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March is Women's History Month - 2021 edition

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I missed yesterday, so I thought I would start today and post two.  I thought I would share some podcasts that I love that celebrate amazing women from history.  Some of them will be obscure figures that you might not have heard from.  Others will be well known, but the story is unique.  If there are additional books or movies related to it, then I will post them there.  I am going to do something similar on my travel instagram, though I will be tying that more into places I have traveled to, and will share those here too, though those will not be done daily.

So to make up for March 1st, I bring you Isadora Duncan.  This is a recent two part Podcast from the ladies at Stuff you Missed in History Class.  Ole Isadora was very interesting, and most known for her gruesome death.  However, she led a very interesting life.  She did write her own autobiography, which can be found here.



Here is a link to her autobiography in Kindle form (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0891L7BGL/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1).

(Biography from https://www.britannica.com/biography/Isadora-Duncan)

Isadora Duncan (born May 26, 1877, or May 27, 1878, San Francisco, California, U.S.—died September 14, 1927, Nice, France) was an American dancer whose teaching and performances helped to free ballet from its conservative restrictions and presaged the development of modern expressive dance. She was among the first to raise interpretive dance to the status of creative art.

Although Duncan’s birth date is generally believed to have been May 27, 1878, her baptismal certificate, discovered in San Francisco in 1976, records the date of May 26, 1877. Duncan was one of four children brought up in genteel poverty by their mother, a music teacher. As a child she rejected the rigidity of the classic ballet and based her dancing on more natural rhythms and movements, an approach she later used consciously in her interpretations of the works of such great composers as Brahms, Wagner, and Beethoven. Her earliest public appearances, in Chicago and New York City, met with little success, and at the age of 21 she left the United States to seek recognition abroad. With her meagre savings she sailed on a cattle boat for England.

At the British Museum her study of the sculptures of ancient Greece confirmed the classical use of those dance movements and gestures that hitherto instinct alone had caused her to practice and upon a revival of which her method was largely founded. Through the patronage of the celebrated actress Mrs. Patrick Campbell, she was invited to appear at the private receptions of London’s leading hostesses, where her dancing, distinguished by a complete freedom of movement, enraptured those who were familiar only with the conventional forms of the ballet, which was then in a period of decay. It was not long before the phenomenon of a young woman dancing barefoot, as scantily clad as a woodland nymph, crowded theatres and concert halls throughout Europe. During her controversial first tour of Russia in 1905, Duncan made a deep impression on the choreographer Michel Fokine and on the art critic Serge Diaghilev, who as impresario was soon to lead a resurgence of ballet throughout western Europe. Duncan toured widely, and at one time or another she founded dance schools in Germany, Russia, and the United States, though none of these survived.

Her private life, quite as much as her art, kept her name in the headlines owing to her constant defiance of social taboos. The father of her first child, Deirdre, was the stage designer Gordon Craig, who shared her abhorrence of marriage; the father of her second child, Patrick, was Paris Singer, the heir to a sewing machine fortune and a prominent art patron. In 1913 a tragedy occurred from which Duncan never really recovered: the car in which her two children and their nurse were riding in Paris rolled into the Seine River and all three were drowned. In an effort to sublimate her grief she was about to open another school when the advent of World War I put an end to her plans. Her subsequent tours in South America, Germany, and France were less successful than before, but in 1920 she was invited to establish a school of her own in Moscow. To her revolutionary temperament, the Soviet Union seemed the land of promise. There she met Sergey Aleksandrovich Yesenin, a poet 17 years younger than she, whose work had won him a considerable reputation. She married him in 1922, sacrificing her scruples against marriage in order to take him with her on a tour of the United States. She could not have chosen a worse time for their arrival. Fear of the “Red Menace” was at its height, and she and her husband were unjustly labeled as Bolshevik agents. Leaving her native country once more, a bitter Duncan told reporters: “Good-bye America, I shall never see you again!” She never did. There followed an unhappy period with Yesenin in Europe, where his increasing mental instability turned him against her. He returned alone to the Soviet Union and, in 1925, committed suicide.

During the last years of her life Duncan was a somewhat pathetic figure, living precariously in Nice on the French Riviera, where she met with a fatal accident: her long scarf became entangled in the rear wheel of the car in which she was riding, and she was strangled. Her autobiography, My Life, was published in 1927 (reissued 1972).

Isadora Duncan was acclaimed by the foremost musicians, artists, and writers of her day, but she was often an object of attack by the less broad-minded. Her ideas were too much in advance of their time, and she flouted social conventions too flamboyantly to be regarded by the wider public as anything but an advocate of “free love.” Certainly her place as a great innovator in dance is secure: her repudiation of artificial technical restrictions and reliance on the grace of natural movement helped to liberate the dance from its dependence on rigid formulas and on displays of brilliant but empty technical virtuosity, paving the way for the later acceptance of modern dance as it was developed by Mary Wigman, Martha Graham, and others.






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Posted (edited)

That was a long post, beautiful nonetheless. Women’s month. 

I wasn’t around for this:


Rachel Cooke went jogging and she never came home. Her parents deserve an answer https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.fox7austin.com/news/wcso-looking-for-associate-of-missing-georgetown-woman-rachel-cooke.amp

Edited by Nicole44
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I meant to do two posts yesterday, and went to bed before post 2.  Oops.

Ok, so the post for March 2 (Tuesday) is Christine de Pizan.  

The Stuff you Missed in History Class ladies did a podcast in 2018 on this.  It is very interesting. 


Her greatest known work is the Book of the City of Ladies, which has the three virtues appear to the author after being shocked by the portrayal of women in a book by a male author that she had just read.  The virtues tell the author to build the City of Ladies and fill it with the best and brightest women the world has known and there they will be able to safeguard women against the accusations of man.

If you would like to read the City of Ladies (https://www.amazon.com/Book-City-Ladies-Penguin-Classics-ebook/dp/B002RI930Q/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=City+of+Ladies&qid=1614774369&sr=8-1)

Again, the below is from the Encyclopedia Brittanica (https://www.britannica.com/biography/Christine-de-Pisan).

Christine de Pisan, (born 1364, Venice [Italy]—died c. 1430) was a prolific and versatile French poet and author whose diverse writings include numerous poems of courtly love, a biography of Charles V of France, and several works championing women.

Christine’s Italian father was astrologer to Charles V, and she spent a pleasant, studious childhood at the French court. At 15 she married Estienne de Castel, who became court secretary. Widowed after 10 years of marriage, she took up writing in order to support herself and her three young children. Her first poems were ballades of lost love written to the memory of her husband. These verses met with success, and she continued writing ballads, rondeaux, lays, and complaints in which she expressed her feelings with grace and sincerity. Among her patrons were Louis I, duke of Orléans; the duke of Berry; Philip II the Bold of Burgundy; Queen Isabella of Bavaria; and, in England, the 4th earl of Salisbury. In all, she wrote 10 volumes in verse, including L’Épistre au Dieu d’amours (1399; “Letter to the God of Loves”), in which she defended women against the satire of Jean de Meun in the Roman de la rose.

Christine’s prose works include Le Livre de la cité des dames (1405; The Book of the City of Ladies), in which she wrote of women known for their heroism and virtue, and Le Livre des trois vertus (1405; “Book of Three Virtues”), a sequel comprising a classification of women’s roles in medieval society and a collection of moral instructions for women in the various social spheres. The story of her life, L’Avision de Christine (1405), told in an allegorical manner, was a reply to her detractors. At the request of the regent, Philip the Bold of Burgundy, Christine wrote the life of the deceased king, Charles—Le Livre des fais et bonnes meurs du sage roy Charles V (1404; “Book of the Deeds and Good Morals of the Wise King Charles V”), a firsthand picture of Charles V and his court. Her eight additional prose works reveal her remarkable breadth of knowledge.

After the disastrous Battle of Agincourt in 1415, she retired to a convent. Her last work, Le Ditié de Jehanne d’Arc (written in 1429), is a lyrical, joyous outburst inspired by the early victories of Joan of Arc; it is the only such French-language work written during Joan’s lifetime.



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I miss my aunt. She is 70. I see her as much as I can. She has Alzheimer’s. 

anyway, for those complaining about commercials (if you still have cable) watching this bit about Caren Carpenter (IMO the best vocalist outside of Freddy Mercury). This clip will fucking blow your mind.


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I'm proud to say that before she learned about Susan B. Anthony, Amelia Earhart, or even Kamala Harris.......My oldest daughter got put to bed with real stories written to her by Stephanie Wilson and Serena Aunon.  Two female, and very recent, astronauts of color.  They told my daughter of their inspiration, Sally Ride, in the hopes the three of them would inspire my daughter to head for Mars one day.  I know there's many battles left to fight down here for women, and I appreciate all the trailblazing done so my daughters could have the opportunities they have.  But where they're going, they won't need trails.  Happy March...

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Clara Shortridge Foltz - Alchetron, The Free Social Encyclopedia

Clara Shortridge Foltz (1849-1934) was California's first female attorney and the mind behind the role of the public defender.


Foltz wanted to take the bar examination but California law at the time allowed only white males to become members of the bar. Foltz authored a state bill, known as the "Woman Lawyer Bill," which replaced "white male" with "person," and in September 1878 she passed the examination and was the first woman admitted to the California bar, and the first female lawyer on the entire west coast of the United States. Having little formal education, she wished to study at the first law school in California to improve her skills. Alongside her ally Laura de Force Gordon, Foltz applied to Hastings College of the Law but was denied admission because of her sex. Foltz and Gordon sued, but recognized that they faced strong opposition.

To advance their cause, Gordon and Foltz wrote an amendment to the California state constitution that read "No person shall, on account of sex, be disqualified from entering upon or pursuing any lawful business, vocation, or profession." Drawing upon both the Woman Lawyer Bill and the soon-to-be-ratified equal opportunity in employment statement in the constitution, Foltz and Gorden were able to argue that if women could serve as lawyers they must certainly be allowed to attend law school at the coeducational University of California. Judge Morrison agreed, and in Foltz v. Hoge ruled that Foltz and Gordon should be admitted to Hastings. The ruling was appealed, and Foltz studied for and passed the California State Supreme Court bar exam in order to argue her case, which she ultimately won. Although Foltz successfully obtained admission for all qualified women to Hastings, the work to win the case left Foltz impoverished and she returned to her legal career instead of pursuing her dream of attending law school.


At the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, during a "congress" of the Board of Lady Managers, Foltz made her first highly public presentation of her idea of the public defender. Foltz's then-radical concept of providing assistance to indigent criminal defendants is used today throughout the United States.

Today, the Central Criminal Courthouse in Los Angeles (of the OJ Simpson trial fame) is called "The Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center."

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Posted (edited)

La Grande Mademoiselle is a woman after my own heart.  She never married, had no children, and based on my limited reading about her, seems to have done what she wanted, which for a French Princess in the court of Louis XIII and Louis XIV is pretty impressive.






Edited by PenelopeWitherspoon
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