Archive for the ‘All News’ Category
By: Elissa Blattman, NWHM Intern
We are starting a couple of new themed days on our NWHM blog! Today’s theme: Throwback Thursday. Each Thursday, we will be posting a multimedia clip from the past that was relevant to and reflective of women’s lives in the time period it was made. Check back every Thursday for exciting videos, audio clips, photos, and more!
For the past two weeks, the news that TV legend, Valerie Harper, has incurable (“so far”) brain cancer has been all over the media. I am a huge fan of Harper’s and Rhoda Morgenstern, the character she played for nine years on both The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda, is my favorite television character of all time. While Harper has been making the rounds encouraging people to live for the now, I would like to celebrate one of my favorite moments from her past. So, to kick off Throwback Thursday, here is a scene from a 1975 episode of Rhoda, “Windows by Rhoda.”
I love it when pop culture and social history come together, and I think this clip is definitely indicative of a meshing between the two, as it highlights many of the issues women were protesting during the Women’s Movement of the late 1960s and 1970s. Rhoda had been a department store window dresser for at least five years by this time, since The Mary Tyler Moore Show started in 1970, but in this episode, she decides to start her own window dressing business, Windows by Rhoda. In this clip, Rhoda and her husband, Joe, are in the process of setting up Rhoda’s new office. The building manager comes in and asks Joe to sign Rhoda’s lease because “they prefer that the man of the house sign it.” Rhoda stands up for herself, telling the building manager it is her office and that she paid for it with her own money, and then signs the lease anyway. She then goes on to tell Joe she faces discrimination like that “all the time” as a working woman, gives him one such example right before someone else comes into the office and proves her example right, and explains to him why she needs a separate identity other than that of his wife.
One of the main goals of the Women’s Movement was to get women out of the home and into the workforce (this applied mostly to white women, as women of color often did not have the luxury to choose between staying at home and working). Women were coming together to push for equal job opportunities, equal pay, and equal treatment at work. They were also asserting their right to go into business for themselves. In order to do this, women often needed the ability to obtain their own bank accounts, loans, credit, and leases without discrimination or necessary approval from their husbands or other male relatives. Within the short span of this clip, Rhoda touches on all these issues and more.
Check out this video of Bella Abzug talking about how she helped pass the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974, which prohibits creditors from discriminating against applicants, including on the basis of sex.
Join in on the conversation! Post comments below or Tweet us @womenshistory using the hashtag #ThrowbackThursday.
This article in the Washington Post points to a new study by the Pew Research Center that found 37 percent of working mothers said they would rather work full time, a 16 percent increase from 2007. The article mentions the newly released Sheryl Sandberg book, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, in which she discusses the lack of recent progress for women in the workforce and offers suggestions for women to gain power, especially in top executive positions. The article also cites the recession, however, and not women’s career goals, as perhaps the key factor behind the study’s findings.
Do you agree with the article? Do you think working full-time has more to do with economic necessity or professional aspirations, or is it an equal balance of both?
On March 12, 2013, NWHM President & CEO Joan Wages was a guest on the radio show “Best Ever You.”
Click here to listen to the interview: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/besteveryou/2013/03/12/national-womens-history-museum–nwhm.
At 3:20 pm on Monday, March 3, 1913, 5,000 marchers, who had descended on Washington, DC in a public testament to their determination to secure the vote for women, began their march down Pennsylvania Avenue. Their destination: The White House. In the lead was lawyer and outspoken suffragist Inez Millholland, dressed in a long flowing white cape and sitting atop her horse, “Grey Dawn.”
One hundred years later, on Sunday March 3, 2013, some 5,000 marchers that included women from all over the US, began that same journey down Pennsylvania Avenue in honor of the courageous suffragists who helped secure the rights we enjoy today.
The parade, organized by the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority in honor of the original 22 founders who marched in the 1913 parade, featured a cross-section of women from Alaska and Ohio to England and Finland. Members, staff and friends of The National Women’s History Museum marched proudly down Penn. Ave, carrying the memories of the suffragists who stood in the same place a century before and fought their way through a surging mob of men who heckled and attacked them.
The parade began at 9am with speeches from Delta Sorority leaders and from NWHM President & CEO, Joan Wages. Delta sisters from all across the US led the parade, which ended at the National Monument.
Although it would take another seven years for American women to secure the vote, the 1913 Suffrage parade was a turning point in the movement largely due to the coverage of the violence that broke out. Americans who had little exposure to the movement or only a marginal interest were suddenly galvanized by images and accounts of the abuse that the peaceful marchers endured.
NWHM would like to thank everyone who came out in the cold on Sunday, March 3rd to participate in the parade and support the Museum!
Watch this video to learn more about the 1913 Suffrage parade in Washington, DC.
National Survey Released Last Night Shows Overwhelming Majority Supports a National Women’s History MuseumMarch 8th, 2013
WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – Women’s history is largely missing from our national story – even today, little is in history textbooks, school curricula, national parks or museums. Polling results released today confirm that two-thirds of the American people think our nation should have a National Women’s History Museum. They also affirm it should reside on the National Mall alongside our other national Museums.
The polling was done by Lake Research Partners, a nationally recognized polling firm. The poll reflects responses from 1008 people – 51% women and 49% men, consistent with the national population. The data came from respondents with a wide diversity by geography, levels of education, age and income.
“We are thrilled these polling results confirm there is huge support for our efforts to establish the National Women’s History Museum on, or close to, the National Mall. We are pleased, but not surprised, they show men as well as women equally support this effort,” said NWHM President & CEO Joan Wages .
“We believe the more people learn about the full contribution women have made in all areas of life; personal and professional, as innovators, inventors, entrepreneurs, pioneers in industry and professions as well as in the home and family, that society overall will benefit. Individuals once hearing about the many contributions women have made and are making to America, are surprised at what they don’t know. Women’s contributions to the building of our nation, from the very start, deserve their place on the Mall where we as a nation show what we honor. We are pleased the public agrees.”
Yesterday, Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced legislation that would create a commission to identify a permanent home for the Museum on or close to the National Mall. The commission will be privately funded. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) are introducing the companion Senate bill. The survey and the introduction of legislation will be announced this evening at a congressional reception being held to honor the new women members of Congress and the Senate.
*About the National Women’s History Museum
Founded in 1996, The National Women’s History Museum is a nonpartisan, nonprofit educational institution dedicated to preserving, interpreting, and celebrating the diverse historic contributions of women and integrating this rich heritage fully into our nation’s history, currently located online at www.nwhm.org. Legislation is underway to purchase federally owned land on which to build the National Women’s History Museum. The site will border several of the nation’s most iconic museums on the National Mall. A coalition of 47 business and professional women’s organizations representing eight million members supports NWHM’s efforts for a permanent site, along with 50,000 members who have supported the Museum. The women’s coalition has publicly advocated for building the Museum near the National Mall. NWHM is a 501(c) (3) organization.
March 8th is International Women’s Day and marks a time when the world takes pause to celebrate women’s economic, political and social achievements worldwide. Check out this about the origins of International Women’s Day and National Women’s History Month!
Then tell us what women in YOUR life have inspired you and why!
By: Carey C. Shuart, NWHM Board Chair
My participation in the Centennial Celebration of the 1913 Suffrage Parade yesterday would have pleased and amazed my grandmother, Blanche Epsy Chenoweth. Blanche was an educator and activist in Chicago in the 1920s and 30s. She might also be amazed that women are still fighting to secure a permanent Museum to house their collective and individual stories, 50 years after her death in 1960.
Although yesterday’s parade was educational, festive and colorful, much like the original parade in 1913, the fact that there is currently no museum in our nation’s capitol to tell those brave suffragist’s stories, underscores the great need for a National Women’s History Museum. Out of the 17,000 museums that exist in the US, women still lack a central space in which narratives that highlight their challenges, successes, ingenuity and unique experiences in building this nation, are heralded to the world. Our foremother’s stories, artifacts, archives and remembrances are begging for a permanent home in Washington, DC.
My own love for women’s history began over twenty years ago, when in 1990, I had to figure out what to do with a box of radio scripts and documents that my grandmother had left with a note that demanded, “DO NOT THROW AWAY.” The realization that there were others with archives encouraged me to found a Women’s Archive and Research Center at the University of Houston to gather and preserve these documents and photographs. The collection is now the Carey C. Shuart Women’s Archive and Research Collection in the UH Libraries Special Collection.
Several years ago, when I became involved with the NWHM effort to build a permanent home for women’s history in Washington D.C., I wanted my home state of Texas to have a presence in this important cause. After joining the Museum and eventually participating on the Advisory Board, I have met members from all over the US and am continually compelled by the enthusiastic growth of participants and interest.
I encourage you to join our organization and consider hosting an event in your city to help spread the word about this important cause. Women are 51% of the US population and we need your help in making sure their history, America’s history, is both celebrated and passed on to the next generations.
100 years after suffrage march, activists walk in tradition of Inez Milholland
Library of Congress – A memorable image from the 1913 Women’s Suffrage Parade was that of Inez Milholland astride a white horse amid the 5,000 marchers.
By Lonnae O’Neal Parker, Published: February 27
At the 100th anniversary of Washington’s Women’s Suffrage Parade on Sunday, participants will march in the bold tradition of suffragette Inez Milholland — even if they, and most of America, have never heard of her. Of all the images and people invoked during this centennial celebration, perhaps the least remembered is the one woman said to have died for the cause.
Milholland, 27, sitting astride a white horse, in white, flowing, Joan of Arc robes is the most iconic image of that 1913 march. When she died three years later, she was hailed as a martyr of the women’s suffrage movement. That she is barely remembered today is part of the challenge and frustration for those who advocate for greater attention to women’s history and for those trying to build a national women’s history museum on the Mall.
The march, sponsored by Delta Sigma Theta sorority and including the National Women’s History Museum, the Sewall-Belmont House Museum and the National Organization for Women, retraces the original 5,000-person march down Pennsylvania Avenue. It will feature women in period costumes and focus broadly on women’s equality.
But in 1913, it was all about the vote.
Milholland, raised in a wealthy Brooklyn family, was educated at Vassar and had a law degree from New York University. Her father was a writer for the New York Tribune, and her parents supported progressive causes, including suffrage and civil rights. She was on the leading edge of educated women advocating for civil, labor and women’s rights. She said she proposed to her husband, Dutch importer Eugen Jan Boissevain, as part of her “new freedom” as a woman.
Milholland and Alice Paul, whom history remembers as an architect of women’s suffrage, organized the 1913 march, and infused it with allegory and symbolism. Justice, liberty, peace and hope were represented by women in robes and colorful scarves, accompanied by the sound of trumpets. Milholland helped wrap the broad themes of American life in canny visual appeals, including her youth and beauty at a time when suffragists were derided for being unfeminine and lacking respectability.
“The only people who have heard about her are those who majored in women’s history in college,” says Joan Wages, president and chief executive of the National Women’s History Museum, which has been trying to secure a permanent site on the Mall for nearly 20 years. “That is because the history textbooks still say that women were ‘given’ the vote in 1920. The 72 years that led up to that 1920 amendment are just erased.” Read the rest of this entry »