I have watched with great interest and a very happy heart the young activist from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas School working to make a change in the gun control policies in the United States.  They have been unstinting in their efforts to try to make a change that would guarantee the right to safety at school to every student in our country.  I have always been curious about who the people are that schools are named after.  Imagine how please I was to read about Marjory Stoneman Douglas.  This school is named after a very inspiring activist.  I guess the students come by their activism honestly.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas

Marjory Stoneman Douglas’s 1947 best seller, The Everglades: River of Grass, raised America’s consciousness and transformed the Florida Everglades from an area that was looked upon as a useless swamp – to be drained and developed commercially – to a national park that is seen as a valuable environmental resource to be protected and preserved. After this successful campaign to preserve the Everglades as a national park, Douglas continued her work by founding the Friends of the Everglades, a conservation organization still active today.

Always ahead of her time, Douglas graduated from Wellesley College as an English major in 1912. A few years later, Douglas went to Miami to be a reporter for her father’s newspaper, which later became The Miami Herald. During World War I, she served with the American Red Cross in Europe. After the war, she launched her career as a newspaper editor at her father’s paper. Many of her editorials focused on what she perceived to be Florida’s increasing problem of rapid commercial development. In the 1920s, she left the newspaper to launch a second career as an author. Over the years she published many books and short stories, both fiction and non-fiction – most for adults but several for children – especially focusing on women, the history and life in southern Florida and environmental issues. She also engaged in a number of other campaigns and charity work to improve society: campaigns against slum-lords and for improved housing conditions, for free milk for babies whose parents needed aid, and for the ratification of the Women’s Suffrage Amendment.

Most important, she dedicated her life to preserving and restoring the Everglades. She lived long enough to witness great successes. In 1996, for example, Florida voters passed a constitutional amendment that held polluters primarily responsible for cleaning up the Everglades. And the Florida and federal governments have authorized multimillion-dollar projects to restore and expand the Everglades. In recognition of her tireless and successful struggle, the state of Florida named the headquarters of its Department of Natural Resources after her.

Awarding Mrs. Douglas the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1993, President Clinton recognized her achievements. Upon her death in 1998 at the age of 108, President Clinton said: “Long before there was an Earth Day, Mrs. Douglas was a passionate steward of our nation’s natural resources, and particularly her Florida Everglades.”



I invite you to leave a link in the comments section to an article you have posted about an inspiring woman.

The information in this article was obtained from Wikidpedia.



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.



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




Happy Woman’s Day

I went in search of another story about an inspiring girl and didn’t have to look very far.  Please read about Gitanjali Rao who at 12 years old recognized that water polluted with lead was a massive problem for many people worldwide and set out to help.  She has invented a lead detection system.

Gitanjali Rao, a seventh grader from Colorado, has been awarded the title of “America’s top young scientist” for designing a compact device to detect lead in drinking water, which she believes can be faster and cheaper than other current methods.

The 12-year-old’s invention was inspired by the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, where cost-cutting measures led to tainted drinking water that contained lead and other toxins.

It also won her a $25,000 prize, for which Rao already has plans: “I plan to use most of it in developing my device further so that it can be commercially available soon,” she told CNN.

An invisible enemy

“After I learned about Flint,” said Rao, “I continued to research and follow it for the next couple years. Then, I saw my parents testing for lead in our water and that is pretty much what sparked the idea. I realized that using test strips would take quite a few tries to get accurate results and I wanted to do something to change this, not only for my parents but for the residents of Flint and places like Flint around the world.”

Since lead does not affect the taste, smell of appearance of water in any way, the only way to detect it is with a test. There are currently two main ways to do so, home testing strips or lab testing. The strips generally cost between $15 and $30, can detect various contaminants and offer quick results, but they are not designed for maximum accuracy. That requires the more rigorous lab testing, which involves collecting a sample of water at home — specific kits are sold for around $10 — and then sending it to a lab to get detailed results, which can cost an additional $20 to $100, according to the EPA.

Rao thinks her device could become a competitively priced alternative: “The prototype cost just over $20 to make, but all of the materials were custom-manufactured. At bulk, I expect the production cost to be significantly less than that.”

How it works

The device, called “Tethys” after the Greek Titan goddess of fresh water, uses carbon nanotubes, microscopic cylindrical structures that have a range of unusual properties and innovative applications. Inspired by an MIT project that employs them to detect hazardous gases in the air, Rao decided to try them in the water: “My solution uses carbon nanotubes to detect lead in water faster than any other current techniques. It has a carbon nanotube sensor, to which special atoms are added that react to lead,” she said.

The Tethys device prototype.

The Tethys device prototype.

When dipped in contaminated water, the special atoms react with lead molecules and add resistance to a flow of current in the nanotubes, which is then easily detected by the device: “The amount of resistance is proportional to the amount of lead in the water. The processor includes an attachment that sends the measurements over Bluetooth to a smartphone. The smartphone app, that I custom developed, captures this data and shows the results on a user-friendly scale.”

Rao thinks that Tethys will be better than both lab testing and strips: “Testing water in labs is the most accurate test available today, however, it takes time and requires expensive equipment not easily accessible to everybody. On the other end, test strips are easy to use, but they do not quantify the contamination and are sometimes inaccurate requiring multiple tests.”

“My solution addresses all of the above issues. It uses a disposable cartridge that can cost as low as a dollar, it is fast, accurate and it shows lead contamination levels on a regular smartphone, that are easy to interpret and take appropriate action,” she said.

The prize

The seventh-grader, who attends the STEM School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, originally submitted the idea to the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, an annual youth science and engineering competition for middle school students in the US, inaugurated in 2008. She was awarded a 3-month mentorship with Kathleen Shafer, a research specialist who develops new plastics technologies: “Gitanjali’s concept was at a very early stage at the beginning of our mentorship. She had thought of this idea earlier this year, only a few weeks before the submission deadline,” Shafer told CNN.

Gitanjali Rao with Kathleen Shafer.

Gitanjali Rao with Kathleen Shafer.

Along with nine other finalists, she then presented her work to a panel of 3M scientists and school representatives from across the country, and won: “I think the judges recognized the significant progress Gitanjali made over the summer, advancing her project from a cardboard box prototype to building out Tethys’ software and 3D-printed hardware. She also initiated some fundamental lab studies to investigate how aspects of her proposed sensor could work in the future,” said Shafer. She remains cautious about the commercial future of the device: “For commercial products, it’s important to establish technical feasibility, manufacturing feasibility, and a strong business case. As mentors we really focus on supporting the finalists in the early research phase of technical feasibility.”

Rao, on the other hand, has clear plans: “I hope to make it commercially available in the next year so that it’s in everybody’s hands.”


The information came from CNN.

I invite you to leave a link to a post about a remarkable woman, young woman, girl in the comments section.




After the very sad events that happened in the school shooting in Florida and watching the young students organizing their protests and working for change, I decided that this month I would like to honor the very young women who sacrificed and worked to make changes in the lives of the citizens of planet earth.  I came across the remarkable story of Sophie Scholl who has been quoted as saying:

“I’ll make no bargain with the Nazis.”

In 1942, anti-Nazi pamphlets titled “Flyers from the White Rose” began appearing overnight in public spaces around the Munich area. Thousands of leaflets distributed across Germany urged the German people to resist the Nazi system, openly denouncing the Führer (“Every word that comes from Hitler’s mouth is a lie!”) and boldly warning the regime: “We will not be silent. We are your bad conscience. The White Rose will not leave you in peace!”

The flyers attempted to encourage active opposition and dissent in a time when most German citizens seemed complacent or resigned to Hitler’s rule. Writing that “our present state is the dictatorship of evil”, one White Rose pamphlet asked:

Why do you allow these men who are in power to rob you step by step, openly and in secret, of one domain of your rights after another, until one day nothing at all will be left but a mechanized state system presided over by criminals? Is your spirit already so crushed by abuse that you forget it is your right — or rather, your moral duty — to eliminate this system?

This peaceful White Rose resistance movement — named after a symbol intended to represent purity and innocence in the face of evil — was founded, organized, and led by five German young people, including 20-year-old Munich University student Sophie Scholl.

As a teen, Sophie had initially joined the female wing of the Hitler Youth movement, the German Girls League, and even became a Squad Leader at the height of Hitler’s rise in 1935 — but it wasn’t long before she began to question and rebel. When her Jewish friends (already forbidden to join the League with her) began to disappear, and after being reprimanded for reading passages from a banned book by the Jewish writer Heinrich Heine to a group of younger girls, Sophie wrote in her diary of the deep depression she felt under the ‘nightmare’ of Nazi rule. In 1939, she went for a walk with her older sister, who said, “Hopefully there will be no war.” Sophie replied, “I hope there will be. Hopefully someone will stand up to Hitler.”

The outbreak of World War II came only a few months later, and Sophie’s boyfriend Fritz left to fight on the Eastern Front. His letters home, detailing war crimes carried out by German soldiers, were horrifying — and the more Sophie learned of Nazi atrocities in the East, the more her disillusionment and despair hardened into determination. After her father was arrested for speaking out against Hitler at his workplace, Sophie crept onto her university campus in the middle of the night to write “freedom” on the wall. Soon, an opportunity arose to channel her anger at the Nazi regime into organized, non-violent resistance: together with her brother Hans, she joined the White Rose, purchased an illegal typewriter, and threw herself into the writing and guerilla distribution of the pamphlets.

Sophie was arrested by the Gestapo in February 1943

It was while scattering the group’s sixth leaflet that Sophie and Hans were spotted by the campus janitor, who called the Gestapo on the Scholl siblings and held them until the secret police arrived. Under interrogation, Sophie was offered a reduced sentence if she would admit that her brother had led her astray. She refused, saying, “I won’t betray my brother or my principles. I’ll make no bargain with the Nazis.”

Appearing in court with a broken leg, Sophie faced her hearing with typical unflinching courage. “What we wrote and said is also believed by many others,” she proclaimed. “What does my death matter, if through us, thousands of people are awakened and stirred to action?”

The defendants were allowed no testimony, but Sophie’s sole statement during her trial is a testament to her fearless resolve: “Time and time again one hears it said that since we have been put into a conflicting world, we have to adapt to it. Oddly, this completely un-Christian idea is most often espoused by so-called Christians, of all people. How can we expect righteousness to prevail when there is hardly anyone who will give himself up to a righteous cause? I did the best that I could do for my nation. I therefore do not regret my conduct and will bear the consequences.”

Alongside Hans and their fellow White Rose member Cristoph Probst, Sophie was convicted of high treason and sentenced to execution by guillotine. Her indictment read:

She admits to having taken part in the preparing and distributing of leaflets. Together with her brother she drafted the text of the seditious ‘Leaflets of the Resistance in Germany’. In addition, she had a part in the purchasing of paper, envelopes and stencils, and together with her brother she actually prepared the duplicated copies of this leaflet. She put the prepared leaflets into various mailboxes, and she took part in the distribution of leaflets in Munich.

On the back of her copy of the indictment, Sophie wrote “freedom”.

Monument to the White Rose in front of the University of Munich

Before her beheading on February 22, 1943 —at the age of 21 years old — Sophie described a dream that she’d had the night before her trial. “It was a sunny day,” she recounted. “I was carrying a child, in a long white dress, to be christened. The path to the church led up a steep slope, but I held the child firmly. Then suddenly, a crevasse opened at my feet, gradually gaping wider and wider. I was able to put the child down safely before plunging into the abyss. The child is our idea. In spite of all obstacles, it will prevail.”

Today, the legacy of the White Rose movement lives on around the world as an enduring tribute to the moral courage of those willing to take a stand against any kind of tyranny, at any cost. Sophie and her fellow members of the White Rose resistance are remembered today as heroes in Germany — but the only surviving member, Franz Müller, says of his friends, “Hans and Sophie Scholl really did not want to be heroes. Friendship and freedom were the values most important to them.”

After the war — after the full extent of the Nazi atrocities became clear to all — Hitler’s personal secretary, Traudl Junge, recalled, “I was satisfied that I wasn’t personally to blame and that I hadn’t known about those things. I wasn’t aware of the extent. But one day I went past the memorial plaque which had been put up for Sophie Scholl, and I saw that she was born the same year as me, and she was executed the same year I started working for Hitler. And at that moment I actually sensed that it was no excuse to be young.”

As we look to history for lessons and inspiration, it is worth remembering the bravery of free-thinking, freedom-loving Sophie, and her refusal to look away or be silent.


The information came from Wikipedia.

I invite you to leave a link to a post about a remarkable woman, young woman, girl in the comments section.


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



“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.



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.



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.



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


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.”

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.


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

When I first started writing this regular feature until this year, I featured an image of Rosie the Riveter.  But I never really knew a whole lot about Rosie.  I just knew that she was an icon of the real heroines of World War 2 (many of them our mothers and grandmothers) who rolled up their sleeves and did what was necessary.  What follows is the obituary of the real Rosie and the quest to solve a mystery surrounding her identity.

Naomi Parker Fraley, the Real Rosie the Riveter, Dies at 96

A 1942 photograph of Naomi Parker Fraley that was the likely inspiration for the Rosie the Riveter poster. Getty Images

Unsung for seven decades, the real Rosie the Riveter was a California waitress named Naomi Parker Fraley.
Over the years, a welter of American women have been identified as the model for Rosie, the war worker of 1940s popular culture who became a feminist touchstone in the late 20th century.
Mrs. Fraley, who died on Saturday, at 96, in Longview, Wash., staked the most legitimate claim of all. But because her claim was eclipsed by another woman’s, she went unrecognized for more than 70 years.
“I didn’t want fame or fortune,” Mrs. Fraley told People magazine in 2016, when her connection to Rosie first became public. “But I did want my own identity.”
The search for the real Rosie is the story of one scholar’s six-year intellectual treasure hunt. It is also the story of the construction — and deconstruction — of an American legend.
“It turns out that almost everything we think about Rosie the Riveter is wrong,” that scholar, James J. Kimble, told The Omaha World-Herald in 2016. “Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.”
For Dr. Kimble, the quest for Rosie, which began in earnest in 2010, “became an obsession,” as he explained in an interview for this obituary in 2016.

Mrs. Fraley in 2015 with the Rosie the Riveter poster that became a feminist touchstone.


His research ultimately homed in on Mrs. Fraley, who had worked in a Navy machine shop during World War II.
Dr. Kimble, an associate professor of communication and the arts at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, reported his findings in “Rosie’s Secret Identity,” a 2016 article in the journal Rhetoric & Public Affairs.
The article brought journalists to Mrs. Fraley’s door at long last.
“The women of this country these days need some icons,” Mrs. Fraley said in the People magazine interview. “If they think I’m one, I’m happy.”
The confusion over Rosie’s identity stems partly from the fact that the name Rosie the Riveter has been applied to more than one cultural artifact.
The first was a wartime song of that name, by Redd Evans and John Jacob Loeb. It told of a munitions worker who “keeps a sharp lookout for sabotage / Sitting up there on the fuselage.” Recorded by the bandleader Kay Kyser and others, it became a hit.
The “Rosie” behind that song is well known: Rosalind P. Walter, a Long Island woman who was a riveter on Corsair fighter planes and is now a philanthropist, most notably a benefactor of public television.
Another Rosie sprang from Norman Rockwell, whose Saturday Evening Post cover of May 29, 1943, depicts a muscular woman in overalls (the name Rosie can be seen on her lunchbox), with a rivet gun on her lap and “Mein Kampf” crushed gleefully underfoot.
Rockwell’s model is known to have been a Vermont woman, Mary Doyle Keefe, who died in 2015.
But in between those two Rosies lay the object of contention: a wartime industrial poster displayed briefly in Westinghouse Electric Corporation plants in 1943.
Rendered in bold graphics and bright primary colors by the Pittsburgh artist J. Howard Miller, it depicts a young woman, clad in a work shirt and polka-dot bandanna. Flexing her arm, she declares, “We Can Do It!”

Mr. Miller’s poster was never meant for public display. It was intended only to deter absenteeism and strikes among Westinghouse employees in wartime.
For decades his poster remained all but forgotten. Then, in the early 1980s, a copy came to light — most likely from the National Archives in Washington. It quickly became a feminist symbol, and the name Rosie the Riveter was applied retrospectively to the woman it portrayed.
This newly anointed Rosie soon came to be considered the platonic form. It became ubiquitous on T-shirts, coffee mugs, posters and other memorabilia.
The image piqued the attention of women who had done wartime work. Several identified themselves as having been its inspiration.
The most plausible claim seemed to be that of Geraldine Doyle, who in 1942 worked briefly as a metal presser in a Michigan plant. Her claim centered in particular on a 1942 newspaper photograph.
Distributed by the Acme photo agency, the photograph showed a young woman, her hair in a polka-dot bandanna, at an industrial lathe. It was published widely in the spring and summer of 1942, though rarely with a caption identifying the woman or the factory.
In 1984, Mrs. Doyle saw a reprint of that photo in Modern Maturity magazine. She thought it resembled her younger self.
Ten years later, she came across the Miller poster, featured on the March 1994 cover of Smithsonian magazine. That image, she thought, resembled the woman at the lathe — and therefore resembled her.
By the end of the 1990s, the news media was identifying Mrs. Doyle as the inspiration for Mr. Miller’s Rosie. There the matter would very likely have rested, had it not been for Dr. Kimble’s curiosity.
It was not Mrs. Doyle’s claim per se that he found suspect: As he emphasized in the Times interview, she had made it in good faith.
What nettled him was the news media’s unquestioning reiteration of that claim. He embarked on a six-year odyssey to identify the woman at the lathe, and to determine whether that image had influenced Mr. Miller’s poster.
In the end, his detective work disclosed that the lathe worker was Naomi Parker Fraley.

After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the 20-year-old Naomi and her 18-year-old sister, Ada, went to work at the Naval Air Station in Alameda. They were assigned to the machine shop, where their duties included drilling, patching airplane wings and, fittingly, riveting.
It was there that the Acme photographer captured Naomi Parker, her hair tied in a bandanna for safety, at her lathe. She clipped the photo from the newspaper and kept it for decades.
After the war, she worked as a waitress at the Doll House, a restaurant in Palm Springs, Calif., popular with Hollywood stars. She married and had a family.
Years later, Mrs. Fraley encountered the Miller poster. “I did think it looked like me,” she told People, though she did not then connect it with the newspaper photo.
In 2011, Mrs. Fraley and her sister attended a reunion of female war workers at the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, Calif. There, prominently displayed, was a photo of the woman at the lathe — captioned as Geraldine Doyle.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Ms. Fraley told The Oakland Tribune in 2016. “I knew it was actually me in the photo.”
She wrote to the National Park Service, which administers the site. In reply, she received a letter asking for her help in determining “the true identity of the woman in the photograph.”
“As one might imagine,” Dr. Kimble wrote in 2016, Mrs. Fraley “was none too pleased to find that her identity was under dispute.”
As he searched for the woman at the lathe, Dr. Kimble scoured the internet, books, old newspapers and photo archives for a captioned copy of the image.
At last he found a copy from a vintage-photo dealer. It carried the photographer’s original caption, with the date — March 24, 1942 — and the location, Alameda.
Best of all was this line:
“Pretty Naomi Parker looks like she might catch her nose in the turret lathe she is operating.”
Dr. Kimble located Mrs. Fraley and her sister, Ada Wyn Parker Loy, then living together in Cottonwood, Calif. He visited them in 2015, whereupon Mrs. Fraley produced the cherished newspaper photo she had saved all those years.
“There is no question that she is the ‘lathe woman’ in the photograph,” Dr. Kimble said.
An essential question remained: Did that photograph influence Mr. Miller’s poster?
As Dr. Kimble emphasized, the connection is not conclusive: Mr. Miller left no heirs, and his personal papers are silent on the subject. But there is, he said, suggestive circumstantial evidence.
“The timing is pretty good,” he explained. “The poster appears in Westinghouse factories in February 1943. Presumably they’re created weeks, possibly months, ahead of time. So I imagine Miller’s working on it in the summer and fall of 1942.”
As Dr. Kimble also learned, the lathe photo was published in The Pittsburgh Press, in Mr. Miller’s hometown, on July 5, 1942. “So Miller very easily could have seen it,” he said.
Then there is the telltale polka-dot head scarf, and Mrs. Fraley’s resemblance to the Rosie of the poster. “We can rule her in as a good candidate for having inspired the poster,” Dr. Kimble said.

If Dr. Kimble exercised all due scholarly caution in identifying Mrs. Fraley as the inspiration for “We Can Do It!,” her views on the subject were unequivocal.
Interviewing Mrs. Fraley in 2016, The World-Herald asked her how it felt to be known publicly as Rosie the Riveter.
“Victory!” she cried. “Victory! Victory!”

The information in this post came from an obituary published in the New York Times.

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

To follow up on Osyth’s quote about real heroines, I was struck when I read this story about Amy Price and knew I had to share it with you.

Mom coordinates free lunch for kids when schools close in cold

Amy Price was not planning to feed more than 100 kids when she woke up on Wednesday morning.

The mother of three from Lorain County, Ohio, was thinking of her eighth-grade son who would be spending the day at home due to schools closing for cold temperatures when she had an idea.

“I was happy for my son to have the day off and the kids who didn’t have to walk in the freezing cold, but then I started thinking about the kids who may not eat,” Price, 41, an attorney and real estate agent, told ABC News. “I remember being a child services prosecutor and caseworkers mentioning sometimes that kids may not eat on snow days when they’re home from school.”

Price took to Facebook and posted a short message, which she shared on her own page and local community pages.

“If you live in the Lorain County area and your kids depend on school-provided breakfast and lunch to be able to eat today and they do not have school please inbox me,” she wrote. “Someone from my company will drop some items off to you. Please feel free to share.”

Price thought she would go to the grocery store and buy some meat for sandwiches and chips and fresh fruit to put in lunch bags but the overwhelming response changed her plan.

“Some people even contacted me for their neighbors and grandchildren and nieces and nephews,” she said. “They just kept pouring in.”

Price received so many messages that she instead called a local McDonald’s and place an order for more than 100 cheeseburgers and French fries.

Price, her husband, with their 13-year-old son in tow, and her adult daughter, with her 4-year-old in tow, then hand-delivered the lunches to homes across five cities.

“We knocked on every door,” Price said. “Some kids were home alone and were taught well and wouldn’t open the door and we’d leave it there and I know they got it because the parents would private message me with their thanks.

“One parent wrote, ‘You would have thought you gave my kid $100 he’s so excited,’” she recalled. “Everyone was just so appreciative and thankful.”

Price’s good deed quickly spread through the community. With schools closed for the rest of the week, other community members organized lunch runs for Thursday and Friday.

Some people donated money while others came in person to help, often bringing along their own kids who were home from school.

Another 100 lunches were delivered on Thursday and Friday, according to Price.

Price, a Lorain County native, said she expected on Wednesday to receive about 20 messages. She called it “heartbreaking and heartwarming” to see both the need in the community and how the community stepped in to help.

“I’m amazed by how much the community came together and I realized how naive I was to the need,” she said. “This was never my intention but I think it brought a lot of awareness in my community to the need out there.”

Around 45 percent of public school students in the state of Ohio are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, according to the most recent figures from the National Center for Education Statistics.

Price said the response from people needing help and wanting to donate help fills her with hope that her work for kids can continue.

“We’ve talked about possibly keeping donations in reserve for future snow days or doing something more large-scale,” she said. “I hope this will lead to something more permanent.”

“The momentum is there,” Price said.

PHOTO: Amy Price Mendez and her family delivered over 100 lunches to children in need throughout Lorain County, Ohio, Jan. 3, 2018.

The information for this post came from ABC News.
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