FEMINIST FRIDAY – MRS. SANTA CLAUS

In the spirit of the Christmas Season, I am dedicating this post to the hardworking and often overlooked woman from the North Pole:

MRS. SANTA CLAUS

Who feeds the reindeer all their hay?
Who wraps the gifts and packs the sleigh?
Who’s helping Santa every day?
Mrs. Santa Claus

Who keeps his red suit looking nice?
Who does he turn to for advice?
Who gives the brownies all their spice?
Mrs. Santa Claus

Continue reading

FEMINIST FRIDAY

Stock photograph of the famous World War II poster "We Can Do It!" showing Rosie the Riveter wearing a red bandana and flexing her muscles against a yellow background, created by J. Howard Miller. The woman that modeled for this image was actually named Geraldine Doyle and was a real riveter in the 1940s.

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Ovarian cancer accounts for only 4% of cancer in women, but due to its lethal nature, it is the 5th leading cause of cancer death in women. Since screening for ovarian cancer is currently inadequate, it’s important for women to be aware of this killing disease, its signs and symptoms and to actively campaign for research for a cure.  Gilda Radner valiantly fought her Ovarian Cancer and her husband Gene Wilder founded Gilda’s Club in her honor.  What follows is my love letter to Gilda.

At a time in my life when women were not even allowed to wear pants to work, I turned on late night television and discovered SNL and Gilda Radner.

I was completely amazed to watch a woman my age on a comedy show holding her own.  And, she was holding her own against men who would become the giants of the comedy industry.  She was funny and smart and not afraid to take chances.  Gilda did all of this and at the same time was the equal of the male comedians.  She didn’t use her sexuality, she wasn’t afraid to not be portrayed as pretty, she portrayed old and young and always seemed to be winking at you when she did.

Later in her life when Gilda got ovarian cancer, she again was fearless.  She took herself out in public and discussed her illness.  Again, this was something that was not done at that time.  You dealt with your illness behind closed doors back in the day.

To quote Amy Poehler, “What Gilda did is she accepted that life is ridiculous and just said well f… it!  What else are we going to do?  It’s beautiful, it’s crazy, it’s disappointing, it’s lonely, but why don’t we live while we’re alive.”

Gilda did all of that and was an inspiration.

 

GILDA YOU ROCK

I invite you to add a link to your post about an inspiring woman.

 

FEMINIST FRIDAY

I will never forget in 1973 the Battle of the Sexes.  Bobby Riggs was all over the media boasting that women tennis players were inferior to male tennis players.  Billie Jean King took up his challenge and broke that glass ceiling at the Houston Astrodome on September 20, 1973.  Here is her story.

International tennis star Billie Jean King won a record twenty Wimbledon championships and helped win equal treatment for women in sports.
Billie Jean (Moffitt) King was born on November 22, 1943, in the southern California city of Long Beach. She was the first of Willard and Betty Moffitt’s two children. Her father was an engineer for the fire department, and her mother was a receptionist at a medical center. Both she and her brother, Randy, who would become a professional baseball player, excelled in athletics as children and were encouraged by their parents. At fire department picnics, her father’s coworkers always wanted Billie Jean to play on their softball team.

Billie Jean developed an interest in tennis at age eleven and saved money to buy her first racket. When she was fourteen years old she won her first championship in a southern California tournament. She began receiving coaching at age fifteen from Alice Marble, a famous player from the 1930s. The product of a working-class family, Billie Jean soon found herself caught up in a country club sport. Despite her success on the court, the fact that tennis was mainly geared toward men would prove a personal challenge to her in later years.
In 1961 Billie Jean competed in her first Wimbledon tournament in England. Although she was defeated in the women’s singles, she teamed with Karen Hautze to win the doubles (two-person team) title. She married attorney Larry King in 1965. In 1966 she won her first Wimbledon singles championship and repeated in 1967. That same year she also won the U.S. Open singles title at Forest Hills, New York.

In 1968 King won both the women’s singles and doubles titles at Wimbledon. In 1971 she became the first woman athlete to win more than one hundred thousand dollars in a single year.
It was 1972, however, that would be King’s banner year. She won the women’s singles title at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, and the French Open. (These three tournaments plus the Australian Open now make up the “Grand Slam” of tennis.) For this feat, Sports Illustrated magazine named her “Sportswoman of the Year,” and Sports magazine deemed her “Tennis Player of the Year.”
In 1973 King again won Wimbledon’s singles and doubles championships. It was then that she began to openly criticize the low prize money offered to women competitors. She noted that women were receiving far less than men for what she considered equal ability and effort. Her statements on this issue led to the offer from a major U.S. drug manufacturer of a large sum of money to make the prize money at the U.S. Open equal for both men and women.

A victory for women’s liberation
King’s career coincided with the women’s liberation (feminist) movement of the 1970s. Her working-class upbringing in southern California and the second-class treatment she received as a professional athlete made her a natural spokesperson for the movement. Her role as a leader in the feminist cause reached its peak in September 1973, when she faced the 1939 men’s tennis champion Bobby Riggs (1918–1995) in a nationally televised match at the Astrodome in Houston, Texas. King easily beat the aging Riggs and emerged as the winner of what had been billed as the “Battle of the Sexes.”

In 1975 King won her sixth Wimbledon singles championship, but she announced that she would no longer compete in major events because of injuries to her knees. In all she won a record twenty Wimbledon championships (including singles, doubles, and mixed doubles). Today, women competing in professional athletic contests owe much to Billie Jean King. With her outstanding play and forceful attitude, she earned them the right to compete for the same money as men.

Later years
King helped to found the Women’s Tennis Association and served as its president from 1973 to 1975 and again from 1980 to 1981. After retiring from professional tennis in 1984, King and her husband have promoted coed (open to both men and women) team tennis. King has also been active in charitable events. In 1995 she joined the Virginia Slims legends tour along with Chris Evert (1954–) and Martina Navratilova (1956–) to raise money for the fight against acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS; a disease that destroys the body’s ability to fight off infection). King is also an investor in Discovery Zone, a chain of children’s “play lands” that promotes the equal athletic abilities of boys and girls.

King continues to be associated with the sport as a broadcaster, teacher, and coach. In 1999 and 2000 she coached the U.S. women’s team, whose members included Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Lindsay Davenport, and Jennifer Capriati, to victories in the international Federation Cup tournament.

 

BILLIE JEAN KING YOU ROCK!

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 above information came from

Encyclopedia of World Biography

World Biography Jo-Ki Billie Jean King Biography
Billie Jean King Biography

FEMINIST FRIDAY

Since I needed a “touch up” and a haircut this past week, my curiosity turned to the women involved in making us look beautiful and found Madam C. J. Walker,  who took an idea for hair care products and lifted herself from poverty to become the first woman millionaire.

Madam C.J. Walker Biography

Madam C.J. Walker, born Sarah Breedlove, created specialized hair products for African-American hair and was one of the first American women to become a self-made millionaire.

Early Life
Madam C.J. Walker was born Sarah Breedlove on December 23, 1867, on a cotton plantation near Delta, Louisiana. Her parents, Owen and Minerva, were recently freed slaves, and Sarah, who was their fifth child, was the first in her family to be free-born. Minerva Breedlove died in 1874 and Owen passed away the following year, both due to unknown causes, and Sarah became an orphan at the age of 7. After her parents’ passing, Sarah was sent to live with her sister, Louvinia, and her brother-in-law. The three moved to Vicksburg, Mississippi, in 1877, where Sarah picked cotton and was likely employed doing household work, although no documentation exists verifying her employment at the time.

At age 14, to escape both her oppressive working environment and the frequent mistreatment she endured at the hands of her brother-in-law, Sarah married a man named Moses McWilliams. On June 6, 1885, Sarah gave birth to a daughter, A’Lelia. When Moses died two years later, Sarah and A’Lelia moved to St. Louis, where Sarah’s brothers had established themselves as barbers. There, Sarah found work as a washerwoman, earning $1.50 a day—enough to send her daughter to the city’s public schools. She also attended public night school whenever she could. While in St. Louis, Breedlove met her second husband Charles J. Walker, who worked in advertising and would later help promote her hair care business.

Early Entrepreneurship
During the 1890s, Sarah Breedlove developed a scalp disorder that caused her to lose much of her hair, and she began to experiment with both home remedies and store-bought hair care treatments in an attempt to improve her condition. In 1905, Breedlove was hired as a commission agent by Annie Turnbo Malone—a successful, black, hair care product entrepreneur—and she moved to Denver, Colorado. While there, Breedlove’s husband Charles helped her create advertisements for a hair care treatment for African Americans that she was perfecting. Her husband also encouraged her to use the more recognizable name “Madam C.J. Walker,” by which she was thereafter known.
In 1907, Walker and her husband traveled around the South and Southeast promoting her products and giving lecture demonstrations of her “Walker Method”—involving her own formula for pomade, brushing and the use of heated combs.

Success and Philanthropy
As profits continued to grow, in 1908 Walker opened a factory and a beauty school in Pittsburgh, and by 1910, when Walker transferred her business operations to Indianapolis, the Madame C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company had become wildly successful, with profits that were the modern-day equivalent of several million dollars. In Indianapolis, the company not only manufactured cosmetics, but trained sales beauticians. These “Walker Agents” became well known throughout the black communities of the United States. In turn, they promoted Walker’s philosophy of “cleanliness and loveliness” as a means of advancing the status of African-Americans. An innovator, Walker organized clubs and conventions for her representatives, which recognized not only successful sales, but also philanthropic and educational efforts among African-Americans.
In 1913, Walker and Charles divorced, and she traveled throughout Latin America and the Caribbean promoting her business and recruiting others to teach her hair care methods. While her mother traveled, A’Lelia Walker helped facilitate the purchase of property in Harlem, New York, recognizing that the area would be an important base for future business operations. In 1916, upon returning from her travels, Walker moved to her new townhouse in Harlem. From there, she would continue to operate her business, while leaving the day-to-day operations of her factory in Indianapolis to its forelady.
Walker quickly immersed herself in Harlem’s social and political culture. She founded philanthropies that included educational scholarships and donations to homes for the elderly, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the National Conference on Lynching, among other organizations focused on improving the lives of African-Americans. She also donated the largest amount of money by an African-American toward the construction of an Indianapolis YMCA in 1913.

Death and Legacy
Madam C.J. Walker died of hypertension on May 25, 1919, at age 51, at the estate home she had built for herself in Irvington-on-Hudson, New York. At the time of her death, Walker was sole owner of her business, which was valued at more than $1 million. Her personal fortune was estimated at between $600,000 and $700,000. Today, Walker is widely credited as one of the first American women to become a self-made millionaire.
Walker left one-third of her estate to her daughter, A’Lelia Walker—who would also become well-known as an important part of the cultural Harlem Renaissance—and the remainder to various charities. Walker’s funeral took place at her home, Villa Lewaro, in Irvington-on-Hudson, which was designated a National Historic Landmark, and she was buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, New York.
In 1927, the Walker Building, an arts center that Walker had begun work on before her death, was opened in Indianapolis. An important African-American cultural center for decades, it is now a registered National Historic Landmark. In 1998, the United States Postal Service issued a stamp of Madam C.J. Walker as part of its “Black Heritage” series.

sara-breedlove

SARAH BREEDLOVE YOU ROCK!

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 above information is from an article that was posted at THE BIOGRAPHY CHANNEL.

FEMINIST FRIDAY

 

hans-brinker-or-the-silver-skates-by-mary-mapes-dodge

It has always fascinated me that when a book or a song are so perfectly created that you think the song or the tale surely must have originated from the country written about.  One example of this is Edelweiss by Oscar Hammerstein and another is Hans Brinker.  Here is the story of the woman who wrote Hans Brinker and The Silver Skates.

 Mary Mapes was born in New York City in 1831 into a prestigious New York family. Her father was an inventor and an entrepreneur who planned to revolutionize the farming industry with new chemical fertilizers. One of the investors in his fertilizer idea was a man named William Dodge, who later married young Mary Mapes.
Mary Mapes Dodge lived with her husband in New York City for five years, and had two sons. Then one night in 1858, her husband left the house and never came back. It turned out that he had drowned – possibly a suicide. She was devastated and took her sons to live on her father’s farm. She moved into a room in the attic, which she decorated with moss, leaves, flowers, and a painting of the Rhine River on the ceiling. She spent many hours in the attic playing with her sons and telling them stories, and eventually she began to write down the stories and submit them to magazines.
She had long been interested in writing something about Holland, although she’d never been there. She had some Dutch friends who had emigrated from Amsterdam, and she asked them to tell her everything they knew about their home country, what things looked like and smelled like, and the things people did and the food they ate and the stories they told their children at night. She used all of these details to write a children’s book called Hans Brinker; or, The Silver Skates (1865), which became a best-seller. In the 15 years after it was published, it received more reviews than any other children’s book in America.
The historical background of Holland that Mary Mapes Dodge wrote about in Hans Brinker; or, The Silver Skates (1865) included a story about a boy who saved Holland by sticking his finger in a dike. That story was her own invention, but it became so famous that many people believed it was an old Dutch folktale.
In 1872, Charles Scribner and two of his partners were thinking of developing a magazine for children, and they wrote to Dodge to ask for her advice. She replied: “The child’s magazine, needs to be stronger, truer, bolder, more uncompromising than the [adult’s]. … Let there be no sermonizing either, no wearisome spinning out of facts, no rattling of the dry bones of history. A child’s magazine is its pleasure ground.”
They were impressed enough by her response that they asked her to edit the children’s magazine, which became known as St. Nicholas. Dodge chose the name, because she said: “Is he not the boys’ and girls’ own Saint, the especial friend of young Americans? That he is. … And, what is more, isn’t he the kindest, best, and jolliest old dear that ever was known? Certainly again.”
St. Nicholas became one of the most successful children’s publications of all time. It included work by writers such as Louisa May Alcott, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, John Greenleaf Whittier, Alfred Tennyson, Rudyard Kipling, and Mark Twain. The magazine also encouraged young people to submit stories and poems for publication. Among the writers who first published their work in St. Nicholas were Ring Lardner, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Eudora Welty, Edmund Wilson, and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

mary-dodgeMARY MAPES DODGE YOU ROCK!

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 above information is from an article that was posted at The Writer’s Almanac.

FEMINIST FRIDAY

Today it is my pleasure to introduce you to Yulissa Arescurenaga.

Yulissa was born in Lima, Perus in 1991.  Immediately following her birth she was diagnosed with Down Syndrome.  From an early age Yulissa loved music.  With her parent’s support from an early age, she overcame her shyness and difficulties associated with Down Syndrome and adopted as her mantra “I CAN”.

Continue reading

FEMINIST FRIDAY

With Monday being the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr/’s life and accomplishments, I decided to go back and refresh my memory about his wife and co-worker in the struggle for racial equality CORETTA SCOTT KING.

What follows is an excerpt from her obituary in the New York Times:

“She was a woman born to struggle,” Mr. Young said, “and she has struggled and she has overcome.”

Mrs. King rose from rural poverty in Heiberger, Ala., to become an international symbol of the civil rights revolution of the 1960’s and a tireless advocate for social and political issues ranging from women’s rights to the struggle against apartheid in South Africa that followed in its wake.

She was studying music at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston in 1952 when she met a young graduate student in philosophy, who on their first date told her: “The four things that I look for in a wife are character, personality, intelligence and beauty. And you have them all.” A year later, she and Dr. King, then a young minister from a prominent Atlanta family, were married, beginning a remarkable partnership that ended with his assassination in Memphis on April 4, 1968.

Mrs. King did not hesitate to pick up his mantle, marching, even before her husband was buried, at the head of the striking garbage workers that he had gone to Memphis to champion. She then went on to lead the effort for a national holiday in his honor and to found the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Non-Violent Social Change in Atlanta, dedicated both to scholarship and to activism, where Dr. King is buried.

Mrs. King has been seen as an inspirational figure around the world, a tireless advocate for her husband’s causes and a woman of enormous spiritual depth who came to personify the ideals Dr. King fought for.

“She’ll be remembered as a strong woman whose grace and dignity held up the image of her husband as a man of peace, of racial justice, of fairness,” said the Rev. Joseph Lowery, who helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Dr. King and then served as its president for 20 years.

Continue reading

FEMINIST FRIDAY – WOMEN WHO HAVE CHANGED THE WORLD

Since Sunday brings us a brand new calendar year, I thought it might be fun to look back in history and read about women who changed the world.  I hope you enjoy the list and lets make 2017 the year we continue to go out and change the world for the good of all BECAUSE WE KNOW “WOMEN ROCK”.

WOMEN WHO CHANGED THE WORLD

A list of famous influential women, including women’s rights activists, poets, musicians, politicians, humanitarians and scientists courtesy of Biography on line.

sappho3Sappho (circa 570 BCE) One of the first known female writers. Much of her poetry has been lost but her immense reputation has remained. Plato referred to Sappho as one of the great 10 poets.

cleopatra21Cleopatra (69 BCE–30 BCE) The last Ptolemaic ruler of Egypt. Cleopatra sought to defend Egypt from the expanding Roman Empire. In doing so she formed relationships with two of Rome’s most powerful leaders, Marc Anthony and Julius Caesar.

mary-magdalene-repentent1Mary Magdalene (4 BCE–40BCE) Accounts from the Gospels and other sources suggest Mary Magdalene was one of Jesus’ most devoted followers. Mary Magdalene stood near Jesus at his crucifixion and was the first to see his resurrection.

boudica_3Boudicca (1st Century CE) Boudicca was an inspirational leader of the Britons. She led several tribes in revolt against the Roman occupation. Initially successful, her army of 100,000 sacked Colchester and then London. Her army was later defeated.

hildegard-von-bingenHildegard of Bingen (1098–1179) Mystic, author and composer. Hildegard of Bingen lived a withdrawn life, spending most of her time behind convent walls. However her writings, poetry and music were revelatory for the time period. She was consulted by popes, kings and influential people of the time. Her writings and music have influenced people to this day.

eleanor_of_aqutaine_1Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122–1204) The first Queen of France. Two of her sons Richard and John went on to become Kings of England. Educated, beautiful and highly articulate, Eleanor influenced the politics of western Europe through her alliances and influence over her sons.

joan_of_arc_200Joan of Arc (1412–1431) The patron saint of France, Joan of Arc inspired a French revolt against the occupation of the English. An unlikely hero, at the age of just 17, the diminutive Joan successfully led the French to victory at Orleans. Her later trial and martyrdom only heightened her mystique.

mirabai3Mirabai (1498–1565) Indian mystic and poet. Mirabai was born into a privileged Hindu family, but she forsook the expectations of a princess and spent her time as a mystic and devotee of Sri Krishna. She helped revitalise the tradition of bhakti (devotional) yoga in India.

teresa_of_avilaSt Teresa of Avila (1515–1582) Spanish mystic, poet and Carmelite reformer. St Teresa of Avila lived through the Spanish inquisition but avoided being placed on trial despite her mystical revelations. She helped to reform the tradition of Catholicism and steer the religion away from fanaticism.

catherine-medici1Catherine de Medici (1519–1589) Born in Florence, Italy, Catherine was married to the King of France at the age of 14. She was involved in interminable political machinations seeking to increase the power of her favoured sons. This led to the disastrous St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre.

elizabeth-11Elizabeth I (1533–1603) Queen of England during a time of great economic and social change, she saw England cemented as a Protestant country. During her reign she witnessed the defeat of the Spanish Armada leaving Britain to later become one of the world’s dominant superpowers.

Continue reading

FEMINIST FRIDAY – MRS. SANTA CLAUS

In the spirit of the Christmas Season, I am dedicating this post to the hardworking and often overlooked woman from the North Pole:

MRS. SANTA CLAUS

Who feeds the reindeer all their hay?
Who wraps the gifts and packs the sleigh?
Who’s helping Santa every day?
Mrs. Santa Claus

Who keeps his red suit looking nice?
Who does he turn to for advice?
Who gives the brownies all their spice?
Mrs. Santa Claus

Continue reading

FEMINIST FRIDAY

 

In the spirit of fun and frivolity of Halloween, I am going to share with you some very funny excerpts from a book by Sally Swain titled Great Housewives of Art.  I hope you enjoy this tongue in cheek feminist offering.

van-gogh

monet

klimtdegas

munch

toulese

book-cover

SALLY SWAIN YOU ROCK!

THANKS FOR STOPPING BY TODAY,

bernadette

If you have a feminist story or a story about an inspiring woman, please feel free to leave your link information in the comments section.