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Old 04-04-2011, 01:30 PM   #1
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Default When you think of women's herstory month who comes to mind first?

right now i'm trying to think of fat and important women in history. i'd love it if anyone could add to my list. i love women of all sizes but i'm especially keen to know what fat women have achieved. this thread is for any woman of any size that you admire and think should be in any women's history discussion though.

i'm kind liking Bella Abzug among many. she gave congress the shock treatment and she could wear the hell out of a hat. wherever you are i love you Bella!
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Old 04-04-2011, 02:26 PM   #2
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Hmmn. Well I'm funny and love to laugh, so I think of 'the last of the red hot mammas': Sophie Tucker. She's really the quintessential early-20th c. American story in some ways--an immigrant who came to America as an infant, a vaudeville performer (pianist, singer, entertainer), a New England jew who played the Borscht belt, and someone who was instrumental in unionizing American actors for the first time.

She's also quintessential in some less-than-rosy ways: she appreciated black culture and hired black writers and musicians but performed in blackface (in part b/c producers though she was too ugly to be a pretty little songstress w/o the comedic bent) and she was certainly defined by her size at times, as women still are (cf. her song: Nobody Loves a Fat Girl, But Oh How a Fat Girl Can Love).

Still, she was very talented and hugely (!) popular--she appeared in the Ziegfeld Follies and sold a katrillion tickets, after which the other women in the cast didn't want her on stage b/c there was no competing with her! Audiences loved her and I think that's a worthy legacy for any performer.

(was that the sort of thing you were looking for, Super?)
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Old 04-04-2011, 03:55 PM   #3
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Eleanor Roosevelt.

She was no babe, but she was the first lady of the world. She traveled around the disparaged US during the depression talking about FDR's plans, and getting involved in education and civil rights.



"Do what you feel in your heart to be right- for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't"

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"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."

"We are afraid to care too much, for fear that the other person does not care at all."

"We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot."
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Old 04-04-2011, 03:59 PM   #4
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Gotta say, I hate the use of "herstory" like that. Or at all, really.
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Old 04-04-2011, 04:08 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by penguin View Post
Gotta say, I hate the use of "herstory" like that. Or at all, really.
*sad trumpet*

Fair enough.

How about subbing in 'history' then and adding to this thread by choosing a woman who epitomizes women's history, Penguin?
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Old 04-11-2011, 03:22 PM   #6
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Default this is it?

This is it? 3 posts about different women and then a debbie downer post? Really? No one else? No?

Penguin, I'm holding my breath 'til you come back and lay your wisdom upon our heads. C'mon now.
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Old 04-11-2011, 03:32 PM   #7
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Madame Marie Skłodowska Curie was my first idol, role model (male or female) and her drive and accomplishments drove home for me at a very young age that women were capable of everything men were, even more. That we shared a Polish heritage was icing on the cake. She died from aplastic anemia, likely from the radium she worked with (she slept with a jar of it next to her bed), literally dying for her work.

She still is my idol and hero.



(7 November 1867 – 4 July 1934) was a Polish-born French physicist and chemist famous for her work on radioactivity. She was a pioneer in the field of radioactivity and the first person honored with two Nobel Prizes[1]—in physics and chemistry. She was also the first female professor at the University of Paris.

She was born Maria Skłodowska in Warsaw (in Russian held parts of Poland) and lived there until she was twenty-four. In 1891, she followed her older sister Bronisława to study in Paris, where she obtained her higher degrees and conducted her subsequent scientific work. She founded the Curie Institutes in Paris and Warsaw. Her husband Pierre Curie shared her Nobel prize in physics. Her daughter Irène Joliot-Curie and son-in-law, Frédéric Joliot-Curie, also shared a Nobel prize. She was the sole winner of the 1911 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Curie was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, and she is the only woman to win the award in two different fields and only person to win the award in multiple sciences.

Her achievements include the creation of a theory of radioactivity (a term she coined[2]), techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes, and the discovery of two new elements, polonium and radium. Under her direction, the world's first studies were conducted into the treatment of neoplasms -- including cancers -- using radioactive isotopes.

While an actively loyal French citizen, she never lost her sense of Polish identity. She named the first new chemical element that she discovered polonium (1898) for her native country,[3], during First World War became a member in the Committee of Free Poland(Komitet Wolnej Polski)[4] and in 1932 she founded a Radium Institute (now the Maria Skłodowska–Curie Institute of Oncology) in her home town, Warsaw, headed by her physician sister Bronisława.

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Old 04-11-2011, 03:48 PM   #8
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Mae west. i loved her humor smarts and way of making the world whatever she wanted to be. she was an excellent business woman , comedic writer and actress. she was in total control of her feminine power.
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Old 04-11-2011, 03:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jes View Post
This is it? 3 posts about different women and then a debbie downer post? Really? No one else? No?

Penguin, I'm holding my breath 'til you come back and lay your wisdom upon our heads. C'mon now.
I never claimed to have any 'wisdom' on the matter. I also disagree that it was a 'debbie downer' post. I find the use of 'herstory' and 'womyn' to be ridiculous.

I don't look to famous people to be role models, male or female. I don't know them. Even if they do great things in public, I don't know them, and I don't know what they're like behind closed doors.

I admire women like my sister, who is strong, intelligent, capable, clever, funny, gorgeous, proactive and just plain old awesome. I admire women like my mother who raised four children, worked part time, ran the house and went to university to finish her degree (in pre-computer years) while my father was often away with the army.
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Old 04-11-2011, 03:55 PM   #10
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Shirley Chisholm, the first black Presidential candidate for a major party--Democratic Congresswoman from the state of NY.
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Old 04-11-2011, 04:04 PM   #11
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Barbra Jordan, First black female member of the house of representatives from texas since reconstruction and one heck of a politician period.
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Old 04-11-2011, 04:11 PM   #12
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Donna Brazile, interim head of the DNC, a Harvard fellow, Professor of women and Gender studies at Georgetown among many other things. will you be the 1st female pres? just maybe!
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Old 04-11-2011, 04:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penguin View Post
I never claimed to have any 'wisdom' on the matter. I also disagree that it was a 'debbie downer' post. I find the use of 'herstory' and 'womyn' to be ridiculous.

I don't look to famous people to be role models, male or female. I don't know them. Even if they do great things in public, I don't know them, and I don't know what they're like behind closed doors.

I admire women like my sister, who is strong, intelligent, capable, clever, funny, gorgeous, proactive and just plain old awesome. I admire women like my mother who raised four children, worked part time, ran the house and went to university to finish her degree (in pre-computer years) while my father was often away with the army.
yeah it kinda was a Debbie Downer. sorry. i'm glad you have women you admire to add.
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Old 04-11-2011, 04:36 PM   #14
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"...disagree that it was a 'debbie downer' post.."
Are you using that term generically or specifically in reference to this? Would people in Oz, generally, get that reference?


Surprised at no mention of Janice Joplin or Mama Cass at this point.

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Old 04-11-2011, 05:37 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Yakatori View Post
Are you using that term generically or specifically in reference to this? Would people in Oz, generally, get that reference?


Surprised at no mention of Janice Joplin or Mama Cass at this point.
Those that watch SNL might think of her, but they wouldn't be a large part of the population. I use it in a more general sense.
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Old 04-11-2011, 06:51 PM   #16
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As a student of history..I must remark that without those who came before us (i.e. famous) we wouldn't be where we are today.....it was less than 100 a years ago that women in this country only attained suffrage - thank you Alice Paul and all those women who were beaten, arrested and nearly starved themselves to death so we could vote....

My sisters were not allowed to participate in athletics in high school - because they had vagina's. Thanks to women who never allowed men to define what sports they were and were not allowed to play we had Title 9, which, allowed me, to play golf. I was the only girl in many counties, and I competed against the boys, from the same tees and was the captain of my golf team my jr and sr years because I rocked. I had a golf scholarship...so, one of my hero's was Mildred Ella "Babe" Zaharias. She was a world famous athlete in track and field. She had gold and silver medals to her name. She didn't pick up a club until 1935, after years of professional basketball, vaudeville and gold medals. She made the cut in every PGA event entered except one...she dominated the game - women and men's. Negative, slanderous articles were written about her looks and that she was secretly a man...she would dominate the world of golf until cancer took her life too soon at 45.. she was playing at courses where women were not allowed to play...she was angering men that she was not "in her proper place" as she beat them...

It would be much better if she and her ilk stayed at home, got themselves prettied up and waited for the phone to ring.

– sportswriter Joe Williams, New York World-Telegram

Babe forever altered the course of sports for women forever. She has been ranked as one of the top 10 most important athletes in the 20th century.


Those are two of my favorite women.....there are several more...

The reality is men recorded history for most of time and my quote says it all..only women who refused to be silenced..who went against the norm were ever written about....so, here is all those women who defied conventional wisdom like Alice Paul and Babe.
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Old 04-11-2011, 07:43 PM   #17
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Wanted to share an interesting story of two women that came to mind; specifically, in the fields of math and computer science .....



Dr. Marjorie Lee Brown

Marjorie Lee Browne (9 Sept 1914-19 Oct 1979) was a notable mathematics educator, the second African-American woman to receive a doctoral degree in the U.S., and one of the first black women to receive a doctorate in mathematics in the U.S.

Browne was born in Tennessee in 1914. Her mother died when she was only two years old, and she was raised by her stepmother, Mary Taylor Lee, and her father, Lawrence Johnson Lee. Her father, a railway postal clerk, was also a "math whiz" who shared his passion for mathematics with his children. She attended LeMoyne High School, a private Methodist school started after the Civil War to offer education for African-Americans.

Read more about Marjorie Lee Browne in Notable Women of Mathematics by By Charlene Morrow and Teri Perl , free from Googlebooks.com. She attended Howard University, majoring in mathematics and graduating cum laude in 1935. After receiving her Bachelor's degree, she taught high school and college for a short term, including at Gilbert Academy in New Orleans.

She then applied to the University of Michigan graduate program in mathematics. Michigan accepted African-Americans, which many US educational institutions did not at the time. After working full-time at the historically black Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, and attending Michigan only during the summer, Browne's work was recognized and she earned a teaching fellowship at Michigan, attending full-time and completing her dissertation in 1949. Her dissertation, "Studies of One Parameter Subgroups of Certain Topological and Matrix Groups," was supervised by George Yuri Rainich. She was one of the first two African-American women in the US to earn a doctorate in mathematics, along with Evelyn Boyd Granville who also earned a Ph.D. in 1949.

Browne then joined the faculty at North Carolina College (now North Carolina Central University (NCCU)), where she taught and researched for thirty years. She was also the head of the department for much of her time at NCCU, from 1951 to 1970.

Browne's work on classical groups demonstrated simple proofs of important topological properties of and relations between classical groups. Her work in general focused on linear and matrix algebra.

Browne saw the importance of computer science early on, writing a $60,000 grant to IBM to bring a computer to NCCU in 1960 -- one of the first computers in academic computing, and probably the first at a historically black school.

Throughout her career, Browne worked to help gifted mathematics students, educating them and offering them financial support to pursue higher education. Notable students included Joseph Battle, William Fletcher, Asamoah Nkwanta, and Nathan Simms. She established summer institutes to provide continuing education in mathematics for high school teachers.

Marjorie Lee Browne died of a heart attack in Durham, North Carolina, on October 19, 1979.

Source:

James Logan HighSchool Courier

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Rear Admiral Dr. Grace Murray Hopper





Grace Hopper At Univac
============================

==================================

Rear Admiral Dr. Grace Murray Hopper was a remarkable woman who grandly rose to the challenges of programming the first computers. During her lifetime as a leader in the field of software development concepts, she contributed to the transition from primitive programming techniques to the use of sophisticated compilers. She believed that "we've always done it that way" was not necessarily a good reason to continue to do so.
Grace Brewster Murray was born on December 9, 1906 in New York City. In 1928 she graduated from Vassar College with a BA in mathematics and physics and joined the Vassar faculty. While an instructor at Vassar, she continued her studies in mathematics at Yale University, where she earned an MA in 1930 and a PhD in 1934. She was one of four women in a doctoral program of ten students, and her doctorate in mathematics was a rare accomplishment in its day.

In 1930 Grace Murray married Vincent Foster Hopper. (He died in 1945 during World War II, and they had no children.) She remained at Vassar as an associate professor until 1943, when she joined the United States Naval Reserve to assist her country in its wartime challenges. After USNR Midshipman's School-W, she was assigned to the Bureau of Ordnance Computation Project at Harvard University, where she worked at Harvard's Cruft Laboratories on the Mark series of computers. In 1946 Admiral Hopper resigned her leave of absence from Vassar to become a research fellow in engineering and applied physics at Harvard's Computation Laboratory. In 1949 she joined the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation as a Senior Mathematician. This group was purchased by Remington Rand in 1950, which in turn merged into the Sperry Corporation in 1955. Admiral Hopper took military leave from the Sperry Corporation from 1967 until her retirement in 1971.

Throughout her years in academia and industry, Admiral Hopper was a consultant and lecturer for the United States Naval Reserve. After a seven-month retirement, she returned to active duty in the Navy in 1967 as a leader in the Naval Data Automation Command. Upon her retirement from the Navy in 1986 with the rank of Rear Admiral, she immediately became a senior consultant to Digital Equipment Corporation, and remained there several years, working well into her eighties. She died in her sleep in Arlington, Virginia on January 1, 1992.

During her academic, industry, and military tenure, Admiral Hopper's numerous talents were apparent. She had outstanding technical skills, was a whiz at marketing, repeatedly demonstrated her business and political acumen, and never gave up on her good ideas.


Programming the First Computers
Perseverance was on of the personality traits that made Grace Murray Hopper a great leader. On her arrival at Cruft Laboratory she immediately encountered the Mark I computer. For her it was an attractive gadget, similar to the alarm clocks of her youth; she could hardly wait to disassemble it and figure it out. Admiral Hopper became the third person to program the Mark I. She received the Naval Ordnance Development Award for her pioneering applications programming success on the Mark I, Mark II, and Mark III computers.

A true visionary, Admiral Hopper conceptualized how a much wider audience could use the computer if there were tools that were both programmer-friendly and application-friendly. In pursuit of her vision she risked her career in 1949 to join the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation and provide businesses with computers. There she began yet another pioneering effort of UNIVAC I, the first large-scale electronic digital computer. To ease their task, Admiral Hopper encouraged programmers to collect and share common portions of programs. Even though these early shared libraries of code had to be copied by hand, they reduced errors, tedium, and duplication of effort.

By 1949 programs contained mnemonics that were transformed into binary code instructions executable by the computer. Admiral Hopper and her team extended this improvement on binary code with the development of her first compiler, the A-O. The A-O series of compilers translated symbolic mathematical code into machine code, and allowed the specification of call numbers assigned to the collected programming routines stored on magnetic tape. One could then simply specify the call numbers of the desired routines and the computer would "find them on the tape, bring them over and do the additions. This was the first compiler," she declared.

Admiral Hopper believed that the major obstacle to computers in non-scientific and business applications was the dearth of programmers for these far from user-friendly new machines. The key to opening up new worlds to computing, she knew, was the development and refinement of programming languages - languages that could be understood and used by people who were neither mathematicians nor computer experts. It took several years for her to demonstrate that this idea was feasible.


Early Compilers and Validation
Pursuing her belief that computer programs could be written in English, Admiral hopper moved forward with the development for Univac of the B-O compiler, later known as FLOW-MATIC. It was designed to translate a language that could be used for typical business tasks like automatic billing and payroll calculation. Using FLOW-MATIC, Admiral Hopper and her staff were able to make the UNIVAC I and II "understand" twenty statements in English. When she recommended that an entire programming language be developed using English words, however, she "was told very quickly that [she] couldn't do this because computers didn't understand English." It was three years before her idea was finally accepted; she published her first compiler paper in 1952.

Admiral Hopper actively participated in the first meetings to formulate specifications for a common business language. She was one of the two technical advisers to the resulting CODASYL Executive Committee, and several of her staff were members of the CODASYL Short Range Committee to define the basic COBOL language design. The design was greatly influenced by FLOW-MATIC. As one member of the Short Range Committee stated, "[FLOW-MATIC] was the only business-oriented programming language in use at the time COBOL development started... Without FLOW-MATIC we probably never would have had a COBOL." The first COBOL specifications appeared in 1959.

Admiral Hopper devoted much time to convincing business managers that English language compilers such as FLOW-MATIC and COBOL were feasible. She participated in a public demonstration by Sperry Corporation and RCA of COBOL compilers and the machine independence they provided. After her brief retirement from the Navy, Admiral Hopper led an effort to standardize COBOL and to persuade the entire Navy to use this high-level computer language. With her technical skills, she lead her team to develop useful COBOL manuals and tools. With her speaking skills, she convinced managers that they should learn to use them.

Another major effort in Admiral Hopper's life was the standardization of compilers. Under her direction, the Navy developed a set of programs and procedures for validating COBOL compilers. This concept of validation has had widespread impact on other programming languages and organizations; it eventually led to national and international standards and validation facilities for most programming languages.


Recognition
Admiral Grace Murray Hopper received many awards and commendations for her accomplishments. In 1969, she was awarded the first ever Computer Science Man-of-the-Year Award from the Data Processing Management Association. In 1971, the Sperry Corporation initiated an annual award in her name to honor young computer professionals for their significant contributions to computer science. In 1973, she became the first person from the United States and the first woman of any nationality to be made a Distinguished Fellow of the British Computer Society.

After four decades of pioneering work, Admiral Hopper felt her greatest contribution had been "all the young people I've trained." She was an inspirational professor and a much sought-after speaker, in some years she addressed more than 200 audiences. In her speeches Admiral Hopper often used analogies and examples that have become legendary. Once she presented a piece of wire about a foot long, and explained that it represented a nanosecond, since it was the maximum distance electricity could travel in wire in one-billionth of a second. She often contrasted this nanosecond with a microsecond - a coil of wire nearly a thousand feet long - as she encouraged programmers not to waste even a microsecond.

When Admiral Grace Murray Hopper died, the world lost an inspiration to women and scientists everywhere. Her outstanding contributions to computer science benefited academia, industry, and the military. Her work spanned programming languages, software development concepts, compiler verification, and data processing. Her early recognition of the potential for commercial applications of computers, and her leadership and perseverance in making this vision a reality, paved the way for modern data processing.


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This story is copied, with permission, from the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing 1994 conference proceedings.

Source:
Yale University Computer Science
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Old 04-11-2011, 08:37 PM   #18
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As a student of history..I must remark that without those who came before us (i.e. famous) we wouldn't be where we are today.....it was less than 100 a years ago that women in this country only attained suffrage - thank you Alice Paul and all those women who were beaten, arrested and nearly starved themselves to death so we could vote....
Alice Paul went to Penn (me, too) and I've held her original doctoral thesis in my hands--a treatise on Pennsylvania and state voting rights for women. It's awesome to picture her as a doctoral student, writing about something she feels such passion for, and knowing what she went on to do.

And Penguin, I know you never said you had any wisdom for us...that was kind of my point. I'm glad you came back and referenced important women in your life.
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Old 04-11-2011, 08:56 PM   #19
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Surprised at no mention of Janice Joplin or Mama Cass at this point.
Janis was the first woman I thought of when I started reading this thread, Amanda Palmer being the second. Very inspired by both of them.
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:30 AM   #20
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Surprised at no mention of Janice Joplin or Mama Cass at this point.
you just did
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:32 AM   #21
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Wow thanx Tony! those are two women i really didn't have much of a clue about.
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Old 04-12-2011, 04:18 PM   #22
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As a student of history..I must remark that without those who came before us (i.e. famous) we wouldn't be where we are today.....it was less than 100 a years ago that women in this country only attained suffrage - thank you Alice Paul and all those women who were beaten, arrested and nearly starved themselves to death so we could vote....

My sisters were not allowed to participate in athletics in high school - because they had vagina's. Thanks to women who never allowed men to define what sports they were and were not allowed to play we had Title 9, which, allowed me, to play golf. I was the only girl in many counties, and I competed against the boys, from the same tees and was the captain of my golf team my jr and sr years because I rocked. I had a golf scholarship...so, one of my hero's was Mildred Ella "Babe" Zaharias. She was a world famous athlete in track and field. She had gold and silver medals to her name. She didn't pick up a club until 1935, after years of professional basketball, vaudeville and gold medals. She made the cut in every PGA event entered except one...she dominated the game - women and men's. Negative, slanderous articles were written about her looks and that she was secretly a man...she would dominate the world of golf until cancer took her life too soon at 45.. she was playing at courses where women were not allowed to play...she was angering men that she was not "in her proper place" as she beat them...

It would be much better if she and her ilk stayed at home, got themselves prettied up and waited for the phone to ring.

– sportswriter Joe Williams, New York World-Telegram

Babe forever altered the course of sports for women forever. She has been ranked as one of the top 10 most important athletes in the 20th century.


Those are two of my favorite women.....there are several more...

The reality is men recorded history for most of time and my quote says it all..only women who refused to be silenced..who went against the norm were ever written about....so, here is all those women who defied conventional wisdom like Alice Paul and Babe.
Great post! You make important points about none of us having the rights we do if it hadn't been for the courageous women who gave the system hell. We stand on their backs.

Kudos for this thread.
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Old 04-13-2011, 04:16 AM   #23
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Alice Paul went to Penn (me, too) and I've held her original doctoral thesis in my hands--a treatise on Pennsylvania and state voting rights for women. It's awesome to picture her as a doctoral student, writing about something she feels such passion for, and knowing what she went on to do.
That is very, very cool! She and her contemporaries forced the issue and made Wilson pay attention.
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Old 04-13-2011, 04:19 AM   #24
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Great post! You make important points about none of us having the rights we do if it hadn't been for the courageous women who gave the system hell. We stand on their backs.

Kudos for this thread.
Thank you
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Old 04-13-2011, 06:34 AM   #25
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@Saoirse: I would've posted links to their respective Wikipages or extended articles/bios a la Tony had I found ones that I honestly felt did their unique lives and influence justice. Some of my favorite pictures and clips will have to do:

Mama Cass
mama%20cass%20elliot.jpg

@superodalisque: You know, on another note, your mention of Bella Abzug had me thinking along the lines of representatives of the counter-culture, hence the emphasis of music in my thinking; which, I feel, shouldn't be discounted in terms of it's significance. But, as far as a more formal type of influence, you have to consider so many of the "firsts," i.e. officials elected to high-office, some of whom, on the whole, could invoke as much antipathy as pride: Golda Meir, Margaret Thatcher, Indira Gandi, Benazir Bhutto. Perhaps a necessary consequence of wielding that type of power... As to women of size, one the more current examples that comes to mind would be Mary Harney; who was once (I think..) the youngest member of the Irish Senate of all time; although she was not elected but appointed into that position.
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