or hanging off them in some baby harness contraption. We have all been blessed with the gift of a society whose confines and restraints and structures were broken apart before we became dads.

This is the great gift of feminism to men: It took a sledgehammer to the must stultifying parts of patriarchy, including a vision of fatherhood in which dads were expected to be distant, stoic, removed creatures from their kids’ lives. And we have now a new and better social model, one that encourages fathers to be equal parents, and nudges them towards spending more of their time doing something that is going to make them happier: spending time with their kids.

So to all the dads out there, Happy Belated Father’s Day. And to all the mothers, grandmothers and daughters and feminist agitators—thank you for helping to make it possible.

CHRIS HAYES YOU ROCK!

 

So for this week if you have a post about an inspiring man, please leave a link to it in the comments section.

SaveSave

HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY

The Unconventional Life of Mary Walker, the Only Woman to Have Received the U.S. Medal of Honor

Dress reformer, women’s rights activist, and all-around pioneer.

Mary Walker, with her Medal of Honor on her lapel, 1873.

Mary Walker, with her Medal of Honor on her lapel, 1873. LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/ LC-DIG-BELLCM-25836

On a summer day in 1866, Mary Edwards Walker exited a milliner’s store on Canal Street, in New York, and was promptly arrested. A report the following day stated, “The lady wore a long coat or robe and a pair of cloth pants, and the guardian of the public peace, imagining that there was something wrong about this, and that a lady ought not be allowed to dress as she pleases, undertook to arrest her.”

The 19th-century dress reform movement had started 16 years earlier with the “bloomer,” a billowing, tapered pant that had been adopted, briefly, by middle-class women as an alternative path to gender equality. The bloomer’s popularity was, for the most part, short-lived, largely on account of the ridicule and harassment faced by the women who wore them, but for Walker, a physician, dress reform was critical to women’s emancipation.

Consider the typical outfit for women of a certain class in the late 1850s: a chemise and drawers, a tight-fitting corset, a crinoline cage underskirt, petticoats, a dress, stockings, and slippers. The long skirts dragged in the dirt, spreading disease; crinolines were flammable; corsets were constricting; and fabrics were frequently dyed with arsenic. It was a hazardous and uncomfortable time for women’s fashion, and Walker wanted to change that.

Mary Walker grew up on a farm in Oswego, New York, into a family of abolitionists who emphasized education and equality. They were anti-alcohol and anti-tobacco, and her father believed corsets were damaging to health. After working as a teacher, Walker attended medical school in Syracuse and graduated, with honors, in 1855. At her wedding in 1856, to fellow medical student Albert Miller, she wore the “reform costume”—a skirt over pants—and she did not follow the traditional vows and promise to “obey” her husband.

Mary Walker, 1860.
Mary Walker, 1860. LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/ LC-DIG-PPMSCA-19911

Walker began to lecture and contribute to the reform magazine Sibyl: A Review of the Tastes, Errors and Fashions of Society. She urged women to “go to a smith and have their dressical and dietetical chains severed so they may go forth free, sensible women.” Although an ardent support of women’s rights in general, dress reform was her priority. “The greatest sorrows from which women suffer today are … caused by their unhygienic manner of dressing. The want of the ballot is but a toy in comparison!”

Unlike other suffragists, Walker argued that women already had the right to vote, on the basis that the words “We the People” are not gender-specific. To her, there was no need to enshrine in the Constitution a right already given.

After the wedding, Walker and Miller established a private practice, but neither that nor the marriage was a success. The practice failed, reportedly, because patients did not want to see a female physician, and the marriage due to her husband’s infidelity. She left them both in 1859.

Two photographs of Walker, taken between 1860 and 1865.
Two photographs of Walker, taken between 1860 and 1865. NATIONAL ARCHIVES

In July 1861, after spending time in Iowa (in an attempt to capitalize on the state’s more lax divorce laws), Walker moved to Washington, D.C., where she applied for a military surgeon’s contract in the Union Army. She was denied, and instead was offered a position as a nurse, which she refused. Walker continued to petition for a surgeon’s role while volunteering as a doctor. In December 1862, the New York Tribune wrote, “Dressed in male habiliments … she can amputate a limb with the skill of an old surgeon, and administer medicine equally as well. Strange to say that, although she has frequently applied for a permanent position in the medical corps, she has never been formally assigned to any particular duty.”

Eventually, in 1864, she was assigned as the acting assistant surgeon to the 53nd Ohio Volunteers, an appointment that the director of the medical staff called a “medical monstrosity.” She wore an officer’s uniform, with small modifications, and carried two pistols. In April 1864, she was captured behind enemy lines and kept at the Confederate prison Castle Thunder for four months, until she was released through a prisoner exchange.

Following the war, Walker continued to advocate for dress reform. She designed a “dress reform undersuit,” which, she declared, was a solution “to cruel corsets, tight garters and other underpinnings.” She also claimed, dubiously, that the garment prevented seduction and rape.

Walker's "dress reform undersuit."
Walker’s “dress reform undersuit.” LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/ LC-USZ62-60517

She also traveled to England to state her case to crowds in London and Manchester. In London, her address began “Gentlemen and Ladies,” and in the same speech, she said that “she was one of those who thought it was better and easier to live out their own individual lives, and to use the powers specially bestowed upon them, than to live according to other people’s notions—to live, in fact, the lives of other persons.”

Walker’s speeches also drew attention to the double standards women faced. A report from Edinburgh in 1867 noted, “She also thought the press often did not do so much justice to women as they might. They often criticized women severely when they allowed men to pass, saying very little about them.”

A cartoon depicting the "eminent women's rights activist" Walker during her visit to meet President-Elect Grover Cleveland in 1885. A "strong minded woman" who "crossed her legs just like a man," it stated."
A cartoon depicting the “eminent women’s rights activist” Walker during her visit to meet President-Elect Grover Cleveland in 1885. A “strong minded woman” who “crossed her legs just like a man,” it stated.” NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY/ PUBLIC DOMAIN

Back in the United States, the suffragists were wary of Walker, both because of her controversial attire and her perspective on the need for a constitutional amendment. For a few years, she lived with lawyer and activist Belva Lockwood. Together with five others, they tried to register to vote, and failed. By the 1870s she had adopted the attire that she would wear for the rest of her life: trousers, vest, coat, and top hat. She was harassed in the street. A woman set her dog on Walker and, on one occasion, she was pelted with eggs. To support herself, she wrote two books, and toward the end of the 19th century, agreed to appear in dime museums—popular but lowbrow attractions.

Mary Walker, c. 1911.
Mary Walker, c. 1911. LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/ LC-USZ62-48794

Walker radically challenged 19th-century gender norms. Of her choice of wardrobe, Walker stated, “I don’t wear men’s clothes, I wear my own clothes.” She kept her maiden name, saying “a woman’s name is as dear to her as a man’s is to him.” She argued that the pensions of wartime nurses should equal those of veterans. And, a century before the women’s liberation movement, she argued that women should be able to support themselves and receive equal pay for equal work, as well as recognition for their work in the home: “Too well do women know the great mass of men feel that if they earn the money, they have performed nine-tenths of living, and whatever a women does is only of minor consideration.”

To this day, Walker remains the only women to have received the Congressional Medal of Honor, the country’s highest award for wartime valor, although it did not come without controversy. In 1865, President Andrew Johnson* awarded it to her along with 910 other civilians (all men) for their duty in the Civil War. Walker’s citation mentioned her service treating the sick and wounded at several battles, as well as her time as a prisoner of war. But in 1917, a change to eligibility meant that any medal not earned in “actual combat” was revoked. Walker ignored the change and continued to wear the medal on her lapel until her death. Sixty years later, in 1977, President Jimmy Carter restored the award, which is today on display at the Pentagon.

Walker died the year before women obtained the right to vote. She was buried at the family plot in Oswego, in a black suit.

ave

FEMINIST FRIDAY 2018 – A BAND OF SISTERS

We are celebrating Memorial Day this weekend.  It is a day set aside to celebrate the men and women in the armed forces who so bravely worked and gave their lives to protect our democracy.  The following is an article from Military.Com about some famous women Veterans.

________________________________________________________________________________________________
In honor of Women’s History Month, Military.com highlights these seven female veterans who played large roles in the history of the U.S. armed forces, and beyond. Ranging from the Civil War to the present day, and covering all the services, these women broke barriers, made a difference, and are now role models for all future generations.

bea-arthur

Bea Arthur

Best known for her roles on the popular television shows “Maude” and “The Golden Girls,” the late Bea Arthur was also once a truck driver in the Marine Corps. She was one of the first members of the Women’s Reserve and aside from driving military trucks, she was also a typist. Arthur enlisted at the age of 21 in early 1943 under her original name, Bernice Frankel. Appraisals from her her enlistment interviews described her conversation as “argumentative” and her attitude and manner as “over aggressive” — fitting, given the cantankerous characters she would play later in life. In a handwritten note, the Marine interviewer remarked, “Officious–but probably a good worker — if she has her own way!”

Arthur was stationed at Marine Corps and Navy air stations in Virginia and North Carolina during her career, and was promoted from corporal to sergeant to staff sergeant. She was honorably discharged in September 1945, married a fellow Marine (Private Robert Aurthur) shortly afterwards, and changed her name to Bea Arthur before enrolling in the Dramatic Workshop of the New School in New York in 1947. After a successful Broadway career that included a Tony award, Arthur made a splash as “Cousin Maude” in the classic TV series “All in the Family” in the early ’70s, and went on to star in her own sit-com, and cement her celebrity fame in the long-running “Golden Girls.”

ann-dunwoody-ts300

Army Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody

The first woman to serve as a four-star general in both the Army and the U.S. armed forces, Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody joined the Army in 1974, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Women’s Army Corps in 1975. Her first assignment was as supply platoon leader, 226th Maintenance Company (Forward, Direct Support), 100th Supply and Services Battalion (Direct Support), Fort Sill, Okla. Her biggest impact was as commander of the Army Materiel Command, or AMC, one of the largest commands in the Army, employing more than 69,000 employees across all 50 states and 145 countries.

“It was Ann’s most recent role, as commander of the AMC, in which she unified global logistics in a way [that has never] been done,” said Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Ray Odierno . “She capitalized AMC’s fundamental logistics functions to maximize the efficiency and services they provided of supply, maintenance, contact support, research and development, base and installation support, and deployment and distribution. She connected AMC not only to the Army, but ensured the joint force was always ready and supplied as well.” “From the very first day that I put my uniform on, right up until this morning, I know there is nothing I would have rather done with my life,” she said. “Thank you for helping me make this journey possible.”

At her retirement ceremony in 2012, Dunwoody said, “Over the last 38 years I have had the opportunity to witness women Soldiers jump out of airplanes, hike 10 miles, lead men and women, even under the toughest circumstances,” she said. “And over the last 11 years I’ve had the honor to serve with many of the 250,000 women who have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan on battlefields where there are no clear lines, battlefields where every man and woman had to be a rifleman first. And today, women are in combat, that is just a reality. Thousands of women have been decorated for valor and 146 have given their lives. Today, what was once a band of brothers has truly become a band of brothers and sisters.”

grace-murray-hopper-ts300

Grace Murray Hopper

Known as “Amazing Grace,” Commodore Hopper’s importance in U.S. naval history is apparent everywhere you turn: a destroyer was named after her (USS Hopper, DDG-70), as was the Cray XE6 “Hopper” supercomputer. As founder of the COBOL programming language, a precursor to many of the software code approaches of today, her work is legendary among computer scientists and mathematicians.

In 1943, during World War II, she joined the United States Naval Reserves. She was assigned to the Bureau of Ordinance Computation Project. There she became the third programmer of the world’s first large-scale computer called the Mark I. When she saw it, all she could think about was taking it apart and figuring it out. “That was an impressive beast. She was fifty-one feet long, eight feet high, and five feet deep,” said Hopper. She mastered the Mark I, Mark II, and Mark III. While trying to repair the Mark I she discovered a moth caught in a relay. She taped the moth in the log book and from that coined the phrase “a bug in the computer”. During her career she she mastered the UNIVAC I, the first large-scale electronic computer, and created a program that translated symbolic math codes into machine language. This breakthrough allowed programmers to store codes on magnetic tape and re-call them when they were needed — essentially the first compiler.

In 1966, Hopper retired from the Naval Reserves as a Commander, but was called back to active duty one year later at the Navy’s request, to help standardize its computer programs and their languages. She was promoted to Captain in 1973 by Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, Jr., Chief of Naval Operations. And in 1977, she was appointed special advisor to Commander, Naval Data Automation Command (NAVDAC), where she stayed until she retired. In 1983, a bill was introduced by Rep. Philip Crane (D-Ill.) who said, “It is time the Navy recognized the outstanding contributions made by this officer recalled from retirement over a decade and a half ago and promote her to the rank of Commodore.” Rep. Crane became interested in Hopper after seeing her March 1983 60 Minutes interview. He’d never met Hopper, but after speaking with several people, was convinced she was due the added status of being a flag officer. The bill was approved by the House, and at the age of 76, she was promoted to Commodore by special Presidential appointment. Her rank was elevated to rear admiral in November 1985, making her one of few women admirals in the history of the United States Navy.

By the time of her death in 1992, Hopper was renowned as a mentor and a giant in her field, with honoree doctorates from over 30 universities. She was laid to rest with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery.

eileen-collins-commander

Eileen Collins

As a young child, Eileen Collins loved to sit with her dad in the family car and watch airplanes take off and land. The roar of the powerful engines and the grace of the aircraft as they seemed to float in the air always held excitement and enchantment for the young daughter of Irish immigrants. That love of flying would lead the Air Force colonel to be honored as the first woman to command a space shuttle mission, STS-93, in July of 1999, and place the NASA astronaut into the history books.

Colonel Collins joined the Air Force in 1979 and served as a T-38 flight instructor until 1982. From 1983 to 1985 she was a C-141 Starlifter aircraft commander and instructor pilot. She was assistant professor of mathematics and T-41 instructor pilot at the Air Force Academy from 1986 to 1989 and graduated from the Air Force Test Pilot School in 1990. While attending the Test Pilot School, Collins was selected by NASA for the astronaut program and became an astronaut in July 1991. In 1995 Col. Collins became the first woman to pilot a space shuttle and in 1999 she was the first woman shuttle commander. She has over 5,000 hours in 30 different types of aircraft and has spent over 537 hours in space.

“I was very excited and happy,” said Collins, who applied for both a pilot and mission specialist slot with NASA. “But even though I’ll remember that day for the rest of my life, it really didn’t sink in until I graduated. I knew that there had never been a woman shuttle pilot before. Now, I’d be the first.”

After four successful shuttle missions, Collins retired in 2006. “I do miss being in space,” she said, “but I flew four times, and all four missions were very busy because you’re constantly working and under stress. You have a mission; your boss is the people of the country and you don’t want to disappoint the people. Usually toward the end of the mission, you can let your hair down a little bit because the primary mission’s done and everything is put away. That was when you could put your face against the glass, stretch out your arms, and you don’t even see the ship around you, just the Earth below, and you feel like you’re flying over the planet.”

tubman_inline

Harriet Tubman

One of the most celebrated heroines in American history, Harriet Tubman is best known for ushering slaves to freedom through the Underground Railroad in the 1850s. But not everyone knows that Tubman, who escaped slavery in 1849, set up a vast espionage ring for the Union during the Civil War. She served as a cook, a nurse, and even a spy for the Union during the Civil War, and also was the first woman in American history to lead a military expedition.

In one of her most dramatic and dangerous roles, Tubman helped Colonel James Montgomery plan a raid to free slaves from plantations along the Combahee River in South Carolina. Early on the morning of June 1, 1863, three gunboats carrying several hundred male soldiers along with Harriet Tubman set out on their mission. Tubman had gathered key information from her scouts about the Confederates’ positions, and knew where they were hiding along the shore. She also found out they had placed torpedoes — barrels filled with gunpowder — in the water. Ultimately, her group freed about 750 slaves — men, women, children, and babies — and did not lose one soldier in the attack. Reporting on the raid to Secretary of War Stanton, Brigadier General Rufus Saxton said, “This is the only military command in American history wherein a woman, black or white, led the raid, and under whose inspiration. it was originated and conducted.” Sadly, Tubman was paid only $200 during her three years of service and was denied a pension for her spy work.

AVNURS, pho 1 Elsie Ott, who made the first air evacuation (?), was also the first to receive the Air Medal. Shown in photo receiving the award from Brig Gen Fred W. Borum, who made the presentation at Bowman Field, KY, in 1943 (?). Credit Photo to the National Museum of the USAF

Elsie S. Ott

During World War II, the U.S. Army Air Corps pioneered military medical care through the development of air evacuations of wounded personnel. Contributing to this was 2nd Lt. Elsie S. Ott, a flight nurse on the first intercontinental air evacuation flight that demonstrated the potential of air evacuation. Born in 1913 in Smithtown, N.Y, Ott attended Lenox Hill Hospital School of Nursing in New York City after completing high school. After several positions in area hospitals, Ott joined the Army Nurse Corps in September 1941. She was commissioned as a second lieutenant soon after and had assignments to Louisiana and Virginia before being sent to Karachi, India. It was during this assignment that she would participate in the first air evacuation. Originating from Karachi, India, patients were evacuated to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Ott was assigned to the flight with only 24 hours’ notice. Prior to this she had no flying experience and had never flown before. She gathered blankets, sheets and pillows for the trip, but the only medical equipment available to her was nothing more than a first aid kit. No medical professional screened the patients who were to fly with Ott, and she and a sergeant with a medical background were the only people on board to care for patients. The plane left Karachi with five wounded personnel Jan. 17, 1943. Of those five, two were paralyzed from the waist down, one suffered from tuberculosis, another with glaucoma and the fifth was suffering manic-depressive psychosis. After stops along the way for refueling, the plane reached its destination nearly a week after beginning — normally a three month trip by ship.

Ott knew that her report on the trip would be crucial for further planning, and she immediately sat down to make notes for future flights. Among the suggestions she listed were the need for oxygen, more wound dressing supplies, extra coffee and blankets. She also noted that wearing a skirt was impractical for this kind of duty. Two months later, Ott received the first U.S. Air Medal, the first given to a woman in the U.S. Army, for her role in the evacuation flight. She would later be promoted to captain before being discharged in 1946. Nearly 20 years later in 1965, Ott was selected to christen a new type of air ambulance: the C-9 Nightingale.

sarah-edmonds-ts300

Sarah Emma Edmonds

Union soldiers during the Civil War knew a comrade known as Franklin Flint Thompson, but in reality Thomspon was really a woman — Sarah Emma Edmonds — and one of the few females known to have served during the Civil War. Edmonds was born in Canada in 1841, but desperate to escape an abusive father and forced marriage, moved to Flint, Michigan in 1856, where she discovered that life was easier when she dressed as a man. Compelled to join the military out of sense of duty, she enlisted in the 2nd Michigan Infantry as a male field nurse.

As “Franklin Flint Thompson” Edmonds participated in several battles the took place during the Maryland Campaign of 1862, which included Second Battles of Manassas and Antietam. As a field nurse she would be dealing with mass casualties, especailly at Antietam which is known as one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. She is also said to have served as a Union spy and infiltrated the Confederate army several times, although there is no official record of it. One of her alleged aliases was as a Southern sympathizer named Charles Mayberry. Another was as a black man named Cuff, for which she disguised herself using wigs and silver nitrate to dye her skin. And yet another was as Bridget O’Shea, an Irish peddler selling soap and apples.

Malaria eventually forced Edmonds to give up her military career, since she knew she would be discovered if she went to a military hospital and her being listed as a deserter upon leaving made it impossible for her to return after she recovered. Nevertheless, she still continued serving her new country, again as a nurse, though now as a female one at a hospital for soldiers in Washington, D.C.

In 1865, Edmonds published her experiences in the bestselling Nurse and Spy in the Union Army, and went on to marry and have children. But her heroic contributions to the Civil War were not forgotten and she was awarded an honorable discharge from the military, a government pension, and admittance to the Grand Army of the Republic as its only female member.

sparklers-923029_1920

THANK YOU LADIES FOR YOUR SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY.  YOU ROCK!

Thank you for taking the time to read about these remarkable women and if you have a story you would like to share about a woman veteran, please feel free to leave your link in the comments section.

bernadette

 

 

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

FEMINIST FRIDAY 2018

MOTHER’S ROCK!

It is Mother’s Day this Sunday in the United States.  To be honest this is not one of my favorite holidays because it is a day that seems set aside to make everyone feel inadequate about not appreciating their mothers enough.  My feeling has always been come for dinner, call me, tell me you love me once in a while, not just one day of the year.  Anyway…. here is a quirky list of mothers of famous people that I thought you might enjoy.

Ludwig van Beethoven

As a girl, Maria Magdalena Keverich worked as a chambermaid in the homes of the wealthy. Johann van Beethoven was her second husband. She was described as “rather tall, longish face, a nose somewhat bent, spare, earnest eyes and kind. A little colorless perhaps — raised to a passion only for the occasional quarrel with the neighbors.”

Alexander Graham Bell

Eliza Grace Symonds Bell was the daughter of a surgeon in the British Royal Navy and was a talented portrait painter. Although somewhat deaf, she played the piano well. Her deafness inspired her son’s research into hearing, although it was said she did not have a lot of faith in his work.

Dwight David Eisenhower

Though poor, Ida Stover was determined to go to college. She scraped together enough money to attend Lane College in Lecompton, Kan., where she met fellow student David Eisenhower. She was known as a firm but gentle disciplinarian and was deeply religious. It is said she once won a prize for memorizing 1,365 Bible verses. As a pacifist, she was not in favor of her son attending West Point but decided to let him go.

Henry Ford

Mary Litogot grew up on a farm, and met her future husband, William Ford, when she was 12 and he was 26 and came to work on the farm. They married nine years later. Mary was self-sufficient and a diligent worker. Henry later attributed his clean factories to her belief in cleanliness. She encouraged his interest in machines early on. He later said, “I have tried to live my life as my mother would have wished. I believe I have done, as far as I could, just what she hoped for me.”

Napoleon

Letizia Ramolino Bonaparte grew up during the Corsican struggle for independence from Genoa and imparted to her children an early interest in politics. When Napoleon was crowned emperor in 1804, she was feted everywhere as “Madame Mere.” At one time, she had three sons who were kings and one daughter as a queen, but she continued to obsess over accumulating wealth. “I may one day have to find bread for all these kings I have borne,” she said. Letizia outlived most of her famous children.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Alberta Williams King was both the daughter and the wife of Baptist preachers. She taught her children to “always remember you are as good as anyone.” Violence and tragedy became a part of her life. In 1968, Martin Luther Jr. was shot; in 1974, her son Alfred drowned; and in 1974, she herself was killed by a deranged gunman while she was playing the organ in church.

Louisa May Alcott

Abigail May became the patient and long-suffering wife of Bronson Alcott and supported him in all his radical views on education and utopian living. She served as the model for Marmee in “Little Women,” but Louisa always claimed that “Marmee, good though she was, was still not half good enough to do justice to the real woman who inspired her.”

Al Capone

When her son, Alphonse, was found guilty of tax evasion, Teresa Capone came to see him in jail with a big dish of macaroni, tomatoes and cheese. Teresa, who came from Italy as a young woman, could not speak much English, and when her son was transferred to the Atlanta Penitentiary, she could only look at him and mutter a few words; foreign languages were not permitted. She always maintained that Al was “a good boy.”

George Washington

Mary Ball Washington was a strict, authoritarian figure. George always addressed his letters to her with “Honored Madam.” When he wanted to join the British Navy, Mary refused her permission. Shortly after that, George left to live with his brother at Mount Vernon. When news came that he was elected president, he stopped on his way to the capital to give his mother the news — it was the last time he ever saw her.

The Marx Brothers

Minnie Schoenberg was the daughter of a magician and a harpist in Germany. She left that country as a teen to come to New York, where she married a somewhat successful tailor. She encouraged her sons to go into vaudeville. In 1923, although Groucho did not agree with her, she figured they were ready for Broadway — and they were. While being fitted for a dress for opening night, Minnie fell and broke her leg. She was carried to the theater on a stretcher for the opening night show.

Source: “Mothers: 100 Mothers of the Famous and Infamous,” edited by Richard Ehrlich; Paddington Press Ltd.

I invite you to share a story about an inspiring woman in the comments section. Just leave us a link to your post. We can never read too many stories about inspiring women. 

signature

The quotes in this article came from: “Mothers: 100 Mothers of the Famous and Infamous,” edited by Richard Ehrlich; Paddington Press Ltd.

SaveSave

FEMINIST FRIDAY 2018

LITTLE GIRLS WITH DREAMS BECOME WOMEN WITH VISION.

One of the blogs I follow is the Youth Services Association.  Whenever I start to feel down about the state of the planet and our fellow citizens, I hop over to this site and I am uplifted by the zeal of the children for creating a bright future for us all.  I thought I might share one of the stories with you.  Enjoy.

Everyday Young Hero: Arushi Madan

Global Goal 13: Climate Action – Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impact

Known as the “Green Machine,” due to her great passion for the environment, Arushi Madan (17, Sharjah, UAE) takes every opportunity to spread awareness about the need to protect the environment and reduce waste. She is addressing the issue of climate change by spreading environmental awareness through environmental protection. The campaigns and workshops she runs educate and encourage community members to take action. Believing in actions more than words, Arushi works at the grassroots level to set an example for others to follow. She is on a mission to inspire and empower more eco-warriors to lead a green future.

Arushi aims to promote environmental values by setting positive examples. She has set up an effective waste segregation system in her building that sorts and recycles about one ton of paper every month. Each ton of recycled paper saves 17 trees and 4000 KW of energy. By recycling about one ton of paper monthly since June 2014, Arushi has saved about 782 trees and about 184,000 KW of energy. This has contributed to the reduction of the carbon footprint, but most importantly it is educating the residents of her community on the simple actions they can take to improve the environment. Her goal is to set up the waste segregation systems in at least 10 more buildings in her community. She aims to divert maximum waste from landfill by changing people’s attitude towards environment and showing them how they can make a difference everyday.

Arushi has diligently influenced many in her community about environmental protection through her campaigns, workshops, and self-initiated projects. She visits schools to spread awareness and interact with kids using environmental videos, games, quizzes, and “Green Talk” sessions. She teaches students about the benefits of organic farming and organizes educational trips for youth to sustainable buildings and other “green” UAE sites. She campaigns at food courts, malls, cafeterias and she gives motivational presentations to educate women, laborers, and children. Arushi has put together several successful environmental campaigns. “Save Paper, Save Trees, Save Planet” motivated about 70 people to recycle one ton of paper while learning tips that help reduce their carbon footprint, as well as save trees and energy. Through her “Earth Hour” campaign in India, students learned the true meaning of Earth hour and got energy saving tips such as, candle-lit dinners, LED lamps, and unplugging idle appliances. She involved hundreds a campaign called “A Dose of Help” that collected more than 1000 unused medications that were donated to the Emirates Red Crescent, in order to help patients in need. She mobilizes and engages youth and adults in tree planting and community clean-up campaigns. Her projects have drastically reduced waste going to landfills, energy consumption, and inspired youth to take lead when promoting sustainability.

Arushi’s efforts to minimize waste in her own building have not only inspired the residents around her to take part in the movement, it has inspired community members to implement waste segregation systems in their own buildings. With the sponsorship and help of environmental agencies and corporations she has mobilized youth to work towards environmental protection. Through leading newspapers and magazines, she shares her concerns about the environment and offers sustainable tips.  Her efforts are appreciated by local government and municipalities who have honored her on World Environment Day. Arushi is truly a role model for those who follow her practices and most importantly the youth she inspires in her community everyday.

ARUSHI MADAN YOU ROCK!

If you have a story about an inspirational woman, teen, child, please share a link to your post in the comments section.

The information in this post came from an article written by YSA Partnerships Intern, Haley Panek.

 

FEMINIST FRIDAY 2018

 

I read with great interest this week that the New York Times was starting a project to recognize women who added significantly to society but were never recognized in the New York Times Obituary Column.  I found it interesting that they said that up to now the column has been dominated by white men and they wanted to rectify this situation.  What follows is the link to 15 stories of very inspiring women.

AMISHA PADNANI AND JESSICA BENNETT YOU ROCK!

 

Please feel free to add a link to a post that you have written about an inspiring woman in the comments section.

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.

Continue reading

FEMINIST FRIDAY – Celebrating Ginny

“We can have feminist icons, but the real heroines are just quietly doing what is needed”  Osyth

 

Thirty eight years ago when my oldest son started kindergarten, I met a group of women who have become my lifelong friends and companions on this journey of life.  One of these women is my dear friend, Ginny.

Ginny was the driving force that made possible these lifelong friendships.  When our children were in the eighth grade and soon to go all different high schools, Ginny put together our lunch group.  For 30 years we have gotten together once a month to laugh and cry and to keep in touch with each others lives. During those 30 years our group suffered enormous losses.  We lost husbands, children and friends.  We were the very best medicine for each other.   Because after each tragedy, we taught each other the lesson that it was alright to continue to laugh and live.   We could not and would not have stayed together except for Ginny.  She kept in touch with all of us and made sure that we met once a month to celebrate someone’s birthday.  She  had many troubles in her life but she always remained optimistic and no matter what was going on in her life would be concerned about my life.  She was our fearless and much loved lunch leader.

My dear, brave friend lost her battle to cancer last week.  She leaves a hole in my life that cannot be filled.  I will forever miss hearing her say,   “And how are you honey and where do you think we should meet for lunch.”  The following quote from Audrey Hepburn was Ginny’s credo:  “THE BEST THING TO HOLD ONTO IN THIS LIFE IS EACH OTHER.”  

GINNY YOU ROCK!

 

Please feel free to share in the comments section a link to a story about an inspiring woman in your life.