Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The White House Project

In 1870, Esther Morris was named the first female Justice of the Peace in Wyoming and in 2009, Sonia Sotomayor was named the first Latina Supreme Court Justice in U.S. history. Almost 140 years separate these two milestones -140 years is too long in our opinion here at The White House Project.

Is it surprising that it took 140 years for Morris’ inspiring example and accomplishment to catch on? Unfortunately, it’s not surprising at all - The White House Project Report: Benchmarking Women’s Leadership finds that although women currently make up almost half of JD recipients, “at the very top of the legal sector, women have made no progress at all in the last 15 years.” Sotomayor’s appointment to the Supreme Court marks an astonishing and impressive step for women in the legal sector - one that, given the research, is unfortunately not yet being mirrored at large.

National Women's History Museum Notes:

Mission Statement: The National Women's History Museum affirms the value of knowing Women's History, illuminates the role of women in transforming society and encourages all people, women and men, to participate in democratic dialogue about our future.

Dr. Einor Ostrom is a woman whose thoughts led her to one of the most prestigious awards in the world–the Nobel Prize winner. In 2009 Ostrom became the first female to win a Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences – a category that has existed for over 40 years."

Born,1860: Henrietta Szold - educator, author, social worker, founder of Hadassah, rescuer of Jewish children from the Nazis

Born,1829: Jane Cunningham Croly - journalist, clubwoman, was the driving force behind the American club women's movement. She was the founder of the General Federation of Women's Clubs.  These clubs helped pass suffrage but also were part of the greatest period of social reform in our Nation's history....the Progressive Era 1890-1920...sanitation, grading of meats, labor law reform, child labor laws, the library system, the National Parks System...just to name some of the important advances in our society.(Ann E W Stone)

Born,1807: Phoebe Worrall Palmer - religious writer, evangelist: Holiness movement, she conducted regular women’s home prayer meetings which gradually became known as the Tuesday Meeting for the Promotion of Holiness

Born,1860:Deborah Sampson-fought in the American Revolution as Robert Shurtleff, later received a full soldier's pension

Born,1844:Fanny Garrison Villard-pacifist, suffragist, philanthropist;helped establish Barnard & Radcliffe Colleges & Hampton Institute,Virginia

1897:Margaret Chase Smith- 1st woman elected to both the U.S. House and the Senate. Also 1st woman to have her name placed in nomination for the U.S. Presidency at a major party's convention (1964 Republican Convention,won by Barry Goldwater).  She was also the lst woman from Maine to hold either position.

1862: Battle of Fredericksburg. Frank Thompson, aide to Colonel Orlando M. Poe,born as Sarah Edmonds (Edmonson or Edmondson). Later worked as a nurse for the US Christian Commission and published a book of Civil War experiences. She was granted a veteran's pension in 1882
Born,1835:Sarah Ingersoll Cooper - educator,speaker at 1893 Columbian Exposition,opened the first free kindergarten west of the Rocky Mountains in San Francisco which became a model, suffragist, treasurer General Federal of Women's Clubs. Her life was so filled with tragedy...her husband committed suicide when he was let go by the IRS and her daughter made several attempts before finally killing both herself and her mother by gas asphyxiation. Yet through it all Sarah pushed on fighting for women's rights and education expansion. What an inspiration.
Born,1863: Annie Jump Cannon astronomer, credited with co-creation of Harvard Classification Scheme,the first serious attempt to organize and classify stars based on their temperatures.
Born,1830: Emily Dickinson - a recluse and one of the greatest American poets. Most of her work (over 800 poems) were not published until after her death.
Born,1906:Grace Murray Hopper- Navy admiral, mathematician, computer programmer; wrote COBOL the major computer program that runs the World's government computers adn coined term "bug" for computer programming errors.
Born,1922: Jean Ritchie - singer, folklorist, collected songs from the mountain folk and traced its history, she became known as "The Mother of Folk."
1764: Abigail Smith prolific letter writer married John Adams and later became First Lady Abigail Adams,"Remember the Ladies" she admonished the POTUS!
Born,1830: Belva Lockwood-lawyer, reformer,fought for and won the right for women to argue their cases before the Supreme Court!

1910: Blanche S. Scott became first woman to make a public solo airplane flight ...you have heard of Amelia but bet you never heard of Blanche? 

Born,1834:Abigail Scott Duniway-pioneer, reformer, writer, suffragist-chronicled the fight for suffrage on the West Coast.

1891: Sarah Winnemucca died (Native American leader),. Did you know most if not all Native American tribes were matriarchal? The women owned the land...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Delaware's Alice Paul Leader in Suffrage Movement

Alice Paul becomes involved in the British suffrage movement in 1908 while she is studying in Britain. There she meets Lucy Burns who is also studying in Europe and is involved with British suffrage. Paul returns to the US in 1910 to complete her PhD and joins the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) in 1912. After frustration with not obtaining a Federal Woman’s Suffrage Amendment, most of NAWSA’s attention has shifted to securing voting rights on a state-by-state basis. However, Alice Paul leads the small Congressional Committee of NAWSA, which is focused on passage of the Susan B. Anthony Amendment.
In 1913, Alice Paul and Lucy Burns, along with others, form the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage, which evolves into the National Woman’s Party. The National Woman’s Party concentrates exclusively on adding the Susan B. Anthony Amendment to the Constitution. Paul and Burns employ some of the radical tactics they learned from the suffragists in Britain. They campaign against the political party in power on the premise that delays in suffrage are the responsibility of the party in power. And, only when faced with defeat, would the political party be cajoled into promoting suffrage.
As World War I rages in Europe, President Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat, campaigns for re-election in 1916 with the slogan, “He kept us out of war.” The National Woman's Party campaigns against him with the slogan, “He kept us out of suffrage.”
After Wilson is re-elected and still refuses to support the Susan B. Anthony Amendment, Alice Paul and the suffragists in the National Woman's Party begin picketing in front of the White House. The protests are particularly controversial because they continue even after the US enters World War I in April 1917. The women protestors, known as the “silent sentinels”, demonstrate peacefully, unlike their radical British counterparts. Nonetheless, the women of the National Woman's Party are arrested numerous times beginning in June 1917. Alice Paul, Lucy Burns and others are imprisoned at Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia. When Paul leads a hunger strike, the women are brutally force-fed. The negative press coverage about the jailing of the women puts additional pressure on President Woodrow Wilson to act. According to the book, Jailed for Freedom by Doris Stevens of the National Woman's Party, more than 500 suffragists are arrested between 1917 and 1919, and 168 women serve time in jail.  http://herstoryscrapbook.com/Intro/Intro.Paul.p2.htm

The New York Times Coverage of the Last Four Years of the Victory for the Vote

The HerStory Scrapbook focuses on the final four years of the women’s suffrage campaign, as reported by The New York Times. From 1917 - 1920, The Times published over 3,000 articles, editorials, and letters about the women who were fighting for, and against, suffrage. The HerStory Scrapbook includes more than 900 of the most interesting pieces, as if someone had saved the original articles from The Times.
Many of the books, written by the suffragists, about the final stages of the suffrage movement focus on either the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) led by Carrie Chapman Catt, or the National Woman's Party founded by Alice Paul. The New York Times reported on both women. And, that makes our understanding so much richer.
For instance, in the fall of 1917, Alice Paul is jailed for picketing for suffrage in front of the White House while Carrie Chapman Catt is campaigning for suffrage in New York State. Many women in New York worry that the White House picketing will turn off male voters before they vote on suffrage. When the women in New York win full suffrage, the number of women eligible to vote in the US nearly doubles. Yet, while Carrie Chapman Catt celebrates the greatest suffrage victory to date, Alice Paul is on a hunger strike in the jail hospital.
After a struggle that spanned more than fifty years, it takes the extraordinary organizational skills of Carrie Chapman Catt and the indefatigable courage of Alice Paul to win suffrage for women across America in time for the 1920 presidential election.  http://herstoryscrapbook.com/

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


The Address is in two parts:
1) Angela Davis on NWSA
Angela Davis talks about the National Women's Studies Association, reflects on its history, and congratulates Beverly Guy-Sheftall for the work she is doing.

2) Angela Davis on Difficult Dialogues
Within the context of the theme of the conference, Davis talks about the positioning women's studies
within academia and its relationship to other academic fields, her past, and her aspirations for the future.


Looks Forward to Feminist Candidate Breaking Through the Glass Ceiling in January

The National Organization for Women congratulates Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley for her overwhelming victory in the Democratic primary in the special election to fill the late Ted Kennedy's U.S. Senate seat. If Coakley prevails as expected in the Jan. 19 general election, she will be the first woman senator from the state of Massachusetts, and she will double to two the number of women in the state's current 12-member congressional delegation. The NOW Political Action Committee proudly endorsed Coakley in her run.

"As the first woman attorney general in Massachusetts, Martha Coakley has demonstrated commitment and leadership on a wide range of feminist issues," said NOW President and NOW/PAC Chair Terry O'Neill. "Most recently, her vocal opposition to the Stupak-Pitts Amendment and its assault on health insurance coverage for abortion care proved that Martha is a force to be reckoned with when women's rights are at stake."
O'Neill pointed to Coakley's other strong credentials: As Attorney General, Coakley investigated and pursued cases related to housing discrimination, disability rights, fair lending, equal marriage, health care disparities, and hate crimes based on race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation. Coakley is the only Attorney General in the country to file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act. And she successfully advocated for and defended legislation to create and expand buffer zones around reproductive health care facilities to ensure the safety of patients and staff members.
"If elected in January, Martha Coakley will be a real champion for women in the U.S. Senate," said O'Neill. "Following the irreplaceable Ted Kennedy truly is a daunting job, but I am confident that Martha is up to the challenge."

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

FirstFemale CEO Ellen Kullman has Streamlined DuPont Company

Ellen Kullman learned she would be the 19th top executive at the DuPont Co. in late September 2008, as storied financial institutions were crumbling and American capitalism itself seemed to be under siege.

It was not how the Wilmington native envisioned taking over her hometown company after 20 years of steadily rising through the ranks of management.
"Everything I thought about the possibility of this happening, and everything I thought about what I would want to do in becoming the CEO of this company, I had to set aside," Kullman said in a recent interview at DuPont headquarters in downtown Wilmington. "It was not relevant to the environment. We had to start over. I had to start over my thinking around it."
In the nearly 15 months since Kullman was named as the first woman to lead DuPont, she has helped guide the company through the worst global recession in decades. Kullman, 53, has won praise from the investment community for cutting costs and putting DuPont on a course for growth.
"She will be very focused on efficiency and effectiveness, and that will flow through to the bottom line," said Gene Pisasale, a financial adviser with Wells Fargo Advisors in Greenville who has followed DuPont since the mid-1990s.
Protecting the bottom line, though, has come at a cost: about 4,500 jobs lost across the company, along with thousands of contract workers. Not all support Kullman's choices.
"There was a dire situation, but the reaction to it was shortsighted and counterproductive," said Kenneth Henley, general counsel for the International Brotherhood of DuPont Workers, which represents DuPont employees at sites in five states.
Kullman was born Ellen Jamison, the youngest of four siblings in a close-knit Irish-American family. She grew up in the subdivision of Fairfax Farms off Concord Pike, attending St. Mary Magdalen School and then Tower Hill School.
After graduating from Tufts University with a degree in mechanical engineering, she worked in technical service and sales for Westinghouse, got her MBA from Northwestern University and moved on to General Electric in 1983. DuPont hired her five years later as a marketing manager.(Use the link below to access the rest of the story)
Andrew Eder
Business reporter
The News Journal
E-mail: aeder@delawareonline.com