Posts Tagged Women’s History Month

Women’s History Month: quotes on feminism

The result is that we all know what feminists are. They are shrill, overly aggressive, man-hating, ball-busting, selfish, hairy, extremist, deliberately unattractive women with absolutely no sense of humor who see sexism at every turn.
Susan Douglas, Where the Girls Are

I told the women I did not believe in women’s rights or men’s rights but in human rights.
–Mary Harris Jones

Women want the seemingly impossible: that men treat them with the respect and fair-mindedness with which they treat most men.
— Joyce Carol Oates

I define as “feminist” any attempt to improve the lot of any group of women through female solidarity and a female perspective.
–Marilyn French, The War Against Women

Never met a wise man
If so it’s a woman

–Kurt Cobain

I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is; I only know that people cal me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that distinguish me from a doormat.
–Rebecca West

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Women’s History Month: focus on 1970s [guess I’ll only get to the 80s]

1970—writer Joyce Carol Oates receives National Book Award for the novel Them.

1970—jockey Diana Crump is the first woman to ride in the Kentucky Derby.

1971—singer Carole King releases Tapestry. More than 10 million copies are sold in the United States.

1971—feminist writers Gloria Steinem and Letty Cottin Pogrebin become two of the founding editors of Ms. magazine.

1972—novelist/ short-story writer Eudora Welty wins Pulitzer Prize for The Optimist’s Daughter.

1972—Congress passes the Equal Rights Amendment [ERA].

1972—Title IX of the Education Amendments added to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

1974—tennis player Chris Evert wins the French Open and Wimbledon.

1977—actress Meryl Streep appears in her first film, Julia.

1977—Debbi Fields founds Mrs. Fields Cookies, Inc.


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book review: Her Story

Title: Her Story: A Timeline of the Women Who Changed America
Author: Charlotte S. Waisman and Jill S. Tietjen
ISBN: 0061246514
Pages: 272
Publisher: Collins (April 1, 2008)
Category: non-fiction/ history
Review source: publisher
Rating: 5/5

From its first entry [Virginia Dare, first child born on American soil, 1587] to its last [Drew Gilpin Faust, named first female president of Harvard University, 2007], Her Storycontains an impressive collection of accomplished women in the fields of arts & entertainment [Martha Graham, Hattie McDaniel], science [Maria Goeppert-Mayer, Mabel MacFerran Rockwell], medicine [Virginia Apgar, Helen Brooke Taussig] , academia [Elizabeth Peabody, Shirley Ann Jackson], law [Marian Wright Edelman] , politics [Ann Richards, Shirley Chisholm], women’s issues [Lucy Stone, Betty Friedan], sports [Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Chris Evert], and business [Ann Fudge, Lillian Vernon]. The lavish book includes many female firsts and groundbreaking women. Whether from little-known names [Kaahumanu, Bessie Coleman, Genevieve Cline, Frances Bond Palmer, Jerrie Cobb] to more recognizable women [Emily Post, Ella Fitzgerald, Penny Marshall, Whoopie Goldberg, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross] or by achievement, the exquisite presentation of Her Story reminds the reader of the important contributions by women. This is an amazing, beautiful and fascinating guide to U.S. women’s history. Her Story must be shared.

A sampling of some of the women:

–Kaahumanu–co-ruler of Hawaii and abolishes many restrictions against women [1819]
–Margaret Fuller– starts Conversations for women, a salon set-up to discuss issues/ ideas [1839]
Soujourner Truth– becomes antislavery speaker and best known for “Ain’t I a Woman” speech [1843]
–Elizabeth Blackwell– first U.S. woman to receive M.D. degree [1849]
–Myrtella Miner– establishes the Miner School for Free Colored Girls [1851]
–Elizabeth Peabody–opens first U.S. kindergarten, in Boston [1860]
–Charlotte Forten Grimke– teaches illiterate southern slaves to read during the Civil War [1862]
–Edith Wharton– first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, for Age of Innocence [1920]
–Mabel MacFerran Rockwell– an electrical engineer and only woman on the project to design and install the power-generating machinery at the Hoover Dam [1935]
–Hattie McDaniel—first African American to win an Academy Award, Gone with the Wind [1940]
–Sarah Vaughan—jazz singer, wins amateur contest at Apollo Theatre [1942]
–Helen Brooke Taussig—pediatrician and cardiologist, develops cardiac catheterization operations which saves numerous infants from “blue baby” condition [1944]
–Virginia Apgar– physician, develops series of rapid checks [The Apgar score] to use on newborn infants to determine if immediate medical attention is needed [1952]
–Josephine Perfect Bay– president of A.M. Kidder and Co. and first woman to head a member firm of NYSE [New York Stock Exchange] [1956]
–Julia Child—begins television cooking show The French Chef [1963]
–Judith Graham Pool—identifies Factor VIII, the clotting factor in human plasma [1965]
–Sarah Weddington—attorney, defends women’s right to abortion before the U.S. Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade [1973]
–Ann Fudge– begins marketing career at General Mills where she becomes CEO later [1977]
–Maya Lin– sculptor, selected to design the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial [1981]
–Ellen Ochoa– electrical engineer, first Hispanic woman astronaut and also invents optical analysis systems [1990]
–Phylicia Rashad—first black actress to win Tony Award, A Raisin in the Sun [2004]


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Women’s History Month: Focus on Kathryn Bigelow and The Hurt Locker

Kathryn Bigelow is only the fourth WOMAN to be nominated for a BEST DIRECTOR Academy Award. She was the first woman to win the Directors Guild of America award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures. In addition, Kathryn Bigelow won Best Film and Best Director at the 2010 British Academy Film Awards and was nominated for a Golden Globe.

The opening scene of The Hurt Locker is a creepy version of Wall-E. A robot whisks out through dusty silence scanning back and force looking for something. Iraqis hang out of windows looking on. Children stand along the streets. Snipers hide on rooftops. Suddenly it finds what it is looking for and the men of Bravo Company know that there’s some sort of bomb out there that that needs to be disarmed and fast. It’s time to suit up and get out there.

The Army’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal [EOD] squad has 38 days left of their tour to search for roadside bombs on the streets of Baghdad. Staff Sergeant William James [Jeremy Renner– Dahmer, The Assassination of Jesse James] has recently taken over as team leader. He’s a renegade with a blatant and happy disregard for military protocol and basic safety measures. Sergeant J.T. Sanborn [Anthony Mackie– Half Nelson, We are Marshall] plays by the rules while Specialist Owen Eldridge [Brian Geraghty– We are Marshall, Jarhead] is the newbie on this counterforce team. It’s a high pressure job that allows for no mistakes and requires extreme calmness. Improvised Explosive Devices [IEDs] account for more than half of American hostile deaths. The Hurt Locker is a gritty, frenetic film packed to the brim with terror-filled moments.

Told he should put on a heavy Kevlar suit to disarm one bomb Sgt James [Renner] says: “If I’m gonna die, I’m gonna die comfortable.’’ He proceeds to disarm the bomb without the protective gear to the amazement of his crew who think he’s a cowboy. Is he fearless or gutsy, rowdy or reckless? Or is this all he knows and how he is most comfortable? James showers in full uniform. The blood pours off in puddles after a particularly tense mission. At home [where he is clearly dissatisfied], James keeps a box of remnants from disarmed bombs under his bed [his own Hurt Locker] while a bomb itself is obviously a Hurt Locker and the war could be a Hurt Locker. There’s no politics involved. It is all about this company and its job: to locate and disable bombs. Renner is a revelation in this break out role. His eyes are the windows into the risks and rewards of his job. The Hurt Locker is written by Mark Boal [In the Valley of Elah] who spent months embedded with troops in Iraq.

There is so much death and destruction, blood and devastation, that you cannot help but think about the reasons behind the violence. The Hurt Locker takes place in 2004 during the Gulf War but the emotions that one feels while watching the film transcend the setting and the war. Director Kathryn Bigelow [Point Break, Strange Days] has made her career directing male-centric, action films. The Hurt Locker succeeds with Bigelow adding elements of grace, empathy and serenity to the demeanor of each character. Within the chaos and danger of The Hurt Locker lies bravery and reasoning. The Hurt Locker is without a doubt one of the most potent films you will see this year.


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