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Wednesday is for Women Warriors: onna-bugeisha (女武芸者?)

Samurai Women
In the Heike Monogatari, Tomoe Gozen appears as a general in the troops of Kiso Yoshinaka, Yoritomo’s first attack force. She was described as follows:
Tomoe was especially beautiful, with white skin, long hair, and charming features. She was also a remarkably strong archer, and as a swords-woman she was a warrior worth a thousand, ready to confront a demon or a god, mounted or on foot. She handled unbroken horses with superb skill; she rode unscathed down perilous descents. Whenever a battle was imminent, Yoshinaka sent her out as his first captain, equipped with strong armor, an oversized sword, and a mighty bow; and she performed more deeds of valor than any of his other warriors.
–Tale of the Heike1

Wednesday is for Women Warriors–Was Scarlett Ohara a woman warrior?

Scarlett O'Hara
“Sometimes all a woman has to hang onto is being a bitch”–Stephen King

Wednesday is for Women Warriors: Dolley Madison

President Madison's Memorable Wife
Presidential Campaign and Inauguration:
Dolley Madison’s popularity as a hostess in Washington added greatly to the recognition of her husband by those members of congress whose electoral votes then chose the winner of presidential races. During the 1808 election, however, there was an attempt by Federalist newspapers in Baltimore and Boston that implied Mrs. Madison had been intimate with President Jefferson as a way of attacking her character. Her popularity prevailed during the 1812 election.

As the invading British army neared Washington in 1814 and the White House staff hurriedly prepared to flee, Dolley Madison ordered the Stuart painting, a copy of the Lansdowne portrait, to be removed:
“Our kind friend Mr. Carroll has come to hasten my departure, and in a very bad humor with me, because I insist on waiting until the large picture of General Washington is secured, and it requires to be unscrewed from the wall. The process was found too tedious for these perilous moments; I have ordered the frame to be broken and the canvas taken out”….. “It is done, and the precious portrait placed in the hands of two gentlemen from New York for safe keeping. On handing the canvas to the gentlemen in question, Messrs. Barker and Depeyster, Mr. Sioussat cautioned them against rolling it up, saying that it would destroy the portrait. He was moved to this because Mr. Barker started to roll it up for greater convenience for carrying.” [15][16]

Popular accounts during and after the war years tended to portray Dolley Madison as the one who removed the painting, and she became a national heroine. Early twentieth-century historians noted that Jean Pierre Sioussat, a Frenchman, had directed the servants in the crisis.[17][18]

Dolley Madison hurried away in her waiting carriage, along with other families fleeing the city. They went to Georgetown and the next day crossed over the Potomac into Virginia. When the danger receded after the British left Washington a few days later, she returned to the capital to meet her husband.

Wednesday is for Women Warriors: Betsy Ross

Betsy Ross was one of many flag makers in Boston
It is fitting that the woman featured today, is Betsy Ross. Born in Philadelphia on January 1, 1752, Elizabeth Griscom Ross was the eighth of seventeen children born to Samuel and Rebecca James Griscom. Ross married her first husband at age 21, John, with whom she established an upholstery and seamstress business.

Research conducted by the National Museum of American History notes that the story of Betsy Ross making the first American flag for General George Washington entered into American consciousness about the time of the 1876 centennial celebrations.[19] In 1870 Ross’s grandson, William J. Canby, presented a paper to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in which he claimed that his grandmother had “made with her hands the first flag” of the United States.[20] Canby said he first obtained this information from his aunt Clarissa Sydney (Claypoole) Wilson in 1857, twenty years after Betsy Ross’s death. Canby dates the historic episode based on Washington’s journey to Philadelphia, in late spring 1776, a year before Congress passed the Flag Act.[21]
In the 2008 book The Star-Spangled Banner: The Making of an American Icon, Smithsonian experts point out that Canby’s recounting of the event appealed to Americans eager for stories about the revolution and its heroes and heroines. Betsy Ross was promoted as a patriotic role model for young girls and a symbol of women’s contributions to American history.[22] Historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich further explored this line of enquiry in a 2007 article, “How Betsy Ross Became Famous: Oral Tradition, Nationalism, and the Invention of History.”[11] Ross biographer Marla Miller points out, however, that even if one accepts Canby’s presentation, Betsy Ross was merely one of several flag makers in Philadelphia, and her only contribution to the design was to change the 6-pointed stars to the easier 5-pointed stars.[2]

Wednesday is for Women Warriors: Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman freed herself then went back to free others
Harriet Tubman is perhaps the most well-known of all the Underground Railroad’s “conductors.” During a ten-year span she made 19 trips into the South and escorted over 300 slaves to freedom. And, as she once proudly pointed out to Frederick Douglass, in all of her journeys she “never lost a single passenger.”

Around 1844 she married a free black named John Tubman and took his last name. (She was born Araminta Ross; she later changed her first name to Harriet, after her mother.) In 1849, in fear that she, along with the other slaves on the plantation, was to be sold, Tubman resolved to run away. She set out one night on foot. With some assistance from a friendly white woman, Tubman was on her way. She followed the North Star by night, making her way to Pennsylvania and soon after to Philadelphia, where she found work and saved her money. The following year she returned to Maryland and escorted her sister and her sister’s two children to freedom. She made the dangerous trip back to the South soon after to rescue her brother and two other men. On her third return, she went after her husband, only to find he had taken another wife. Undeterred, she found other slaves seeking freedom and escorted them to the North.

Wednesday is for Women Warriors–Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II

Why does looking serious make a woman a bitch?

Wednesday is for Women Warriors: Meet the Gulabai Gang, the “Pink Gang”

The Pink Gang in India
This is why a group of rural women in India are an inspiration for the entire world. Tired of seeing wives being abused by their husbands, children sold into marriage, or unjust companies ruining the lives of poor populations, they banded together with focus to create a change. Not opposed to violent methods, they’ve been labeled the Gulabi Gang.
Read more:

Wednesday is for Women Warriorrs–Caroline Norton and a mother’s right to raise her children

Observations on the Natural Claims of  a Mother
Caroline Norton was a moving force behind one of the most emancipating pieces of legislation in our history, the Marriage and Divorce Act, which became law 150 years ago

Her pamphlet, Observations on the Natural Claims of a Mother to the Custody of Her Children as Affected by the Common Law Rights of the Father, battered at the door of an institution which had for years denied mothers their natural rights. Caroline lobbied her Whig friends in parliament to introduce and support a bill allowing mothers access and shared custody; the first reading was scheduled for the end of April 1837.

Read more:
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Wednesday is for Women Warriors–Jane Goodall

My family has very strong women. My mother never laughed at my dream of Africa, even though everyone else did because we didn't have any money, because Africa was the 'dark continent', and because I was a girl.  Jane Goodall   Read more at
Change happens by listening and then starting a dialogue with the people who are doing something you don’t believe is right.
Jane Goodall

Wednesday is for Women Warriors–Ann Dunwoody

While I joined the Army right out of college, I planned to only stay in the Army to complete my two-year commitment, but it wasn’t too long before I realized that there are no other shoes [boots] I would rather fill than the ones I am wearing right now. As a soldier you can continually serve. It is a calling to be a soldier and there is a great sense of pride and camaraderie in serving the greatest Army in the world."
Ann Elizabeth Dunwoody (born January 14, 1953)[3][4] is a retired four-star general in the United States Army. She is the first woman in U.S. military and uniformed service history to achieve a four-star officer rank, receiving her fourth star on November 14, 2008.

Wednesday is for Women Warriors: La Adelita

Today, it is argued that Adelita came to be an archetype of a woman warrior in Mexico and a symbol of action and inspiration. Additionally, her name is used to refer to any woman who struggles and fights for her rights.
“La Adelita” is one of the most famous corridos (folk songs) of the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920) that has been adapted in various forms. This particular version of the ballad (which is also shown in the form of a portrait) was inspired by a Durangan woman (whose identity has not been yet established beyond doubt) who joined the Maderista movement (the revolutionary party led by Francisco I. Madero) at an early stage of the Revolution, and supposedly fell in love with Madero, her revolutionary leader. Consequently, this popular icon became the source that documented the role of women in the Mexican Revolution, and gradually became synonymous with the term soldadera or female soldier who became a vital force in the revolutionary war efforts due to their participation in the battles against Mexican government forces.[1]


The Dahomey Amazons or Mino were a Fon all-female military regiment of the Kingdom of Dahomey in the present-day Republic of Benin which lasted until the end of the 19th century. They were so named by Western observers and historians due to their similarity to the semi-mythical Amazons of ancient Anatolia and the Black Sea.
The Dahomey Amazons or Mino were a Fon all-female military regiment of the Kingdom of Dahomey in the present-day Republic of Benin which lasted until the end of the 19th century. They were so named by Western observers and historians due to their similarity to the semi-mythical Amazons of ancient Anatolia and the Black Sea.

Wednesday is for Women Warriors

“I'm a teenager trapped in an old body.”  ― Betty White
“Why do people say “grow some balls”? Balls are weak and sensitive. If you wanna be tough, grow a vagina. Those things can take a pounding.”
― Betty White

Wednesday is for Women Warriors–Hattie McDaniel couldn’t accept her Academy Award because of Jim Crow Laws
The first black woman to win an Academy Award–for her role as Mammy in Gone With the Wind



“I sincerely hope I shall always be a credit to my race and to the motion picture industry,” she said when she accepted the award.
Hattie McDaniel with her Oscar

Hattie McDaniel couldn’t attend the ceremony to accept her Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in Gone With the Wind because of Jim Crow Laws!

Dare to Dream: How a Young Iranian Girl Became an Astronaut

DARE TO DREAM: How a Young Iranian Girl Became an Astronaut!

It’s Tax Time!!! TIme for your PERSONAL ANNUAL REVIEW. Do you have a will?

Businesss Lawyer Houston
Houston Business Lawyer
Houston business lawyer and real estate attorney Joanne Cassidy provides personal, professional, cost-effective legal services to individuals and small to midsize businesses.

Why You Should Have a Will

Article by Joanne Cassidy
Some people find it difficult to talk about having a will. Somehow they think, on some level, that if they don’t talk about it, they’ll never need one. Other people think their estates are not large enough to do any advance planning or that everything they have will go to their spouse, anyway, so there is no need for a will. I disagree with all of those ideas and here’s why.

Choose the Executor of Your Will

Whether or not you have a will, upon your death someone (your executor) will have to dispose of your estate (all of your property). With a will, you get to choose who that person will be; without a will, that person (the administrator) is chosen by a judge.

Choose Your Beneficiaries

Someone is going to inherit from you. With a will, you get to choose your beneficiaries (those who inherit); without a will, the Texas legislature has already figured that out for you. It is likely that the statutory distribution of your estate is not at all what you want.

Leave Gifts to Charity

With a will, you can choose to leave gifts to charity; You can also choose to give certain items to specific people. Without a will, all your assets are grouped together and the court appointed administrator is required to distribute your property in compliance with the statutory rules.

Minimal Court Oversight

If you name your executor in a will, that person can dispose of your estate with minimal court oversight and no bond; without a will, the administrator has to get court approval to take most actions.

Minor Children

If you have minor children, your will can name a guardian to care for the children in the event of the death of you and your spouse; without a will, a court will decide who is going to raise your children.

Create a Trust

If you have children or other beneficiaries who are not able to handle funds, you can create a trust in your will and name a trustee to deal with any funds left to those beneficiaries. You even get to set the terms of the trust, what the funds are to be used for and when the beneficiaries will be allowed to manage their own funds. Without a will, children or other underage beneficiaries get control of their funds at age 18, whether or not they are capable of handling money.

Simple Probate

If you have a will, probate is relatively simple and inexpensive in Texas. Without a will, the probate of your estate will be more complex and therefore, more costly. Every time your administrator goes to court to ask for permission to do something with your estate, he is accompanied by a lawyer, and that takes money that otherwise would be going to your beneficiaries if you had a will.

Plan Your Will Now

Still not convinced? Think of a will as a gift to your family. The death of a loved one is always traumatic. By planning now, you remove some of the burden of their loss and help them through the difficult times ahead.

Experienced Lawyer to Prepare a Will

A simple will, even one that contains trusts for children, is not difficult for an experienced estate planning attorney to prepare. Typically, the attorney will recommend that a durable power of attorney and a medical power of attorney be prepared at the same time. It’s not expensive. It’s you taking care of business and giving a very valuable gift to your family.

Contact a Houston Estate Planning Attorney

Call a Houston estate planning attorney who is experienced in preparing the necessary documents. Whenever I get the initial estate planning call from a client, I spend some time getting to know him. Then, I explain the procedure and answer any questions he may have. If he is comfortable with the procedure, we will make an office appointment.

For a free telephone consultation, call me at 713-974-1766 or send Joanne Cassidy an email.

Wednesday is for Women Warriors

The performance shows just how easy it is to dehuymanize someone who doesn't fight back.
Marina Abramovic–trust exercise

Elizabeth Warren’s Floor Speech on Equal Pay 04082014

Elizabeth Warren Floor Speech on Equal Pay 04082014

From the Daily Beast: What Equal Pay Day?

Eleanor CliftWhat Equal Pay Day? McConnell Slams Paycheck Fairness Act

On a day meant to symbolize wage discrepancies between women and men, Mitch McConnell slammed the Democrats’ bill—and provided yet more fodder for the ‘war on women’ meme.

Not everyone is aware that Tuesday was Equal Pay Day, marking how much extra time women would have to work into 2014 to earn as much as men. It’s an important day for Democratic activists seeking to highlight the discrepancy in wages. Women earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, and equal pay for equal work, a slogan that dates back to the early suffragists, is enjoying renewed resonance.

Democrats dusted off their Paycheck Fairness Act for a vote Wednesday, the third attempt for the legislation, which failed in 2010 and 2012. Sponsored by Sen. Barbara Mikulski, the bill has 52 co-sponsors, all Democrats. Not even Republican Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, often allies on women’s issues, are stepping up on this one.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell appeared to couple his criticism of the pay equity bill with his fury at Majority Leader Harry Reid’s attacks on the conservative Koch brothers. All that Democrats are doing, McConnell said, is trying to “blow a few kisses to their powerful pals on the left.” He characterized Reid’s tactics as a “bizarre obsession” and said it’s part of the Democrats’ “never-ending political road show.”

The reaction was instantaneous. The Democratic political committees, Emily’s List, which helps elect pro-choice women, and Democrats across the board jumped on McConnell. With women a key demographic heading into the midterm elections, Democrats are hoping that Republicans who say such things will revive the “war on women” meme that brought women to the polls in the last election. President Obama won reelection on the strength of a strong gender gap, and Democrats need to duplicate those numbers in key Senate races in November.

McConnell’s office maintains that his words about blowing kisses were meant for the Koch brothers and shouldn’t be taken as a slur against women.

“As is crystal clear to anyone who actually read or heard his remarks, Senator McConnell was referring to an ‘attack’ that Senator Reid had made the previous day on two private citizens who disagree with him,” McConnell spokesman Brian McGuire said in a statement. “Only someone who believes that Senator Reid was ‘attacking’ pay equity could conclude that Senator McConnell was doing so himself.”

McConnell appeared at a press conference with Nebraska Sen. Deb Fischer at his side. One of just four Republican women senators, she is aiming to offer an amendment to the Paycheck Fairness Act that she says will help women combat wage discrimination in the workplace by reinforcing current laws and giving employers more flexibility in setting pay scales.

survey released Tuesday by the Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund and Democracy Corps finds that pay equity is a potent issue for Democrats heading into the midterms. In response to the statement “Women succeed with pay equity and equal health insurance,” 65 percent of likely women voters responded favorably; 82 percent of unmarried women were positive; and 76 percent of the Rising American Electorate, young people and minorities, responded favorably. These are the voters who reelected Obama and whom Democrats must inspire to turn out to hold their majority in the Senate.

Republicans say the legislation before the Senate would encourage more lawsuits and that it is duplicative, as discriminatory hiring based on sex is already illegal.

Republicans are not oblivious to the needs of women voters, and McConnell began his press conference on Tuesday with an argument about how the Obama administration has been bad for women. More women are in poverty, household income is down, and women are suffering in the poor economy, he said, adding, “The Democrats are doing everything they can to change the subject from the nightmare of Obamacare.” He predicted “the sorry state of the economy” and the effects of Obamacare will be the deciding issues in November.

Obama signed two executive orders on Tuesday that mimic what the Paycheck Fairness Act would do in banning employers from punishing workers who discuss their pay with other workers and requiring employers to submit data that break down pay scales along gender and race lines. The executive orders apply only to federal contractors.

Republicans say the legislation before the Senate would encourage more lawsuits and that it is duplicative, as discriminatory hiring based on sex is already illegal.

They also are pushing back on the numbers that Obama and the Democrats are using, saying 77 cents on the dollar is not accurate. At the White House daily briefing, reporters pressed press secretary Jay Carney on that figure. Fox News correspondent Ed Henry likened it to Obama’s much disparaged statement on health care, “If you like your plan, you can keep it.” Carney said the 77 percent figure is based on census data, and there are a lot of factors that contribute to the gap.

Republicans took some satisfaction in pointing out that at the White House, women earn 88 cents on the dollar compared to their male counterparts. Carney countered that at least the media knows what everyone at the White House is making and that reporters ought to ask members of Congress about their staffs.

Pew Research Center survey finds that women earn 84 percent of what men earn and that young women have a much smaller gap, 93 percent. Women fall behind when they take time out to raise children and then return to the workplace at a disadvantage. And women are far more likely to experience multiple “career disruptions” for family reasons.

State by state, the numbers vary as well, with 64 cents for women in Wyoming and 85-90 cents in the Beltway around Washington. “The pay gap between men & women is wider in Louisiana than in all other states except one,” tweeted Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, where the number for women is 67 cents. Calculating gender differences is complicated, but the politics are simple.

Adept Word Management won’t answer the phone!

@citycalling recently shared a tweet “You have the same number of hours in the day as Beyonce.” It’s a great article.

Specifically, I loved this segment. Everybody asks why Adept Word Management doesn’t answer the phone. Transcription requires a lot of concentration. So does business.

Ban “Friendly Interruptions” at All Costs
You’re working on a project. You’re totally in the zone, making lightning-speed progress.

Then, a co-worker swings by. “Just wanted your two cents on this,” he says, handing you a report outline. You look it over and give him your thoughts. It doesn’t take more than 60 seconds for you to chime in. No biggie, right?

Unfortunately, that minor interruption just majorly derailed your focus. It will take an average of 23 minutes for you to get back into the zone of whatever you were doing.

Super-achievers know that interruptions are productivity-killers, so they avoid them at all costs. (There’s a reason why most CEOs have private offices — with doors!)

If you don’t have a door to close, try finding a quiet space where you won’t be nudged, turn off your incoming email notifications for a few hours, or talk to your boss about instituting company-wide “do not disturb” hours a few times a week.

Read more:

Microsoft Voice Recognition Test

What do you do? vs Where do you work?

Have you noticed a difference in reaction when you ask “What do you do?” instead of “where do you work?” It’s interesting. People almost recoil when you ask “what do you do.” I’d say women especially, but I’m woman and more inclined to speak to other women.

WOW! Serena!


Serena 21 Grand Slams 11201867_10153860556520995_4579716009474538427_n

Mixed Metaphors from one of our transcriptionists–hilarious!

Too funny! The things you pick up when you’re captioning and transcribing!

George W. Bush:

“Fool me once, shame on you…” (old idiom)
“Fool me twice [forgets how it ends, stammers]—we won’t get fooled again.” (The Who)

Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill!

From the MS. Blog digest: The $20 bill is ubiquitous in U.S. currency. It’s what ATMs usually spit out at you, the cash you often have on hand when paying for groceries or movie tickets. Of course, when I’m tending to finances I can conveniently overlook the face that is currently stamped on it—seventh president Andrew Jackson, who was responsible for the Indian Removal Act—but the prospect of the face of Harriet Tubman peering back at me on a $20 bill has already filled me with glee and a sense of pride.

Who did you vote for? I voted for Harriet Tubman because I have the sense that she just put her head down and struggled. She wasn’t beautiful, she didn’t look for a lot of attention, she wasn’t a politician. That speaks to me–the idea of doing the right thing just because it’s the right thing!

Spirit Picks for November 2014

Sarah Gish has done it again! Thanks to Sarah for this brilliant newsletter! Spirit Picks. You probably know she’s been publishing her guide to Houston events for families: Gish Picks (more…)


Family History Month Commemorated with “Dear Ancestor”, a Poignant New YouTube Video from Ancestry Graphics & Printing

Endearing poem put to video reminds viewers to investigate and reflect on their ancestors’ lives. (more…)
Beyonce at the VMAs. from Ms. Blog

Wednesday is for Women Warriors–Guinevere

Woman as Warrior?  Or Woman's Infedility as the Ultimate Flaw
Guinevere /ˈɡwɪnɨvɪər/ was the legendary Queen consort of King Arthur. In tales and folklore, she was said to have had a love affair with Arthur’s chief knight Sir Lancelot. This story first appears in Chrétien de Troyes’ Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart, and reappears as a common motif in numerous cyclical Arthurian literature, starting with the Lancelot-Grail Cycle of the early 13th century and carrying through the Post-Vulgate Cycle and Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur. Guinevere and Lancelot’s betrayal of Arthur was often considered as having led to the downfall of the kingdom.

An interview with Chitra Panjabi, Membership Vice President, National Organization for Women

A few days before National Organization for Women’s (NOW) annual conference, we sat down for an interview with Chitra Panjabi, the organization’s Membership Vice President.




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