Today is International Women’s Day. In honor of the day (as well as Women’s History Month), I thought it would be fitting to offer a up a brief bio on the first woman to serve in both the U.S. house and the senate, Margaret Chase Smith.
Born in 1897 in Skowhegan Maine, Margaret grew up in a large family of 6 children: Only 4 of which would survive childhood. Growing up under modest means, she began working at the age of 12. After graduating high school in 1916, she met local politician and future husband Clyde Smith, her greatest influence to her future political career.
During the roaring 20′s, Smith became heavily involved in local and state politics. Championing women’s issues, she would co-found the Skowhegan chapter of the Business and Professional Women’s Club, and later served as president of the Maine Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Club. After marrying Clyde Smith in 1930, she was elected to the Maine Republican State Committee, a position she would hold until 1936.
In 1937, her husband Clyde was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives: He served until 1940, the year he died of a massive heart attack. After Clyde’s death, Margaret ran for his 2nd Congressional District seat, and was elected unopposed. While becoming a fixture on the House Naval Affairs committee, she was a Republican moderate known for voting her conscience. She supported much of FDR’s New Deal legislation, and in her later years as senator, she vehemently opposed Joseph McCarthy‘s communist witch hunts. In 1950 as a U.S. senator, she would deliver on the senate floor her speech
Declaration of Conscience, in which she would roundly condemn McCarthy and his unfounded attacks.
As previously mentioned, Ms Smith served on the House Naval Affairs Committee during the war, as well as the House Armed Services Committee. During her tenure in congress, she sponsored legislation that would give women permanent status in the military in 1948, and became known as the mother of the Navy Waves.
In 1948, she decided to run for the senate: she won easily, receiving more votes than her three opponents combined. She would serve there until 1972, when for the first time, she lost an election. Her time in the Senate, may have been her most noteworthy: She was mentioned by many as a possible running mate for Dwight Eisenhower in 1952. In 1964, she ran for president, becoming the first female to place herself in nomination. She placed 5th at the Republican National Convention.
In addition, her time as senator from Maine would include the chair of the Senate Republican Conference. Known for her staunch support of the military, she was also firmly in favor of the space program. She was a charter member of the Senate Aeronautical and Space Committee, and was a primary driving force in NASA putting a man on the moon in 1969. Ms Smith was also a firm supporter of educational funding, civil rights, and Medicare.
After she lost the election of 1972, she would live out her remaining days in her hometown of Skowhagen. She died in 1995 from a stroke, at the age of 97. In 1989, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 1995, she was awarded the Naval Heritage Award for her long history of supporting the Navy as well as the WAVES. In addition, Ms Smith was the longest serving female senator until 2011, when Barbara Mikurski surpassed her with her election to her 5th term.
There you have it: Margaret Chase Smith was a woman born of modest means from a small town in Maine, and grew up to become one of the most influential women in American politics for over 3 decades. She was a politician and pioneer, paving the way for aspiring women politicians who serve our country today. Though a Republican, she voted her conscience and was not afraid to support legislation generated from both sides of the aisle. Mother of the Waves, and champion of the space program, she was her own woman who gracefully forged her way down a path dominated by men. She stood up to Joe McCarthy, and almost landed a seat in the White House- twice. She was a remarkable woman, recognized by the single red rose she wore daily pinned to her lapel.
Thank you Margaret Chase Smith for all that you have done. You may no longer be a household name, but when I think of today’s best and brightest women in politics, I will think of you.
I hope that powerful women such as Hillary Clinton, Claire McCaskill and Elizabeth Warren hold your name dear in their hearts.
I know I do.
When I started this blog two years ago, I had very little expectation. I figured I would write about what interests me, and put it out on the intertubes for whoever else would care to read it. Hell, I’m surprised I’ve managed to stick with the blog this long. I never imagined that my blog would ever attract this much attention, as modest as that attention may be.
The blog recently passed the 100,000 view mark, and I want to thank everyone of you who support BTTFH. It’s been a lot of fun putting myself out there, as well as meeting and interacting with so many cool people!
To celebrate, I thought I would share links to my 5 favorite posts, as well as the top 5 posts by view. I hope you enjoy!
Top Five All Time Fan Favorites:
#5 Naked Family
A pic of a family in anatomically correct naked costumes. What’s not to like?
#4: I Got Nothing
Who knew bitching about school and writer’s block, would generate so much interest?
#3 Beneath The Tin Foil Hat Goes Global: My Interview On Russia Today
Like everybody else, I wrote a series of posts about Anders Breivik and the Utoya, Norway massacre. Somehow, my posts caught the attention of a producer on the Russian news network, Russia Today. The interview went horribly wrong, thus ending my brief career as a Russian TV pundit.
It was still fun as hell though!
#2 Dear Republicans
A meme I shared that highlights just how much today’s GOP dislikes – well, they dislike everybody.
#1 From Mittens To Kittens
I posted this shortly before the election, just to put a little irreverence into a tense atmosphere. Who knew so many people like pictures of cats?
My Top Five Favorites
#5 Angry Poetry Week: Howl – Allen Ginsberg
One of the best poems written by one of the best writers to ever walk the face of the earth!
#4 Why God Hates Al Gore: Judeo-Christianity and Ecology.
A small history lesson concerning religion, and it’s sense of entitlement to all things big and small on our planet.
#3 My Response to Republicans Over SB5? F*ck You!
This is me doing what I do best.
#2 The Pueblo Indians of The 17th Century.
Another history post: This one is about those naughty Pueblo Indians.
#1 Where is The Angela Davis of Today’s Generation? She Never Left!
What can I say? I’m a history geek.
Once again, I want to thank everyone who continues to support my little piece of crap blog. I love you all!
- Cat in the Tin Foil Hat (itinerantneerdowell.wordpress.com)
Human rights should be a top priority for all people in the world as they are rights that every human deserves, but not all receive. Any one person in a minority group is subject to human rights discrimination. Women are among those who are vulnerable to such discrimination. The infographic above is from visual.ly blog. These figures are alarming, so please educate yourself so you too can stand up and be a voice of change.
No one is coming to take your guns – please, shut the fuck up.
You don’t need an assault gun with a grenade launcher to hunt deer or protect your home – please, shut the fuck up.
The Muslims and atheists are not coming to blow up your churches or rob you of your religion- please, shut the fuck up.
Gays and lesbians getting married do not rob you of your rights, nor do they violate the sanctity of marriage- please, pretty please with whipped cream and a cherry on top, shut the fuck up.
Obama is not a socialist, nor is he coming to take your big screen TV to give to a poor person. Corporate profits have soared under Obama- please, shut the fuck up.
Climate change is real, and this planet is in grave danger of dying – please, shut the fuck up: your blustering over cyclical temps is greatly contributing to our carbon foot print.
Obama is not out to steal your liberties: He’s too busy killing innocent people of color in third world countries with his killer robot planes – please, shut the fuck up.
Reagan and Bush spent way more, and contributed more to the deficit than Obama – please, shut the fuck up.
Supply side economics doesn’t work – please, shut the fuck up.
Women deserve to have control over their own bodies – please, take your patriarchal, misogynistic views, and shut that whole fucking thing down.
Getting more people to work is more important than austerity: More workers equals more taxpayers and consumers, which equals more revenue – Mitch please, shut the fuck up.
God is indeed in our schools: if a student so desires to bring god with him or her to school, she or he has every right to do so – can I get a please shut the fuck up?
Most people don’t want “gifts” from our government. What they want is a chance for a good education, a good job, and a good life – please, help yourself to a Mitt Romney sized cup of shut the fuck up.
Liberals are not some communist horde looking to tear down America. We simply want to level the playing field in order to make sure that everyone has a chance to work hard, and build America up – please, right wing pundits, shut the fuck up.
If I left any wing nuts out, don’t worry I’ll get to you – in the mean time have a seat in yonder corner, and SHUT THE FUCK UP!
- Right Now Lyrics By Korn (lyricsjunction.wordpress.com)
- Portable (zozomacallister.wordpress.com)
- What We Have Done (angelschoice.wordpress.com)
- Random Thoughts – Perspective AKA I Might Not Really F*ck With You (breonajai.wordpress.com)
- Mothers who say F**ck (noplaceforsheep.com)
While accepting the Cecil B. DeMille award for lifetime achievement, Jodie Foster came out of the closet. Although she didn’t come flying out with a rainbow banner, she certainly, albeit quietly opened it for everyone to peek into. In other words, it was a classic Jodie Foster moment: It was very public, and yet somehow very private. It was awesome.
Foster’s sexuality has been a topic of conversation for years. Many have accused her of living in a glass closet. While she has never, admitted to actually being queer, she hasn’t exactly hidden it either. Think about it: she was co-parenting two children with another woman, a woman that she was with for 20 years. Isn’t that admission enough? She has lived her life out in the open with no denial of her orientation,why would she have to broadcast her orientation to everyone? There’s no rule book to coming out, nor should there be! In fact why is there even a need to broadcast? Foster owes no one an explanation, or anything else for that matter.
The only person that Jodie Foster owes anything to is herself. She owes it to herself to live life on her terms, we all owe that to ourselves. She’s a private person, she’s happy with that, and I say good for her.
Tell us or don’t tell us, I don’t care, and neither should anyone else. Her orientation is part of who she is ,and who she chooses to share it with is really nobody’s business. She’s one of my favorite actresses, and she seems to be a wonderful person.
That’s good enough for me.
Yesterday I talked about the misogynist atmosphere that exist in the sport of football. I focused on the sexist rant perpetrated by Brent Musberger as he drooled over Katherine Webb, the girlfriend of Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron. Today, when I got home from work, my partner shared with me this article posted on Upworthy: A Horrifying Thing Happened In Ohio. Not Being Creepy Could Prevent It From Happening Again.. The article discusses the controversy surrounding the rape of a 16 year old girl by two high school football players from Steubenville, Ohio. The girl was at a party, had too much to drink and passed out. After she was out cold, the two players in question raped the girl, while pictures and video were taken. Of course, the pictures and video became public. In the aftermath, the coach of the football team tried to dismiss the rape as a teen age girl trying to stay out of trouble with her parents. The article itself is brief, but more importantly it introduces a video that you simply must watch.
I agree 100% with the young man speaking in the video. Whether a man, young or old understands what rape is, it’s still rape. This is the problem with our patriarchal culture. Boys are simply not educated enough about what constitutes rape, and in the often times violent world of football, a culture of rape does indeed exists. As I mentioned yesterday in my blog post, when I played high school football, girls were viewed as objects to conquer and fuck. It is a world of machismo, of prove your manhood at any cost, and coaches do very little on any level to educate or dissuade young men from this behavior. If we are going to change our culture of rape in sports, or in society in general, we must be proactive. We must educate our sons what is creepy, what is inappropriate, and what is rape. If we can’t or won’t do this, then the culture of rape will continue to permeate every level of society.
In somewhat related news, Pittsburgh Steelers running back Chris Rainey was charged with domestic violence for slapping his girlfriend during an argument over a cell phone. As a result, the Steelers announced today that they were cutting all ties with Rainey. I say kudos to the Steelers for showing zero tolerance for this misogynistic behavior. However, I would add that the same should have been done a few years ago to Ben Roethlisberger, after he was charged not once, but twice with rape and sexual assault. His alleged actions merely earned him a 4 game suspension from the NFL, but no action by the team was ever taken. What happened with Rainey was a positive action, but I’m still of the mind that punishments doled out in football, particularly when it comes to domestic violence, rape, and sexual assault, always fits the talent level of the player rather than the crime.
- Steubenville’s Legacy: How a Rape Case in Ohio Could Change History (jezebel.com)
- A Horrifying Thing Happened In Ohio. Not Being Creepy Could Prevent It From Happening Again. (upworthy.com)
- The Definitive Timeline Of The Steubenville Rape Scandal (buzzfeed.com)
- Ohio Town Protecting Football Players from Rape Charges (tbchick2011.wordpress.com)
- Brent Musberger, Katherine Webb, And Football’s Culture Toward Women (thinkprogress.org)
- “She Is So Raped Right Now”: Partygoer Jokes About The Steubenville Accuser The Night Of The Alleged Rape (deadspin.com)
- Rape case divides Steubenville, Ohio (ac360.blogs.cnn.com)
- Sexism Rules as Brent Musberger Drools and Plays The Fool. (tinfoilhatman45.wordpress.com)
- Some days, I just can’t. (feministphilosophers.wordpress.com)
During the 15 minutes that I bothered to watch this train wreck of a game, it was my misfortune to witness the slobber fest that Brent Musberger committed over Katerine Webb. If you don’t know, Katherine Webb is the girlfriend of Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron. If you haven’t watched the clip by now, the gist of Brent’s sexist mooning is this: If you become a quarterback, women will have no choice but to want you because of your status. As a feminist, I have a serious problem with this.
I love football. So much so that I would subject myself to watch two teams that I despise duke it out in a national title game. So much so that I would even watch a high school game televised from say, Boise Idaho, and even choose sides to root for a team I’ve never heard of. I’ve played the game and coached the game. I get excited over the NFL draft every spring, and get absolutely giddy when football season is just around the corner. I live and breathe football. I am truly a football geek, as is my partner. I love pretty much everything about it. What I don’t love about football is the sexist, patriarchal, and often misogynistic view and treatment of women through out the sport.
From the scantily clad cheerleaders to the ogling of player’s wives and girlfriends, women around the sport are objectified. Female broadcasters are pigeon holed into little more than providing injury reports and human interest stories from the sideline, while being addressed as “dear” or “honey” or getting hit on by a drunken Joe Namath, as was the case of Suzy Kolber a few years ago. Worse yet are the stories of domestic violence in the sport, such as Chad Johnson head butting his wife, because she dared to confront him over his cheating on her, or the story of Javon Belcher, who killed his partner because she was talking to him harshly during an argument. Sexual abuse and rape scandals are routinely covered up by football programs on the college, and even high school level. The sport I love is a painful glaring example of just how much our still male dominated society treats women as unequal chattel. It saddens me deeply.
Our society is sports dominated. A lot of men and women grow up in an atmosphere of competition, because of their long time participation in sports. Morality and values are shaped in this atmosphere, and as often is the case when it comes to football, patriarchy and misogyny is encouraged in order for boys to be molded into macho, brutal, football machines. I know this first hand: I witnessed this behavior when I played. Girls were objects to be conquered and fucked, rather than equals to share friendships and intimacy with. It was disgusting.
If our society is going to become truly gender equal, than women in football should not be treated as merely eye candy who can’t help themselves but fall high profile athletes. Get rid of the cheerleaders, open up opportunities in the broadcast booth, as well as front office, scouting, and even coaching jobs to women. Hell, it would be amazing to see a woman play in a big time college program, or even the NFL in my life time, not just as a kicker, but in other positions as well.
Football is a brutal game. However, it’s treatment of women is even more brutal. It has to stop. A good start would be Brent and Herbie not macking on player’s wives and girlfriends on national TV. It was juvenile, sexist behavior, and has no place in the sport- or anywhere else for that matter.