General, Politics, Source, Women's History

WALKING WITH WOMEN – Aberdeen’s Women’s Trail …

As more than one woman is connected to some stops, twenty one women are included. These women’s lives span over four hundred years, although the majority died in the twentieth century. Within the Trail it became apparent that there were themes, such as health and civic life. At the site of the former Children’s Hospital (stop Four) four women are commemorated: Clementina Esslemont who founded the Aberdeen Mother and Child Welfare Association in 1909, Fenella Paton who founded the first birth control clinic in Aberdeen in 1926, Dr Agnes Thompson who pioneered services to children and Dr Mary Esslemont (Clementina’s daughter) who worked, inter alia, as a gynaecologist at the hospital. Pioneering speech therapist Catherine Hollingsworth’s story is told at stop Six. At the site of the former General Dispensary (stop Eleven), Maggie Myles, author of a Textbook for Midwives, which has been in print continuously since 1953, is commemorated.

Biography, Politics, Source, Women's History

Courtship and Communication – Early American History vs Today

Abigail Adams wrote in one of her letters to John, “My pen is always freer than my tongue. I have wrote many things to you that I suppose I never could have talk’d.”

Letters gave the women the confidence to openly speak their mind and form a more genuine connection with their significant other. Although today’s forms of communication also provide women with that opportunity, in early American society, this chance was much more treasured and desired.

Biography, Politics, Source, Women's History

Writing Fairy Tales for Australia: Beatrice Wilcken (c. late 1830s/early 40s-1910)

… Wilcken created fairy queens and sprites of traditional fairy beauty. Her tales are filled with romance and the tensions and consequences created by human men and their love of female fairy creatures. Wilcken speaks of the folly of love and her fairies are cautioned that ‘Men are a false race. They rush in at a moment’s pleasure and break the hearts of those who trust them’. In ‘The Jenolan Caves, N.S.W’, Wilcken’s hero discovers a traditional fairy, a ‘beautiful girl…her hair a mass of golden curls; her eyes of the deepest blue’. Falling in love, ‘passionate thoughts overtake him’ and though the fairy does not reciprocate, when he steals a kiss she is turned to stone. The consequences are a warning and a lesson to all maidens in the colony to be guarded and wary of men and their lust.

Event, General, Politics, Source, Women's History

A Century of Feminist Foreign Policy – Looking Back for Help Today

Since WILPF’s inception, the world has experienced 224 wars. During that same timeframe, women won two important struggles for human rights. The first, of course, was the right to vote in 1920; the second, the right to reproductive freedom in 1972. Jacobs, and the group that formed out of the Hague conference insisted then, and we insist now, on a third human right —the right to be at the peace table; to be part of the decisions to make war or keep the peace. Fewer than one in 40 of the signatories of major peace agreements since 1992 have been female, according to the UN development fund for women. This needs to change.

Today, there are 50 ongoing violent conflicts resulting in 50 million refugees around the world, and untold death and destruction. The international trade of lemons and toothbrushes is regulated, but not guns and other weapons. Would the adoption of more feminist foreign policy and an increase in women’s participation in peace negotiations put an end to arms and conflict? Probably not. But the point is not to end conflict, but to resolve it without recourse to military violence. The world is missing a powerful opportunity for creating sustainable peace when it turns to military solutions and restricts the participants at peace negotiations to the men with guns.

Event, Politics, Source, Women's History

Discrimination – A Coat of Many Colors

[In the General Motors (GM) case] … to [outlaw] sex and race discrimination [experienced by individuals or a group], the courts would have had to recognize a new minority classification, African American females. The court opposed the creation of any new classifications proposing that, “the creation of new classes of protected minorities, governed only by the mathematical principles of permutation and combination, [would] clearly raise[*] the prospect of opening the hackneyed Pandora’s box.” If the women had been able to show that they had been victims of discrimination because they were black or because they were women they would have had a case, but because GM was not discriminatory against white women nor black men, the women had no legal case.

Event, General, Politics, Source, Women's History

First Ever LGBT History Festival – Women & the United Kingdom: Part 1

In 1979 when the radio announced the First Strike, American Cruise Nuclear missiles were to be based at Greenham Common USAF Airbase, Sheila Standard ‘was gripped with fear and a sense of inevitable disaster, and felt powerless to do anything. The worst bit was her mum lived near Greenham, and would “get it first!” However … [quickly], all over the country, people started to organise into anti-missile groups, and she joined Withington Against the Missiles, a local group in Manchester, and accidentally got involved in an NVDA (Non-Violent Direct Action) protest becoming one of the “Bunker 4”.Then something truly epic happened … Greenham … thousands of women discovering the power of working together, singing, being silly, the wit and repartee, fear and bravery, that goes with bringing fences crashing down, to the mockery of militarism …

Biography, Politics, Source, Women's History

Who Was Miss Hooper?

Miss Hooper makes an intriguing sight, wrapped up against the elements. You can’t see her face, but this isn’t the only source of mystery – there is also wonder about what she’s doing out there in the hills and how she can even survive, seemingly against the odds. A woman alone in the bitter cold, she seems almost to be a relic from the past.

Biography, Politics, Source, Women's History

Remembering Ellen Harris

In the 1920s and 30s, Ellen Harris played an instrumental role in organizing the Children’s Theatre Group in Winnipeg, where she grew up. As a radio broadcaster with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, she was the host of “Morning Visit” from 1944 to 1952. Ellen Harris established herself as a public figure in Vancouver and throughout the province and participated in a number of other radio programs and broadcasts. She was also the President and driving force behind the BC Ballet Society. Dance was one of her passions.