Category Archives: Biography

Anti-Choice is misogynistic

 “Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg” by Irin Carmon, Shana Knizhnik –

“Unable to win majority support, over time anti-choice advocates began to justify restrictions on abortion as protecting women and not just the unborn. Kennedy’s opinion reflects the influence of this new anti-abortion argument. 

This way of thinking reflects ancient notions about women’s place in the family and under the Constitution— ideas that have long since been discredited. 

RBG is calling out the rationale for prohibiting abortion as “protecting women.” She says that this kind of anti-abortion argument reflects and reinforces the very stereotypes about women’s decision-making capacity and social roles that the court struck down as unconstitutional in sex discrimination cases— including in ones RBG argued herself. Once again, women are being told not to worry their pretty heads about it, this is for their own good.”

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On marriage

 “Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg” by Irin Carmon, Shana Knizhnik –

“What Wiesenfeld meant by “alternative,” and what was hinted by RBG’s use of the phrase life partner was a marriage in which the woman didn’t lose herself and her autonomy, in which two humans shared their lives and goals on equal footing. It wasn’t so common anywhere, least of all among people who came of age in the 1950s.”

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Captain Susan Struck

 “Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg” by Irin Carmon, Shana Knizhnik –

“never considered herself a feminist, but she also didn’t behave like women were supposed to. For one thing, she had volunteered to be sent to Vietnam . In 1970, when she got pregnant, she refused to quit or get an abortion, the only options the military offered her. Ironically, abortion was still illegal almost everywhere in the United States, and it was a shock when , in 1969, radical feminists had held the first-ever abortion speak-out in a church basement in New York. Military bases were the exception.

 Struck, raised Catholic, had enough sick leave saved up to give birth and give her baby up for adoption. So Struck kept ignoring, then challenging, her discharge notices. She turned to the ACLU for help. RBG jumped at the chance to build a gradual case that reproductive freedom was a condition of equality, beginning with a woman who didn’t want an abortion. She couldn’t help but notice the hypocrisy of a country that banned abortion except when it was convenient for the military.”
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Woman’s Choice…

 “Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg” by Irin Carmon, Shana Knizhnik –

“The problem the WRP faced in connecting pregnancy to their line of sex-discrimination cases was this: Even if a man could take care of the kids and the elders, and a woman could join the air force and handle the family finances, only one of them could get pregnant and give birth. RBG and her team had to convince the justices that pregnancy too was a matter of equality— or inequality— and not just something special that women indulged in, off on their own. Even more radically, RBG wanted the Supreme Court to recognize that women would never be equal if they could not control their reproductive lives, whether they wanted to be pregnant or not. That meant the right to an abortion, and it meant the right to be free of discrimination for staying pregnant.”

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All great journies begin with a single step.

 “Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg” by Irin Carmon, Shana Knizhnik –

“RBG learned a lesson that would stay with her for the rest of her life. She had been trying to teach the justices, and she wouldn’t give up. But as she later acknowledged, “one doesn’t learn that lesson in a day. Generally, change in our society is incremental, I think. Real change , enduring change, happens one step at a time.” She would have to be patient. She would have to be strategic. And maybe a little deaf.”

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Women in Law

 “Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg” by Irin Carmon, Shana Knizhnik –

“RBG watched these female students with some awe. How different they were from her generation, who’d been terrified of making a splash. When a handful of students came to RBG in 1970 and asked her to teach the first-ever Rutgers class on women and the law, she was ready to agree. It took her only about a month to read every federal decision and every law review article about women’s status. There wasn’t much. One popular textbook included the passage “Land, like woman, was meant to be possessed.” (The book was about land ownership; women were just the analogy.) When she left the library, RBG knew this much: Her days of quiet acceptance were over. That included accepting Rutgers’s giving her the ladies’ discount.”

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Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

!!!! I got an award!    ?    Cool. Hahaha.

Thank you Tea and a Good Read for nominating me! I too didn’t know that anyone read my blog :-).

Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site.
  • Put the award logo on your blog.
  • Answer the ten questions sent to you.
  • Make up ten new questions for your nominees to answer.
  • Nominate ten blogs.

Questions:

1.) What is your favourite book of 2015 so far

Probably The Strange Case of Hellish Nell because it’s a supposedly true story that is beyond belief. It’s about Helen Duncan, the last person imprisoned under the Witchcraft Act of 1735 for being a thorn in the British Government’s side during WWII because she kept predicting strategic war events before they were revealed to the public. Whether or not this book has any truth to it, it was still a really fun read.

2.) If you could be any literary character, who would you be?

Hmm….well, I wrote one of my essays to get into college about Peter Pan and never wanting to grow up. ‘Course, my take on it was about embracing adulthood while still taking regular flights of fancy back into childhood–to enjoy playing with blocks and doing puzzles with the Kindergartners :-). Or just reading those books that take you back to the land of fairies where you don’t have to worry about bills and family feuds

3.) E-books or hard copies? And why?

Hard copies for 2 reasons. I love the feel of a real book in my hands. And since I only have a laptop for a “digital device” if I’m going to read an e-book, it’d be on this. On my computer, I have a habit of forgetting about my book in favor of researching whatever happens to pop into my head. Plus, hard copies of books don’t have batteries that go dead while you’re stuck on the side of the road.

4.) Do you have a literary crush/love and if so, who?

Lots of them, haha. I liked the idea of Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility but he felt like an addendum. Huh…I’m sitting here wondering why I haven’t read many “May/December” romances sense obviously I’ve got a thing for older men and then I’m like “Durr–most of my literary crushes are hundreds or thousands of years older than their love interest”. My first crush was probably Beast from Beauty and the Beast.

5.) How do you take your coffee/tea? Cream, milk, sweetener or black?

I don’t drink coffee or tea. I’ll drink Southern Iced Tea (which is rather sweet) if I’m desperate, but usually I drink water, milk, or orange juice.

6.) If you could visit any place in the world (that you haven’t been yet), where would it be?

I’ve always wanted to go to Germany to visit my paternal familial stomping grounds. Attendorn, to be precise. I would want to go to Italy to see where my mom’s family came from, but I don’t know where that is, yet. I got pretty excited when I found a record for a great-grandmother on her side that her parents were born in “Algeria”, but given that the 2 or 3 other census records said her parents were born in “America”, I don’t know what to think.

7.) If you were stuck on a deserted island and could only have one book, what would it be?

Heidi, because then maybe I could actually finish it, haha. I guess for practicalities sake I’d want an environmental textbook on the flora and fauna of the island I was on or a book on survival on a desert island. Before I started dating my boyfriend, Night Play was the book I re-read to make me feel better about being single, haha.

8.) Do you ever read in the dark? And if so, how?

With my eyes closed. Have you ever fallen asleep while reading and swear that you’re reading the actual book? I got into a bit of trouble in high school because we were reading Heart of Darkness and I swore that something had happened, but it turned out that I’d imagined it because I’d been sleeping instead of reading and didn’t know the difference (I was reading it at home the night before and it affected my quiz grade). Of course, what I’d imagined wasn’t much different from the reality which is apparently someone trying to put out a fire with a holey bucket…I think–I never really understood most of Heart of Darkness.

9.) Have you ever been nominated for a blog award (other than this one)?

NOPE!

10.) What is your favourite book-turned movie?

This is a tough question: do you mean the movie that was totally better than the book? Hands down The Notebook. One where the book was so much better than the movie? Water for Elephants. A good movie from a wonderful book: Most of the Harry Potters. And a movie that can take the place of the book(s) (and vice versa) is The Hunger Games series.

My Questions:

  1. What made you start your blog?
  2. What is the book you recommend most often?
  3. What is something you need to do every day?
  4. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
  5. What is something you want to change in your life?
  6. What is your dream job?
  7. Describe your ideal date.
  8. What is your favorite season? Why?
  9. What’s your favorite memory?
  10. Where is Waldo?

Nominees:

Epbot

Treestand Book Reviews

angelica.mercedez.anderson

Breakneck Hobbiest

Little Owl Notes

Bookish Things and Tea

There’s no place like homemade

Carter Library

Family, Life, and Books

These Glittery Hands

Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science– and the World

I picked this book mostly on a gut instinct based on the title and the cover while looking for my next book to blog for. I didn’t think twice about getting this one and ordered it immediately. When I received it in the mail, I was kind of astonished to realize that I’d already put it on my mental to-read list, though it hadn’t actually made it to my physical one on Goodreads. I’d stumbled upon the blurb originally during one of my monthly forays into the physical newspaper at work (I only browse it whilst waiting for my food to reheat in the microwave and usually don’t make it past the front page).

I can only say that I’m thrilled that this book reappeared in my life :-).

loved that the first mini-biography (or rather micro-biographies) was about Mary Putnam Jacobi (1842-1906) who put a lot of effort into writing a well researched paper on exactly why it was utter bullshit that educating women caused their ovaries to shrivel up and die (as was the leading argument by a male who didn’t like the idea of educating women). I though this the perfect place to start this amazing list of women.

However, if you were expecting to find a blurb on Marie Curie in this book, you’ll be sadly disappointed. I don’t really agree with the reasoning behind this omission (it’s discussed in the introduction)–that she’s simply too famous to be included. The methodology for choosing these 52 women (which does include Iréne Joliot-Curie, one of Marie’s daughters) doesn’t say that they must be women who were overlooked during their day. Unwittingly when I was ordering my books from the library for this month(s), I grabbed Almost Famous Women  where I do expect to find a lack of the usual favorites. The women in this book run the gambit of those who were ignored, stolen from, and those who were actually given a lot of praise sooner or later in their career (the category to which Curie belongs).

I have to say that I was somewhat disappointed by the limited scope of these micro-biographies. Generally, except for when a bit of author’s bias creeps in, these are cut and dry descriptions of where these ladies came from, what their passion was, and how they went about making their discoveries. There is just a bare hint that one of the reasons Jacobi was so pissed off by Clarke’s book (Sex in Education; or, A Fair Chance for Girls) was because she was a mother as well as a scientist, so obviously her ovaries hadn’t shriveled up beyond use. While I too find it appalling that the obituary that gave rise to this book listed Yvonne Brill’s “mean stroganoff” well before mentioning that she was a brilliant rocket scientist, I think it harmful to disregard how these women themselves felt about their circumstances.

I consider myself a “practical libertarian communist” with the communist aspect being relevant here: at work, I feel proud when we as a team succeed. I don’t need the personal accolades or recognition to feel like I’ve done a good job. I don’t even mind when someone else takes credit for something that I’ve done a lot of work on, namely because of the smug satisfaction I have knowing that without me they’d fall flat on their face. So long as I make a fair wage for the work that I’ve done, anyone and their brother can step in and claim all the glory. Of course, if they were able to reap the benefits of this glory without me benefiting as well (not foreseeable where I work), then I’d happily step aside and let the glory-takers prove their worth. Currently for me this “glory” is the responsibility of talking to customers and solving the problems that I try my damnest to prevent before they happen even though this is NOT my responsibility, which is why I can’t stop a good half of them.

Anyway, I just dislike when people decide that folks who are seemingly “oppressed” should feel outrage over their situation. Different strokes for different folks, as I say, so while it’s nice to see a generally cut and dry account of these women’s scientific achievements, I think it’s unfair to not list her children if at the end of the day she felt that that was her biggest achievement.

While these micro-biographies are informative, I think they should just be the jumping off point for further research. I know I plan to look into at least a few of these ladies more in depth. I may even finish Madame Curie which I set aside immediately after reading the part about her husband’s death. Otherwise it was a really good book!

I received this book for free from Blogging For Books in exchange for this honest review.

Awesome Ladies of Science
Awesome Ladies of Science by Tc43Industries
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Ah! The element of surprise!
Ah! The element of surprise! by Squidyes
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