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~ A work in Progress~
Women's Studies are a very important area of my education. Mostly, because I am a woman. But also because seeing a new and different perspective of history, psychology, and other sciences has opened my eyes and allowed me to see the world in new colors. Women's Studies is often encompassed in a feminist perspective but its purpose also includes review and re-evaluation of all things in our world, without an androcentric influence.
Do you Believe:
Women matter as much as men do ?
Women have the right to determine their lives ?
Women's experiences matter?
Women have the right to tell the truth about their experiences
Women deserve more of whatever it is they are not getting enough because they are women:
respect, self-respect, education, safety, health, representation, money?
If you believe these things, then you are a feminist.
~ Naomi Wolf, Fire With Fire
Margaret Mead Susie Walking Bear Marian Anderson Sadie Alexander Mother Theresa Eleanor Roosevelt
Many people today do not think of themselves as feminists even if they believe the above. The term, FEMINIST, has gotten a bad rap over the years since the Women's Lib or Feminist Movement of the 1970's. The connotation that goes with the term Feminism insinuates radicalism or extreme demonstrations that often carries a negative assumption that feminists are man haters. This just isn't the case. Anyone, including men, that believes the above statements and wishes for more equality and less sterotyping can be a feminist and can make a difference.
I encourage everyone to take at least one Women's Studies Class during their education.
It just might open your eyes.
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Mead, Margaret (1901-78), American anthropologist, widely known for her studies of primitive societies and her contributions to social anthropology. Mead was born in Philadelphia on December 16, 1901, and was educated at Barnard College and at Columbia University. In 1926 she became assistant curator of ethnology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, and she subsequently served as associate curator (1942-64) and as curator (1964-69). She was director of research in contemporary cultures at Columbia University from 1948 to 1950 and adjunct professor of anthropology there after 1954. In September 1969 she was appointed full professor and head of the social science department in the Liberal Arts College of Fordham University at Lincoln Center in New York. She also served on various government and international commissions and was a controversial speaker on modern social issues. Participating in several field expeditions, Mead conducted notable research in New Guinea, Samoa, and Bali. Much of her work was devoted to a study of patterns of child rearing in various cultures. She also analyzed many problems in contemporary American society, particularly those affecting young people. Her interests were varied, including child care, adolescence, sexual behavior, and American character and culture. Mead died in New York City on November 15, 1978. Her writings include Coming of Age in Samoa (1928), Growing Up in New Guinea (1930), Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies (1935), Male and Female (1949), Soviet Attitudes Toward Authority (1951), New Lives for Old (1956), Culture and Commitment: A Study of the Generation Gap (1970), and her memoirs, Blackberry Winter (1972).
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Susie Walking Bear Yellowtail, RN
While working with the then Indian Health Service from 1929 to1931, Susie Walking Bear Yellowtail helped to bring modern health care to her own people and to end abuses in the Indian health care system, such as the sterilization of Native American women without their consent. She effectively communicated Native American culture and perspectives to non-Indians throughout the country then as well as throughout her public service career.
From 1930 to 1960, the Montana nurse traveled throughout North American reservations to assess the health, social and educational problems Native Americans faced. One of her assessment's revealed that acutely ill Native American children were literally dying on the backs of their mothers, who often had to walk 20 to 30 miles to get to one of the five hospitals that served 160,000 Navajo. She also provided midwifery services to Native American and other women in the Little Horn Valley for 30 years.
Through her work with the then Department of Health, Education and Welfare, the founder of the Native American Nurses Association was instrumental in winning tribal and government funding to help Native Americans enter the nursing profession. In 1962, Yellowtail received the President's Award for Outstanding Nursing Health Care.
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Marian Anderson, an African-American contralto, was born on February 27, 1897 in Philadelphia to John and Anna Anderson. Her father sold ice and coal, and her mother was a former teacher. Her talent for music was noted when she was still in elementary school. At the age of six she joined the junior choir of the Union Baptist Church in Philadelphia. In high school she sang with the all-black Philadelphia Choral Society. She graduated from South Philadelphia High School for Girls in 1921. After high school, she applied to an all-white music school in Philadelphia, but her application was rejected. She was told "We don't take colored." She continued her studies privately with world-famous voice teacher Giuseppe Boghetti, who can be credited with refining her technical skills and expanding her repertoire to include classical songs and arias.
In 1925, she entered a New York Philharmonic voice competition where she won first prize. Her debut with the Philharmonic on August 26, 1925 was a critical success. In the early 1930's she went on a concert tour of Europe, where her reputation was established. She performed at Town Hall and Carnegie Hall in New York. In the late 1930's she sang for the Roosevelts at the White House.
In 1939, Howard University sought to bring her to perform at Constitution Hall. The request was denied by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), who owned the Hall, because she was black. Eleanor Roosevelt, who sat on the board of the DAR, resigned her membership in protest over this decision and other prominent women followed suit. Mrs. Roosevelt then arranged a concert for Anderson at the Lincoln Memorial which was attended by seventy five thousand people. Millions more listened to the radio broadcast of this event. Four years later the DAR invited Anderson to take part in a concert for China Relief at Constitution Hall. She accepted.
In 1955, she became the first black person to join the Metropolitan Opera in New York. She sang at the inaugurals of Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy. In 1958 she was an alternate delegate to the United Nations. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963, a Congressional gold medal in 1978, the Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award in 1984 and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991. Marian Anderson died in Portland, Oregon on April 8, 1993.
Contributed by Danuta Bois, 1996.
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Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander, who accomplished many "firsts" during her lifetime, was born on January 2, 1898 in Philadelphia. Alexander was born in the house of her distinguished uncle, Henry Osawa Tanner, award-winning painter of religious subjects. She was the granddaughter of Benjamin Tucker Tanner, bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church, editor of the Christian Recorder from 1868 to1884 and founding editor of the African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, from 1884 to 1888.
Alexander attended high school at the M Street High School (later Dunbar High School) in Washington, D.C., where she was encouraged to continue her education by the historian, Carter G. Woodson. After high school, Alexander was persuaded by her mother to attend the University of Pennsylvania, where he family had strong ties. Her father, Aaron Albert Mossell, was a graduate of Lincoln University and the first African American to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1888. Her uncle was Louis Baxter Moore, the first African American to receive a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.
In 1918, Alexander received a B. S. in Education with senior honors, and in 1919, a M.A. in Economics, both from the University of Pennsylvania. In 1921, she received a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, becoming one of the first black women to receive a doctorate and the first African American to receive a Ph.D. in economics. The title of her dissertation was, "The Standard of Living among One Hundred Negro Migrant Families in Philadelphia." Alexander was proud of her graduation, "I can well remember marching down Broad Street from Mercantile Hall to the Academy of Music where there were photographers from all over the world taking my picture." While at the University of Pennsylvania, Alexander was active in the Gamma Chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, which was the first African-American sorority at the University. In 1921, she became the first president of the Grand Chapter, the national organization of Delta Sigma Theta, serving for five years.
After graduation from the University of Pennsylvania, she became an actuary with the black-owned North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company. In 1923, she married Raymond Pace Alexander who had just received his law degree from Harvard University and admitted to the Pennsylvania State Bar. Shortly after her marriage, she returned to college to study for a law degree. In 1927, she became the first African-American woman to receive a L.L. B. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and be admitted to the State Bar and practice law in Pennsylvania. She joined her husband's law firm and together they fought against discrimination and segregation in Philadelphia restaurants, hotels, and theaters. She was the first African-American woman to serve as assistant city solicitor of Philadelphia, and was elected secretary of the National Bar Association in 1943, the first woman to hold a national office in the Association.
In 1947, President Harry S. Truman appointed Alexander to the President's Committee on Civil Rights. The report, issued during her tenure, entitled To Secure These Rights, became the basis for future civil rights policy decisions and legislation. In 1959, she opened her own law office and practiced there until 1976 when she joined the law firm of Atkinson, Myers and Archie. While practicing law, Alexander was active in over thirty local and national civic organizations.
In 1974, Alexander received a fifth degree from the University of Pennsylvania, an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws. Part of the citation read: "As an active worker for civil rights, she has been a steady and forceful advocate on the national, state, and municipal scene, reminding people everywhere that freedoms are won not only by idealism but by persistence and will over a long time." In 1978, at the age of eighty-one, Alexander was appointed chairperson of the White House Conference on Aging. She died on November 1, 1989.
According to McLean Tobin, author of The Black Female Ph.D., "Black professional
women may shed light on the unique experience of a group that has conquered
double discrimination. In most cases being both black and female produces a
defeating situation." Sadie Alexander overcame this "double jeopardy,"
and paved the way for her "sisters" to pursue doctoral degrees.
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In 1952 Mother Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity began the work for which they have been noted ever since. Her order received permission from Calcutta officials to use a portion of the abandoned temple to Kali, the Hindu goddess of transition and destroyer of demons. Mother Teresa founded here the Kalighat Home for the Dying, which she named Nirmal Hriday (meaning "Pure Heart"). She and her fellow nuns gathered dying Indians off the streets of Calcutta and brought them to this home to care for them during the days before they died.
In an interview with Malcolm Muggeridge, in the book Something Beautiful for God, Mother Teresa tells how she for the first time picked up a woman from the street.
"The woman was half eaten up by rats and ants. I took her to the hospital, but they could do nothing for her. They only took her because I refused to go home unless something was done for her. After they cared for her, I went straight to the townhall and asked for a place where I could take these people, because that day I found more people dying in the street. The employee of health services brought me to the temple of Kali and showed me the "dormashalah" where the pilgrims used to rest after they worshipped the goddess Kali. The building was empty and he asked me if I wanted it. I was very glad with the offer for many reasons, but especially because it was the center of prayer for Hindus. Within 24 hours we brought our sick and suffering and started the Home for the Dying Destitutes."
Ever since then, thousands of men, women and children (more that 42,000) have been taken from the streets of Calcutta and transported to Nirmal Hriday. Approximately 19,000 of those have had the opportunity to die in an environment of kindness and love. In their last hours they met human and Divine Love, and could feel that they also were children of God. For those who didn't die, the Missionaries of Charity tried to find jobs or they were sent to homes where they could live happily some more years in a caring home.
Mother Teresa's first orphanage was started in 1953, while in 1957 she and
her Missionaries of Charity began working with lepers. In the years following,
her homes (she called them "tabernacles") have been established in
hundreds of locations in the world. You can contact them at one of their United
States locations at: Missionaries of Charity, 335 East 145th Street, Bronx,
New York 10451; or their Calcutta location: Missionaries of Charity, 54A, Acharya
Jagadish Chandra Bose Road, Calcutta 700 016, India.
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World-renowned, respected, and admired, Eleanor Roosevelt made many lasting and meaningful contributions to the welfare of mankind which have stood the rigorous test of time. Her humanitarian efforts on behalf of children, the oppressed and the poor earned her the love of millions throughout the world. She was, as President Truman said, "First Lady of the World."
Her entire life was dedicated to others, even in the face of serious setbacks. When her husband's promising career seemed doomed by the crippling effects of polio, her help and encouragement gave him the will to persevere that eventually brought him to the Presidency of the United States.
Both in private and public life, Mrs. Roosevelt manifested an unequaled concern for others. She taught at a school she had set up for poor children, ran a factory for the jobless and was an ardent advocate of equal rights--when that was an unpopular stand to take.
As First Lady, Mrs. Roosevelt was an energetic and outspoken representative of the needs of people suffering from the Great Depression. Many of her ideas were incorporated into the New Deal Social Welfare Program.
During World War 11, she expanded her activities to the world stage, working at the United Nations to help found UNICEF and establish the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Later, she was named chairman of the Human Rights Commission and, at age 61, was asked to serve as a delegate to the first meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations.
Eleanor Roosevelt was quoted as saying "You get more joy out of the giving to others, and should put a good deal of thought into the happiness you are able to give."
Eleanor Roosevelt is truly a paragon of greatness.
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