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.

Biography, Politics, Women's History

Margaret Sanger – Fighting for Reproductive Rights

Margaret Sanger treated many women who had illegal and dangerous abortion procedures. She fought for birth control information and contraception to be made available, and found it essential to women’s health for this information to be legal … It was very dangerous for Sanger to provide her services and information and she often risked jail time in order to help women.

In 1914, Sanger started The Woman Rebel, a feminist publication. She wanted to provide women with information about contraception. Sanger openly challenged the state and federal Comstock Act, which criminalized contraceptives (“American Experience: Margaret Sanger”). In 1916, Sanger was arrested for opening the first birth control clinic in the country. She worked toward better forms of contraception other than the diaphragm, which was expensive. Sanger helped with the creation of Enovid, the first oral contraceptive …

Biography, Event, Politics, Women's History

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act – A History of Equal Pay

Lilly Ledbetter’s eight year battle started with a little note she found in the women’s bathroom at work. The note ranked her salary alongside the much higher salaries of three male tire-room managers, and Ledbetter was shocked to see that her male peers were making $14,000 and more per year than she was. “I’d worried about being paid less than the men who were doing the same work I was,” Ledbetter records in her memoir, but she never had evidence to prove her suspicions (5). Armed with this alarming new information, Ledbetter took action and sued Goodyear for pay discrimination.

Biography, Politics, Women's History

Marie Curie – Celebrating an Inspirational Woman

… a fabricated scandal was brewing over personal letters published by a right-wing news source that were exchanged between Marie and Paul Langevin, a brilliant former pupil of Pierre’s seated in an unhappy marriage. Marie Curie’s fellow scientist Albert Einstein felt deep outrage on her behalf over this ordeal, and wrote her a letter proclaiming his support:

“I am impelled to tell you how much I have come to admire your intellect, your drive, and your honesty, and that I consider myself lucky to have made your personal acquaintance in Brussels … If the rabble continues to occupy itself with you, then simply don’t read that hogwash, but rather leave it to the reptile for whom it has been fabricated” (Einstein 6).

Politics

Lucy Frances Nettlefold, OBE (1891-1966) – Cross-Fertilisation: from Commerce to Committee – Pt 2

An avid and maniacally fast but safe driver, all her life, she maintained that care should be taken to preserve London’s character and charm. Consistent with this interest, she became a member of the London and Home Counties Traffic Advisory Committee. Charm and character preservation lay behind her contesting: “Piccadilly is a beautiful Mess”, resulting in the Fountain of Eros being maintained and preserved in good condition at its centre for many more years.