see: "BELIEF" for other related links

If particular care and attention is not paid to the Ladies,
we are determined to foment a Rebellion, and will not
hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have
no voice or Representation.
--Abigail Adams (1744—1818)
American first lady [1797—1801], the wife of
John Adams, second president of the United
States, and the mother of John Quincy Adams,
the sixth president of the United States.
Letter to John Adams [31 March 1776].

I believe it is as much a right and duty for
women to do something with their lives as
for men and we are not going to be satisfied
with such frivolous parts as you give us.
--Louisa May Alcott (1832—1888)
American novelist; daughter of Amos Bronson Alcott.
_Rose in Bloom_ [1876]

The true republic: men, their rights and nothing
more; women, their rights and nothing less.
--Susan B(rownwell) Anthony (1820—1906)
American crusader for the woman suffrage movement.
"Motto of Revolution" (feminist newspaper) [1868]

Meek wifehood is no part of my profession;
I am your friend, but never your possession.
--Vera Brittain (1893—1970)
English writer.
"Married Love"

Since marriage constitutes slavery for women, it is
clear that the Women's Movement must concentrate
on attacking this institution. Freedom for women
cannot be won without the abolition of marriage.
--Sheila Cronan, "Marriage" [1970]

No woman should be authorized to stay at home and raise
her children. Society should be totally different. Women
should not have that choice, precisely because if there is
such a choice, too many women will make that one.
--Interview with Simone de Beauvoir,
"Sex, Society, and the Female Dilemma"
in _Saturday Review_ [14 June 1975].


How will the family unit be destroyed? [...] the demand alone
will throw the whole ideology of the family into question, so
that women can begin establishing a community of work with
each other and we can fight collectively. Women will feel freer
to leave their husbands and become economically independent,
either through a job or welfare.
--Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (b. 1939)
American professor of ethnic studies, radical leftist, and writer.
_Female Liberation as the Basis for Social Revolution_ [1969 essay]

The Feminists -v- The Marriage License Bureau of the State
of New York [...] All the discriminatory practices against
women are patterned and rationalized by this slavery-like
practice. We can't destroy the inequities between men and
women until we destroy marriage.
--Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (b. 1939)
American professor of ethnic studies, radical leftist, and writer.
_Sisterhood Is Powerful_ [1970]


A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.
--Irina Dunn (b. 1948)
Australian educator and journalist.
Graffito scribbled on two bathroom doors [1970].


Marriage as an institution developed from rape as a practice.
Rape, originally defined as abduction, became marriage by
capture. Marriage meant the taking was to extend in time,
to be not only use of but possession of, or ownership. Only
when manhood is dead--and it will perish when ravaged
femininity no longer sustains it.
--Andrea Dworkin (1946—2005)
American feminist.
"Pornography", ch. 1 [1981]

Seduction is often difficult to distinguish
from rape. In seduction, the rapist bothers
to buy a bottle of wine.
--Andrea Dworkin (1946—2005)
American feminist.
1976 speech to women at Harper & Row,
in _Letters from a War Zone_ [1989].

Romance is rape embellished
with meaningful looks.
--Andrea Dworkin (1946—2005)
American feminist.
"Philadelphia Inquirer" [21 May 1995]


Whatever they may be in public life, whatever their
relations with men, in their relations with women,
all men are rapists, and that's all they are. They
rape us with their eyes, their laws, and their codes.
--Marilyn French (1929—2009)
American writer.
_The Women's Room_, ch. 5 [1977]

The nuclear family must be destroyed, and people must
find better ways of living together. [...] Whatever its
ultimate meaning, the break-up of families now is an
objectively revolutionary process.
--Linda Gordon, "Functions of the Family", in
_WOMEN: A Journal of Liberation_ [1969].

In my youth ... there were certain words you
couldn't say in front of a girl; now you can
say them, but you can't say 'girl'.
--Tom Lehrer (b. 1928)
American songwriter and satirist.
Quoted in _Washington Post_ [3 January 1982].

I'm furious about the women's liberationists. They keep getting
up on soap boxes and proclaiming that women are brighter than
men. That's true, but it should be kept very quiet or it ruins the
whole racket.
--attributed to Anita Loos (1893—1981)
American novelist and Hollywood screenwriter.

In a patriarchal society all heterosexual
intercourse is rape because women, as
a group, are not strong enough to give
meaningful consent.
--Catherine MacKinnon (b. 1946)
American feminist, lawyer, and teacher.
Quoted in Daphne Patai and Noretta Koertge _Professing Feminism:
Cautionary Tales from the Strange World of Women's Studies_, p. 129 [1994].

I want women to be liberated and still
be able to have a nice ass and shake it.
--Shirley Maclaine [Shirley MacLean Beaty] (b. 1934)
American actress.
In _People_ (mag.) [10 May 1976].

Don't accept rides from strange men, and
remember that all men are strange as hell.
--Robin Morgan (b. 1941)
American feminist activist.
"Letter to a Sister Underground" in _Sisterhood is Powerful_ [1970].

Leaving sex to the feminists is like letting
your dog vacation at the taxidermist.
--Camille Paglia (b. 1947)
American writer and social critic.
_Sex, Art, and American Culture_ [1992]

I am woman hear me roar
In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back and pretend.
If I have to, I can do anything.
I am strong, I am invincible, I am woman.
--Helen Reddy (b 1941)
Australian singer-songwriter and actress.
"I Am Woman" [1971 song]

Can man be free if woman be a slave?
--Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792—1822)
English poet.
_The Revolt of Islam_, 2. 43 [1817]

A pedestal is as much a prison
as any small, confined space.
--Gloria Steinem (b. 1934)
American feminist, jounalist, and founder of "Ms." magazine.
Quoted in Julie Dolan, Melissa Marie Deckman, & Michele L. Swers
_Women and Politics: Paths to Power and Political Influence_, ch. 4 [2007].

The Queen is most anxious to enlist everyone who can
speak or write or join in checking this mad, wicked folly
of 'Woman's Rights' with all its attendant horrors, on
which her poor feeble sex is bent, forgetting every
sense of womanly feeling and propriety. Lady
Amberley ought to get a *good whipping.*
--Queen Victoria (1819—1901)
Queen of the United Kingdom [1837—1901].
To Theodore Martin [March 1870] about a feminist,
in Roger Fulford _Votes for Women_, p. 65 [1958].

I myself have never been able to find out precisely
what Feminism is. I only know that people call
me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that
differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute.
--Dame Rebecca West [Cecily Isabel Fairfield] (1892—1983)
English journalist, novelist, and critic.
"The Clarion" [14 November 1913]

Women are systematically degraded by receiving the trivial
attentions, which men think it manly to pay to the sex, when,
in fact, they are insultingly supporting their own superiority.
--Mary Wollstonecraft (1759—1797)
English feminist.
_A Vindication of the Rights of Woman_, ch. 4 [1792]


Grow your own dope, plant a man.
--bumper sticker


misandry (noun) [mis-'ζn-dri]
The hatred of men, of the male sex, man-hating.



see: "HUMOR"
see: "PEOPLE"

[Of W.C. Fields, and often attributed to him:]
Any man who hates dogs and babies can't be all bad.
--Leo Rosten (1908—1997)
Polish-born American writer and social scientist.


[Suggested epitaph for himself:]
Here lies W.C. Fields. I would
rather be living in Philadelphia.
--W. C. Fields [William Claude Dukenfield] (1880—1946)
American vaudeville star and film actor.
Quoted in "Vanity Fair" [June 1925].

[Patient (Elise Cavanna):] You won't hurt my leg, will
you? My doctor says I have a very bad leg.
[Dentist (W.C. Fields), leering at her leg:] Your doctor
is off his nut! I don't believe in doctors anyway. There's
a doctor lives right down the street here. Treated a man
for yellow juandice for nine years and then found out
he was a Jap.
--W. C. Fields [William Claude Dukenfield]
(1880—1946) American vaudeville star and film actor.
"The Dentist" [1932 short film]
Screenplay by Fields.

[Larsen E. Whipsnade (W. C. Fields):]
Some weasel took the cork out of my lunch.
--"You Can't Cheat an Honest Man" [1939 film]
Screenplay by Everett Freeman, Richard Mack, and
George Marion, Jr., from a story by W. C. Fields.

[Cuthbert J. Twillie (W.C. Fields):]
During one of my treks through Afghanistan,
we lost our corkscrew. Compelled to live on
food and water for several days.
"My Little Chickadee" [1940 film]
Screenplay by Mae West & W.C. Fields.

[The Great Man (W.C. Fields), suffering from a hangover:]
Somebody put too many olives in my martini last night!
Stewardess (Irene Coleman): Should I get you a Bromo?
The Great Man: No, I couldn't stand the noise!
--"Never Give a Sucker an Even Break" [1941 film]
Screenplay by Prescott Chaplin and John T. Neville, from a story by W. C. Fields.

[Niece (Gloria Jean):] Why didn't you ever marry?
[The Great Man (W.C. Fields):] I was in love with a beautiful
blonde once. She drove me to drink. 'Tis the one thing I'm
indebted to her for.
--W. C. Fields [William Claude Dukenfield] (1880—1946)
American vaudeville star and film actor.
--"Never Give a Sucker an Even Break" [1941 film]
Screenplay by Prescott Chaplin and John T. Neville, from a story by W. C. Fields.

Back in my rummy days, I would tremble and shake
for hours upon arising. It was the only exercise I got.
--W. C. Fields [William Claude Dukenfield]
(1880—1946) American vaudeville star and film actor.
"The Temperance Lecture" [1944]

I like to keep a bottle of stimulant handy in
case I see a snake — which I also keep handy.
--W. C. Fields [William Claude Dukenfield]
(1880—1946) American vaudeville star and film actor.
Quoted in Corey Ford _The Time of Laughter_ [1967].

Once, during Prohibition, I was forced to live
for days on nothing but food and water.
--W. C. Fields [William Claude Dukenfield] (1880—1946)
American vaudeville star and film actor.
Attributed in Patricia Skalka _Funny You Should Mention
It: A Collection of Classic Humor_ [1972].

I've been drunk only once in my life. But
that lasted for twenty-three years.
--W. C. Fields [William Claude Dukenfield]
(1880—1946) American vaudeville star and film actor.
Quoted in _The Quotations of W.C. Fields_ (ed. Martin Lewis) [1976].

Fields always kept a thermos of martinis at hand
when he was filming, maintaining that it contained
nothing but pineapple juice. One day someone
tampered with the flask and Field's anguished cry
rang out across the set: 'Somebody put pineapple
juice in my pineapple juice.'
--_Bartlett's Book of Anecdotes_
edited by Clifton Fadiman and Andrι Bernard [2000 ed.]




see: "COLD WAR"
see: "ROCK 'N' ROLL"
see: "TIME"


Years later, many Americans referred to the
fifties as "happy days." From the perspective
of the older generation, the decade was an immense
improvement over the previous era of depression
and war. . . .

Detroit revved into high gear, manufacturing almost
60 million automobiles, meaning that for the first
time almost every American family could own at
least one car.

The era was symbolized by the drive-in — either
for fast food or for movies. Parents smiled as they
drove to new shopping malls, and kids smiled as
they received an endless supply of fads — saddle
shoes, Barbie dolls, stacks of 45 rpm records.
Parents bought $100 million worth of Davy Crockett
coonskin hats, while in just a few months of 1958
kids bought 20 million hula hoops. . . .

Furthermore, the fifties were happy days because of
kids and family. After Dad returned from coaching
his son in Little League, after Mom picked up her
daughter at the Girl Scout meeting, families sat in
their living rooms and watched TV shows that
emphasized traditional values and wholesome life:
Leave It to Beaver, Ozzie and Harriet, The Donna
Reed Show, Father Knows Best.

There were only three national TV networks then, and
unlike later times when numerous channels emphasized
sensationalism and negativism, the message in the
fifties was patriotic, positive, and homogenized. The
fifties were the Wonder Bread decade: Campbell's soup,
Jell-O, Velveeta. Everyone seemed the same — and that
happy message was broadcast prime time.

--Terry H. Anderson
American professor of history and author.
_The Sixties_ [2004], "Cold War America: Seedbed of the 1960s"



Perhaps because he was older (already twenty-nine
when _The Wild One_ was released), [Marlon] Brando
never became the teen idol James Dean was. Dean's
persona wasn't so angry; he was more the sensitive,
brooding type. His masculine and feminine appeals
were delicately balanced: to teenaged girls, he was
an awkward darling; to boys, a lost companion of
the soul.

Dean's meteoric career, moreover, seemed the perfect
embodiment of doomed, estranged youth. Considering
his reputation, it is astonishing to realize that he
lived only long enough to star in three movies
before flaring out, with poetic justice, in an auto
wreck at age twenty-four, in 1955.

When he wrecked his custom racing car in a spurt of
bravado on a California highway, only _East of Eden_
had been released; _Rebel Without a Cause_ opened
three days later. [...]

His ghostly appearance in _Rebel Without a Cause_
became a vivid symbol of how precarious was youth-
who-had-everything. The road, promising everything,
could take everything. Dean's martyrdom gave an
aura both mysterious and grim to the famous scene
in which he and his rival raced their cars to the edge
of a cliff in a game of "Chicken."

A year after he died, as many as eight thousand fans
a month were writing to the dead James Dean, more
than were writing to any living star. In the fifties,
death on the road at high speed before one's time
held the poignancy that had earlier been reserved
for death in battle.

--Todd Gitlin (b. 1943)
American political writer and professor of journalism.
_The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage_ [1987], "Underground Channels"



A Marine captain named Richard McCutcheon became the
first contestant to go all the way (on the $64,000 Question.)
Bookies kept odds on whether or not he could get the right
answer. His field was cooking, not military history. With an
audience estimated at 55 million watching, on September
13, 1955, he became the first contestant to climb the
television Mt. Everest. For $64,000 he was asked to name
the five dishes and two wines from the menu served by King
George VI of England for French president Albert Lebrun in
1939. He did: consomme quenelles, filet de truite saumonee,
petits pois a la francaises, sauce maltaise, and corbeille.
The wines were Chateau d'Yquem and Madera Sercial.
The nation was ecstatic — it had a winner.

--David Halberstam (1934—2007)
American journalist and author. Winner of the
Pulitzer Prize in 1964 for international reporting.
_The Fifties_ [1993]


[In the 1950s:] Women's magazines, edited by men
treated their subscribers with condescension. A
"Ladies' Home Journal" editor explained to a writer:
'If we get an article about a woman who does
anything adventurous, out of the way, something by
herself, you know, we figure she must be terribly
aggressive, neurotic.' At the peak of feminine
achievement the "Journal" introduced to its readers
a Texas housewife who had her face made up an hour
after breakfast and could say, 'By 8:30 A.M., when my
youngest goes to school, my whole house is clean and
neat and I am dressed for the day, I am free to play
bridge, attend club meetings, or stay home and read,
listen to Beethoven, and just plain loaf.'
--William Manchester (1922—2004)
American historian.
_The Glory And The Dream_ [1974],
bk. 2, ch. 22 "With All Deliberate Speed"

America near the midpoint of the twentieth century was quite
different from the country we know today. The population of
around 150 million included a small and declining number of
foreign-born residents, the result of strict immigration quotas
imposed in the 1920s. Most African Americans still lived in
the South, where racial segregation was the law. Blue-collar
workers outnumbered white-collar workers, and labor unions
were at their peak. Major league baseball had only sixteen
teams, none west of St. Louis. There were no shopping malls
or motel chains or felt-tip pens. Commercial television
was just beginning, rock music a few years away. Tobacco
companies placed cigarette ads in medical journals. It cost
three cents to mail a letter and a nickel to buy a Coke.
--David M. Oshinsky (b. 1944)
American historian.
_Polio: An American Story_ [2005], ch. 9 "Seeing Beyond the Microscope"


"Much Depends on Dinner"
By Cameron Stracher
_The Wall Street Journal_ [29 July 2005]

The recent death of Gerry Thomas, whom many credit with inventing the TV dinner (think Swanson), draws to a close the kinder, gentler era when happy families gathered around a television set, aluminum trays in hand, enjoying their chopped sirloin beef and sweet green peas in seasoned butter sauce while laughing at the wacky antics of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Today, televisions are a lot bigger (and flatter), the frozen-food industry has grown into a $30 billion business and the chances of getting everyone to sit down for dinner at the same time are a lot slimmer. Instead, we are a nation of take-outers and drive-throughers, eating our meals on the go, dining by ourselves and laughing alone. The family dinner has become an endangered species, the victim of our own ingenuity and productivity.

Mealtime in the 1950s: Somehow, everybody managed to show up at the same time. Eventually they may have even talked to one another. These days, fewer than one-third of all children sit down to eat dinner with both parents on any given night. The statistics are worse if both parents are working and the family is Caucasian (Latino families have the highest rate of sharing a meal). The decline in the family dinner has been blamed for the rise in obesity, drug abuse, behavioral problems, promiscuity, poor school performance, illegal file sharing and a host of other ills.

[ . . . ]

The causes for the incredible disappearing family dinner are many. As women have entered the work force in greater numbers, fewer hands are available to shop and cook. Both parents are working longer hours and commuting farther, which makes it harder to get home in time to share a meal. Children are busier, too, overcommitted to school and sports and other activities, which has made coordinating dinner time more difficult. Finally, the plethora of fast-food choices exemplified by the TV dinner, though partly an effect of our changing style of life, is also a cause: The easier it is to pick up or microwave something on the run, the less likely we are to share our meal with others.

[ . . . ]

And that's a shame. Because dinner is like a formal poem, with a fixed meter and time. It can't be hastened by new technology or emailed as an attachment to our kitchens. Instead, it's one of the few opportunities for conversation in a noisy world, a place to take a slower measure of our frenzied days. By missing mealtime, we are missing a substantial part of our children's lives. Sooner than we realize, they will not be at our table. Sooner than that, they will not want to have anything to do with us. [ . . . ]



A little house with three bedrooms and one car on the street,
A mower that you had to push to make the grass look neat.

In the kitchen on the wall we only had one phone,
And no need for recording things, someone was always home.

We only had a living room where we would congregate,
Unless it was at mealtime in the kitchen where we ate.

We had no need for family rooms or extra rooms to dine,
When meeting as a family just one room would work out fine.

We only had one TV set, and channels, maybe two,
But always there was one of them with something worth the view.

For snacks we had potato chips that tasted like a chip,
And if you wanted flavor there was Lipton's onion dip.

Store-bought snacks were rare because my mother liked to cook,
And nothing can compare to snacks in Betty Crocker's book.

Weekends were for family trips or staying home to play,
We all did things together — even go to church to pray.

Sometimes we would separate to do things on our own,
But we knew where the others were, without our own cell phone.

Then there were the movies with your favorite movie star,
And nothing can compare to watching movies from your car.

Then there were the picnics at the peak of summer season,
Pack a lunch and find some trees and never need a reason.

Get a baseball game together with all the friends you know,
Have real action playing ball — and no game video.

Remember when the doctor used to be the family friend,
And didn't need insurance or a lawyer to defend?

The way that he took care of you or what he had to do,
Because he took an oath and strived to do the best for you.

Remember going to the store when the sky's were oh so sunny,
And when you paid for what you got you used your very own money?

Nothing you had to swipe or punch, or put in some amount,
And you had a friendly cashier that actually could count?

The milkman went from door to door,
For just a few cents more than a trip to the store.

The mail was delivered right to your door,
Without the junk mail that we all deplore.

There was a time when just one glance was all that it would take,
And you would know the kind of car, the model and the make.

They didn't look like turtles trying to squeeze out every mile;
They were streamlined, white walls, fins, and really had some style.

One time the music that you played whenever you would jive,
Was from a vinyl, big-holed disc they called a forty-five.

The record player had a post to keep them all in line,
And then the records would drop down and play one at a time.

Oh sure, we had our problems then, just like we do today,
As always we were striving, to find a better way.

But how the simple lives we led, still seems like so much fun,
When the only way to explain a game, was just kick the can and run?

And why would boys put baseball cards between bicycle spokes,
And for a nickel red machines had little bottled Cokes?

This life seemed so much easier and slower in some ways,
I love the new technology but I really miss those days.

So time moves on and so do we, and nothing stays the same,
But I sure love to reminisce and walk down memory lane.



end page

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