The Wedding Series – The Pregnant Bride

Still from the "His Love Makes Me Beautiful" scene
from the 1968 movie, Funny Girl,
starring Barbra Streisand, 
produced by Ray Stark, directed by William Wyler
and distributed by Columbia Pictures

 

When Barbra Streisand performed her famous Ziegfeld Follies scene from Funny Girl back in 1968, audiences found a pregnant bride a shocking -- and at the same time an amusing -- idea, even though the movie scene was set in the 1930s, where a real pregnant bride would have been even more shocking and maybe not quite so amusing. And, historically, rather than escorting his daughter down the aisle to meet her groom, the role of the father of an unwed pregnant daughter was to oversee the proverbial -- or actual -- shotgun wedding.

Women’s History Month – Careers In Politics

There never will be complete equality until women themselves
help to make laws and elect lawmakers. ~ Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906)

Although it took nearly three-quarters of a century, American women made good on Abigail Adams's threat in 1776 to her husband, John Adams, as he participated in the creation of the United States Constitution: "...we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.” Once underway, that rebellion -- begun at the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848 -- lasted another nearly three-quarters of a century, but it resulted in the Nineteenth Amendment, ratified in 1920, which guaranteed all women nationwide the right to vote. Prior to that, each state decided whether to grant women the right to vote, and, shockingly, some states actually revoked their right. But many states did grant women the right to vote, and it was in 1917 that a leader in the suffrage movement of one of those states, Jeannette Rankin of Montana, became the first woman elected to Congress. 

Women’s History Month – First Ladies: American Heroes

White House Official Photo

Former First Lady of the United States Nancy Reagan
1921 - 2016

 

With the passing of former First Lady Nancy Davis Reagan last week, the nation's attention turned briefly to reflect on the role that America's First Ladies have played in building our country -- a position, I might add, that pays no salary. First Lady Pat Nixon once commented that, "Being first lady is the hardest unpaid job in the world." And President Obama brought up the subject a few years ago, mentioning that First Lady Michelle Obama does not get paid for all her work on behalf of the Executive Branch and the country, especially her work to eliminate childhood obesity and encourage Americans to live healthier lives, which in turn can reduce workplace absenteeism and healthcare costs.

Women’s History Month – Ordinary Women Need Not Apply

Our struggle today is not to have a female Einstein get appointed as an assistant professor. It is for a woman schlemiel to get as quickly promoted as a male schlemiel. ~ Bella Abzug, 1977

 

"Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily this is not difficult," said Charlotte Whitton in Canada Month, 1963. 

I agree with Charlotte Whitton's famous statement except for the part that it is not difficult! And to phrase the late, great Congresswoman Abzug's statement more delicately, ordinary women should be able to compete with ordinary men for the same jobs without having to outperform at Einstein's level. Women have always been and continue to be held to a different standard than men when vying for the same opportunities. That's not only a lack of equality, it's a lack of fairness. 

Woman’s History Month – Path to the White House

The 2016 theme of the U.S. National Women's History Month is
Working to Form a More Perfect Union:
Honoring Women in Public Service and Government.

"...it's...a very unique American experience...It's such a great adventure...If the experiment in human living doesn't work in this country, in this age, it's not going to work anywhere." 

~ Hillary Rodham, Student Commencement Speech,
Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA, May 31,1969

“I would argue that right now we have rationed care throughout this country. There are literally millions of Americans who don’t have access to the same quality or quantity of healthcare as millions of others. I heard Dr. Koop say the other day that an uninsured person who enters a hospital with the same problem as an insured person is three times more likely to die than the insured person. And that’s a shocking statistic.”
~ First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, Testimony to Congress
on the President’s Healthcare Reform Proposal,
September 28, 1993 

"If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be
that human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights once and for all."
~ First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton,
Remarks to the United Nations 4th World Conference on Women, Beijing, China
September 5, 1995

 

The echoes of women's voices throughout history -- or herstory, as some feminists would say with a smile -- include one that resonates today. That is the voice of Hillary Clinton, who has managed to wear more hats in service to her government and various communities than just about anyone in the nation's history -- woman or man. And now she is poised to become the first female Presidential nominee of a major political party. If she succeeds, it will only have taken 240 years for an American woman to accomplish this feat.

Job Search Series – Negotiating after the Job Offer – Part 2 – The Feminine Negotiation Mystique

Women and Salary Negotiation

The Feminine Negotiation Mystique

There’s a lot of buzz lately about the need for women to enter into salary negotiations when they receive job offers. This is due in part to Sheryl Sandberg’s modern bestselling manifesto, Lean In: Women, Work, And the Will To Lead, in which she describes nearly accepting Mark Zuckerberg’s first offer to join Facebook without negotiating salary and other terms. Ironically, it was at the urging of her husband and brother-in-law that she went on to “negotiate hard,” and the result was she received an “improved” offer, which she accepted.