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    Patricia Rossi is America’s etiquette and protocol coach, with over 20 years experience in business etiquette and protocol training.

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"Let's hope that the key conferences aren't when she's menstruating or something" – G. Gordon Liddy on Supreme Court Justice nominee Sonia Sotmayor

You spend your entire life scraping and scratching for every opportunity, a difficult task after your father suddenly dies when you are just nine years old and your mother is tasked with being the sole bread winner. You’re raised around junkies and gangs, but you focus on making yourself better, education is your key to getting out from under the poverty and challenges your family has endured, stay the course and focus on being your best. You earn a spot and scholarship to a college prep school, but the hard work is just beginning. In order to attend college, you can’t just be good, you have to be exceptional, because, in order to attend, you need a scholarship.

Your hard work is rewarded when you are designated valedictorian of your class and you enter Princeton on a full scholarship, followed by Yale Law School. Then many years later, you are nominated as a U.S. Supreme Court Judge, the highest court in the land. Your father would have been so proud. Your hard work has paid off. The nation is watching you, they are talking about your accomplishments. Lots of people are talking. All the sacrifices and the heartaches have brought you to this very point and then you hear:

“Let’s hope that the key conferences aren’t when she’s menstruating or something.”

Sotomayor is not the only accomplished woman that has been the subject of a sexist sound bite. On August 31st, the Women’s Campaign Forum, the Women’s Media Center and Political Parity launched “Name It, Change It,” a media campaign focused on putting the spotlight on sexism in the media. For years, women have politely ignored the host of comments about PMS, driving, blondes, butts and breasts and the GIRLFRIENDS are getting together and Naming Names!  We are getting down in the dirt; we’re going to spar on the mat of ignorance and come out the victor.  WE ARE NAMING NAMES and focusing the BIG BOLD LASER OF SHAME on the culprits.

The best part is, WE now have a Website.  That means we are organized!  And, we are organized on Facebook and Twitter AND we have a place to REPORT IT.

So get out there, become a fan of “Name It. Change It,” and join the cause.  Once we NAME IT, Change is inevitable.

I’ll get you started.  Here’s my list of sexist comments in the media:

“The reason she’s a U.S. senator, the reason she’s a candidate for president, the reason she may be a front-runner is her husband messed around. That’s how she got to be senator from New York. We keep forgetting it.  She didn’t win there on her merit.” – Chris Matthews on Hillary Clinton during the Presidential primaries in 2008.

“There’s also this issue that, on April 18, she gave birth to a baby with Down syndrome… The baby is just slightly more than 4 months old now. Children with Down syndrome require an awful lot of attention. The role of vice president, it seems to me, would take up an awful lot of her time, and it raises the issue of how much time will she have to dedicate to her newborn child?” – John Roberts on Sarah Palin’s VP nomination (on national television).

“If we get rid of the moon, women, whose menstrual cycles are governed by the moon, will not get PMS. They will stop bitching and whining.”GOVERNOR Arnold Schwarzenegger to Howard Stern during his radio show.

“Without ‘Fascistic Hatred, Malkin Is Just a ‘Mashed-Up Bag of Meat with Lipstick.” Keith Olbermann on Michele Malkin.

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“Let’s hope that the key conferences aren’t when she’s menstruating or something” – G. Gordon Liddy on Supreme Court Justice nominee Sonia Sotmayor

You spend your entire life scraping and scratching for every opportunity, a difficult task after your father suddenly dies when you are just nine years old and your mother is tasked with being the sole bread winner. You’re raised around junkies and gangs, but you focus on making yourself better, education is your key to getting out from under the poverty and challenges your family has endured, stay the course and focus on being your best. You earn a spot and scholarship to a college prep school, but the hard work is just beginning. In order to attend college, you can’t just be good, you have to be exceptional, because, in order to attend, you need a scholarship.

Your hard work is rewarded when you are designated valedictorian of your class and you enter Princeton on a full scholarship, followed by Yale Law School. Then many years later, you are nominated as a U.S. Supreme Court Judge, the highest court in the land. Your father would have been so proud. Your hard work has paid off. The nation is watching you, they are talking about your accomplishments. Lots of people are talking. All the sacrifices and the heartaches have brought you to this very point and then you hear:

“Let’s hope that the key conferences aren’t when she’s menstruating or something.”

Sotomayor is not the only accomplished woman that has been the subject of a sexist sound bite. On August 31st, the Women’s Campaign Forum, the Women’s Media Center and Political Parity launched “Name It, Change It,” a media campaign focused on putting the spotlight on sexism in the media. For years, women have politely ignored the host of comments about PMS, driving, blondes, butts and breasts and the GIRLFRIENDS are getting together and Naming Names!  We are getting down in the dirt; we’re going to spar on the mat of ignorance and come out the victor.  WE ARE NAMING NAMES and focusing the BIG BOLD LASER OF SHAME on the culprits.

The best part is, WE now have a Website.  That means we are organized!  And, we are organized on Facebook and Twitter AND we have a place to REPORT IT.

So get out there, become a fan of “Name It. Change It,” and join the cause.  Once we NAME IT, Change is inevitable.

I’ll get you started.  Here’s my list of sexist comments in the media:

“The reason she’s a U.S. senator, the reason she’s a candidate for president, the reason she may be a front-runner is her husband messed around. That’s how she got to be senator from New York. We keep forgetting it.  She didn’t win there on her merit.” – Chris Matthews on Hillary Clinton during the Presidential primaries in 2008.

“There’s also this issue that, on April 18, she gave birth to a baby with Down syndrome… The baby is just slightly more than 4 months old now. Children with Down syndrome require an awful lot of attention. The role of vice president, it seems to me, would take up an awful lot of her time, and it raises the issue of how much time will she have to dedicate to her newborn child?” – John Roberts on Sarah Palin’s VP nomination (on national television).

“If we get rid of the moon, women, whose menstrual cycles are governed by the moon, will not get PMS. They will stop bitching and whining.”GOVERNOR Arnold Schwarzenegger to Howard Stern during his radio show.

“Without ‘Fascistic Hatred, Malkin Is Just a ‘Mashed-Up Bag of Meat with Lipstick.” Keith Olbermann on Michele Malkin.

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FROM THE VAULT: April 19, 1967 Woman Uses Chicanery to Register in All Male Boston Marathon

“Get the hell out of my race and give me that number.”- Jock Semple, Boston Marathon race director as he tried to run down Kathrine Switzer in 1967 to rip off her official number. Switzer became the first women to enter the Boston Marathon. For several years, another woman, Roberta Gibb, ran in the race, but did not dare register. For Kathrine’s part, she registered only as K. Switzer and had a male friend pick up her number.

Photo credit: Harry Trask for AP Images

When Semple was notified of the woman in the race, he jumped from the truck he was riding in and ran after her to get the number off her back. Switzer’s boyfriend knocked him down and the two finished the race.

“I’m not o’poozed t’ women’s athletics,” says Jock, whose burr remains almost as thick as it was the day in 1923 when he left Clydebank for America. Indeed, he has donated trophies to women’s races. “But we’re taught t’ respect laws—t’ respect rules. The amateur rules here say a woman can’t run more th’n a mile and a half. I’m in favor of makin’ their races longer, but they doon’t belong with men. They doon’t belong runnin’ with Jim Ryun. You wouldn’t like to see a woman runnin’ with Jim Ryun, wouldya?” source: Sports Illustrated April 22, 1968

The Associated Press photo was seen around the world. And yet, it would take another FIVE years to officially allow women to participate. Today, more than 40 percent of the runners are women.

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Shirley Sherrod says Kiss My Non-Racist BeeHind

“The secretary did push really hard for me to stay and work from inside, but I look at what happened to me,” she said at a news conference with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “I know he’s apologized, and I accept it. A new process is in place, but I don’t want to test it.” – Shirley Sherrod, former USDA employee fired for alleged racism, thrown to the wolves and then unfired.  Perhaps the biggest heartbreak of all was that Obama let it happen (and don’t say he didn’t know).

Then the NAACP says the were “snookered by Fox News and Tea Party Activist Andrew Breitbart into believing she had harmed white farmers because of racial bias.” [Do you know how many people look at a press release before it goes out?  Dozens, especially this kind of release, and “snookered” was the word they went with?]

“Having reviewed the full tape, spoken to Ms. Sherrod, and most importantly heard the testimony of the white farmers mentioned in this story,” – [they needed all of that to know she was not guilty and Breitbart just needed a clip to be believed?] “we now believe the organization that edited the documents did so with the intention of deceiving millions of Americans.”

Where did the tape originate?  It was shot by a NAACP employee during the NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet on March 27, 2010, in Douglas, Georgia.  Sooooo, tell me that again.  What is even more upsetting is the NAACP quickly released a statement right after Secretary Vilsack backing the Ag Secretary’s firing of her.

So on the day she was “fired” (asked to resign by USDA Deputy Under Secretary Cheryl Cook after a series of phone calls telling her to pull over and write her resignation on her Blackberry), Shirley was called repeatedly and then told she would be on Glenn Beck that night.  Beck sends shivers through the administration?  Wow. [I don’t know what else to say, maybe I can use snookered here].

Good for you GIRLFRIEND Shirley Sherrod!!  I hope you don’t let the betrayal haunt you.  You are an inspiration.

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Never Underestimate Mom – Happy 90th 19th Amendment

Harry T. Burn

“I had always believed that women had an inherent right to vote. It was a logical attitude from my standpoint. My mother was a college woman, a student of national and international affairs who took an interest in all public issues. She could not vote. Yet the tenant farmers on our farm, some of whom were illiterate, could vote. On that roll call, confronted with the fact that I was going to go on record for time
and eternity on the merits of the question, I had to vote for ratification.” Harry T. Burns, State Representative of Tennessee and the deciding vote that passed the 19th Amendment.

In the summer of 1920, 35 of the 48 states had ratified the 19th amendment, giving women the right to vote. We needed one more state and Tennessee was the next to hold a special session, something other states had pushed back. Burn had made history a few years earlier as the youngest in 1918 when he became the youngest elected legislator at just 22 years old.

Burn has originally intended to vote ‘no’ and even wore the office red rose on his lapel – a symbol for anti-suffragists. The vote deadlocked 48 to 48. When it came time to either pass or kill the amendment, he defected and voted “yes.” Many in the gallery thought he had simply made a mistake, so the clerk called roll again, “yes.” Rumors of bribery and corruption were leveled at Burn. He insisted on adding a statement into the House Journal:

“I desire to resent in the name of honesty and justice the veiled intimidation and
accusation regarding my vote on the Suffrage Amendment as indicated in certain
statements, and it is my sincere belief that those responsible for their existence know that
there is not a scintilla of truth in them. I want to state that I changed my vote in favor of
ratification first because I believe in full suffrage as a right; second, I believe we had a
moral and legal right to ratify; third, I knew that a mother’s advice is always safest for a
boy to follow and my mother wanted me to vote for ratification; fourth, I appreciated the
fact that an opportunity such as seldom comes to a mortal man to free seventeen million
women from political slavery was mine; fifth, I desired that my party in both State and
nation might say that it was a republican from the East mountains of Tennessee, the
purest Anglo-Saxon section in the world, who made national woman suffrage possible at
this date, not for personal glory but for the glory of his party.”

Why did he really defect? It all came down to a letter he carried with him:

“Dear Son, … Hurray and vote for Suffrage and don’t keep them in doubt. I noticed Chandlers’ speech, it was

Febb Ensminger Burn

very bitter. I’ve been waiting to see how you stood but have not seen anything yet…. Don’t forget to be a god boy and help Mrs. Catt with her “Rats.” Is she the one that put rat in ratification, Ha! No more from mama this time. With lots of love, Mama.”

Always listen to your mother.
Image: Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection, Knoxville
Sources: Google Docs – Harry T. Burns and
http://www.teachamericanhistory.org/File/Harry_T._Burn.pdf

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I Wish I Could Follow my own Convictions

Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) is one of my favorite subjects because she was a paradox in the truest form – ‘practice what I preach, not what I do.’ She was the second of six children born in London. Her father was a violent drunk. Her mother was reportedly so submissive, Mary took on the stronger maternal role in… the family and would often sit outside her mother’s door to protect her from her father’s rages. Mary was alas born in the wrong century. As a youth, she imagined growing up and living with her best friend Fanny Blood, but as she grew older, with no formal education (not that an education would have made her independent because women couldn’t get good jobs), she took a job as a female companion to a grumpy woman that she would eventually leave. Mary, Fanny and her sisters started a school, but Fanny married and moved away. During that time, Mary convinced her sister Eliza to leave a difficult marriage, but because Eliza never remarried, she lived a life of poverty and extremely backbreaking work just to make a living.

Although she disliked the role women played in society as “second” to their husbands, Mary fell hard for American Adventurer Gilbert Imlay, became pregnant and gave birth to a young daughter. She is said to have generally loved and accepted the domestic lifestyle with Imlay, but he did not feel the same, eventually abandoning her and their child for another woman. Mary’s long, depressing letters to him were needy and begging. She attempted suicide by throwing herself in the Thames, leaving Imlay a note, “God bless you! May you never know by experience what you have made me endure. Should your sensibility ever awake, remorse will find its way to your heart; and, in the midst of business and sensual pleasure, I shall appear before you, the victim of your deviation from rectitude.” She survived two attempts.

Her greatest gift to women came in 1792, a year before she met Imlay when she published “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman”, where she suggests, “Instead of viewing women as ornaments to society or property to be traded in marriage, Wollstonecraft maintains that they are human beings deserving of the same fundamental rights as men.” source: Wikipedia

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How Could You NOT Love Victorial Woodhull?

Victoria Woodhull

Perhaps if Victoria California Claflin’s (1838-1927) first marriage to Canning Woodhull had gone better (he was an alcoholic, womanizer), things would have been different and she wouldn’t be known today as the first woman to run for President in 1872, but what fun would that be? She and her sister started their own weekly paper, Woodhull & Claflin’s Weekly in 1870. During its six years of publication, she advocated “sex
education, free love, women’s suffrage, short skirts, spiritualism, vegetarianism, and licensed prostitution,” but it was best known for printing Marx’s Communist Manifesto.

She is credited by some as convincing Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton that women were already citizens based on the 14th and 15th Amendment and simply needed to vote. The same year she was nominated for President by the newly formed Equal Rights Party, she published a lurid story about Henry Ward Beecher, a well-known minister at the time who railed against Woodhull’s “free love” philosophy. Unfortunately for him, Woodhull’s GIRLFRIEND, Cady Stanton was told by Theodore Tilton that Beecher was having an affair with this wife (she confessed to her husband)! “Beecher stood trial for adultery in an 1875
legal proceeding that proved to be one of the most sensational legal episodes of the era, holding the attention of hundreds of thousands of Americans. The verdict was ultimately a hung jury.” source:  Wikipedia – READ MORE

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