Posts Tagged ‘women’

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

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The Phase

April 11, 2015

The Phase

Cosmic balance returned to Barracks Row two weeks ago when the Phase 1 Bar and Nightclub was reopened after three months of  renovation. Founded in 1970, “The Phase” is said to be the oldest continually operating lesbian bar in the USA and the oldest LGBT bar in the Nation’s Capital. That’s pretty amazing, since America’s lesbian bars are an endangered species.

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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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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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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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Patricia Arquette Minds the Gap

February 24, 2015

Patricia Arquette Minds the Gap

When Patricia Arquette accepted the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, she had words of support for other working women (especially working moms): “It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America.”

While not everyone gave her performance (or her backstage chatter) rave reviews, Jesus smiled on it (okay, it’s Jared Leto). And so did  Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez:

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Going Home

October 28, 2014

“Going Home,” a short film directed by Vikas Bahl, featuring Alia Bhatt.

Read about it here.

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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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Mind the Gap

October 9, 2014

Mind the Gap

“According to calculations from the Equal Payback Project, American women are owed $29,811,746,430,000 (that’s U.S. dollars, also known as U.S. golden dollars with Sacagawea on them) due to the wage gap.

Working female Sarah Silverman is fund-raising for this exact amount. She promises that if this fund-raising goal is met, each woman in America will receive a check. If not, the money will go the National Women’s Law Center, which advocates for legal and structural changes to support professional women. They’re only trillions dollars away from removing this gap off the list of gaps facing women today.”

— “Sarah Silverman Is Fund-raising 29 Trillion Dollars,” Maggie Lange, New York Magazine

More:

“Sarah Silverman creates provocative new video on women’s salaries and ‘the $500,000 vagina tax,'” Siri Srinivas, The Guardian

“Everything you need to know about the gender wage gap,” Danielle Kurtzleben, Vox

“Pay Equity & Discrimination,” Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

 Video after the jump (NSFW, of course, it’s Sarah Silverman.)

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Endangered Species: Lesbian Bars

September 13, 2014

Endangered Species: Lesbian Bars

“’West Hollywood does not have a lesbian bar anymore. Philadelphia doesn’t have one. Houston doesn’t have one, and I could go on and on,’ Clements [playwright and journalist Alexis Clements] explains. She noted the decline of lesbian and feminist venues of all sorts. ‘That ranges from feminist bookstores, to bars, to arts organizations. All of these spaces are kind of going through a variety of different struggles that in some way are similar.’

In response to this decline, Clements re-adjusted her original theater tour, and will now be combining play readings with documenting some of the remaining lesbian spaces.

But Clements notes these struggles may actually reflect positive changes — people don’t need a lesbian bar as a refuge, because the culture at large is more accepting.”

— “The disappearance of lesbian bars may signal change,” Deena Prichep, Marketplace.org

The theater tour didn’t include Washington’s Phase 1 on Barracks Row, said to be the oldest continually operating lesbian bar in the USA, but Ms. Clements tells us she hopes to show the completed film there.

More:

“Unknown Play Project – Documentary Film,” Alexis Clements, Hatchfund.org

Unknown Play Project website

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Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-jPe

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.

lnternational Women’s Day

March 8, 2014

March 8, 2014 is International Women’s Day. The century-old observance has its origin in social demonstrations for voting rights and political representation, but the facts of economic inequality were always obvious and acknowledged. That’s why we prefer the IWD video (above) by the nonprofit Kiva microfinance group to the better-known, token Doodle Google (below).

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