Her’s Day Thursday

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While looking up info on the web today, I caught a glimpse of today’s Google Doodle. Wondering what it was about, I clicked on the image to learn more. And boy, am I glad I did! Because I found today’s kick-a woman for Her’s Day Thursday, Ida B. Wells!

Ida B Wells Google Doodle

 

Ida B. Wells was born July 16, 1862 in Holly Springs, Mississippi just before Abraham Lincoln delivered the Emancipation Proclamation. Her parents were slaves but recently freed from the proclamation. Ida’s father was very interested in politics and campaigned for black candidates. This spurred Ida’s passion to fight for civil rights.

ida b wells 2

 

Her parents and little brother died during a yellow fever outbreak when she was just 16 years old, leaving her and her other five siblings orphaned with nowhere to go. Ida’s relatives wanted to split the children up between foster homes, but Ida wouldn’t stand for that. She started working as a teacher to provide for her family. She saw discrimination first hand in the segregated school when she realized her white counterparts were paid $80 a month, while she only made $30.

ida b

 

Lit with a fire of indignation at the social systems in place, she started working as an investigative journalist to uncover cruelties against African Americans. Ida uncovered the ugly truth about lynchings, after three of her friends were brutally murdered for crimes they didn’t commit. She wrote many articles about injustices against the black community and fought hard for civil rights. Her activism ruffled feathers, causing the newspaper she worked out to be destroyed. But she didn’t let ignorance from others stop her; she kept going! She worked with many notable leaders of the day, including Frederick Douglass, to promote civil rights for blacks and voting rights for women.

ida memorial

 

Remember today’s “doodle” isn’t just about a neat picture, its about a great woman who fought hard for the rights of her people and her gender.

 

Her’s Day Thursday

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We’ve been seeing a lot of support for women’s rights in the news lately. From Emma Watson’s speeches to Meryl Streep’s emphatic fist bump during Patricia Arquette’s Oscar acceptance to Reese Witherspoon’s #AskHerMore campaign, we see celebrities bringing the female fight to the forefront.

Another cause that’s gaining steam is the “Women on 20’s” campaign. A non-profit group has compiled a list of women they would like to see replace Andrew Jackson on the twenty dollar bill in time for the 100th anniversary (the year 2020) of the Constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote.

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Over 256K votes have been cast since mid-March and the list has been trimmed to four contenders: Eleanor Roosevelt, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, and Wilma Mankiller. The group hopes to garner enough public support to push this through to the President. Help out by casting a vote for your favorite lady here! Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. ET on Mother’s Day, May 10, 2015, so get to it!

Personally, I’d LOVE to see Wilma Mankiller on the $20 bill! But I’m a little partial to a fellow Okie! Go vote, people!

 

 

Her’s Day Thursday

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My sister is in grad school right now and, in one of her classes, she has to read books of different genres and write book analyses’ on them. The other day, I walked by the kitchen table and saw this:

almost astronauts

Which got me thinking, who are the Mercury 13 women? I’ve never heard of them, but they sound like some awesome ladies! Here’s what I found out!

 

Back in 1960, William Randolph Lovelace II (the creator of the tests used to determine whether or not a man could become an astronaut) wondered how women would fare under the same tests. Together with Geraldyn “Jerrie” Cobb, they started their research.

 

Jerrie Cobb, gassing up the shuttle.

Jerrie Cobb, gassing up the shuttle.

Cobb and Lovelace looked over 700 records of female pilots in order to find candidates and finally found 32 women who met the specifications. These women were put through rigorous and, at times, invasive tests that calculated their ability to withstand the stressors of space.

One of the M13 Women riding a stationery bike to test her endurance.

One of the M13 Women riding a stationery bike to test her endurance.

Of the 32 women tested, 13 passed the first phase of testing and were advanced to the next phase. Those women were:

Myrtle Cagle

Jerrie Cobb

Janet Dietrich

Marion Dietrich

Wally Funk

Sarah Gorelick (later Ratley)

Janey Hart (née Briggs)

Jean Hixson

Rhea Hurrle (later Allison, then Woltman)

Gene Nora Stumbough (later Jessen)

Irene Leverton

Jerri Sloan (née Hamilton, later Truhill)

Bernice Steadman (née Trimble)

Eight of the surviving Mercury 13 Women

Eight of the surviving Mercury 13 Women

Because of family commitments, not all women were able to travel to Oklahoma City, OK for additional testing. Some of the women were later asked to go to Pensacola, FL for more testing (Phase III) but received a telegram a few days before the start date, informing them that the training had been cancelled.

Immediately, Jerrie Cobb flew to D.C. to lobby for the right to resume the testing. However, she was met with much resistance. After committee hearings and even letters written to the President of the United States, the program was never reinstated. Though some may see Jerrie Cobb’s fight as lost, it paved the way for future female astronauts like Sally Ride, the first American woman in space.

Jerrie Cobb

Jerrie Cobb

So kudos to you, Mercury 13 women, for having The Right Stuff!

Her’s Day Thursday

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Normally on Her’s Day Thursday, I talk about a BAMF of a woman that changed society’s views of their gender and made waves in the fight for women’s rights. Today, I’m going to talk about two companies that are also working to help women of all shapes, sizes, and colors feel like the queens they are and empower them with ferocity.

While scrolling through my Facebook news feed the other day, I came across this amazing video from Dove. Its part of their “Choose Beautiful” campaign. A social experiment was performed in which Dove hung two signs above doors. One sign read: “Average” and the other, “Beautiful”. They set up hidden cameras to see which door women would walk through and created this video:

What door would you choose?

Retailer Lane Bryant also caught my attention this week. After Victoria’s Secret came out with their “Perfect Body” spread, the backlash was palatable. Who decides what constitutes a “perfect body” anyhow? Certainly not VS! Lane Bryant took matters into their own hands and came out with their own ad, celebrating EVERY body with their Cacique line of lingerie.

lane-bryant-im-no-angel

The LB site says it all: “The women who wear Cacique know that sexy comes in many shapes and sizes. They’re no angels—and they own it. Join the women who are redefining sexy by posting your personal statement of confidence using the hashtag, #ImNoAngel.”

What do you think of the ad?

What companies have you seen that make women feel beautiful? Are there any you feel could be working harder? What would you do to change it? Tell me in the comments below!

Her’s Day Thursday

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Sorry about no post yesterday, folks. Oklahoma decided to kick off spring with tornadoes. So my family and I were hunkered down in the bathroom as an EF1 tornado blew over the top of our home. It may not sound like much, but it ripped apart a school and flipped a semi. I even saw an uprooted tree on the way to the grocery store today! So, yeah, I didn’t have time (or energy or focus) to blog yesterday. But, enough of that. On to today’s kick-a la-day!

I was scrolling through Pinterest the other day and saw an amazing stream of photos. No, not from the set of the new Star Wars flick, but of a female member of the European Parliament taking her young daughter to work with her. That member is Licia Ronzulli.

licia

 

 

A member of the New Forza Italia party, Licia started bringing her daughter, Vittoria, to parliamentarian sessions when she was only 6 weeks old. {Sidebar, how beautiful is that name?!} Ronzulli’s photos of her and her child have brought the question of mandatory paid maternity leave for working mothers back into conversations (one that the U.S. desperately needs to discuss!). 

She is also a member of the Commission of Women Rights and Gender Equality and on the Subcommittee on Human Rights. In 2009, Ronzulli was elected to the position of Vice-Chairman of the Parliamentary Joint Africa-Caribbean-Pacific-UE Assembly. This group promotes human rights and democracy.

This hard-working momma is definitely an awesome gal in my book!

 

Do you know of any other women you’d like to see on Her’s Day Thursday? Tell me in the comments below!

Her’s Day Thursday

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Today’s magnificent momma is Elizabeth Blackwell!

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Elizabeth Blackwell was born in Gloucestershire, England in 1821. Her father, a sugar refiner, believed that all of his children—including his daughters—should be educated and have the same opportunities as anyone else. This is why Mr. Blackwell not only hired a governess for his children, but also private tutors to ensure a quality education.

When she was 11, Elizabeth and her family moved to America. When they arrived, they were all deeply moved by the struggles of slaves and worked hard to help abolish slavery. When Elizabeth’s father died in 1838, Elizabeth and her sisters started a school for young women to help bring in money for the family.

elizabeth blackwell young

Elizabeth continued to teach and fight against slavery. In 1845, she was visiting a friend who was dying from a horribly painful disease (most likely uterine cancer). Her friend told her she wished she was being treated by a female physician because she would be more understanding and possibly have a more comforting bedside manner. This got Elizabeth thinking about a career in medicine.

With the help of a reverend friend (who was a physician before he entered the clergy) she studied anatomy. She reached out to colleges all over the world but faced rejection at every turn. Most of the rejections cited that she: “was a woman and therefore intellectually inferior”, and she “might actually prove equal to the task, prove to be competition, and that could not expect them to ‘furnish [her] with a stick to break our heads with”.

elizabeth blackwell

In 1847, Elizabeth was accepted to Hobart College in New York. Two years later, she became the first woman to receive a medical degree. She faced adversity and prejudice every where she went. However, she did not let it deter her. She found other young women under her wing who had a dream to practice medicine. When the Civil War broke out, Elizabeth and her sisters trained nurses and opened infirmaries.

blackwell marker

She worked tirelessly the rest of her life for social and political reform, and even opened the London School of Medicine for Women in 1874. For more information about the BAMF Elizabeth Blackwell, click here!

elizabeth blackwell

Her’s Day Thursday

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Today’s HDT gal is actually one of my personal faves: Hattie McDaniel.

The name may not ring a bell, but the face surely will.

Hattie McDaniel

Hattie McDaniel was born in Kansas in 1895 to Henry, a Baptist preacher and Susan, a religious singer. Hattie was a natural performer and sang and danced with her older brother’s minstrel show. In 1925, Hattie got her big break by joinging the Melody Hounds—a touring ensemble—which turned into a career in radio.

In 1931, Hattie made her way to L.A. and got a few acting gigs here and there, but not enough to pay the bills. She made her way as a maid or washroom attendant.

Eventually, Hattie gained more and more roles in movies, acting alongside big names like Ginger Rogers, Henry Fonda, and Jimmy Stewart. She also became good friends with the leading man in the film Saratoga—the dashing Clark Gable.

In 1939, Hattie saw Mr. Gable again on the set of Gone With the Wind. Though some were against Hattie playing the character of “Mammy” in the David O. Selznick classic, she took on the role with fierce determination and, in this blogger’s opinion, lit up the screen.

The Academy of Motion Pictures also took notice, awarding McDaniel the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Because of unjust laws at the time, Hattie and her escort were sat far in the back of the ballroom, far from her Gone With the Wind costars. When Hattie accepted her award, however, she did so with grace and dignity:

Hattie Oscar

“Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, fellow members of the motion picture industry and honored guests: This is one of the happiest moments of my life, and I want to thank each one of you who had a part in selecting me for one of their awards, for your kindness. It has made me feel very, very humble; and I shall always hold it as a beacon for anything that I may be able to do in the future. I sincerely hope I shall always be a credit to my race and to the motion picture industry. My heart is too full to tell you just how I feel, and may I say thank you and God bless you.”

Hattie’s victories were not only limited to the Oscars. She also organized a group of African-Americans to fight against a homeowner’s group that were trying to keep blacks out of a prestigious Pasadena neighborhood. Hattie and her organization took their fight to the Supreme Court and won! In 1942, she purchased a beautiful two-story home in the Sugar Hill neighborhood and had yearly parties which her friend, Clark Gable, always attended.

Hattie volunteered for the USO, the American Women’s Voluntary Services, and organized a radio broadcast to raise money for the Red Cross.

Hattie’s acting career and philanthropic activities continued until her death in 1952. She leaves behind an amazing legacy and is a credit to her race and her gender.