Archive for the ‘women’ Category

My Boyfriend’s Coming Home For Christmas

December 24, 2015

“My Boyfriend’s Coming Home For Christmas,” written and performed by Toni Wine, a prodigious Brill Building songwriter and uncredited session backup singer on many rock and pop hits. She wrote and recorded this holiday tune in 1963, when she was 16 years old. Ms. Wine later left New York for Memphis, where she worked with (and married) record producer Chips Moman.

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The Mother of Thanksgiving

November 26, 2015

The Mother of Thanksgiving

America’s Thanksgiving national holiday doesn’t go directly back to Plymouth Rock. It’s due to the persistence of Sarah Josepha Hale (1788 – 1879). Mrs. Hale was a poet, a novelist, and the influential editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book magazine. She was a New Englander by birth, and thought everyone in the USA should celebrate that region’s Pilgrim founders the way they did it in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Sarah Josepha Hale also wrote cookbooks, and described a New England Thanksgiving meal in her novel Northwood. The menu includes roast turkey, sirloin of beef, leg of pork, loin of mutton, bowls of gravy, plates of vegetables, a goose, a pair of ducklings, chicken pie, plates of pickles, preserves and butter, wheat bread, plum pudding, custards, pumpkin pie, rich cake, sweetmeats and fruits, currant wine, cider and ginger beer.

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Privilege

October 24, 2015

“Let’s Talk About Privilege,” a short video by SNL’s Sasheer Zamata.

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Dr Cosby’s Prescription

July 7, 2015

Dr. Cosby's Prescription

Bill Cosby’s 1960s stand-up comedy act had a family-friendly reputation, but that overlooks a routine where he described a teenage fantasy about slipping Spanish Fly, a legendary aphrodisiac, into women’s drinks.

In sworn court testimony from 2005 recently obtained by AP, the comedian admitted obtaining seven Quaalude prescriptions in the 1970s:

”When you got the Quaaludes, was it in your mind that you were going to use these Quaaludes for young women that you wanted to have sex with?’ lawyer Dolores M. Troiani asked. ‘Yes,’ Cosby answered ….'”

— “APNewsBreak: Cosby said he got drugs to give women for sex,” Maryclaire Dale, Associated Press.

William Henry Cosby received a Doctorate in Education, but seems to have confused it with Cliff Huxtable’s medical degree.

Quaaludes, the “date-rape drug” of the Disco Era, were made a controlled Schedule 1 drug in 1985. Bill Cosby made a public service announcement for the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids in 1990.

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Heels USA: The Height of Fashion

May 13, 2015

Heels USA

Las Vegas, Miami and Puerto Rico: Where stiletto heels are highest, and orthopedic surgeons are busy. Data wranglers at the Gilt fashion website created a map comparing the average height of women’s high heels in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

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Mothers Day, a Horror Story

May 9, 2015

Mothers Day, a Horror Story

This is a tale of love, obsession, madness, candy, and carnations. It is the story of Mother’s Day.

The holiday was passionately promoted by single-minded spinster Anna Jarvis (1864-1948), described by Michael Farquhar as “… a woman of fierce loyalty and tireless enterprise and a total raving lunatic.”

Miss Jarvis worshipped her mother’s memory, and no wonder. Her mother, Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis (1832 – 1905), was truly a saint. Daughter of a clergyman, Ann Maria Reeves married merchant and minister Granville E. Jarvis and gave birth to 11 children, only four of whom survived into adulthood.  In 1851 Mrs. Jarvis, a Sunday School teacher, founded Mothers Day Work Clubs in West Virginia. These met in local churches but were no parish sewing circles.  The clubs dealt with health care, disability, infant mortality, poverty, employment, worker safety, food safety, and sanitation issues. Mrs. Jarvis’ brother, James E. Reeves, MD, a public health authority, was a supporter and frequent club lecturer.

The Civil War divided West Virginia communities and families, but Mrs. Jarvis kept Mothers Day Work Club members together. The women treated wounded soldiers on both sides and helped combat typhoid fever and measles epidemics.  After the war Mrs. Jarvis organized an annual Mothers’ Friendship Day to help reunite neighbors who had supported opposing sides. People honored mothers with carnations. After her husband died in 1902, Mrs Jarvis (and her daughters) moved to Philadelphia and lived with her son Claude, a prosperous businessman.

Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis died on the second Sunday in May 1905, and daughter Anna was bereft. Two years after her mother’s death, on the second Sunday in May, Miss Jarvis invited friends to observe the occasion. In 1907  she telegraphed the minister of the West Virginia church her father had built and promoted a 1908 Mother’s Day service there. She did not attend herself, but donated carnations for mothers in the congregation.

Speaking on “Mothers of the Bible,” Mrs. Ann Maria Jarvis once said: “I hope that someone, sometime will found a memorial mothers day commemorating her for the matchless service she renders to humanity in every field of life.” Miss Jarvis devoted her life to fulfilling her mother’s vision. By 1908 she had enlisted prominent Philadelphia allies including philanthropist John Wanamaker. Many states and cities adopted the holiday; the U.S. Congress designated the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day and President Wilson approved the joint resolution in 1914.

Accomplishing her mother’s dream became a nightmare for Anna Jarvis. For her, the holiday was sacred to the memory of her own mother; now it was profaned by hucksterism, the pursuit of profits by florists, confectioners, restaurateurs, and greeting card manufacturers. “I wanted it to be a day of sentiment, not profit,” she said:

“A printed card means nothing except that you are too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world. And candy! You take a box to mother—and then eat most of it yourself. A pretty sentiment! “ Anna Jarvis

It drove her nuts. Literally. She ended her life in a sanitarium.

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Pope Francis Says the Gender Wage Gap is a Scandal

April 30, 2015

Pope Francis Says the Gender Wage Gap Is a Scandal
“The Christian seed of radical equality between men and women must bring new fruits,” Pope Francis said on Wednesday. “We should support with decisiveness the right to equal pay for equal work. Why should it be taken for granted that women must earn less than men? The disparity is pure scandal.”

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PMS

April 13, 2015

PMS

“The symptoms aren’t the same for every woman, but again, many of us experience some combination of them. And the incredible part is that almost as soon as a woman’s period begins, the symptoms in many cases vanish: energy levels bounce back, the aches, pains, and bloating go away, and mood lifts again.

An even smaller subset of women, about one in 20, experience even worse symptoms, particularly depression and anger. These women meet the criteria for a condition called premenstrual dysphoric disorder, or PMDD, which is now included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. It’s basically a very extreme form of PMS.”

— “PMS affects 75 percent of menstruating women — but scientists are still baffled by it,” Julia Belluz, Vox

More:

“Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder: Evidence for a New Category for DSM-5,” Epperson, Steiner, Hartlage, et al., Am J Psychiatry. 2012 May; 169(5): 465–475 via NCBI

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Image (after Reynold Brown) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length

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Texas Legislator: ‘Get That Fetus a Lawyer!’

March 9, 2015

Texas Legislator: 'Get That Fetus a Lawyer!'

Texas State Representative Matt Krause (R-District 93, Tarrant County) wants legal representation for fetuses, and has introduced a bill to that effect in the Texas House of Representatives. Rep. Krause was one of the first graduates of Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University School of Law, and ran the Texas branch of Liberty Counsel, a “legal ministry” which, by a remarkable coincidence, is headed by a professor from the Liberty University School of Law.

More:

“New Texas Plan Would Assign Lawyers To Fetuses,” Tara Culp-Ressler, Think Progress

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Short Link:  http://wp.me/p6sb6-kZR

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Lesley Gore, 1946 — 2015

February 17, 2015

Leslie Gore, 1946 -- 2015
Singer Lesley Gore died on Monday at the age of 68. Her first big hit, produced by Quincy Jones, arranged by Claus Ogerman, and written by Wally Gold, John Gluck Jr., and Herb Weiner of Aaron Schroeder Music, was 1963’s “It’s my Party.”

Here’s a clip of Ms. Gore lip-syncing it on Hollywood A Go Go in 1965:

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