A Tribute to Womanhood

Welcome to "I Am Woman"...a tribute to all those women who had the courage and perseverance to stand up and fight for their rights. Thanks to those who came before us we enjoy a freedom unknown to women not too long ago. But, sadly, in many parts of the world, women continue to be repressed. In fact, even in this country there are women living today under the threat of violence...completely controlled by a violent spouse. Some may make it; others won't. Hopefully, one day ALL women will be free. May that day come soon.

9/01/2014

Labor Day (Repost)

1765  The first society of working women, the 'Daughters of Liberty', is organized.

1824  Women workers strike for the first time in history at Pawtucket, Rhode Island. 102 women workers strike in support of brother weavers protesting the simultaneous reduction in wages and extension of the workday.

1825  'The United Tailoresses of New York' is formed.  It is the first union for women only.

1831  In February of this year, almost 1600 women, all members of the United Tailoresses of New York, strike for "a just price for our labor."

1845  The 'Female Labor Reform Association' is formed in Lowell, Massachusetts by Sarah Bagley and other women cotton mill workers to reduce the work day from 12 or 13 hours a day to 10, and to improve sanitation and safety in the mills where they worked.

1853  Antoinette Brown becomes the first U.S. woman to be ordained as a Protestant minister.

1867  Cigar makers are the first national union to accept women and African Americans.  


1869  In July, women shoemakers form the 'Daughters of St. Crispin', the first national union of women workers, at Lynn, Massachusetts.

1872  Congress passes a law giving women federal employee equal pay for equal work.

1881  In Atlanta, Georgia almost 3,000 black women laundry workers stage one of the largest and most effective strikes in the history of the south. 

1888 Suffragists win passage of a law requiring women doctors for women patients in mental institutions.

1889  Jane Adams founds Hull House in Chicago to assist the poor. It becomes a model for many other settlement houses and establishes social work as a profession for women.

1892  Mary Kenney O'Sullivan of the Bindery Workers is appointed the AFL's first female national organizer.

1898 Charlotte Perkins Gillman wrote 'Women and Economics' which argues that women need to be economically independent.

1899  The National Consumers League is formed with Florence Kelley as its president. The League organizes women to use their power as consumers to push for better working conditions and protective law for women workers.

1903  Mary Harris "Mother Jones" Jones leads a protest march of mill children, many of who were victims of industrial accidents, from Philadelphia to New York, At the AFL convention in Boston, women unionists unite to form the National Women's Trade Union League and elect Mary Morton Kehew president and Jane Addams vice-president. The National Women's Trade Union League (WTUL) is established to advocate for improved wages and working conditions for women.

  
1909   20,000 female shirtwaist workers in New York State strike against sweatshop conditions.

1910  The wives of striking miners arrested in Greensburg, Pennsylvania sing their way out of jail under the leadership of Mother Jones.

1912  In Lawrence, Massachusetts the IWW leads a strike of 23,000 men, women and children in the  "Bread & Roses" Strike, hailed as the first successful multi-ethnic strike (see History Matters).

Teddy Roosevelt's Bull Moose Party became the first major political party to include a woman's suffrage plank in its official platform.

1916  Jeannette Rankin became the first women elected to the United States House of Representatives. Ms. Rankin served two terms in the House from (1916-1918 and (1940-1942)

1917  During WWI women's wartime work in heavy industry and public service jobs expanded women's roles in society.

1919  August 26, United Mine Workers' organizer Fannie Sellins, a widowed mother of four, is shot to death by coal company guards while leading strikers in Brackenridge, Pennsylvania.

1920  The Women's Bureau of the Department of Labor is formed to collect information about women in the workforce and safeguard good working conditions for women

1931  In September, Clara Holden, National Textile Workers' Union organizer is abducted and beaten by vigilantes in Greenville, South Carolina.

1933  Francis Perkins, the first women in a presidential cabinet, served as Secretary of Labor throughout the Roosevelt administration, 1933-1945.

1934  Florence Ellinwood Allen becomes first woman on US Court of Appeals

1935  Mary McLeod Bethune organizes the National Council of Negro Women, a coalition of black women's groups that lobbies against job discrimination, racism, and sexism.

1936  President FDR appointed Ms. Bethune to serve as director or Negro Affairs of the National Youth Administration in 1936 making her the first African-American women to be a presidential advisor.

1941  The shortage of workers caused by WWII opens a wide range of high-paying jobsto women. Almost seven million women enter the workforce, including two million in heavy industry.
  
1961  President John Kennedy establishes the President's Commission on the Status of Women and appoints Eleanor Roosevelt as chairwoman. The report issued by the Commission in 1963 documents substantial discrimination against women in the workplace and makes specific recommendations for improvement, including fair hiring practices, paid maternity leave, and affordable child care.

1963  In June, Congress passes the Equal Pay Act, making it illegal for employers to pay a woman less than what a man would receive for the same job.

1964  Title VII of the Civil Rights Act bars discrimination in employment on the basis of race and sex. At the same time it establishes the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to investigate complaints and impose penalties.

1965  Aileen Hernandex was the first woman appointed to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In 1971 she was elected president of NOW.

1966  The National Org for Women NOW is formed  by a group of feminists including Betty Friedan. The largest women's rights group in the U.S. NOW seeks to end sexual discrimination, especially in the workplace, by means of legislative lobbying, litigation, and public demonstrations.



1967  Executive Order 11375 expands President Lyndon Johnson's affirmative action policy of 1965 to cover discrimination based on gender. As a result, federal agencies and contractors must take active measures to ensure that women as well as minorities enjoy the same educational and employment opportunities as white males.

1968  The EEOC rules that sex-segregated help wanted ads in newspapers are illegal. This ruling is upheld in 1973 by the Supreme Court, opening the way for women to apply for higher-paying jobs hitherto open only to men.

Shirley Chisholm is the first Black woman elected to U.S. Congress.  

1969  Mary Moultrie organizes the successful strike of 550 black women hospital workers for union representation in Charleston, South Carolina.

1970  In Schultz v. Wheaton Glass Co., a U.S. Court of Appeals rules that jobs held by men and women need to be "substantially equal" but not "identical" to fall under the protection of the Equal Pay Act. An employer cannot, for example, change the job titles of women workers in order to pay them less than men.

1972  The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is passed by Congress and sent to the states for ratification. Originally drafted by Alice Paul in 1923, the amendment reads: "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex." The amendment died in 1982 when it failed to achieve ratification by a minimum of 38 states. 

1974  In Corning Glass Works v. Brennan, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that employers cannot justify paying women lower wages because that is what they traditionally received under the "going market rate." A wage differential occurring "simply because men would not work at the low rates paid women" is unacceptable.

November 13, Karen Gay Silkwood, a lab tech at the Cimeron plutonium plant and officer of the Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers Union local in Oklahoma City dies mysteriously en route to a union meeting with a newspaper reporter.

1978  The Pregnancy Discrimination Act bans employment discrimination against pregnant women. Under the Act, a woman cannot be fired or denied a job or a promotion because she is or may become pregnant, nor can she be forced to take a pregnancy leave if she is willing and able to work.

100,000 women and men march in support of the Equal Rights Amendment in Washington, D.C.

1981  Sandra Day O'Connor was the first woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

1983  Sally Ride was the first American woman in space.

1985  Wilma Mankiller became the first woman Principal Chief of a major American Indian tribe, the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma.

1990  Women serve in combat for the first time, during the Gulf War.

And this is not, by any means, the end of it.  The list continues to grow.  Let us take this Labor Day to salute these women who came before us and paved the way for our rights. 

My Story Repost

Rape is forced and unwanted. It is about power, not sex, and it can happen to both men and women of any age. The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines rape as: "The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim."

Forty-six years ago, I was like a giddy teenager dressing for the prom.  This was the 'one'.  I just knew he had to be it.  When you grow up in an alcoholic and verbally abusive household, every one is the 'one'.  You are so starved for love that you look beyond the obvious and see only what you want to see.  Hence, you fall into many bad situations.  Had I not been so blinded by any flattering attention that came my way, I would have seen the obvious.  John (not his real name) was a control freak and a drinker. We had plans to go dancing that night, and as I whirled about the living room in my new dress, I never imagined the nightmare that was to come.

In the 60's, New York's drinking age was 18, so we headed over the border to a little club in New York State where we danced the night away.  I had a fabulous time, and maybe a bit too much to drink. Perhaps that is why I hadn't noticed the sly glance between my date and his two friends who had asked for a ride home.  Had I been more alert, I would not have gotten into that car.  But really, when you think of it, isn't that a bit like placing the blame on myself and not where it belongs?  After all, he was my date, and I trusted him.  Our dates are not only supposed to show  us a good time, but aren't they supposed to protect us as well?

I remember him driving off onto an old dirt road.  I pulled him up on it, and he said it was a shortcut to his friend's house.  I remember it seemed to go on forever before he pulled to a stop.  My date and his buddies got out of the car.  He asked if I wanted to stretch my legs, but by now I was getting a wee bit nervous.  My intuition was telling me that something was up.  I remember telling him that I wanted to go home.  He laughed.  Then, I remember him reaching in and pulling me out of the car.  By now I was screaming.  I knew what was about to happen, and miraculously, I blacked out before the worst of it occurred.

The next thing I remember it was early morning, and as the sun began  to rise, I found myself on a country road--bloodied, bruised, broken.  A man came out of one of the houses to walk his dog and immediately called for his wife to call the police.  They were wonderful to me.  The wife took me upstairs to the bathroom and to freshen my face, and when I looked into the mirror, I didn't know who it was looking back at me.  My hair was in disarray with grass and dirt all tangled in it, eyes red and puffy, lines of mascara running down my cheeks. My lip was swollen and inside my mouth was a small cut.  I must have put up a fight.

My experience at the police station was awful.  The officers actually seemed more concerned about how much I had to drink than what happened to me.  They knew I had been raped, but, back in those days, being raped was a personal shame for the victim.  Had I given names and chosen to go to court, my reputation would have been shattered by the defense attorney.  In that era, the rape was always the 'victim's' fault.  They either dressed provocatively or, in my case, went to a bar to have a few drinks and got in the car with three men.  Never mind, that one of them was my date for the night.

Mom was no better. She really put the screws in as she drove me to the hospital.   It was all my fault. Nice girls don't go to bars.  Oh, how she hoped this stayed quiet.  People were already talking about dad, the alcoholic.  She didn't need them talking about the daughter, the slut, too. I'd best not tell a soul about this. The doctor's who superficially examined me at the hospital knew.  Their faces showed sympathy as they questioned me, and I continued to deny I had been raped.  I refused a gynecological exam, and they kept asking me if I was sure.  'They shouldn't get away with this', the kindly doctor said, but, when I glanced over at mom's stern face, I knew what I had to do. 

Needless to say, the men were never named, never brought to court and prosecuted.  They totally got away with violating my body. I've never forgot that I raped, but I have learned how to deal with the memory.  The anger and outrage is still there.  And yes, I do regret that I let them go so easily.  That is something I will never forgive myself for. The following are some of today's statistics:

Rape has been called 'the most under-reported violent crime in America'.

Only 61% of rapes are never reported to the police.

In reported rapes there is a 50.8% chance that an arrest will be made.

If an arrest is made, there is an 80% chance of prosecution.


Nearly 85% of victims knew their attacker

More than 40% of incidents involve more than one assailant


National Sexual Assault Hotline  (800) 656- HOPE(4673) 

8/28/2014

My Story...Second Part


All right.  So here I am in New York City.  I'm surviving, but I am feeling oh, so alone. In time, I meet some guy who...as I thought of all of my boyfriends...was the one I had been searching for all of my life...and he is just like all the others.  He's a drinker and a playboy.  Needless to say, we weren't together very long.  I just had to share this one with you, though.  On Christmas, he gave me a pair of earrings, my only Christmas gift that year. I had a wee little fake tree that sat on my dresser that year, and I placed the earrings under the tree.  The next morning rose early, and after he left to go to work, I went over the the tree and lo and behold....the creep had taken the earrings with him.  He'd given me a gift and then stole it back.  Is that sick or what? It was very easy to break up with him...there really wasn't anything to begin with...but there I was...alone again.

A short time afterward I met my abusive ex-husband.  Gosh, before we married, he treated me so special.  We went all over together.  He even got me out of my wee little room by marrying me and settled me into his parents' home.  Big mistake. His parents from day one let me know that I didn't fit in.  I was an Irish girl, and we all know that Irish girls like to drink; they can't help it; it's part of their culture.  So, I wasn't good enough for their Italian son, and much as I tried, I never could sway them.  I bent over backwards...cleaned their house, cooked, tried so hard to be loving, but they were always so cold...and sometimes I could hear them talking about me.


Now that I look back on it, I wonder if I should have known back then how he was going to be...and even if I did, would it have made any difference?  I think not.  So, by now I am pregnant with my son, and we've gotten our own place.  He is a want-to-be actor and a bouncer in a bar two nights a week.  He has no steady work.  It's basically all up to me.  I'm going to school and working in catering and do so right up until two weeks before the baby is born.  He's not even there for the birth.  His bouncer job is more important.


Three weeks after I get out of the hospital, I have to go back to work.  He won't do anything else...why, he's got his acting career to think about. So, my mother-in-law gets me a job at an answering service where she used to work.  I'm working 5 days a week from 4 to 12 pm.  I drop my son off before I go to work, race over there after work, and pick him up...taking a cab home.  Meanwhile, hubby is sitting around doing nothing...and by now, the name calling has started...the dirty, filthy names he called me.  He's even pushed me around and pulled clumps of my hair out on occasion.  Why did I stay?  Because he was always sorry, and it would never happen again.  And, the one time I did pack my bags and take my son to a battered women's shelter, I found myself living amongst drug dealers, prostitutes, rats, mice, and cockroaches. I was running back and forth to the welfare office who was putting me through a round of torture just to see how badly I wanted my benefits.  My son got sick; he got very sick and wasn't getting any better.  I went back home.

Fast forward.  Seven years later.  Still being abused verbally and physically.  Difference is, now I have two sons...two children to worry about. I also have a bald spot (thankfully hidden) in back of my head and a knot in my leg from being hit by a chair which remains to this day.  I've got a halfway decent job now, but he's been telling me it's nothing, that I am nobody, that I'm lucky to have him, that nobody would ever want me, that I am ugly, stupid, worthless...that he is a star and he is who is important.  He's still nothing more than a bouncer with several extra roles and a few small parts.  And when he gets one of his parts on a Friday and has to miss his bouncer job, I have to pay him the $50 from my salary...AND LIKE A DUMMY, I DO IT. That's how beaten down I was.

Then one day, I began fighting back. When he was approaching me to attack, I picked up the phone to dial 911.  He reached out to grab the phone, and I don't know where I got the power, but I let him have it in the head with the receiver.  He backed off...holding his head and crying...his precious head..what would he do if it were scarred?  From then on, he was afraid of me, and he even told me so. The physical cruelty was over, but it was still a few years before I got out.


To be continued....

8/27/2014

My Story Repost



I thought today I would take some time to introduce myself to some of my new readers. Every once in awhile I like to let you know that I have been there, too.  I know what it is like.  Hence, the repost of my story.  I am Woman.  I am strong.  I can do anything.  Today, that is how I feel about myself...I am a survivor...but it wasn't always that way.  There was a time when I couldn't even decide what I wanted for dinner if someone offered me the choice.

I was born in a small town in the rural area of New Jersey.  My dad was an alcoholic; my mom had her boyfriend and her own life to lead, so as a little girl, I was pretty much on my own.  My parents didn't seem to care that much until I became a teenager...only then did they decide that it was time to keep an eye on me.  And they did so in the most horrible way...by condemning me to spend my teenage years in my room.  They found fault with everything that I did, and everything was grounds for punishment...even a coat unbuttoned was grounds for a month of detention.  I never had a date, never went to either of my proms, never did any of the things that my friends had done.

And to make it worse, I was constantly belittled by my mom.  "You're no good", "You're never going to amount to anything", "You're going to be a fat old drunk like your father."  Now, keeping and eye on one's child and being there for the child are two different things.  My parents NEVER had any time for me, and I grew up believing that that was the way things were supposed to be. Relationships?  I never had one...so how was I supposed to know how to act.  After all, when my friends were going on their first dates, I was home sitting in my room.

By the time I reached my senior year in high school, it was all getting to me.  I felt so different than the other children.  I felt like I didn't belong.  I was lonely, and all I wanted was someone to care.  So, when I hit 18, I got married...married to an alcoholic...just like my dad.  Only this husband was a nasty drunk who didn't work and expected to sit around slurping beers and being taken care of.  Then, I began drinking the beer with him...and he started fighting with me over it.  In just a matter of a few months, our marriage was in shambles.  I was afraid of him.  He was becoming more and more violent. Bills were not being paid, and there was little money for food.  We were losing our home. Fortunately, it was fairly easy to leave him.  I still had my parent's home, and there were no children. So, one day I told him I had enough and moved bag and baggage back home. 

Oh, he didn't give up so easily.  He called and called and pleaded that he wouldn't drink anymore. Then, when he saw that that wasn't working he called and threatened to kill himself if I didn't come back.  I simply told him "Go ahead"; I knew he didn't mean it.  Pretty boy was too wrapped up in himself to do himself in.  So, shortly thereafter, I hopped on a plane and flew to Atlanta, Georgia for a quickie divorce.  I don't know if they still have them, but in those days, the 1960's, they were quite easy to obtain.

I was hungering for love, but what was that old song?  "I'm looking for love in all the wrong places?"  Well, that was me.  I began running with some fairly wild gals and we did a lot of bar hopping.  In New York State at that time you could drink at age 18, so many a night we would cross the border into Port Jervis...a really 'hopping' town in those days.  It was there that I met the next so-called 'love of my life'.  He was older than me...by about ten years.  We didn't marry but we settled in together.  I was the perfect wife...dinner, cleaning...my wild life was over.  I really wanted this to work...and it did...for awhile...until I discovered I was living with a sex addict.  He began staying out all night long...coming home disheveled...with love bites on his neck...And I, so desperate for it to work...would spend night after night sitting at the kitchen table waiting for him to come home...which was usually at dawn. By now, I had started drinking again and my companion was a bottle of "Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill" wine.  And I put up with this for months on end...I knew I was the laughing stock of everyone around me, but I was just so hungry for someone to love me....and my self-esteem had always been so low.  My mom had seen to that.  

Then one day, he came home and gave me a case of the 'crabs'.  That was all I could take?  Do you know how I felt having to go into a pharmacy and ask for the shampoo?  It was probably the most embarrassing time of my life. I put him out.  He cried and he begged for another chance, but how could I? After what he had done?  Although he had never physically abused me, what he had done still was still considered abuse, a form of emotional abuse.  I went to the doctor, had myself checked out for everything.  Fortunately, I was fine.  It was shortly after that that I made my move to New York...and, oh, what a wake-up call.



To be continued....

8/26/2014

Women of Today




You women of today who fear so much
The women of the future, showing how
The dangers of her course are such and such–
What are you now?

Mothers and Wives and Housekeepers, forsooth!
Great names, you cry, full scope to rule and please,
Room for wise age and energetic youth!–
But are you these?

Housekeepers? Do you then, like those of yore,
Keep house with power and pride, with grace and ease?
No, you keep servants only! What is more–
You don't keep these!

Wives, say you? Wives! Blessed indeed are they
Who hold of love the everlasting keys,
Keeping your husbands' hearts! Alas the day!
You don't keep these!

And mothers? Pitying Heaven! Mark the cry
From cradle death-beds! Mothers on their knees!
Why, half the children born, as children, die!
You don't keep these!

And still the wailing babies come and go,
And homes are waste, and husband's hearts fly far;
There is no hope until you dare to know
The thing you are! 

By
CHARLOTTE PERKINS GILMAN


8/12/2014

Weekly Quote


The young women of today, free to study, to speak, to write, to choose their occupation, should remember that every inch of this freedom was bought for them at a great price. It is for them to show their gratitude by helping onward the reforms of their own times, by spreading the light of freedom and of truth still wider. The debt that each generation owes to the past it must pay to the future.

Abigail Duniway

8/07/2014

Today's Quote




"We ask justice, we ask equality, we ask that all the civil and political rights that belong to citizens of the United States, be guaranteed to us and our daughters forever." 

Susan B. Anthony, Declaration of Rights for Women, July 1876

7/29/2014

Coming



Because the time is ripe, the age is ready,
Because the world her woman's help demands,
Out of the long subjection and seclusion
Come to our field of warfare and confusion
The mother's heart and hands.
Long has she stood aside, endured and waited,
While man swung forward, toiling on alone;
Now, for the weary man, so long ill-mated,
Now, for the world for which she was created,
Comes woman to her own.
Not for herself! though sweet the air of freedom;
Not for herself, though dear the new-born power;
But for the child, who needs a nobler mother,
For the whole people, needing one another,
Comes woman to her hour. 


Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1911)

7/15/2014

Song for Equal Suffrage


Day of hope and day of glory! After slavery and woe,
Comes the dawn of woman’s freedom, and the light shall grow and grow
Until every man and woman equal liberty shall know,
In Freedom marching on!
Woman’s right is woman’s duty! For our share in life we call!
Our will it is not weakened and our power it is not small.
We are half of every nation! We are mothers of them all!
In Wisdom marching on!
Not for self but larger service has our cry for freedom grown,
There is crime, disease and warfare in a world of men alone,
In the name of love we’re rising now to serve and save our own,
As Peace comes marching on!
By every sweet and tender tie around our heartstrings curled,
In the cause of nobler motherhood is woman’s flag unfurled,
Till every child shall know the joy and peace of mother’s world–
As Love comes marching on!
We will help to make a pruning hook of every outgrown sword,
We will help to knit the nations in continuing accord,
In humanity made perfect is the glory of the Lord,
As His world goes marching on!

 Suffrage Songs and Verses 
by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 1911

7/08/2014

The Rights Of Woman. An Occasional Address Spoken By Miss Fontenelle On Her Benefit Night, Nov. 26, 1792



While Europe's eye is fix'd on mighty things,
The fate of empires and the fall of kings;
While quacks of state must each produce his plan,
And even children lisp the Rights of Man;
Amid this mighty fuss just let me mention,
The Rights of Woman merit some attention.


First on the sexes' intermix'd connexion,
One sacred Right of Woman is protection.
The tender flower that lifts its head, elate,
Helpless, must fall before the blasts of fate,
Sunk on the earth, defac'd its lovely form,
Unless your shelter ward th' impending storm.


Our second Right, but needless here is caution,
To keep that right inviolate's the fashion,
Each man of sense has it so full before him,
He'd die before he'd wrong it, 'tis decorum.
There was, indeed, in far less polish'd days,
A time, when rough, rude man had haughty ways;
Would swagger, swear, get drunk, kick up a riot,
Nay, even thus invade a lady's quiet.


Now, thank our stars! these Gothic times are fled;
Now, well-bred men, and you are all well-bred,
Most justly think (and we are much the gainers)
Such conduct neither spirit, wit, nor manners.


For Right the third, our last, our best, our dearest,
That right to fluttering female hearts the nearest,
Which even the Rights of Kings in low prostration
Most humbly own, 'tis dear, dear admiration!
In that blest sphere alone we live and move;
There taste that life of life, immortal love.
Smiles, glances, sighs, tears, fits, flirtations, airs,
'Gainst such an host what flinty savage dares,
When awful Beauty joins with all her charms,
Who is so rash as rise in rebel arms?


But truce with kings and truce with constitutions,
With bloody armaments and revolutions,
Let majesty your first attention summon,
Ah! ├ža ira! the majesty of woman!

Robert Burns

6/17/2014

I Searched for Myself


I searched for my Self
until I grew weary,

but no one, I know now,
reaches the hidden knowledge
by means of effort.

Then, absorbed in "Thou art This,"
I found the place of Wine.

There all the jars are filled,
but no one is left to drink.

 Lalla 
 14th Century North Indian Mystic



6/09/2014

The Story of the Rose


God created the rose for women. It represents
beauty. Its petals represent soft skin. Its leaves
represent outstretched arms, always loving 
and giving. Its stem represents strength.

~ Author Unknown ~

6/04/2014

Quote of the Day


"A woman has got to be able to say, and not feel guilty, 'Who am I, and what do I want out of life?'  She mustn't feel selfish and neurotic if she wants goals of her own, outside of husband and children." 

Betty Friedan


5/28/2014

Don't Quit


When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up though the pace seems slow--
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor's cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out--
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit--
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.

- Anonymous-


5/16/2014

Today's Quote



"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."  

Margaret Mead

5/11/2014

Mother's Day Proclamation (Repost)



Julia Ward Howe (1819–1910) was an abolitionist and a feminist.  She composed her Mother's Day Proclamation in 1870.  It was a call to women throughout the world to come together and bring the end of war. Sometimes when I read about these great women who fought so that we women of today have freedoms once deemed impossible, I feel tears well in my eyes.  Julia is one of those ladies and her Mother's Day Proclamation still holds meaning for today. 

Arise then...women of this day! 
Arise, all women who have hearts! 
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears! 
Say firmly: 
"We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies, 
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, 
For caresses and applause. 
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn 
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. 
We, the women of one country, 
Will be too tender of those of another country 
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs." 

From the voice of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with 
Our own. It says: "Disarm! Disarm! 
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice." 
Blood does not wipe our dishonor, 
Nor violence indicate possession. 
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil 
At the summons of war, 
Let women now leave all that may be left of home 
For a great and earnest day of counsel. 
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead. 
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means 
Whereby the great human family can live in peace... 
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar, 
But of God - 
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask 
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality, 
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient 
And the earliest period consistent with its objects, 
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities, 
The amicable settlement of international questions, 
The great and general interests of peace.

Julia Ward Howe

5/08/2014

Alert

Today, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), and Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) are re-introducing The International Violence Against Women Act. 

One-third of all women will experience physical or sexual violence at some point in their lives. From domestic violence, to bride burnings, to rape as a weapon of war, the potential of too many women and girls is being threatened by gender-based violence.

With more than 270 schoolgirls still missing from Nigeria and threatened with a life of violence and slavery, this is a defining moment for the U.S. and its commitment to making the world a safer, freer place for women and girls.



From Women Thrive Worldwide

5/05/2014

Daily Acceptance Prayer




I accept myself completely.
I accept my strengths and my weaknesses,
my gifts and my shortcomings,
my good points and my faults.

I accept myself completely as a human being.
I accept that I am here to learn and grow,
and I accept that I am learning and growing.
I accept the personality I've developed, and
I accept my power to heal and change.

I accept myself without condition or reservation.
I accept that the core of my being is goodness
and that my essence is love,
and I accept that I sometimes forget that.

I accept myself completely, and in this acceptance
I find an ever-deepening inner strength.
From this place of strength, I accept my life fully and
I open to the lessons it offers me today.

I accept that within my mind are both fear and love,
and I accept my power to choose which I will experience as real.
I recognize that I experience only the results of my own choices.

I accept the times that I choose fear
as part of my learning and healing process, and
I accept that I have the potential and power
in any moment to choose love instead.

I accept mistakes as a part of growth,
so I am always willing to forgive myself and
give myself another chance.

I accept that my life is the expression of my thought,
and I commit myself to aligning my thoughts
more and more each day with the Thought of Love.
I accept that I am an expression of this Love.
Love's hands and voice and heart on earth.

I accept my own life as a blessing and a gift.
My heart is open to receive, and I am deeply grateful.
May I always share the gifts that I receive
fully, freely, and with joy.

Author Unknown

4/28/2014

A Strong Woman


A strong woman works out every day to keep her body in shape...
but a woman of strength kneels in prayer to keep her soul in shape. 

A strong woman isn't afraid of anything...
but a woman of strength shows courage in the midst of fear. 

A strong woman won't let anyone get the best of her...
but a woman of strength gives the best of her to everyone. 

A strong woman makes mistakes and avoids the same in the future...
but a woman of strength realizes life's mistakes can also be God's blessing
and capitalizes on them. 

A strong woman walks sure footedly...
but a woman of strength knows God will catch her when she falls. 

A strong woman wears the look of confidence on her face...
but a woman of strength wears grace. 

A strong woman has faith that she is strong enough for the journey...
but a woman of strength has faith that it is in the journey that
she will become strong. 

--Anonymous--

4/26/2014

Woman


Strange are the ways that her feet have trod
   Since first she was set in the path of duty,
Finished and fair by the hand of God,
   To carry her message of love and beauty.
Delicate creature of light and shade,
   She gleamed like an opal, on wide worlds under:
And earth looked up to her half afraid,
   While heaven looked down at her, full of wonder.

Flame of the comet and mist of the moon,
   And ray of the sun all mingled in her.
And the heart of her asked but a single boon -
   That love should seek her, and find her, and win her.
She grasped the scope of the First Intent
   That made her kingdom for her, no other,
And joyfully into her place she went -
   The primal mate, and the primal mother.

Large was that kingdom and vast her sphere,
   And lightly she lifted and bore each burden.
Lightly she laughed in the eyes of fear,
   For love was her recompense, love her guerdon.
And never in camp, or in cave, or in home,
   Rose voice of mother or mate complaining.
And never the foot of her sought to roam,
   Till love in the heart of the man seemed waning.

In the broad rich furrows by woman turned
   Man, unwitting, set plough and harrow.
For worlds to conquer she had not yearned,
   Till he spoke of her feminine sphere as ‘narrow.’
The lullaby changed to a martial strain -
   When he took her travail, and song for granted -
And forth she forged in his own domain -
   Till the strange ‘new woman,’ the old supplanted.

‘Strange’ with the glow of a wakened soul,
   And ‘new’ with the purpose of large endeavour,
She turned her face to the higher goal -
   To the higher goal it is turned for ever.
Trade and science and craft and art,
   Have opened their doors to the call of woman;
And greater she grows in her greater part,
   More tenderly wise, and more sweetly human.

Brave foremothers of freedom’s birth
   Smile through space on your splendid daughters.
At one with liberty lighting the earth,
   Their torches flame o’er the darkest waters.
They lend a lustre to sea and land:
   They sweeten the world with their wholesome graces:
As out in the harbour of life they stand
   To cheer and welcome the coming races.

Brave forefathers and heroes who fought
   Under the flag of the Revolution,
War was the price of the freedom you bought,
   But peace is the watchword of Evolution.
The progress of woman means progress of peace,
   She wars on war, and its hosts alarming;
And her great love battle will never cease,
   Till the glory is seen of a world disarming.

The woman wonder with heart of flame,
   The coming man of the race will find her.
For petty purpose and narrow aim,
   And fault and flaw she will leave behind her.
He grown tender, and she grown wise,
   They shall enter the Eden by both created;
The broadened kingdom of Paradise,
   And love, and mate, as the first pair mated.

Esther Wheeler Wilcox