Archive for August, 2013

#FoodieFriday: Women & The Grocery Store

August 30th, 2013

By: Sydnee C. Winston, Project Coordinator

According to a recent study commissioned by the Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA) and GfK Custom Research North America, women still dominate grocery shopping. Despite significant increases in women’s professional and personal advancement in recent decades, the time they spend grocery shopping has not decreased. According to the report, “two-thirds of women still handle most of the grocery shopping–with three-quarters of those women forming shopping lists, and 53 percent taking time to clip coupons and research sales. Six in 10 of the women surveyed spend more than an hour shopping in the supermarket.”

According to the same study, women are also the “rulers of the kitchen.” “84 percent of women are the sole preparers of meals in the household, with 61 percent of women stating that they prepare meals at least five times per week. Moreover, the majority of these meals are not prepackaged, as 64 percent said they make most meals using fresh ingredients.”

How about you? Are you the primary grocery shopper for your family? Do you find that the results of this study rings true in your day-to-day life?  Tell us about your experience!

…And just because it’s Friday and we love interesting tidbits, we thought we’d share a fascinating video about supermarket psychology with you:

Click here to see the source and to read more about the study. Don’t forget to check back for next week’s #FoodieFriday.

#ThrowbackThursday: The girl who acted before Rosa Parks

August 29th, 2013

by Elissa Blattman, Project Assistant

Every American child learns about Rosa Parks in school.  On December 1, 1955, she, a black woman, was arrested for refusing to give her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus to a white man.  Her arrest led to a boycott of the city’s public transportation that lasted 381 days and ignited the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s.

Nine months earlier, Claudette Colvin was arrested for the exact same thing.  She was just 15 years old.

Colvin grew up in a poor black neighborhood in Montgomery, Alabama.  She was well accustomed with the Jim Crow laws of the South.  She says the first time she realized things were different for her was when she was a little girl and her mother took her to a department store.  A white boy started staring at her and laughing because she looked different than him. She put her hands up to his to show him they both were really the same.  Her mother slapped her for acting out and touching a white person.  She picked up quickly that black people “had to be on their best behavior” while out in public because of Jim Crow.  In school, she learned about inequalities black people in the South faced on a regular basis.  She attended an all-black school, as Alabama did not actually desegregate its schools until years after the 1954 Brown v. Board Supreme Court decision.  Her instructors took the time to teach their students about Jim Crow and about Black History, especially during February.  February was the month during which Negro History Week (as it was then known) was celebrated around the country, but Colvin’s school celebrated Black History for the entire month, as we do now, because her teachers felt black people were absent from history books. Her personal heroes were Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth. Read the rest of this entry »

Muriel Siebert (1928-2013)

August 28th, 2013

Muriel “Mickie” Siebert passed away this past weekend at the age of 84. She was the first woman to buy a seat on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the first female head of NYSE’s member firms, and the first female superintendent of New York’s banks.

When Siebert was in college, she was the only female student in her finance classes.  She left college before graduating, though, because her father was sick. Eventually she moved to New York, where she sought work in the male-dominated financial industry. She found that when the New York Society of Security Analysts, the agency distributing her resume, sent her resume with her full name, she received no interviews.  When they sent the resume with her initials, she got calls – because hiring managers could not tell she was a woman.  When she finally got jobs, she left multiple of them after finding out the men there were being paid more than her.  As she became more and more fed up with not earning the same amount as men, a male colleague suggested she “buy a seat [on the NYSE] and work for [herself].”

Of the 1,366 total seats on the NYSE, none, at the time, were filled with women.  Siebert found it a difficult task to break into they boys club of Wall Street.  The first nine men she asked to sponsor her for a seat turned her down. Men told her she could not be admitted because there were no women’s bathrooms for her and because “women couldn’t handle the rough language on Wall Street.” NYSE insisted she get a loan of $300,000 (of the total $445,000 cost to get a seat) from a bank before admittance, which they never asked of a man, but the banks required her to be admitted before giving her a loan.  Eventually she got a sponsor and the loan, and purchased her seat in 1967.  It would be a full decade before another woman would join her.

Siebert was also active off Wall Street.  She donated millions of dollars to help women to break into the business and finance fields.  In 1982, she made an unsuccessful bid for the Senate.  Running as a Republican, she described herself as “very conservative fiscally and probably quite liberal in terms of people and human rights.”  In 1999, she developed a high school curriculum to teach students about personal finance.  She also was a member of the International Women’s Forum and the New York Women’s Forum.

Sources: New York Times, Bloomberg, CNN Money

Joan Wages Featured on “Woman Around Town”

August 27th, 2013

NWHM President & CEO, Joan Wages, was featured in an article yesterday on “Woman Around Town.” The article explored the history of the American Woman Suffrage Movement as well as NWHM’s challenges in building a museum in the nation’s capitol. Click the photo below to read the article.

Happy Women’s Equality Day!

August 26th, 2013

Since 1971, Women’s Equality Day has been celebrated annually on August 26.  The celebration falls on the anniversary of American women officially being granted the right to vote.

The Woman Suffrage Amendment was first introduced on January 10, 1878.  It was resubmitted numerous times until it was finally approved by both the House and Senate in June 1919.  During the following year, suffragists lobbied states trying to round up support from the required two-thirds of them needed to ratify the amendment.  By just one vote, Tennessee became the last state needed to approve the amendment when its final vote was officially recorded in favor of woman suffrage on August 24, 1920.  That one vote belonged to Harry Burn, who heeded the words of his mother when she urged him to vote yes on suffrage.  US Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby signed the amendment into law on August 26, 1920.

Fifty years later on August 26th, 1970, Betty Friedan and the National Organization for Women organized a nationwide Women’s Strike for Equality.  Women across the political spectrum joined together to demand equal opportunities in employment and education, and for 24 hour childcare centers.  This was the largest protest for gender equality in US history.  There were demonstrations and rallies in more than 90 major cities and small towns across the country and over 100,000 women participated, including 50,000 who marched down Fifth Avenue in New York City.

Several other acts occurred on that day to help the cause and prompt more press coverage on the Women’s Movement.  For example, women in New York City took over the Statue of Liberty, hanging two 40 foot banners from the crown.  One read: “March on August 26 for Equality.” The other: “Women of the World Unite.”  An organized group stopped the ticker tape at the American Stock Exchange, and they held signs with slogans like, “We won’t bear any more bull.”  Women also filed a lawsuit against the New York City Board of Education in which they demanded gender equality in appointing educational administration positions.  The case lasted about 10 years and finally resulted in a larger increase in female principals.

While the strike did not halt the activities of the nation, it drew national attention to the Women’s Movement.  The New York Times, for example, published their first major article on the Feminist Movement by covering the events of the day.  It even included a map of the route the marchers took through New York City.

In 1971, Representative Bella Abzug (D-NY) introduced a successful bill designating August 26th of each year as Women’s Equality Day.  Part of the bill reads that Women’s Equality Day is a symbol of women’s continued fight for equal rights and that the United States commends and supports them.  It decreed that the President is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation annually in commemoration of woman suffrage and the 1970 Strike for Equality. Women today continue to draw on the history of these brave and determined women.

Read President Obama’s proclamation for Women’s Equality Day 2013 here.

Photo credit: Library of Congress (c. 1913)

#FoodieFriday: Women and the Hunger Problem

August 23rd, 2013

by Elissa Blattman, Project Assistant

Food insecurity “is the household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food” – Feeding America

Globally, there are approximately 870 million people who do not get enough food to lead a healthy life.  Most of those that go hungry live in developing nations.  International organizations, such as the UN’s World Food Programme and The Hunger Project, work to end hunger on a global scale.  A main part of their work focuses on empowering women because not only are women hit the hardest by hunger, they are also the ones who most often are responsible for providing food for their families and communities.

Around 60 percent of the people living with hunger worldwide are women.  Females, especially adult women, often are the last in their families to get food.  Women also usually have less access to the resources needed to produce their own food or only have access to lower quality resources to make producing their own food a less daunting task.  It is said that providing women farmers with adequate resources could help feed up to an additional 150 million people.  The more educated and empowered a woman is, the less likely she and her family are to be hungry.  When women earn more money, the health of their children improves.

Read the rest of this entry »

#ThrowbackThursday: The Abduction of Olive Oatman

August 22nd, 2013

Olive Ann Oatman was just an 11-year-old girl in the summer of 1849 when her father, Royse Oatman, a former farmer and store-owner from New York, decided to relocate her, her mother, her three sisters and her three brothers to the New Mexico Territory (now Arizona). Royse Oatman could not have known the tragic and horrific fate that would befall his family, and so with a mind to forge a better life for them, he and his family joined a colony of Brewsterite Mormons planning to settle in the Yuma area.

Some 50 colonists, including the Oatman clan, gathered at Independence, Mo. in the Spring of 1850. They’d organized a wagon train under James Brewster and on August 10, embarked on  their perilous journey down the Santa Fe Trail. It didn’t take long for dissension to cause confusion and conflict among the wayfarers and to cause the group to split. Eight of the wagons now followed the Rio Grande-Gila route with Royse Oatman at the helm. With a shift in his objective and a new determination to go to California, Oatman led his party with little mercy. They rode long and hard under the sun’s oppressive heat and atop the unruly terrain, and when several of his oxen collapsed from exhaustion and members of the crew wanted to stop and rest, Oatman forged on with his family, fearing that his stock would perish before reaching California.

The Oatmans had been traveling for nearly a year by March 18, 1851. The family was moving along the Gila River (later known as Oatman flat) when some 19 Yavapai  attacked them. They were eighty miles from Fort Yuma. Young Olive, now thirteen, watched in horror as her mother, father, brothers and sisters were bludgeoned in their heads with war clubs until they died. Only she and her sister, Mary Ann, aged seven, were spared. Her brother Lorenzo, fifteen, was left for dead but managed to escape. Read the rest of this entry »

Why I Started the Women’s History Series Of First Day Covers

August 19th, 2013

By: Judith Kaplan

The catalyst of creating the Women’s History Series of First Day Covers was the “aha” moment I had, when I realized that there is an enormous missing piece in our educational system. This omission is vividly illustrated when we look at the issuing of new postage stamps. Postage stamps are one way a country “advertises” what it values to its citizens and to the rest of the world. When I began this project, it was clear to me that the U.S. did not value the achievements and contributions of women to its history and culture. Out of approximately 35 new stamps issued yearly, on average only 3 might honor women, directly or indirectly.

I personally collected Women’s History on US first day covers that were envelopes, called covers, cancelled on the First Day of a new stamp. I wanted to transform the appalling ratio of women to men on new stamps that I discovered, while at the same time promoting women’s history. Any person or entity may make an FDC for themselves, as gifts, to sell. They illustrate the cover typically with their artistic interpretation of the new stamp’s subject. The artistic illustration is called a cachet.

As my motivation was to change the 3:35 ratio of subjects of new stamps, I created the series whereby my cachet illustrations would link the subject of every new stamp to a person or event in Women’s History. The series lasted from 1976 to 1980 and consisted of 180 different first day covers.  I know the series influenced the subjects issued later as several of the subjects of my cachets were subsequently honored on new US postage stamps.

#FoodieFriday: Top 6 Cookbooks That Have Impacted American Kitchens

August 16th, 2013

By: Sydnee C. Winston, Project Coordinator

1. The Art of Cookery

Hannah Glasse’s The Art of Cookery (1747) was one of the most important culinary publications in England and the American colonies during the late 18th century. It was the standard cookbook for homes across the English-speaking world.

2. Boston Cooking–School Cook Book

Fannie Farmer’s 1896 classic Boston Cooking–School Cook Book introduced standardized measurements. If it hadn’t been for her we might still be using “a pinch here” and a “handful” there.

3. Mastering the Art of French Cooking

Our beloved Julia Child doesn’t really need introduction, does she? Her famous cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, is credited with bringing French cuisine to the American public and their kitchens! Read the rest of this entry »

#ThrowbackThursday: Women of the Woodstock Nation

August 15th, 2013

by Elissa Blattman, Project Assistant

Today marks the 44th anniversary of the first day of the Woodstock Music & Art Fair that was held on Max Yasgur’s farm in Bethel, New York from August 15-18, 1969.  Overall, 10 women performed on the main stage at the festival, in front of the over 400,000 people in attendance.  This week’s Throwback Thursday post celebrates four of those women who have stood out over time as symbols of the Woodstock generation.

1. Melanie (took the stage around 11:00pm, Friday, August 15)

When Melanie Safka got the Woodstock gig, it was not because she was a mega star.  In fact, she had only performed in small coffee shops around Greenwich Village and was basically unknown as a musician outside of that neighborhood.  She worked in the same office building as the Woodstock organizers and asked if she could play.  Out of the 32 acts to grace the Woodstock stage, Melanie, John Sebastian, and Country Joe McDonald (his first set sans the Fish), were the only ones to perform solo.

By the time Melanie walked off the Woodstock stage, she had become an instant celebrity.  She seemed to the masses to embody the flower child ideal and her music resonated with the crowd who sat through her performance in the rain.  During her set, candles and cigarette lighters were raised up in the air, illuminating the crowd, which was supposedly the first time an audience at a concert had done that.  Seeing that site inspired Melanie to write one of her most famous songs, “Lay Down (Candles in the Rain).”  The year after Woodstock, five major music publications named her Female Vocalist of the Year.  Some of her other hits include, “Brand New Key,” “Beautiful People,” which she sang at Woodstock, and her cover of “Ruby Tuesday.”  Throughout her more than 40 years making music, Melanie has sold over 80 million records.  She continues to tour. Read the rest of this entry »