Things Change

Back in the day there were strict rules enforced by society about the attire of a bride. White dresses were for women who had never been married or had a child. The whiter the dress the more virginal the bride, I suppose. A veil was even added for the mystery of the pure woman beneath. I’ve never been to a wedding where the groom wore anything except a dark suit or tux depending upon the formality of the service. There wasn’t a special attire for men who were previously married or fathered a child. I have known weddings where the bride wore colors, however.

The same double standard is true of the wedding party. The guys are all groomsmen. Are they married? Who knows or cares. The bridesmaids are a different story. There is one who is chosen to be closest to the bride and she is either a “Maid” of Honor or a “Matron” of Honor depending upon her marital status.

But things change over time and I am totally on board with that. In today’s world any bride is entitled to a white dress and there are even maternity wedding gowns today. They come in any color including white. Take a look at this link for a great view of the selection available: https://www.pinkblushmaternity.com/collections/maternity-white-dresses

This is what is on my mind today and I wanted to share it with you. I love that traditions have changed in this area and that women are a little closer to equal thinking and acceptance. I welcome your thoughts.

Photo by Pixabay

Women Vote!

100 Years of Voting!

Women were granted the right to vote with the 19th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution ratified in 1920. That victory came after over 100 years of fighting lead by strong American women, called suffragettes, who were tired of being overlooked. Those women risked their lives for the right to cast their vote and no doubt expected many changes that have been slow to come, such as improved healthcare and personal freedom of choice.

Today women have twenty-five percent of the seats in Congress. Considering that women are 50.5 percent of the U. S. population that is not enough. The fight is not over for women and we need to support one another in our daily lives as well as in the voting booth. How much longer should women wait for equal pay and recognition? No longer!

To know the full story of women’s suffrage, see “Iron Jawed Angels” free on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOrD0tH_WaM

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“The abolition and suffrage movements progressed when united and were damaged by division; we should remember that.” Gloria Steinem

Photos by Pixabay

 

 

Dianne Bynum’s Book Review

“The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek”

This book was a fun surprise. My friend got me interested in this book when she asked me if I’d ever heard about the Blue people of Kentucky. I had, of course, I’ve lived in Kentucky my whole life. We’re known for moonshine, young brides and horse racing. The Blue people were another odd piece of our crazy quilt history. I knew that they had existed but they were just another cringe causing claim to fame for my home state.

I live in Kentucky and have spent some hot summers in the Appalachian Mountains. My family helped with several church ministries in the mountains. I’ve driven on narrow roads created by heavy trucks burdened with dirty coal. I’ve seen tiny houses tucked in dark hollers. I know the suspicious eyes of people that didn’t trust anyone but Mountain people. Those summers taught me a respect for these proud people that lived difficult isolated lives. It was my first experience with real poverty, but it was a financial poverty, not a poverty of spirit. Their beautiful voices, meticulous gardens, and pride in their beautiful mountains were things I never forgot. I was curious to learn more.

The author tells a beautiful story of a strong woman sprinkled with some interesting facts about the Blues. She is respectful of the subject with reliable documentation and photos. I’d never heard of the Book Women and I was touched to know that was a part of our Kentucky heritage. I’m glad I was curious enough to give this book a try.

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Little Women

“Little Women” 2020 Style

Most women and girls have read the book “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott and many of us have seen the movies that followed. This past week, my daughter and I went to see the latest rendition of this popular movie. It was beautifully done with great acting. I recommend this movie whether you are a “Little Women” fan or not.

Photos from USA Today

 

Words Do Matter

A California city voted to ban some gender-specific words in its city code and replace them with gender-neutral options.

Berkeley’s municipal code will no longer feature words like “manhole” and “manpower,” and instead say, “maintenance hole” and “human effort” or “workforce.” The measure passed unanimously and replaces more than two dozen terms.

Gender-specific references to job titles, like “policeman” and “craftsmen,” will also be changed in the code, to “police officer” and “craftspeople” or “artisans.”

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And the use of gendered pronouns, like “he” and “she,” would be replaced with specific titles, like “the attorney” or “the candidate.”

Rigel Robinson, the council member who proposed the measure, praised its passage in a tweet Tuesday.

“There is power in language. This is a small move, but it matters,” he tweeted.

Source: The Associated Press

See this former blog post for WHY it matters:  https://crookedcreek.live/2016/10/23/words-matter-ii

 

 

Photos by Pixabay

Heart Attacks in Women

What we need to know about Heart Attacks in Women

  1. Heart attacks are the number one killer of women (as well as men)
  2. Heart attack symptoms can be more subtle in women
  3. Women are not men, there are physical reasons such as pregnancy and menopause that account for some variable symptoms in women
  4. Heart attacks are often not promptly diagnosed/treated in women
  5. Women are more likely to experience “silent” heart attacks

Risks

  • Diabetes (more common in women than men)
  • Mental Stress and Depression
  • Smoking
  • Inactivity
  • Menopause (due to estrogen changes)
  • Some chemotherapy such as those used to treat breast cancer
  • Pregnancy complications

Symptoms – onset often at rest or during stress

  • Odd feeling in the chest or minor chest discomfort rather than severe pain
    • Often described as pressure or tightness
    • Palpitations
  • Neck, jaw, upper back or shoulder discomfort
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain or odd sensation in arm(s)
  • Abdominal pain, nausea and/or vomiting
  • Indigestion or heartburn
  • Sweating
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness
  • Extreme fatigue

Women should not ignore these symptoms and should work to reduce those risk factors in their control. 

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Sources: mayoclinic.com, prevention.com, womenshealth.gov, healthline.com

Graphic by Pixabay

Staying Alive 2 of 6

OK! Now everyone has a puppy, right?

Next: Get a Female Doctor

No kidding, a study of 1.5 million hospital records proves this is a good method of “Staying Alive.” Harvard researchers reviewed and analyzed these Medicare records in 2016 and found that patients cared for by female doctors were, (A.) More likely to survive and (B.) Less likely to be readmitted within thirty days of discharge. Furthermore, “If male physicians achieved the same outcomes as female physicians” 32,000 fewer people would die each year.  

I realize these are startling claims and we all know that this is not saying that each female doctor is superior to each male doctor. What the study shows is that overall female doctors as a demographic have better outcomes. This study and others suggest that female doctors are more likely to follow clinical guidelines for care and are overall better at communicating with patients. 

Since over 50% of graduates from medical schools are women, there is no scarcity of female doctors from which to choose. 

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“The good physician treats the disease; the great physician treats the patient who has the disease.” William Osler

Graphics by Pixabay

 

 

Diverse Congress?

This past November, 35 new women were elected to the U.S. House of Representatives bringing the total now serving to over 100. There has been abundant news coverage of this group’s number and their wide diversity in ethnicity, age, and sexual orientation.

Twenty-three percent of both the House and Senate being female is a first. It is great, right? Not quite. Before we proclaim “The Year of the Woman” yet again let’s look at some other facts.       https://crookedcreek.live/2018/06/13/year-of-the-woman-2018/ 

  • Women make up over 50% of the population of the U.S.
  • Over 60% of U.S. citizens holding college degrees (both undergrad and masters) are female
  • The U.S. Senate, since its inception in 1789 has had only 56 women to serve and many of those were appointed to fill the seat of a deceased husband rather than elected.  

Don’t think for a moment that the glass ceiling has been broken. There is not even a discernible crack, but that does not mean we give up. Instead, we stay informed, support the best candidate for the job, VOTE and perhaps most importantly stop judging females more harshly than we do men. 

Overall our government looks white, male and old but this does not reflect our population. We can and must do better! 

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https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/01/14/us/politics/women-of-the-116th-congress.html?emc=edit_nn_20190120&nl=morning-briefing&nlid=7295686420190120&te=1

“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.” Mark Twain

Theme photo of 27 incoming Congresswomen by Christelle De Castro of ELLE

Pat

Blessed with Pats

One day my daughter said to me, “Mom you have so many friends named Pat!” And I realized she was right. I truly do have a lot of friends both present and past named Pat and each has been a blessing. 

My first Pat was a cousin born six weeks before me and we grew up more like sisters. When we were little I called her Patsy Lou (for Patricia Lucille), but later as a preteen, she became Pat. We both became nurses and we argued, agreed and mostly were just always there for each other until she died of leukemia.

Currently, there are Pats in my life who are more varied than their names might suggest. One is a brilliant writer, one a talented artist, another is a good neighbor and cat sitter, one lives several states away and still stays in touch. There are and have been others too numerous to count as they sometime say in lab results.

A Pat from the Past

 During part of the 1960s and 1970s, we lived in a small neighborhood in the suburbs. It was a great place to raise our two daughters. It was also an innocent time. Kids ran and played and rode bikes and stayed out after dark playing hide and seek. They knew they had parental eyes on them, but still, it was a time of freedom. Each child trusted their friends’ parents as they trusted their own. 

There was a neighbor named Pat who was not a great deal older than me, but she taught me so much, mostly by example. She was an RN and although not consciously I followed her into the nursing profession. It wasn’t that she talked about her job, but I knew she was good at it and I wanted to be like her.

One Sunday while my family was at church I stayed home to make chili for a neighbor who was injured in a wreck. The chili was really hot. It burned up our kitchen. The remarkable thing though was that Pat showed up after the firetruck had departed and began to help. Long after the insurance was settled and new appliances were installed Pat came back with her cleaning tools to help me rid the house of stains and odors. That is a real neighbor. 

When one of our daughters had an accident on Halloween night requiring a trip to the hospital, Pat took our other daughter trick-or-treating with her children. 

When I went into labor with our third pregnancy and subsequently miscarried, it was Pat who comforted me, instructed my husband and again took care of our daughters while we went to the hospital. 

There are few people like this woman and I wish you had known her too. I do not know how I became so fortunate to have Pat G. and so many other Pats in my life. 

“Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.” Helen Keller

NOTE: There are many friends in my life today and I would not want to face life without any of them, no matter their names. You surely know who you are and I love you. 

Theme photo in title by Pixabay

Wedding Dresses

Wedding 1927

In 1927 Samuel Baugh (1899-1982), my Uncle Sam married Thelma Kissel (1913-1975). They were married for forty-eight years and had no children. In 2009 I obtained Aunt Thelma’s wedding gown and kept it hanging in a closet with her rosary. I didn’t know what I would eventually do with the gown but knew it was too precious to not protect. 

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Katie

My granddaughter, Katherine Rae Puckett, graduated from IU Bloomington with a degree in Theater Arts. Her grandfather and I worried a little that she might have trouble finding work in her field. We should not have been concerned. After working at various costuming jobs, including with The Louisville Ballet, Shakespeare in the Park and Butler University she began to plan her wedding at age twenty-six. 

Imagine my surprise when she asked if she could use Aunt Thelma’s wedding dress in making her own! I knew intuitively that Aunt Thelma would approve and I gave the dress to Kate. After soaking and cutting and adding fabric Kate’s dress was ready for her big day at Locust Grove in Louisville, KY. https://crookedcreek.live/2018/04/19/soul-7/

 

The Process 

Wedding May 18, 2018

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Jolea Brown, Photographer

Mr. and Ms. Tom Elliott, Stroud, England

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Jolea Brown, Photographer

“A wedding dress is both an intimate and personal for a woman – it must reflect the personality and style of the bride.” Caroline Herrera

 

Theme graphic in title by Pixabay

Book Review – Ghost Girls

Book Review

Recently I read the true story of young women who lost their health and their lives due to exposure to radium on their jobs. Several aspects of this tragedy stand out in my mind, but especially the fact that girls were hired as young as thirteen to work six days a week. Throughout the years that followed they were still referred to as “girls” no matter their ages. The radium dial companies they worked for kept important information about the dangers of radium from them and treated them as expendable. These young women had no way to know that the pretty glow that showed on their clothes, hair, and bodies was slowly poisoning them. 

As they suffered tooth loss, amputations, sarcomas and extreme pain these brave women eventually fought courageously for the truth and for monetary compensation. Their suffering and their efforts resulted in workplace regulations still in place today and even safeguards in the manufacture of the atomic bomb. 

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I highly recommend “The Radium Girls” by Kate Moore. The story begins around 1917 and covers the WWI and WWII eras and well into the 1970s. The results of the courage of these “ghost girls” protect us all even today in the 21st Century.  


 “Courage, sacrifice, determination, commitment, toughness, heart, talent, guts. That’s what little girls are made of.” Bethany Hamilton

 

Theme photo in title by Pixabay

Year of the Woman 2018

Since the “Year of the Woman” 1992, 1993, 1994, etc., at least one woman has remained in a position of power, Ruth Bader Ginsberg. We owe tribute to her. She deserves all the recognition and honor that has been bestowed upon her to this point and more. This eighty-one year old may look frail, but I see her as strong as steel. Ginsberg is not the only woman who has served on the Supreme Court or even the first. She is not the longest serving Justice, either, but she was appointed in 1993, almost twenty-five years ago and she serves with strength and dignity. 26219909_10159808716480297_2166951116171513033_n

#Me Too

Is it possible that the so-called “me too” movement currently sweeping the US will be the turning point for women? Is it likely that women will finally be treated with equity? I want to be optimistic, but I am not, at this point, even hopeful. What will it take? I do not know, but I do know what is at stake. 

At stake is every inch of progress made to date. At stake are healthcare and childcare and the overall economic stability of women and their families. In 2016 the pay gap for women was 20%! According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research if progress continues at the rate of the past fifty years it will be 2059 before there is pay equity between women and men. For women of color, it will be well into the next century. https://iwpr.org/issue/employment-education-economic-change/pay-equity-discrimination/

What is the answer? If only it were that simple, but there are many changes that must be made and while men are important to this cause and their support is essential, it is women who must step up. 

Step Up

  • Run for office
  • Vote in each election
  • Expect (demand) more
  • Educate girls
    • We might begin by recognizing their strength and intellect ahead of their appearance
  • Support other women politically, in business and personally. 

These are a few things that come to mind at the moment but there are many more. Let’s not be afraid of the fight. The suffragettes endured real physical pain for the right to vote and if you aren’t sure about that, I challenge  you to see the 2004 movie, “Iron Jawed Angels” now available free on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOrD0tH_WaM fullsizeoutput_18b5

If you have not seen this movie, please watch it, show it to your daughters and your granddaughters. While we’re at it, let’s include the men and boys. We all need to know this history. 

“Paradoxically, the most constructive thing women can do is to write, for in the act of writing we deny our muteness and begin to eliminate some of the difficulties that have been put upon us.” Dale Spender

Whether we write, speak or teach . . . . No matter how we lead, the important thing is that we be not mute! 

 

Theme photo in title by Pixabay

 

Year of the Woman 1993

1993

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In 1993 I turned fifty-years-old. I felt old. I was teased and received all the gag gifts that go with such a milestone birthday. But there was a bright spot, it was the “Year of the Woman!” What could be a better birthday present than that! 

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But wait, 1992 was supposed to be the “Year of the Woman” too. And, according to a Wall Street Journal article, 1994 was redux. Surely with all the elections and appointments of women, it did come to pass . . . surely. No doubt all this attention to the female majority in the US resulted in equal pay . . . no doubt . . . surely. 

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What happened? Does anyone even remember the first “full-fledged” female bishop? How about Carol Moseley-Braun? Joyce Elders? Lani Guinier? 

The battle for women’s suffrage began in Seneca Falls, NY in 1848 and it took seventy-two years for the 19th Amendment to be ratified. My mother was one year old at the time. If living she would turn 100 next year. My what progress must have been made in all those years. Surely women now receive pay equal to men. Surely a woman has been elected President. Surely women have an equal place at the table where important decisions are made. Surely . . . 

What went wrong? Who failed? We need to ask these difficult questions. In the next post we will take a closer look at the progress made since the Year of the Woman of the nineties. 

“Here’s to strong women. May we know them, we may be them, may we raise them.” Stacey Bendet

 

Theme photo in title by Pixabay

Movie Review – Book Club

Disclaimer: 

I am not a movie critic. I’m not even a movie buff. I probably see fewer than 6 movies per year at the theater.

Review

I loved the movie I saw yesterday with a friend. It was packed with great actors, Candice Bergen, Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton and Mary Steenburgen. Don’t be put off by trailers referring to the book “Fifty Shades of Grey” because it isn’t really about the book, but about four close friends who have an informal book club, hence the movie’s name.

“Book Club” is a comedy with a lot of philosophy woven throughout. It was funny. I truly laughed out loud more than once. In my “I’m not a movie critic” opinion it has a specific audience in mind. If you are female and of, let’s say a mature age, you will likely be entertained. 

 

Theme graphic in title by Pixabay

 

Nancy

Marilyn, Helen and Janet – Friends of Mine

I have a lovely neighbor who I’ve known for five years. Her name is Nancy. For some reason each time I think of her I think her name is “Marilyn.” She doesn’t look like a Marilyn and I have no idea why this thought comes to me. 

Several years ago I met a very nice friend of my daughter’s and her name is also Nancy. I immediately started calling her “Helen.” She does look like a Helen, I think, but it is not the name her parents chose for her.

Last year a met a friend of a friend whose name is . . . you guessed it, Nancy. Guess what I thought her name was? “Janet,” I called her Janet in emails about our meeting. I still think of her as Janet. Since she is a Viet Nam vet I’m very glad that she is so pleasant and understanding.

Nancy

After much thought, I believe I have figured out what is wrong with me concerning this name. As I shared in a post on October 26th of last year, once I was Nancy. 

https://crookedcreek.live/2017/10/26/halloween-then/

Theme graphic in title by Pixabay

 

Beauty 4

Beauty Four       

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 Fairy tales can come true? 

           It could happen to you. . .music-2570451_1280

Please don’t let it be true!

 

Beauty and the Beast

In spite of learning so much more about Beauty and the Beast, I still suspect that Beauty and many other females in fairy tales suffer from Stockholm syndrome.  I would prefer this story: 

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Fairy Tales

A close review of old stories for children, even nursery rhymes, and songs, contain thinly veiled topics that few would find healthy for young children. Some subject matter that comes to mind includes poverty, patriarchy, arranged marriages, cannibalism, incest, and beastiality. (I sure wish I had not used Google to find the correct spelling of that last word!)

The country of origin seems to have little influence on whether the tale is age appropriate. Beauty and the Beast was written in France as we learned in the last post, Aesop’s Fables are from Greece, Hans Christian Andersen was Danish and the Brothers Grimm were German.

Nursery Rhymes

Again I am guilty of jumping to conclusions without complete information because when I started reading full versions of many nursery rhymes I found that I was only familiar with part of the story. For instance, I had only heard the first verse of Baa Baa Black Sheep. Did you know that the last verse is about a zebra? There are workable theories that this rhyme is based on slavery or unfair taxing, but we won’t go there today. 

Again I had not read or heard all of Little Bow Peep. Did you know that when she found her sheep it “made her heart bleed” because of the loss of their tails? I’m not sure what it is about tails but The Three Blind Mice had theirs surgically removed by the farmer’s wife! 

Poor Humpty Dumpty is mortally crushed in a fall. Everyone knows I suppose that Peter held his wife captive in a pumpkin shell and Jack sustained a skull fracture which Jill tried to replicate as she came tumbling after.

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Courtesy of DLTK

Maybe it is the nurse in me, but I see emergency departments filled with these casualties. Perhaps you’re seeing it reported on cable news or from the viewpoint of law enforcement. 

Songs

I would be willing to bet that you have either sung “Rock-a-bye Baby” or had it sung to you. Did you, like me, picture that sweet fragile baby crashing to the ground when the windstorm breaks the limb upon which its cradle was hung? Could it be that the words really do not matter at all? Is it conceivable that the only thing that matters is that someone is lovingly singing a lullaby?

Final Thoughts

You may wonder what these four posts entitled Beauty are about and if so my job here is done. I want you to wonder, to question. I am interested in thoughts this series might have prompted. I would like to know your opinions, your favorite or least favorite children’s story, whether you reached any conclusions. Please share in the comments. Thank you.

My Favorite?

Hans Christian Andersen’s The Emperor’s New Clothes is brilliant. It seems much more like an adult tale than a child’s, but regardless there is such a valuable lesson contained in this story. It isn’t sing-song verse nor does it rhyme. It does not frighten but manages to carry a profound message. 

 

Part 4 of 4

Theme photo in title by Pixabay

 

Beauty 3

Food for Thought from “Beauty 2” Quotes

 https://wordpress.com/post/crookedcreek.live/3480

I have thought about those quotes from well-known men and my thoughts follow each in red:

“A beautiful woman with a brain is like a beautiful woman with a club foot.” Bernard Cornfeld    This crook millionaire is dead now.

“The highest prize in the world of men is the most beautiful woman available on your arm and living there in her heart loyal to you.” Norman Mailer  And besides all the women he had relationships with, he married six others, one whom he stabbed twice in the abdomen.

“There is no spectacle on earth more appealing than that of a beautiful woman in the act of cooking dinner for someone she loves.” Tom Wolfe He has a Ph.D. from Yale and has had an outstanding career as a writer. Since he has only had one wife one would assume she must be a really good cook.

“It’s the combination of marrying a beautiful woman three decades younger and my iPad that keeps me young.” Bruce Forsyth    He was married three times and lived to be eighty-nine so apparently, his last young wife, a beauty queen, did keep him young. Or perhaps it was just the iPad?

“Surrounding myself with beautiful women keeps me young.” Hugh Hefner
This old fart finally died in spite of all his beautiful Playboy Bunnies.

“My addiction has always been to beautiful women, being surrounded by them.” Corey Feldman   Yeah, well okay, but you are no prize and you are also only 5’5” tall so it is doubtful they surround you for the reason that you believe.

BEAUTYMaybe only skin deep, but so very essential for the female it seems. 

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BEAST –   Was he really?

As I said earlier I often come to my conclusions and hold steadfastly to them without knowing the whole story. All I knew was that Beauty fell in love with a big hairy animal. I saw that as unacceptable on every level. Why must a female be so needy as to accept this as her fate? One reader pointed out that Beauty was good-natured and kind and that her virtues were rewarded. I had not gotten close enough to give much consideration to anything except what I saw as inequality.  

My Granddaughter (the same one who insisted I watch Frozen) knowing my strong feelings about the lack of egalitarianism in fairy tales as well as life, in general, asked me recently if I knew the backstory of Beauty and the Beast. I did not, but I do now. She explained that he was not really a beast, but a young prince who had been cursed by a wicked fairy. Only the love of a beautiful young girl could break the curse, but he was not allowed to tell Beauty that. She referred me to a group of podcasts that tell an earlier “non-Disneyfied” version of the tale. As I listened to the podcasts I learned that this was a complex story involving multiple cultures, families, communities, and fairies both good and bad.  https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/tales/id1345709834?mt=2

It was shocking to learn how long this story has been around and how much it has and yet has not changed over the centuries. My interest being kindled I began to research more about the origins and found that the original was written in France in 1740. The original author was Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve but in an interview with the BBC http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-35358487  Dr. Jamie Tehrani stated: “Some of these stories go back much further than the earliest literary record and indeed further back than Classical mythology – some versions of these stories appear in Latin and Greek texts – but our findings suggest they are much older than that.” If this researcher is correct then such stories began as oral tales perhaps as long as 4,000 years ago. 

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Photo Courtesy of Google

Another interesting theory is that the Beast was based on a true story. There are paintings from 1580 of a man named Petrus Gonsalvus who had long hair on his entire body and face, a condition called “hypertrichosis”  or “Ambras Syndrome.” Gonsalvus as a child was abducted to the court of King Henry II who was reportedly interested in peculiarities. He was kept on as a court jester until the death of the King. After a marriage was arranged by the late King’s wife through trickery he was allowed to leave with his surprised (horrified?) wife.  They had seven children, three of whom had the same genetic syndrome and who were removed from the home to please other wealthy royalty.  

The original tome by Barbot de Villeneuve was first abridged in 1756 and then again in 1889. Since that time it has evolved through books, on stage as an opera and ballet and in movies. It has even been on television including The Hallmark Hall of Fame. When I’ve considered The Beauty and the Beast up until the past couple of weeks I had no idea that its history went back perhaps to the Bronze Age. Does that make its story better? Does it make it more acceptable? Apparently, it does for it to have endured so long and to have been enjoyed by so many. 

Number 3 of 4

Theme photo in title by Pixabay

Beauty 2

Fairy Tales

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Google Photo

 

In the last post, I promised to give you my “idea” for a children’s book. https://crookedcreek.live/2018/03/20/beauty/

Some reader comments indicate you may be expecting an actual book, but I am sorry it does not exist. I’ve only gotten to the title because I know that actually writing the book would be an enormous waste of time. No publisher would be interested in a book with my title.

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Handsome

Handsome guy, right? My book would have him falling in love with an ugly hag. Can you picture him dancing with or kissing such an old woman? Of course, you can’t because it has never happened and it never will. There’s no money in that story! There is no reality in that story.

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and the 

For centuries, however, the opposite plot has been accepted and even expected. The book Beauty and the Beast has been read to children for generations. The three movies by the same name have been attended by families since the first one was released in the 1940s. I would love to know how many children may have asked their parents why the beautiful girl was in the arms of the big hairy monster. I wonder how many parents were uncomfortable with the storyline.

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HAG

 

 

        

 

 

“Handsome and the Hag”

 

Some food for thought:

“A beautiful woman with a brain is like a beautiful woman with a club foot.” Bernard Cornfeld

“The highest prize in the world of men is the most beautiful woman available on your arm and living there in her heart loyal to you.” Norman Mailer

“There is no spectacle on earth more appealing than that of a beautiful woman in the act of cooking dinner for someone she loves.” Tom Wolfe

“It’s the combination of marrying a beautiful woman three decades younger and my iPad that keeps me young.” Bruce Forsyth

“Surrounding myself with beautiful women keeps me young.” Hugh Hefner

“My addiction has always been to beautiful women, being surrounded by them.” Corey Feldman

Number 2 of 4

Theme photo in title and others by Pixabay

Beauty

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Painting from Beauty and the Beast                                                                                                  Courtesy of Pixabay

Fairy Tales

As a parent, I have often felt quite guilty about not watching cartoons and other animated children’s programs with my daughters while they were growing up. A few were acceptable, but those based on fairy tales definitely were not. A reader recently commented here that fairy tales are often very dark and I agree, however my main objection has always been that females are portrayed as weak and submissive and their value equated with their physical beauty.

Snow White wasn’t even alive until a male came along and brought her to life with a kiss. At least I think that’s what it was about. Sometimes I take a quick look or hear a few words and then establish my emphatic opinion. I’ve recently learned that is often the wrong approach. Regardless, I am sure that black and brown little girls find it difficult to identify with Snow White

When our daughters were small their Father watched cartoons and children’s stories with them on TV. I don’t think I ever watched even Bambi all the way through, but I remember the word “twitterpated” and was surprised when I looked it up just now and learned it did not have the sexual connotation that I had always believed.

I did not have patience with musicals either. A couple of years ago my grown-up granddaughter asked me to watch the animated movie, Frozen, with her. It was not her first time to see it and I felt she wanted to see if I’d softened up any over the years so I agreed. Perhaps it is because our family is not musically inclined but I’ve just never heard any of us break out in song. It is unnatural! The main characters, Elsa and Anna were undeniable beauties, of course. 

Beauty and the Beast

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Photos courtesy of Disneyclips.com

That brings me to the story Beauty and the Beast which I detested long before the smash hit Disney movie was released last year.  I loathe the very name. Why would a beautiful young girl fall in love with an ugly hairy monster? Each time I heard the title I would think, “How could they in this day and age? Aren’t we even trying to encourage little girls to be strong and independent?” Of course, I have not seen the movie. Aware that it was an age-old children’s book I even felt a little superior that, as a parent, I had not read this book and others like it to my daughters. 

For many years I have fantasized about writing my own children’s book and it would definitely have a different theme than those relying on beauty to determine a girl’s worth. I’ve had the title for so long that if I even begin to talk about it my granddaughters chime in with it before I can get it out.

My children’s book idea coming up in the next post! Stick around. 


“Beauty and the Beast” Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmWBIxbn7Nk

Number 1 of 4

Medicine 4

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Childbirth

Most mothers since the beginning of time had given birth at home with midwives or other women in attendance. It was a long, painful and exhausting experience. Finally in the 1850s wealthy women were offered some relief from ether after it was used for Queen Victoria during her labor. Following the Queen’s lead ether, chloroform, and even laughing gas in the United States, were administered for decades to women able to afford delivery in a hospital. Because some doctors were better trained than others babies being born at home were likely to have had safer births without the effects of these gases.

Painless Childbirth

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Page 1106 in our 1910 manuscript states that a method of “painless childbirth” had been developed by doctors, Bernard Kronig and Carl Gause, in Germany. Hallelujah! Just what every woman in the world had been hoping for. It sounded wonderful, even the name “Twilight Sleep” (Dämmerschlaf in German) was promising. Doctors from the US went to Germany to learn to use this new miracle combination of drugs that would herald childbirth without pain. Soon gas was out of favor and powerful drugs were in. 

Twilight sleep was said to be “especially suited to the requirement of nervous women.” I find it interesting that men were so sure what women needed in view of the fact that not one of them had passed a bowling-ball-sized human through their loins. To this day many men are inclined to have very strong opinions about a woman’s body and what she should be allowed to do with it, but back to the topic at hand. 

Twilight Sleep

Twilight Sleep was made up of a combination of morphine and scopolamine. Morphine is derived from opium and acts on the central nervous system, causing pain relief. Scopolamine comes from a mixture of nightshade plants. It causes patients to fall into a semi-conscious state resulting in amnesia.

Both drugs are still in use today, but not routinely with labor patients. Morphine is a powerful and useful pain reliever that can lead to opioid dependence in some situations. Scopolamine is used orally or by a transdermal patch to treat nausea, vomiting and motion sickness. You may have used or seen fellow passengers use these patches to prevent or combat seasickness.

Possible side effects from scopolamine listed today include the following:  drowsiness, disorientation, dry mouth, blurred vision, dilated pupils, confusion, hallucinations, difficulty urinating and rash.    https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682509.html

What is wrong with this picture? In retrospect, it does not seem a chemistry degree is necessary to foresee problems with this combination of drugs. The pain relief of morphine was a big plus for the laboring mother, however, it could depress respiration in the newborn leading to a life-threatening emergency. The scopolamine rendered the mother semiconscious during the painful childbirth experience, however, it caused amnesia. The mother usually remembered nothing of the experience including seeing her newborn for the first time nor hearing the first cries. The effects of this drug had significant potential to defer or even diminish bonding between mother and child. 

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Both of these drugs crossed the placenta and depressed the fetus’s central nervous system. For decades babies would be born drugged, and unable to breathe normally. It is no wonder they were held upside-down and spanked to start them breathing. After over sixty years of Twilight Sleep administration, the practice was abandoned in the 1970s due to the harmful side effects. Unfortunately, this was after the birth of my two daughters and I am sure after many of you or your children were born. 

Lakshmipati G. (Care of the Medical Outpatient, (Preface) 1st ed. 2003. pp. vii–vii. Nama publication, Coimbatore, Tamilnadu) has said:  

“Half of what is true today will be proven to be incorrect in the next five years. Unfortunately we don’t know which half that is going to be.” 

Sadly, this is true even today. One only hopes that such truth will be proven in only a few years rather than the centuries or decades it has taken in the past. 

 An Art or a Science?

Whether the practice of medicine is an art or a science has been debated for centuries. Many, if not most, feel that it must include both. For a comprehensive discussion of this subject read Dr. Sadhu Charan Panda’s research. He is Editor, Journal of Community Medicine.   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3190445/

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Change, does it occur too fast or too slowly? 

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 The Complete Guide to Prevention and Cure of Disease is still in print. If you are interested in reading all 20 medical books in one volume written over 100 years ago see: https://www.amazon.com/Library-Health-Twenty-Books-One-Scholl/dp/B007GNBQB6/ref=sr_1_10?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1516977599&sr=1-10&keywords=library+of+health+by+Scholl

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Part 4 of 4

Truth

New Horizon 

Last night at the Golden Globes, Oprah Winfrey won the Cecil B. DeMille award.  She gave a momentous acceptance speech that I’m sure many of you heard. She spoke of empowerment and equality.  http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/08/entertainment/oprah-globes-speech-transcript/index.html

One of our readers, Lula, remarked to me in a private message that it reminded her of our Crooked Creek discussions last spring regarding “What I Know for Sure 1-5.” https://crookedcreek.live/2017/03/27/what-i-know-for-sure/

I agree because one of Oprah’s statements, in particular, bears repeating and remembering: “What I know for sure is that speaking the truth is the most powerful tool we all have.”

Thank you, Oprah and Lula. While truth has always been crucial, this is a time when women must not only be truthful but also demand truth from others. Truth, spoken by both women and men can bring about, finally, the transformation needed for women and girls to truly be equal . . . in respect, in compensation, in power.

This time is long overdue.

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Courtesy of Pixabay