Celebrating Women’s History

Celebrating Women’s History

Celebrating Women’s History

By Wes & Anna Hessel

**On the last day of Women’s History Month let’s celebrate the women in our lives. **

 

History In The Making

As Women’s History Month comes to a close, we must remember that the part women play in history is never-ending.  The month of March celebrates women’s contributions to history, in conjunction with International Women’s Day (March 8th).  The 2021 Women’s History Month topic salutes strength of women in times of difficulty.  During 2020, festivities for the centennial of women’s suffrage had to be postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions, therefore last year’s theme, “Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to be Silenced”, has been extended to this year, as we honor the election of our first female Vice-President, Kamala Harris.

Glass Is Trash

This empowering subject, designated by the National Women’s History Alliance, pays respect to the ladies that paved the way for women’s rights.  Now that the second highest office in the land has had its see-through ceiling shattered, the view to the top looks clear for breakthrough when President Biden hands over the reins.  Ladies, we should make sure we are wearing cute shoes and watch where we step, as there is glass everywhere, and more to come.

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30 Quotes Celebrating Women

30 Quotes Celebrating Women

The International Day of the Woman

30 Quotes Celebrating Women:

International Women’s Day

D. S. Mitchell

March 8th is celebrated world wide as International Women’s Day. I thought it might be fun to just look at some famous quotes celebrating women.

1.) “Here’s to strong women: May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.” –Unknown 

2.) “To tell a woman everything she cannot do is to tell her what she can.” –Spanish Proverb

3.) “Well-behaved women rarely make history.” –Eleanor Roosevelt

4.) “The best protection any woman can have is courage.” –Elizabeth Cady Stanton

5.) “Where there is a woman, there is magic.” –Ntozake Shange

6.) “You were given this life because you are strong enough to live it.” –Unknown

7.) “Women are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the world.” –Hilary Clinton

8.) “Feminism is for everyone.”-Bell Hooks 

9.) “There’s nothing a man can do that I can’t do better and in heels.” –Ginger Rogers

10.) “Above all, be the heroine of your life. Not the victim.” –Nora Ephron

11.) “Girls should never be afraid to be smart.” –Emma Watson

12.) “Life is tough, my darling, but so are you.” –Stephanie Bennett-Henry

13.) “A strong woman looks a challenge in the eye and gives it a wink.” –Gina Carey

14.) “She wasn’t looking for a knight. She was looking for a sword.” –Atticus

15.) “A strong woman stands up for herself. A stronger woman stands up for everyone else.” –Unknown

16.) “Feminism isn’t about making women strong. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.” –G.D. Anderson

17.) “You can always tell who the strong women are. They are the ones you see building one another up instead of tearing each other down.” –Unknown 

18.) “The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who’s going to stop me.” –Ayn Rand

19.) “I’m tough, I’m ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay.” –Madonna

20.) “A woman is like a tea bag: You can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” –Eleanor Roosevelt

21.) “A woman should be like a single flower—not a whole bouquet.” –Anna Held

22.) “I know what I bring to the table… So trust me when I say I’m not afraid to eat alone.” –Unknown

23.) “Women are the real architects of society.” –Cher

24.) “When women wake, mountains move.” Chinese Proverb

25.)  “She’s a strong cup of black coffee in a world that is drunk on the cheap wine of shallow love.” –Unknown

26.) “Never be ashamed of a scar. It simply means you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you.” –Unknown

27.) “I expect woman will be the last thing civilized by man.” –George Meredith

28.) “Women are made to be loved, not understood.” –Oscar Wilde

29.) “The age of a woman doesn’t mean a thing. The best tunes are played on the oldest fiddles.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

30.) “In our society, the women who break down barriers are those who ignore limits” –Arnold Schwarzenegger

https://www.calamitypolitics.com/2017/03/29/quotes-on-courage/

 

Women’s Suffrage: 100 Years In Retrospect

Women’s Suffrage: 100 Years in Retrospect

By Anna Hessel

 A Century and Counting

Our nation just celebrated the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution which gave women the universal right to vote.  “You’ve come a long way, baby…” but we have an even longer way to go.  The women’s suffrage movement was a decades-long fight, giving females their voting rights, but the battle for equality is far from over.

The Fight Heats Up

In 1875, women’s suffrage had reached a monumental mark when Mrs. Virginia Minor filed suit against the State of Missouri for her constitutional right to vote in the presidential election.  The case wound up in the Supreme Court.  Unanimously, the justices claimed the privilege to vote was not a fundamental right of United States citizenship, and further asserted the denial of her voting rights was not protected by the 14th Amendment.

Coming Together for the Common Good

Before 1890, the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA), specifically worked toward securing a woman’s right to vote by a federal Constitutional amendment.   The National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) had their focus on the passage of women’s voting rights legislation on a state-by-state-basis.  That year they joined forces, becoming the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA).  Strategical arguments had threatened to derail progress towards the goal on more than one occasion.

The Twenties Roar Right Out of the Starting Block

The 1920 ratification brought enormous changes for ladies in that decade.  These “Thoroughly Modern Millie’s” were scandalous, bobbing their hair, tying their pearls in a knot, painting their faces, and raising their hemlines.  Men found themselves in a quandary, as these new-fangled females were standing strong as empowered women.  As the musical “Thoroughly Modern Millie” put it about the watershed change of the time:

There are those

I suppose

Think we’re mad

Heaven knows

The world has gone

To rack and to ruin

What we think is chic, unique and quite adorable

They think is odd and Sodom and Gomorrah-ble

But the fact is

Everything today is thoroughly modern

Check your personality

Everything today makes yesterday slow

Better face reality

It’s not insanity

Says Vanity Fair

In fact, it’s stylish

To raise your skirts and bob your hair

In a rumble seat, the world is so cozy

If the boy is kissable

And that tango dance they wouldn’t allow

Now is quite permissible

Goodbye, good, goody girl

I’m changing and how

So beat the drums ’cause here comes

Thoroughly modern Millie now!

Everything today is thoroughly modern

Bands are getting jazzier

Everything today is starting to go

Cars are getting snazzier

Men say it’s criminal what women’ll do

What they’re forgetting is, this is 1922

Have you seen the way they kiss in the movies

Isn’t it delectable?

Painting lips and pencil-lining your brow

Now is quite respectable

Goodbye, good, goody girl

I’m changing and how

So beat the drums, ’cause here comes

Thoroughly modern Millie now!

Inspired by a 1967 Musical About 1922

I remember singing and dancing to that song at the age of 15 – it was the opening number for my modeling school’s graduation.  I was completely inspired by those lyrics, and I was armed with my Great Lash Mascara, Bonnie Bell Jumbo Lip Smacker in the very grown-up flavor of watermelon, Aqua Net big hair, and brand new platform sandals.  Just like those teenage girls getting their first experience with cosmetics when Bonnie Bell rolled out their skin care line in 1927, I was ready for these new, “all the rage” conveniences.

Equality is Coming…

I stood on street corners with NOW (National Organization for Women), asking people to, “go to bat for girls in sports”.  And, of course, doing everything I could to see the ERA ratified.  After all, I was almost 16; surely by the time I finished my education and joined the workforce, equal rights and equal pay would be a given.  My enthusiastic, “Young Miss” brain was mistaken – the fight continues on.

Give ‘Em an Inch…

The 19th Amendment changed women’s lives in many ways, moving closer to equal rights in many aspects of life in the United States of America.  Ladies were now advocating for education, birth control, sex education, equal wages, job opportunities, and the like.  Another baby of the 1920’s, the original ERA was written in 1921 by fellow activist attorneys and feminists Alice Paul and Crystal Catherine Eastman.  Ms. Paul held three law degrees and had been an instrumental leader of the women’s suffrage movement.  Ms. Eastman, of Erie, PA,  was a socialist, anti-militarist, journalist, and lawyer, educated at Vassar, Columbia, and NYU.

Persistence Pays Off, Sort Of…

The original phrasing read,  “No political, civil, or legal disabilities or inequalities on account of sex or on account of marriage, unless applying equally to both sexes, shall exist within the United States or any territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof.”  The amendment was first introduced in Congress in 1923, and in some form had been resubmitted in every subsequent session for almost fifty years, until it’s passage in 1972.

Still Trying

Virginia was the 38th state to ratify the ERA since it was proposed in 1972.  That ratification pushed the ERA across the threshold, however, the original deadline had run out in March of 1979.  But President Jimmy Carter signed into law an extension passed by Congress, granting additional time for the ERA to be ratified until June 1982.  Prior to this, though, five states had “rescinded” their ratifications, the legality of which still remains unresolved.  Many hurdles still remain in the amendment’s path.  It received bipartisan support with recent ratifications by Illinois in 2018 and Nevada just the year before, but these occurred after the inactivity of four decades.  Whether the amendment protecting the equal rights of women will actually be added to our Constitution remains yet to be seen.

Still Fighting

In the words of the immortal Shirley Chisholm, “You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining.  You make progress by implementing ideas.”  “I want history to remember me…not as the first black woman to have made a bid for the Presidency of the United States, but as a black woman who lived in the 20th century and who dared to be herself.  I want to be remembered as a catalyst for change in America.”  “At present, our country needs women’s idealism and determination, perhaps more in politics than anywhere else.”

“Why shouldn’t I run for president?”

“I have certainly met much more discrimination in terms of being a woman than being black, in the field of politics.”  “I ran for the presidency, despite hopeless odds, to demonstrate the sheer will and refusal to accept the status quo.”  Those of us that watched the Democratic National Convention will recall with pride a video clip of Ms. Chisholm exclaiming, “Why shouldn’t I run for president?”

Progress is Made but Higher Goals Await

Many women now serve as elected officials, holding public office, but none has yet to break the ultimate glass ceiling of our nation.  Hilary Clinton came very close, winning the popular vote against Donald Trump in the 2016 election, but lost by electoral votes.  Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris may just be the break we need to shatter the enormous barrier.  Marginalized minorities – Native Americans, Hispanics, African-Americans, and Asian women – still fall through the cracks.

Somethings Never Change

Outlandish arguments against the women’s suffrage movement are still in effect today, still being used against women’s rights.  For example, many men feared women voters might disrupt harmonious family relations, distracting away from family values and the institution of marriage, with the possible consequence of divorce.  Why women even may go to the extremes of wearing pants, cowboy boots, and neckties.

In Their Own Words

Both the 19th Amendment and the Equal Rights Amendment are succinct and simplistic in their directness:  Amendment XIX: “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.”

Equal Rights Amendment:  “Section 1: Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. Section 2: The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article. Section 3: This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.”

The Vice Squad’s First Member, Almost

We as women voters owe a debt of gratitude to these sash-wearing, determined ladies of yesteryear, and those that followed in their stead.  Geraldine “Gerry” Anne Ferraro, the first woman to be nominated as a vice-presidential candidate by a major political party, quipped, “Vice president-it has such a nice ring to it!”  She faced much opposition, saying, ”The polls indicated that I was feisty, that I was tough, that I had a sense of humor, but they weren’t quite sure if they liked me, and they didn’t know whether or not I was sensitive.  I readily admit I was not an expert on foreign policy, but I was knowledgeable, and I didn’t need a man who was the Vice-President of the United States and my opponent turning around and putting me down.”  Ms. Ferraro, who’s desk drawer was filled with all kinds of prayers, humbly revered her place in history.

Dare to Dream

Author, feminist, and journalist extrordinaire Gloria Steinem reminds us, “Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities.  Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.”  Vocalist Helen Reddy recorded an anthem for empowered women everywhere:

I am woman, hear me roar

In numbers too big to ignore

And I know too much to go back an’ pretend

‘Cause I’ve heard it all before

You can bend but never break me

‘Cause it only serves to make me

More determined to achieve my final goal

And I come back even stronger

Not a novice any longer

‘Cause you’ve deepened the conviction in my soul

I am woman watch me grow

See me standing toe to toe

As I spread my lovin’ arms across the land

But I’m still an embryo

With a long, long way to go

Until I make my brother understand

Oh yes, I am wise

But it’s wisdom born of pain

Yes, I’ve paid the price

But look how much I gained

If I have to, I can face anything

I am strong

(Strong)

I am invincible

(Invincible)

I am woman

Take a Stand, Make a Plan…to Vote

For the women who planned and marched, setting the bar high for those of us that followed a century into the future, I will honor your suffrage and legacy.  With a blue vote to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, I will take my stand for equality, so that the next chapter in our history may be written with dignity and relevance.  Women will decide this election; let us pave the way for our first female Vice-President of the United States.  Ladies, “this is our moment.  This is our mission.” (Joe Biden)

Biden Metrics

Biden Metrics

By D. S. Mitchell

The Breakfast Club

On Friday morning, May 22, 2020 Joe Biden ventured ‘virtually’ out of his basement to talk to well-known radio host, Charlamagne Tha God, on his nationally syndicated radio program, “The Breakfast Club”. Charlamagne is a Black man, with a large Black audience. That means he has a lot of power to influence Black voters, a great many of them younger voters. Joe Biden’s interview ruffled a lot of feathers. And now 48 hours later the cable television shows are filled with chest thumping Trump supporters, Democratic hand wringers, and Biden apologizers.

Who I Am

Who am I to weigh in on this issue? Some would call me an elderly White woman. I would describe myself as a writer-journalist. It is all about perspective. First, I want to make it clear that by writing this article I am in no way attempting to minimize or be dismissive of Black suffering in this country. I am in no way putting myself into the shoes of any Black or Brown person. But, I will say, that Black and Brown people are not alone in their struggle against discrimination, including economic and physical abuse. As a woman I want to say I have been denied equal pay. I have been denied credit. I have faced verbal and physical attack, including rape. This country, for all of its proclaimed “greatness” is far less than what it could and should be.

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REBEL GIRLS: Women In Combat

REBEL GIRLS: Women in Combat 

By Trevor K. McNeil

Unfair Exclusion

Women in combat comes across like a complex issue. Particularly in the United States with its military culture. As demonstrated by the fact that it had compulsory service longer than most other comparable Western democracies. Not stopping it entirely until 1973. There is still a Selective Service System that requires all male born US citizens to register for potential conscription by their 18th birthday. Which has raised questions as to whether the draft should be brought back and force women as well as men to serve. Raising and rehashing questions as to whether women are physically and mentally capable of combat.

Not An Enemy In the World

Generally speaking, bringing the draft back to America is unnecessary. America already has one of he largest military’s in the world and no viable enemies in terms of conventional warfare. Are there rogue states who could launch a nuclear weapon? Possibly but direct invasion by land, sea or air is essentially impossible. And almost always has been. The United States has not been directly attacked by an official government actor since WWII. And even that was not the mainland United States, in fact at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack, Hawaii was not even a state.

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GLOBAL SEX TRAFFICKING: PART VI-AUSTRALIA

GLOBAL SEX TRAFFICKING:

PART VI – AUSTRALIA 

By Trevor K. McNeil

On the Surface

Australia is generally seen as a tough, sporty, happy-go-lucky western democracy. A small isolated continent surrounded by water in a geographic region known as Oceania. A tangle of contradictions and mix of traditions making it one of the most unique, unusual and interesting nations on earth. Sadly it is also a tier 1 level country in terms of international human and sex trafficking. This despite consistently complying with minimum requirements.

Not Enough

It turns out the minimum is not quite enough. Trafficking is rampant in Australia in terms of both labor and sexual exploitation. It is difficult to know exactly how bad the problem is, as there is little reliable data on the issue. The government is quite scattershot in terms of acknowledging the issue. Often downplaying it as not to sully their international reputation.

No Significant Steps

According to a report by the United States Justice Department, while levels of sex trafficking are relatively low, it remains a persistent problem. Mostly due to a lack of significant steps on the part of the government. Of the 87 cases of sex trafficking in 2014, less than half ended in prosecution. Despite cases such as a 15-year-old girl who, after suffering horrific abuse requiring surgery for severe damage to her anus, was sold to an undercover police officer for $5,000.

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Global Sex Trafficking: Part V-North America

Global Sex Trafficking:

Part V: North America

By Trevor K. McNeil

“Sex terrorism is the use of illicit sex, violence and threats to intimidate or coerce to the state of fear and submission. Sex trafficking includes the transportation of persons by means of coercion, deception and /or force into exploitative and slavery-like conditions, and is commonly associated with organized crime,”–Erika Klein, activist, writer.

Show Me The Money

Poverty and the desire to get out of it can be a very powerful motivator, although capitalism can also be a motivating factor. For everyone who “pulls themselves up by their boot-straps,” as per the American Delusion, there are more who pursue a darker journey. Taking advantage of the freest of markets in the world. The one that is completely free of any regulation, because it operates outside the law. An estimated two-thirds trafficking victims in the United States are U.S. citizens. With foreign-born women, government statistics estimate between 15,000 and 50,000 are trafficked into the country each year. Foreign born sex trafficking victims for the most part come to the United States legally on various types of visas.

The Need and the Damage Done

The most lucrative illegal market is narcotics. It is the only vice to have a democratic government declare “war” on it. Some of the richest people in North America are drug dealers. As evidence of that fact, Massachusetts has just brought suit against the billionaire Sackler family and their company, Purdue Pharma. Massachusetts claims Purdue Pharma and the Sacklers personally and actively pushed their highly addictive narcotic pain-killer, Oxycontin on an unsuspecting populace.

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Global Sex Trafficking: Part III-Europe

GLOBAL SEX TRAFFICKING:

PART III – EUROPE

By Trevor K. McNeil

More Than Meets the Eye

Europe is not the first place that comes to most people’s minds when they hear the term “sex trafficking”. Europe is generally seen as a bastion of civility and progressive politics. Particularly by those who live outside of it. In the minds of many, the UK, The Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and Norway are Western Europe. However, the continent is huge and varied

Lots of Space to Hide

Russia is among the worst nations in Europe for sex trafficking. The Russian Federation is a massive nation made up of millions of people. The Federation covers 11 time zones and 2 continents. It is also characterized by decades of severe austerity and deep corruption. All of which make it a ripe spot for international sex trafficking. The secret nature of sex trafficking skews the statistics. Sex traffickers moved over half-a-million women and girls from Russia between 1992-2002. The average cost of each woman, $5,000.

Changing World

Corrupt officials, Russian mafia, globalization and the inter-connectedness of that phenomenon, technological advances, cell phones, internet, and fast travel merged to facilitate human trafficking. The changing world has allowed the growth of an international network of criminals who use lies, drugs, imprisonment, debt bondage, exploitation, and abuse to create a criminal empire that rakes in billions of dollars annually through sex trafficking.

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Global Sex Trafficking: Part I-Africa

GLOBAL SEX TRAFFICKING:

PART I – AFRICA

By Trevor K. McNeil

As Common As Sunshine

Sex trafficking is one of the most common and lucrative criminal enterprises. Sex trafficking is second only to narcotics trafficking in profit. It is no accident that the two take on similar attributes in terms of root causes and methods. One of the regions worst affected by sex trafficking, particularly involving children, is Africa.

A Matter Of Scope

It can be tempting to think of Africa as a sort of amorphous mass. There are even those in the present day who still mistake it for a country rather that a continent made up of 54 independent member nations. That said, one of the things common to nearly all of them is the tragedy of sex trafficking. International statistics show that 89% of African nations are challenged by the issue.

Economies Of Scale

The most obvious cause for sex trafficking in Africa is severe poverty in many of the member nations. Poverty is a reason both for the traffickers and those who give either themselves, or their children to the trade. At least in cases where choice is involved. The economic situation so dire in many member nations that even a relatively small amount of cash can be enough to induce someone with no previous inclination to get involved in sex trafficking.

Demand

Another major cause in all cases of sex trafficking and particularly on the African continent is supply and demand. A situation created in part by a large population of economically depressed people, combined with fear over the AIDS crisis, and shortage of females. There is a shortage of available women in many countries. This is due to the strong cultural preference for sons, leading to an imbalance of the genders. Similar to imbalances  found in China and other Asian countries.

Risks

Sex trafficking is a relatively low risk activity for the traffickers. Even in nations in which it is expressly illegal, this can also often be gotten around though the judicious careful use of bribes. It is no secret that many African governments suffer from core corruption. A fact which traffickers use to their advantage.

Effects

The physical and psychological effects on the victims is devastating. Sex slaves will often commit suicide to escape another day of rape and abuse. There are other, not so visible effects of the corruption that supports human trafficking such as funneling money into criminal gangs, making their syndicates more sophisticated, better able to payoff officials and better arm their private armies if things ever get nasty. Corruption this deep can have a devastating effect on the security and prosperity of a nation.

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