Archive for ‘anniversaries’

September 4, 2010

Thank You for Ten Years of Awesomeness

by special correspondent

This isn't him, his hair was WAY brighter.

Dear Scott,
(aka, highlighter head, Apollo’s Beard, man with two or fewer brain cells…)

We have debated writing or sending you this letter for a very long time. Ten years, in fact.

Each time we thought we should send you this letter, we were put off by the thought that your obnoxious self would read it. But the older and more awesome our friendship grew, the more we realized we couldn’t let your stupidity get in the way of our gratitude.

You see, we need to thank you for being the catalyst of our friendship. It was you, ten years ago, who brought us together.

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September 2, 2010

“Women Are People, Too!” Saluting Betty Friedan

by d

Betty Friedan first sent shockwaves across America in 1960, with an article in Good Housekeeping titled, “Women Are People, Too!” It asked the essential question for women at that time: Is this all there is?

Betty Naomi Goldstein Friedan (1921-2006)

Image by Smithsonian Institution via Flickr

It is difficult for us, born some 30+ years after this article was published, to imagine what that world was like. It is extraordinary how much the world has changed in such a short time.

There are no words for this search in the millions of words written for women about women these past 20 years in columns, articles, and books by experts that tell us that our role as women is to seek fulfillment as wives and mothers. The voices of tradition and the voices of Freudian sophistication tell us that we can desire no greater destiny than to glory in our role as women, in our own femininity. They tell us how to catch a man and keep him; how to breast-feed children and handle toilet training, sibling rivalry, adolescent rebellion; how to buy a dishwasher, cook Grandmother’s bread and gourmet snails, build a swimming pool with our own hands; how to dress, look, and act more feminine, and make marriage more exciting; how to keep our husbands from dying young and our sons from growing into delinquents.

They tell us — the psychologists and psychoanalysts and sociologists who keep tracing the neuroses of child and man back to mother — that all our frustrations were caused by education and emancipation, the striving for independence and equality with men, which made American women unfeminine. They tell us that the truly feminine woman turns her back on the careers, the higher education, the political rights, the opportunity to shape the major decisions of society for which the old-fashioned feminists fought.

Now a thousand expert voices pay tribute to our devotion from earliest girlhood to finding the husband and bearing the children who will give us happiness. They tell us to pity the “neurotic,” “unfeminine,” “unhappy” women who once wanted to be poets or physicists or Presidents, or whatever they had it in them to be. For a woman to have such aspirations, interests, goals of her own, the experts keep telling us, impairs not only her ability to love her husband and children but her ability to achieve her own sexual fulfillment.

How can a woman shut her ears to all the voices of the experts and listen instead to the voice inside herself that tells her something else? This is the question women are asking themselves and seeking to answer all over the country. I know, because in the past few years I have interviewed thousands of them. Sometimes a woman says, “I feel empty, somehow,” or “useless,” or “incomplete,” or she says it is “as if I do not exist.”

Good Housekeeping has run the piece again in their September 2010 issue. With it are comments from their readers at the time.

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August 26, 2010

Women’s Equality Day: 90 Years of American Women Voters

by subterfusex
19th Amendment

Image via Wikipedia

On August 26th, 1920 an amendment was made to the US Constitution. It read:

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Two little sentences granting women the right to vote, and it took decades to make it happen.

In 1971, a resolution was passed to make today Women’s Equality Day, celebrating this hard-won achievement.

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July 4, 2010

Independence Day

by subterfusex

Abigail Adams

Dear Abigail,

We are now some 230 years removed from your extraordinary doings, but your words have remained with us. Indeed, though you thought your correspondence with your much admir’d husband John ought to remain private, we hope you can understand the great gift it has become for us, your inheritors.

Your letters show that you and John had an enviable relationship, one of true partners in a time when women were still considered things more than people. You urged him to change this, proving for all time that American women have always wanted to be equal. Better yet, you did so in the most charming and firm manner, making clear your position and your seriousness.

“I cannot say that I think you are very generous to the ladies; for, whilst you are proclaiming peace and good-will to men, emancipating all nations, you insist upon retaining an absolute power over wives.

“But you must remember that arbitrary power is like most other things which are very hard, very liable to be broken; and, notwithstanding all your wise laws and maxims, we have it in our power, not only to free ourselves, but to subdue our masters, and without violence, throw both your natural and legal authority at our feet.” (May 7th, 1776)

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