Woman Holding a Child

Woman Holding a Child

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Women's rights and their money: a timeline from Cleopatra to Lilly Ledbetter

When did women get the right to inherit property and open bank accounts? How long did it take until women won the legal right to be served in UK pubs? Our timeline traces women’s financial rights from ancient societies to the present day

Women had plenty of financial rights in ancient Egypt, but it’s been a little woozy ever since. Photograph: Uncredited/AP Photograph: Uncredited/AP

Women had plenty of financial rights in ancient Egypt, but it’s been a little woozy ever since. Photograph: Uncredited/AP Photograph: Uncredited/AP

Last modified on Tue 18 Jul 2017 23.13 BST

Many modern women in the US and Europe never question their right to open a bank account, own property, or even buy wine or beer in a pub. These rights, however, were hard won: for much of history, and even up to 40 years ago, middle-class women were not allowed to handle money even having a job was seen as a sign of financial desperation. In the lastest addition to our Money and Feminism series, we trace the modern history of women and money.

Ancient Egypt, 3100 BCE and after: Women hold equal financial rights with men. As scholar Janet Johnson writes, “Egyptian women were able to acquire, to own, and to dispose of property (both real and personal) in their own name. They could enter into contracts in their own name they could initiate civil court cases and could, likewise, be sued they could serve as witnesses in court cases they could serve on juries and they could witness legal documents.” Women don’t always exercise these rights, Johnson says, because of social factors.

Biblical era, 1800BC and after): Under Jewish law, women have the right to own property and sue others in court without a man representing them. Wives can’t inherit directly from their husbands – unless it is a gift or they have no children – but daughters can inherit if they don’t have brothers. The Book of Numbers, the fourth book of the Hebrew Bible, lays down an early law of personal finance: “If a man die, and have no son, then ye shall cause his inheritance to pass unto his daughter.” Sons who inherit are expected to use the estate to support the women in the family.

Ancient Hinduism, 1500BC and after: Women have the right to control stridhan, or property before marriage, which includes gifts from parents, friends and strangers as well as earnings from her own work. Divorce is not allowed and inheritance laws favor male family members.

Ancient Greece: Women’s financial rights are constrained compared to earlier societies. Women are not allowed to inherit property or take a case to court unless a male guardian is in charge. Women can, however, trade and engage in industry, such as tavern-keeping, although work in the classical watering hole is reserved for the lower classes.

Ancient Rome: The pendulum swings back as freeborn Roman women are allowed to divorce, own property and inherit. Divorce is easy to get – presaging the Christian opposition to splitting up marriages – but the husband has the legal right to keep the children.

The Visigoth conquest of Rome catalysed stark changes to women’s rights across the tottering empire. Photograph: Mary Evans Picture Library/Ala/Alamy Photograph: Mary Evans Picture Library / Ala/Alamy

Byzantine Empire, AD565: The Justinian laws – named for the emperor, known as “the last Roman”, who created a template for modern western civil law – allow women to be married without a dowry. Some working women, including prostitutes and tavern-workers, do not have the right to marry Roman citizens and can only be kept by Roman men as concubines. If a woman cheats on her husband, he can divorce her and “keep the pre-nuptial gift, the dowry and one third of any other property she possessed”. Justinian’s wife, the Empress Theodora, a former actress and wool-spinner, left her jobs when the emperor courted her. She is widely credited with influencing him to expand property and divorce rights for women.

The Middle East, AD600s: Islam is founded in Arabia and allows women the right to inherit estates, own property and initiate divorce. As in Jewish law, when a parent dies the eldest son receives a double share of the inheritance. Men can inherit half their wives’ estates, unless they have a child, in which case men only get 25% of the estate.

Europe, 800s: Anglo-Saxon laws allow women to own their own property, before and after marriage. In Norse societies, women are also allowed to conduct business as equals with men.

Laws in parts of medieval Europe allowed for women to have greater property and business rights. Photograph: Jeff Pachoud/AFP/Getty Images Photograph: Jeff Pachoud/AFP/Getty Images

England, 1100s: English common law, a combination of Anglo-Saxon and Norman traditions, leads to the creation of coverture, which is the belief that married men and women are one financial entity. As such, married women cannot own property, run taverns or stores or sue in court. Those financial rights could be enjoyed, however, by widows and spinsters. Over time, coverture is corrupted into the view that women are property of their husbands.

Americas, 1718: In Pennsylvania, women are able to own and manage property – if their husbands are incapacitated.

Russia, 1753: Russian women are granted the right to what’s known as a “separate economy”: the ability to earn their own income and retain it for her own use, independent of her husband. That meant he couldn’t demand that she turn it over to him to drink or gamble with, or, say, to support a mistress. A little over a decade later, Catherine the Great establishes the first state-financed institution of higher education for women, the Smolny Institute in St Petersburg.

Americas, 1771: New York becomes the first US state to require a woman’s consent if her husband tries to sell property that she brought to a marriage. The act also required the judge to meet privately with the woman to reassure himself that the signature wasn’t forged or her consent coerced.

France, 1791: Revolutionary France gives women equal inheritance rights (although they lose them later, when the monarchy is restored).

Marie Antoinette, a cautionary tale in personal finance, inadvertently fed the flames of a revolution that briefly allowed women in France the right to inherit property. Photograph: Corbis Photograph: Corbis

US, 1839: Mississippi allows women to own property in their own names. It is the first state to do so.

US,1844: Married women in Maine become the first in the US to win the right to “separate economy”.

US,1845: Women gain the right to file patents in New York.

US,1848: Married Woman’s Property Act is passed in New York. It is later used as a model for other states, all of which pass their own versions by 1900. For the first time, a woman wasn’t automatically liable for her husband’s debts she could enter contracts on her own she could collect rents or receive an inheritance in her own right she could file a lawsuit on her own behalf. She became for economic purposes, an individual, as if she were still single.

Iceland, 1850: Iceland becomes first country to institute unconditional equal inheritance rights.

Iceland: great scenery, early to women’s rights. Photograph: Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images Photograph: JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images

US,1862: The US Homestead Act makes it easier for single, widowed and divorced women to claim land in their own names.

In the same year, the California passed a law that established a state savings and loan industry that also guaranteed that a woman who made deposits in her own name was entitled to keep control of the money. The state recognized the full financial independence of women – and in 1862 the San Francisco Savings Union approved a loan to a woman.

UK, 1870: UK passes the Married Women’s Property Act.

US,1872: Illinois grants freedom of occupational choice to both men and women. But when Myra Colby Bradwell, who studied as her husband’s law apprentice to pass the Illinois bar, tries to practice as a lawyer, the US supreme court rules in 1873 that the state doesn’t have to grant a law license to a married woman.

US,1880: Mary Gage opens a stock exchange for women who want to use their own money to speculate on railroad stocks. Meanwhile, notorious cheapskate Hetty Green, aka “the Witch of Wall Street”, is consolidating her own fortune.

France, 1881: France grants women the right to own bank accounts five years later, the right is extended to married women, who are allowed to open accounts without their husbands’ permission. The US does not follow suit until the 196os, and the UK lags until 1975.

Workers at the Saltaire Woollen Mill, Bradford, North Yorkshire, England in the late 19th century. Photograph: Alamy Photograph: Alamy

US,1908: Oregon limits the workday for women to 10 hours – with the implication that women are too fragile to work much longer than that, or they are needed at home.

US,1919: First Women’s Bank of Tennessee (Clarksville) opens to cater to women customers only. While the bank employees and directors were women, its shareholders were male.

US,1921: Alice Mary Robertson of Oklahoma becomes the second woman in Congress, running on an anti-feminist platform including an opposition to women’s right to vote and education on maternity and childcare. She saves special scorn for the League of Women Voters “or any other organization that will be used as a club against men” and says “I came to Congress to represent my district, not women.” Showing that having and getting money are crucial for all women, even in politics, she loses her seat for not appropriating enough cash for her district. She serves for two years before being voted out of office.

UK and US, 1922: The UK finally allows equal inheritance.

In the US, suffragette and activist Rebecca Felton, of Georgia, becomes the first woman to become a US senator. At 87-years-old, she serves for one day. She calls out southern men for an excess of chivalry and too little concern for women’s rights, writing, “honeyed phrases are pleasant to listen to, but the sensible women of our country would prefer more substantial gifts.”

As Scarlett O’Hara also learned in the eternal fight between Rhett Butler and Ashley Wilkes, it’s better for women to trust the man who delivers and forget the man who has only great manners and honeyed words. Photograph: Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images Photograph: Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

US,1924: Wyoming elects the nation’s first female governor, Nellie Tayloe Ross.

US,1938: The federal minimum wage is born with the Fair Labor Standards Act, wiping out common pay differences between men and women for hourly jobs.

UK, 1956: Civil service reforms in UK give men and women who are teachers and have other government jobs the right to equal pay.

India, 1961: India bans dowries for women before marriage and allows women to sue if her husband’s family harass her for the money. The anti-dowry law goes largely ignored.

US,1963: The US passes the first legislation requiring equal pay for equal work, but it would need to be expanded in 1972 to salespeople, executives, administrators, etc.

President Lyndon B Johnson advocated for civil rights, and is here with Martin Luther King Jr at the signing of the Civil Rights Act. Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty Images Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

US,1967: Lyndon B Johnson’s 1965 affirmative action benefits are expanded to cover women.

US and UK,1968: It becomes illegal to place help wanted ads specifying gender in the US in the UK, a strike leads to the 1970 Equal Pay Act.

US,1969: Colgate-Palmolive lays women off from their jobs rather than put them in physical work, “to protect our ladies”. In Bowe v Colgate-Palmolive, an appeals court rules physical labor cannot be limited to men.

US,1970: Schultz v Wheaton Glass: a federal appeals court decision makes it illegal for a company to change a job’s title so that they could pay women who held the position less than male workers.

US,1972: Katharine Graham, scion of the company that owns the Washington Post, becomes the first woman to become CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

Katherine Graham, shown here with author Truman Capote, faced down US officials who threatened about the Watergate revelations that she was ‘gonna get her tit caught in a big fat wringer if that’s published’. Photograph: -/AFP/Getty Images Photograph: -/AFP/Getty Images

1974: Equal Credit Opportunity Act passes in the US. Until then, banks required single, widowed or divorced women to bring a man along to cosign any credit application, regardless of their income. They would also discount the value of those wages when considering how much credit to grant, by as much as 50%.

US,1975: The first woman-owned commercial bank opens in New York City – First Women’s Bank, at which Betty Friedan had an account.

Ireland, 1976: Irish women are finally able to own their own homes outright.

US,1978: The Pregnancy Discrimination Act is passed in the US. Until the law was put into effect, women could still legally be dismissed from their jobs for becoming pregnant.

US,1980: Sexual harassment is first defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, although a court had heard the first case in 1977.

US,1981: The last vestiges of a husband being able to keep a wife in the dark (at least legally) vanish, thanks to Kirchberg v Feenstra. A husband is told he doesn’t have the right to unilaterally take out a second mortgage on property held jointly with his wife.

Leading supporters of the Equal Rights Ammendment march in Washington on Sunday, July 9, 1978, urging Congress to extend the time for ratification of the ERA. Photograph: Dennis Cook/AP Photograph: Dennis Cook/AP

UK, 1982: Women are allowed to spend their money in English pubs without being refused service.

France, 1983: France requires companies with more than 50 employees to carry out comparative salary surveys.

Japan, 1985: Japan passes an equal employment opportunity law, although the lack of penalties draws criticism.

UK, 1986: The UK enables women to retire at the same age as men (and take well-compensated factory night shifts)

US,1993: The Family and Medical Leave Act becomes law in the US.

US,2007: The supreme court rules in Ledbetter v Goodyear that women have to sue for discriminatory pay as soon as it occurs and can’t bring a lawsuit for pay discrimination if more than 180 days have passed. The case was based on Lilly Ledbetter’s career at Goodyear, where after decades of work, her pay as a supervisor was lower than the lowest-paid man of comparable seniority.

Norway, 2008: Norway requires companies to ensure that 40% of its board members are women.

US,2009: President Barack Obama signs the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration act, which allows people to sue companies for pay discrimination even if more than six months have passed.

Lilly Ledbetter, being hugged by President Obama here, is a modern women’s wage-activist. Photograph: Mark Wilson/Getty Images Photograph: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

US and India,2013: The National Women’s Law Center publishes a critical progress report about the wage gap between men and women titled “50 Years and Counting: The Unfinished Business of Achieving Fair Pay”.

In India, statistics suggest that, on average, one woman is killed every hour in a dispute over a dowry.

US,2014: Nearly two-thirds of minimum-wage workers are women and the movement to raise the wage sweeps the country. In a success for the US “Fight for 15” movement, Seattle raises its minimum wage to $15, and several other cities and states raise their minimum wage ceilings too – but many still lag, and the federal minimum wage is still at $7.25 an hour, or a poverty-level wage. Minimum-wage bills languish in both the House and Senate.

The history of women’s work and wages and how it has created success for us all

As we celebrate the centennial of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote, we should also celebrate the major strides women have made in the labor market. Their entry into paid work has been a major factor in America’s prosperity over the past century and a quarter.

Despite this progress, evidence suggests that many women remain unable to achieve their goals. The gap in earnings between women and men, although smaller than it was years ago, is still significant women continue to be underrepresented in certain industries and occupations and too many women struggle to combine aspirations for work and family. Further advancement has been hampered by barriers to equal opportunity and workplace rules and norms that fail to support a reasonable work-life balance. If these obstacles persist, we will squander the potential of many of our citizens and incur a substantial loss to the productive capacity of our economy at a time when the aging of the population and weak productivity growth are already weighing on economic growth.

A historical perspective on women in the labor force

In the early 20th century, most women in the United States did not work outside the home, and those who did were primarily young and unmarried. In that era, just 20 percent of all women were “gainful workers,” as the Census Bureau then categorized labor force participation outside the home, and only 5 percent of those married were categorized as such. Of course, these statistics somewhat understate the contributions of married women to the economy beyond housekeeping and childrearing, since women’s work in the home often included work in family businesses and the home production of goods, such as agricultural products, for sale. Also, the aggregate statistics obscure the differential experience of women by race. African American women were about twice as likely to participate in the labor force as were white women at the time, largely because they were more likely to remain in the labor force after marriage.

If these obstacles persist, we will squander the potential of many of our citizens and incur a substantial loss to the productive capacity of our economy at a time when the aging of the population and weak productivity growth are already weighing on economic growth.

The fact that many women left work upon marriage reflected cultural norms, the nature of the work available to them, and legal strictures. The occupational choices of those young women who did work were severely circumscribed. Most women lacked significant education—and women with little education mostly toiled as piece workers in factories or as domestic workers, jobs that were dirty and often unsafe. Educated women were scarce. Fewer than 2 percent of all 18- to 24-year-olds were enrolled in an institution of higher education, and just one-third of those were women. Such women did not have to perform manual labor, but their choices were likewise constrained.

Despite the widespread sentiment against women, particularly married women, working outside the home and with the limited opportunities available to them, women did enter the labor force in greater numbers over this period, with participation rates reaching nearly 50 percent for single women by 1930 and nearly 12 percent for married women. This rise suggests that while the incentive—and in many cases the imperative—remained for women to drop out of the labor market at marriage when they could rely on their husband’s income, mores were changing. Indeed, these years overlapped with the so-called first wave of the women’s movement, when women came together to agitate for change on a variety of social issues, including suffrage and temperance, and which culminated in the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920 guaranteeing women the right to vote.

Between the 1930s and mid-1970s, women’s participation in the economy continued to rise, with the gains primarily owing to an increase in work among married women. By 1970, 50 percent of single women and 40 percent of married women were participating in the labor force. Several factors contributed to this rise. First, with the advent of mass high school education, graduation rates rose substantially. At the same time, new technologies contributed to an increased demand for clerical workers, and these jobs were increasingly taken on by women. Moreover, because these jobs tended to be cleaner and safer, the stigma attached to work for a married woman diminished. And while there were still marriage bars that forced women out of the labor force, these formal barriers were gradually removed over the period following World War II.

Women working at the U.S. Capitol switchboard, Washington, D.C. (Library of Congress)

Over the decades from 1930 to 1970, increasing opportunities also arose for highly educated women. That said, early in that period, most women still expected to have short careers, and women were still largely viewed as secondary earners whose husbands’ careers came first.

As time progressed, attitudes about women working and their employment prospects changed. As women gained experience in the labor force, they increasingly saw that they could balance work and family. A new model of the two-income family emerged. Some women began to attend college and graduate school with the expectation of working, whether or not they planned to marry and have families.

By the 1970s, a dramatic change in women’s work lives was under way. In the period after World War II, many women had not expected that they would spend as much of their adult lives working as turned out to be the case. By contrast, in the 1970s young women more commonly expected that they would spend a substantial portion of their lives in the labor force, and they prepared for it, increasing their educational attainment and taking courses and college majors that better equipped them for careers as opposed to just jobs.

These changes in attitudes and expectations were supported by other changes under way in society. Workplace protections were enhanced through the passage of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act in 1978 and the recognition of sexual harassment in the workplace. Access to birth control increased, which allowed married couples greater control over the size of their families and young women the ability to delay marriage and to plan children around their educational and work choices. And in 1974, women gained, for the first time, the right to apply for credit in their own name without a male co-signer.

By the early 1990s, the labor force participation rate of prime working-age women—those between the ages of 25 and 54—reached just over 74 percent, compared with roughly 93 percent for prime working-age men. By then, the share of women going into the traditional fields of teaching, nursing, social work, and clerical work declined, and more women were becoming doctors, lawyers, managers, and professors. As women increased their education and joined industries and occupations formerly dominated by men, the gap in earnings between women and men began to close significantly.

Remaining challenges and some possible solutions

We, as a country, have reaped great benefits from the increasing role that women have played in the economy. But evidence suggests that barriers to women’s continued progress remain. The participation rate for prime working-age women peaked in the late 1990s and currently stands at about 76 percent. Of course, women, particularly those with lower levels of education, have been affected by the same economic forces that have been pushing down participation among men, including technical change and globalization. However, women’s participation plateaued at a level well below that of prime working-age men, which stands at about 89 percent. While some married women choose not to work, the size of this disparity should lead us to examine the extent to which structural problems, such as a lack of equal opportunity and challenges to combining work and family, are holding back women’s advancement.

Recent research has shown that although women now enter professional schools in numbers nearly equal to men, they are still substantially less likely to reach the highest echelons of their professions.

The gap in earnings between men and women has narrowed substantially, but progress has slowed lately, and women working full time still earn about 17 percent less than men, on average, each week. Even when we compare men and women in the same or similar occupations who appear nearly identical in background and experience, a gap of about 10 percent typically remains. As such, we cannot rule out that gender-related impediments hold back women, including outright discrimination, attitudes that reduce women’s success in the workplace, and an absence of mentors.

Recent research has shown that although women now enter professional schools in numbers nearly equal to men, they are still substantially less likely to reach the highest echelons of their professions. Even in my own field of economics, women constitute only about one-third of Ph.D. recipients, a number that has barely budged in two decades. This lack of success in climbing the professional ladder would seem to explain why the wage gap actually remains largest for those at the top of the earnings distribution.

One of the primary factors contributing to the failure of these highly skilled women to reach the tops of their professions and earn equal pay is that top jobs in fields such as law and business require longer workweeks and penalize taking time off. This would have a disproportionately large effect on women who continue to bear the lion’s share of domestic and child-rearing responsibilities.

But it can be difficult for women to meet the demands in these fields once they have children. The very fact that these types of jobs require such long hours likely discourages some women—as well as men—from pursuing these career tracks. Advances in technology have facilitated greater work-sharing and flexibility in scheduling, and there are further opportunities in this direction. Economic models also suggest that while it can be difficult for any one employer to move to a model with shorter hours, if many firms were to change their model, they and their workers could all be better off.

Of course, most women are not employed in fields that require such long hours or that impose such severe penalties for taking time off. But the difficulty of balancing work and family is a widespread problem. In fact, the recent trend in many occupations is to demand complete scheduling flexibility, which can result in too few hours of work for those with family demands and can make it difficult to schedule childcare. Reforms that encourage companies to provide some predictability in schedules, cross-train workers to perform different tasks, or require a minimum guaranteed number of hours in exchange for flexibility could improve the lives of workers holding such jobs. Another problem is that in most states, childcare is affordable for fewer than half of all families. And just 5 percent of workers with wages in the bottom quarter of the wage distribution have jobs that provide them with paid family leave. This circumstance puts many women in the position of having to choose between caring for a sick family member and keeping their jobs.

This possibility should inform our own thinking about policies to make it easier for women and men to combine their family and career aspirations. For instance, improving access to affordable and good quality childcare would appear to fit the bill, as it has been shown to support full-time employment. Recently, there also seems to be some momentum for providing families with paid leave at the time of childbirth. The experience in Europe suggests picking policies that do not narrowly target childbirth, but instead can be used to meet a variety of health and caregiving responsibilities.


The United States faces a number of longer-term economic challenges, including the aging of the population and the low growth rate of productivity. One recent study estimates that increasing the female participation rate to that of men would raise our gross domestic product by 5 percent. Our workplaces and families, as well as women themselves, would benefit from continued progress. However, a number of factors appear to be holding women back, including the difficulty women currently have in trying to combine their careers with other aspects of their lives, including caregiving. In looking to solutions, we should consider improvements to work environments and policies that benefit not only women, but all workers. Pursuing such a strategy would be in keeping with the story of the rise in women’s involvement in the workforce, which has contributed not only to their own well-being but more broadly to the welfare and prosperity of our country.

This essay is a revised version of a speech that Janet Yellen, then chair of the Federal Reserve, delivered on May 5, 2017 at the “125 Years of Women at Brown Conference,” sponsored by Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Yellen would like to thank Stephanie Aaronson, now vice president and director of Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution, for her assistance in the preparation of the original remarks. Read the full text of the speech here »

By admin

From the advent of Islam, it is the brutality that was used to conquer. Well known US historian Will Durant and other authors have translated Arabs own memoirs on how the Islamic invaders have destroyed cultures and swathes of land with utmost brutality and inhumanity with mountains of Kafir’s heads and rivers of blood. Durant quotes how a Sultan of Delhi becomes restless if he does not see mountains of Kafir’s heads every day morning. Steven Knapp quotes Arab memoirs of literally rivers of blood and the number of men and women sold in Arab markets as slaves (women as sex slaves).

But what is more important is not who did it, but what drives them to do it. That is the point lost in the struggle between Muslims and other communities. A Muslim child is raised with Koranic verses such as below from childhood and Prophet as the model. What does child assimilate when he was told the hate speech such as a Kafir is same as Urine, Feces, Semen, Dead Body, Blood, Dog, Pig, sweat of an animal who eats impure (najis) and alcoholic beverages. This is recited as sacred verse. When people say that is a matter of interpretation, how much is there to interpret here and Mosques themselves are not making it a secret. In the pictures below, when you see ISIS slaughtering a Christian Kid or stripping a Chritian woman naked and beheading her, they are doing what is preached, that a Kafir is same as animal that can be slaughtered. Just watch how an animal is slaughtered and how a Kafir is. In fact, a Saudi Wahaabi cleric in this link gives a lesson on proper way of beheading ( watch?v=yHt-eqrLEOY ).

There is a Hindu Kush (Hindu slaughter) mountains in now Afghanistan and Pakistan region where just on one day they headed 100,000 Hindus. But that is history and why we worry. Because it is repeating again and again and we live in our own world, rather not see to it. On Direct Action Day in 1946 hundreds of thousands were slaughtered that resulted in one million people killed and many beheaded and paraded in the streets like today. Most of the reduction of Hindus/Sikhs from 25% to 1.8% in Pakistan happened in the first few months. This is not to say there were no retaliations and in places like Calcutta Muslims were slaughtered after Hindus realized they could go to East Pakistan if they kept quiet. In Bangla Desh ongoing genocide that reduced Hindus from 30% to 10%, Mosques encourage rape of Hindu Kafir women with words like Hindu women pubic hair smells very pleasant. Love Jihad, where Mosques encourage Muslim boys to seduce and marry Kafir girls for conversions is rampant not just in India but also in UK (BBC has a series on it). The boys task is to marry, produce children and move on to another girl. 1400 UK minor girls were raped by Muslim men and threatened to douse with fire if they mention about it to parents and adults, in a small town in UK!! In 1989, Mosques blared in Kashmir asking Hindu men to leave after leaving behind Hindu women that resulted in half millions still living as refugees in their own country. In Delhi Nirbhaya rape case, it is Muslim juvenile who inserted rod in Nirbhaya’s vagina and pulled out her uterus and intestines. Same with the middle aged Hindu woman by Muslim men in UP inserted a big rusted rod into her vagina and killed her.

Aurangzeb alone destroyed 10,000 Hindu temples (see Fact India exhibition from Aurangzeb’s own diktats). Taj Mahal is Hindu Palace/Temple. Durant notes how Ghazni could not find enough carts to carry the enormous wealth of just one Somanth temple after slaughtering 50,000 Hindu priests. The once great country with 25% world GDP was brought to its feet, a country of skeletons as Vivekananda put it in 1890s by Islamic and European conquests. The estimate is Islam killed 80 million in Indian Sub continent and 220 million worldwide. The UK rapper Muslim convert who beheaded American Journalist Foley was brainwashed by Indian UK Muslim Anjem Chowdhary.

India is the most affectd by Islamic terrorism after Middle East, but Islam is doing its job where 150,000 were killed since 9/11 itself in Kafir lands, of course half million slaughtered in Middle East itself where one Muslim sect considers other as Kafir!! World is slowly recognizing the only way to destroy destructive people is to turn them on themselves (like the Hindu mythological story of Mohini Bhasmasura).

Those Muslims who do not perform the brutalities either become immune or indifferent because deep in their psyche, a Kafir is less than animal. Many are in a denial phase and have little courage to face the truth. When Muslims pray in Mosque, with all men standing in rows and fiery sermons, it is nothing but a call for conquest. Why do Muslims want to create Mosques on the destroyed places of Kafirs, it is symbol of conquest. In Andhra, one Muslim MP Owaisi roared, give 24 hours without police and 20 crores of Muslims will slaughter 100 crores of Hindus in India. Yes, there are retaliations against Muslims to many provocations, but look at any Muslims groups, they talk about the retaliations made to their community encouraging more hatred, but never about what is causing it. It is never ending cycle of brainwashing and violence. A miniscule world population of Jews has the most Nobel prize winners and one Billion+ Muslims only produced terrorists and suicide bombers. A brutal religion only can produce the brutes that are ISIS. While one is using its abilities to shield its people, the other is using every opportunity to use its people as shields. Half of Muslims, women are forced to wear burkha and hijab so that she will not arouse passions for man while man can have four wives (at least in Sunni sect). This is Islam for the world.

But reading this stuff and putting our heads in the sand will not help. We all have to take personal responsibility to stop Islam hate preachings. How many of us checked on where Mosques are coming up and what they are teaching to little Muslim kids? How many of us have contemplated taking up Koran, Sira and Hadith as really a dangerous and brutal political ideology, an ideology of a brutal warlord, who has little respect for womanhood, who cleverly masqueraded it as a religion? Islam as it is today, does not belong to humanity or in any civilization. How many of us questioned why Saudi Arabians, the prime sponsor of terrorism allowed to fund Mosques in US and Europe to radicalize Muslims in the West and endanger our lives and civilization, while they do not allow any other religion (or even worship at home)? How many of us took up with our congressmen and senators to address why America is allowing immigration of those who consider this hate ideology as a religion into our nation and potentially destroy us from within eventually? How many of us took time to expose shady Muslims Organizations like CAIR? How many of us take on oil companies that forces us to pay the very money that are used by Islamic worlds to destroy our civilizations (see how oil companies killed battery cars so effectively in documentary ‘who killed the electric car’!!). How many of us are taking on the Islam embracing perverted leftists or ‘politically correct’ pundits/politicians who are dragging our civilization into a hell hole. Name one country, just one, where Islamic countries give equal rights to non-Muslims.

We worry for children, but we will possibly be leaving a living hell for our descendants starting with Europe. The demographic changes in Europe and India where many Muslims are using women as breeding machines combined with others reducing their populations, is a dangerous and direct threat to democracies and it is literally a matter of survival. From Michigan to Meeankshipuram, we are heading towards a disaster for all humanity if we do not take responsibility?

The Infant of Prague statue is one of the most popular Christian statues in the world and yet relatively few people know the origins of it. The statue’s history is fascinating, associated with various legends and miracles.

Most historians believe that the original statue was carved in Spain around the year 1340 in a Cistercian monastery. Some traditions claim that a monk had a vision of the child Jesus and fashioned the statue after what he saw.

The statue remained in Spain for several centuries and a pious tradition claims that St. Teresa of Avila possessed the statue in the 16th century.

Whatever the case may be, the statue found its way to Prague during the reign of the House of Habsburg in 1556. At this point it was given by Dona Isabella Manrique as a wedding gift to her daughter Marie Manrique, who married Vratislav of Pernstyn. Some traditions claim that Dona received the statue from St. Teresa of Avila.

The statue was passed down through the family and by 1628 was given to a local Carmelite monastery by Princess Polyxena von Lobkowicz. She reportedly said to the monastery, “I am giving you what I most esteem of my possessions. Keep the sculpture in reverence and you will be well off.”

Soon after this gift, Prague was invaded and the statue was almost lost forever. A priest discovered it in the rubble of a church and enshrined it in a new oratory. While cleaning the statue the priest heard the Infant Jesus say to him, “Have pity on Me and I will have pity on you. Give Me My hands and I will give you peace. The more you honor Me, the more I will bless you.” When the priest needed more funds to repair the statue the Infant Jesus said to the priest, “Place Me near the entrance of the sacristy and you will receive aid.” What was needed was miraculously provided and the statue was restored.

Since then pilgrimages to the statue have been the source of countless miracles. The statue was copied and disseminated throughout the world and remains to this day an extremely popular statue of Jesus in places such as Portugal, Spain, Ireland, Poland, Philippines and South America.

Read more:
Unless you become like one of these: The Infant Jesus of Prague

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13 Beautiful Photos Of Kamala Harris & The Women Who Held Her High On Her Journey To History

The election of 56-year-old Oakland native, proud HBCU graduate and U.S. Senator Kamala Harris to the office of Vice President-elect has given many Americans a renewed sense of pride in the country’s highest office. Since the long-awaited announcement of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over current “President” Donald Trump to claim the oval office with Harris as his right hand, people have continued celebrating in cities nationwide.

One of the most endearing parts of Harris’ story is the richly diverse and close-knit family of fearless women of color from which she comes. Long before she made history and reaffirmed what’s possible for little Black and Brown girls everywhere, she herself was a little girl with big dreams growing up alongside her sister with her beloved mother as her guiding light.

As we continue to celebrate this monumentous occasion, here’s a look back at Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ journey to history and the support circle of women who held her high along the way.

1918 pandemic: Amid tales of woe, story of a woman who wanted a child so bad she stole one may be the saddest

The Spanish Influenza Epidemic of 1918 was one of the most devastating events in human history, killing an estimated 20 to 50 million people worldwide.

Like everywhere else, Syracuse felt the pain, with 900 deaths reported in the city.

One of the saddest stories to emerge locally involved a young woman named Daisy Lovine, who was so desperate for a child of her own she kidnapped a baby. But the story doesn’t end as you might think. In fact, it’s a story of compassion and forgiveness that, as one newspaper writer at the time said was so compelling, “only a master novelist could do it justice.”

That story begins on a sidewalk outside Woolworth’s five and ten store on Salina Street on March 7, 1918.

Syracuse was shocked with news that a bay was taken from in front of the city's Woolworth store in broad daylight on March 7, 1918. These headlines are from the front page of the Syracuse Herald the next day. Heritage Microfilm Heritage Microfilm

Besides murder, kidnapping was the most serious crime that a person could commit in Syracuse in 1918. In the history of Onondaga County, up to that point, there had not been a single kidnapping trial.

So that could explain the shocked reaction to what occurred outside of Syracuse’s Woolworths on South Salina Street on March 7, 1918.

In broad daylight, a cream-colored baby carriage holding ten-month-old Dorothy Martin was taken, with the child inside, while her mother shopped inside the store.

(This, apparently, was what done with babies while people shopped. “More than once women remained with her while I shopped and sometimes men would stop and cast admiring eyes at the baby,” the child’s mother told the police.)

The police were summoned, and officers were posted outside of railroad and trolley stations.

Meanwhile, the abducted child’s parents, Cora and James of 517 Lodi Street, walked the streets of the city, “wild with grief,” all night and into the next morning, searching for their baby.

In desperation, Cora even turned to a clairvoyant for help, the medium telling her that the child was taken by “a woman who had admired the baby.”

After almost 26 hours of terror, the Martins worst fears were over when there was a knock on their door.

On the front porch was a young couple, John and Daisy Lovine of Shonnard Street, holding the unharmed, and very happy, Dorothy Martin.

This snapshot of the Martins, Cora and James, with baby Dorothy, was taken shortly before the baby was kidnapped by Daisy Lovine. Taken from the March 9, 1918 Syracuse Herald. Heritage Microfilm Heritage Microfilm

“My baby! My baby,” Cora shouted. “Oh, Jim, they brought her back safe!”

“Then baby was in mother’s arms, fairly smothered by the embraces and kisses,” a Post-Standard reporter who was in the home wrote. “There was no happier woman in Syracuse last night than Mrs. Martin.”

The Martins and the Lovines went to police headquarters to tell detectives what had happened.

Daisy Lovine told a fantastic story of how little Dorothy had fallen into her care.

A cousin from Chittenango, Sadie Kimble from Chittenango, whom the Lovines had not seen for years, had come for a visit and asked Daisy to watch her child for a couple of days while she sought work in Syracuse. Kimble also brought a baby carriage that she asked to be repainted by Daisy’s husband. Kimble gave Daisy a can of blue enamel and a small brush to do the job.

To police, this Sadie Kimble sounded like just person who would commit such an act as kidnapping.

As a young girl she had been confined at the Shelter for Unprotected Girls and her most of her male family members were currently incarcerated, including her father, uncle and brother.

In addition, a child born to Kimble in 1915 had died shortly after birth.

Maybe she was overcome by grief by the loss of a child? Maybe she wanted to use the Martin baby as ransom?

A frantic search was begun for Kimble but after three days there were no signs of her.

But Syracuse Deputy Police Chief O’Brien was not satisfied with Daisy Lovine’s story and put two detectives on her trail.

In some clever police work, Detectives Edward Smith and Edward Bamrick secretly photographed Daisy and went to a bunch of Syracuse stores which sold paint and paintbrushes.

At Kresge’s on South Salina Street, a clerk, remembered selling blue paint and a small brush to the woman in the photo.

The detectives went to the Lovine home and, after originally sticking to her story, Daisy broke down and confessed to the kidnapping.

After her confession on March 11, 1918, 22-year-old Daisy Lovine was taken directly to the Onondaga County Jail. She faced between 10 and 50 years for the serious crime of kidnapping.

After one day, Daisy Lovine's story fell apart and she confessed to Syracuse police that she was responsible for the kidnapping of Dorothy Martin. New York State Digital Library New York State Digital Library

The Syracuse Herald got a glimpse of the young woman and called her a “pitiful sight.”

“Her face was chalky pale. Her eyes were dim and faded from weeping and she was trembling like an aspen.”

To the reporter, looking at her in her cell, Lovine resembled a “little creature, looking in her strange surroundings like some little animal caught in a trap.”

Her arrest was just the latest chapter in her sad life.

She was born in Vernon, to a family that the Herald said, “counted more in police and justice court annals than among good citizens.”

Her mother died when she was two, her father, the “usual village ne’er-do-well,” a few years later.

She spent a few years with an abusive grandmother before being sent to the Rome Orphan Asylum. She married a soldier when she was 16, John Jayne, who was deployed to the Philippines forcing her to look for a job.

She worked as a housekeeper for a family in Oneida and soon began a relationship with the family’s adult son.

When her husband returned after being wounded in China and found out what she was up to, he filed for divorce.

Her life turned around after she met John Lovine. She was working as a waitress at the Preston lunchroom at Fayette Street in Syracuse and the young machinist was a frequent customer. They married and began a happy life together.

(John, who knew nothing of the plan to kidnap the baby, would stand by his wife throughout.)

But there was still something missing the couple could not conceive a child, which is what Daisy had always wanted.

“I can’t remember the time when I didn’t want a baby,” she told a Herald reporter, after her confession. “I never cared for dolls as other children do. I would go to the homes of the neighbors and ask permission to hold their babies or to take them out in their carriages or rock them in their cradles.”

Once, she went to the Onondaga Orphans’ Home and picked up an application to adopt a child but never filled it out, fearing rejection.

Something in her snapped on that March afternoon in front of the Woolworths’ store.

“It used to make my blood boil to look at them,” she said of the line of unattended baby carriages. “I’d think to myself, ‘If you were mine, I’d never want to go downtown. I’d just want to stay home and take care of you and make things for you to wear.’”

She began feeling guilty about what she had put the Martins through and came up with the cousin story.

Despite facing a lengthy sentence at Auburn State Prison, Lovine said she would “always remember” the night she was a mother.

There were a couple of interested spectators at Daisy Lovine’s arraignment on March 13, 1918 inside Judge Cobb’s courtroom at the Onondaga Courthouse.

James and Cora Martin, with little Dorothy, “crowing and gurgling” in the front row, watched intently as Daisy Lovine plead ‘not guilty.”

“They won’t do anything to her, will they,” Mrs. Martin asked the person next to her.

“If she is convicted, she will have to go to prison for at least ten years,” was the response.

The young mother jumped to her feet and exclaimed:

“She won’t do anything of the kind. I’ll just go to the judge and withdraw my warrant this minute. It’s my baby and my case and my warrant and I won’t have her sent to prison, so there!”

When told that the decision was out of her control, the Herald said Mrs. Martin became “very wrathful indeed.”

Soon, almost all of Syracuse’s female community was joining Martin and supporting Lovine.

“I am heartily sorry for the girl,” said Florence Grannis, Onondaga County’s agent for dependent children, “and I would do anything that I could do to help her.”

In an informal Herald survey, nearly every woman polled expressed “pity and sympathy” for Lovine and almost all pleaded for leniency.

“I believe that the girl should go free,” said Mrs. John Dunfee, president of St. Joseph’s Hospital’s Women’s Auxiliary. “I should hate to see her punished and would do anything in my power to prevent such a consummation.”

Unfortunately, the person in charge for bringing Lovine’s case forward felt differently.

Assistant District Attorney Henry Wilson, the Herald said, was “deeply interested” in prosecuting the case.

The short, two-day trial began on May 2, 1918 and was argued before an all-male jury.

In his closing statement, Wilson attacked any notion that Lovine deserved any sympathy:

“This woman lied, Not once, repeatedly. She lied to her husband and shifted the blame for her sin on her cousin, putting her under a cloud of suspicion. She lied to the Martins, she lied to the police.

You men must not be swayed by sympathy. The other mother, who wrung her hands, walked the streets searching for the baby and who suffered the torments of a broken heart is the one who deserves your sympathy and not this woman who deliberately walked away with the choicest and God-given possession of another.”

But none of Wilson’s words could overcome the powerful visual of what had happened after Daisy Lovine stepped down from the witness stand.

While heading back to her seat, she walked past where Mrs. Martin was standing, holding Dorothy.

The young mother reached out a hand and grabbed Lovine’s.

“I hope everything will be all right,” Martin said, as Dorothy stooped to bury her lips in the back of the child’s neck.

The child giggled and Mr. Lovine and Mr. Martin smiled at each other.

The acquittal of Daisy Lovine on May 3, 1918 brought about one of the biggest celebrations inside a Syracuse courtroom the city had ever seen. Heritage Microfilm Heritage Microfilm

It was to no one’s surprise that the jury took just 13 minutes to acquit Daisy Lovine, who fainted as soon as the verdict was read.

While the room exploded in applause, Lovine was carried to the judge’s anteroom. Deputy Sheriff Mary Tomney splashed water on her face and administered smelling salts.

When she came to, Lovine saw Cora Martin’s face, applying a wet compress to her forehead.

“Brace up, honey, you have lots of good friends and everyone is just as happy as they can be about what the jury did,” Martin told her, tears filling both women’s eyes.

The verdict kicked off one of the most joyous scenes ever seen in a Syracuse courtroom

Women flocked to the judge’s chambers to share in the moment, reminding a rather sexist Syracuse Journal reporter to remark that the scene reminded him of a “bargain sale rush a minute before a sale closes and there are only a few choice items left to fight for.”

During the Influenza Epidemic of 1918, death was common in Syracuse. But the loss of five-month-old of Marjorie Helen Lovine was particularly painful. Headlines from the Oct. 11, 1918. Heritage Microfilm Heritage Microfilm

Shortly after the trial, the story of Daisy Lovine took another incredible turn. And then, later, a heartbreaking one.

In June of 1918, just three months after being accused of kidnapping, a newborn baby girl was put up for adoption. Daisy and John Lovine were chosen to be her new parents.

Marjorie Helen Lovine, with big blue eyes and golden hair, and her new mother was seen all over Syracuse, being pushed in a new baby carriage.

“Never was a baby neater or sweeter,” the Herald said, “never did a baby receive more tender care.”

In September 1918, the newspaper said that Daisy had spoken with one of the countless women who had supported her during the trial.

“The mother of the little foster mother, as she showed off her darling, was glorified.”

Then the Influenza Epidemic struck in October and the illness, which had devastated so many families, took little Marjorie on the morning of the 11th.

The adopted daughter of Daisy Lovine, five-month-old Marjorie Helen Lovine, appears in the Syracuse Journal's influenza death list on Oct. 12, 1918. She was one of 42 people from Onondaga County who died that day from the epidemic. New York State Digital Library New York State Digital Library

“In a time like this there are so many sorrowful stories that one more or less fails to make the impression that it might under normal conditions,” the Herald reported. “But even today it is safe to guess that there is not a mother in Syracuse whose heart will not be sadder by the news that Marjorie Helen Lovine died this morning.”

While the paintings of her male peers were hailed as ‘original’ or ‘vigorous’, hers were ‘charming’, ‘gracious’ or ‘delicate’

By the late 1870s, Morisot was recognised in the press as holding a central place in Impressionism, but her innovative aesthetic was seen as a result of her ‘feminine vision’. While the paintings of her male peers were hailed as ‘original’ or ‘vigorous’, hers were ‘charming’, ‘gracious’ or ‘delicate’.

Young Woman in Grey Reclining (1879) displays Morisot’s experiments with the concepts of ‘finished’ and ‘unfinished’ painting (Credit: Cleveland Museum of Art)

From the 1880s her compositions were frequently influenced by the Rococo, which was undergoing a revival in France at the time. She took select aspects such as bright pastel hues or depictions of sensual femininity and adapted and modernised them to such an extent that their source material is scarcely evident. In Before the Mirror (1890), in which a scantily clad woman fixes her hair, she turns what would have been a titillating scene in the 18th Century into a virtuoso display of colour and technique.

But it was her experiments with the concept of ‘finished’ and ‘unfinished’ in her painting that showed “she was one of the most audacious, the one who really pushed boundaries”, says Patry. In Woman Reading in Grey (1879), the figure almost dissolves into the background and the edges are left uncompleted.

Morisot’s art, such as Self-Portrait (1885), was praised for its ‘feminine vision’ her male peers were hailed as ‘original’ or ‘vigorous’ (Credit: Musée Marmottan Monet)

For this she was heavily criticised, with many seeing her startling innovations as a weakness of her sex. But her peers had no such doubts. A year after her untimely death in 1895, they organised what remains the largest retrospective of her work to date as a fitting tribute to her talent.

Modern women

Cassatt was a painter with an unstinting belief in her abilities who was equally happy to challenge convention. Her earlier Salon successes could have secured a lucrative career back home but, alone among the US artists in Paris, she was drawn to the free-spirited thinking of the Impressionists.

Degas had seen her work in 1874 and greatly admired it. The two became firm friends and he provided the model for Little Girl in a Blue Armchair (1877-8), which in many ways can be seen as her first Impressionist painting. The stunning portrayal of a young girl lolling inelegantly on an armchair with an expression that suggests modelling was far from her occupation of choice, was a clear indication of Cassatt’s innate ability to capture the inner life of her subjects.

Edgar Degas provided the model for Mary Cassatt’s Little Girl in a Blue Armchair (1878) (Credit: National Gallery of Art, Washington)

She knew that the loose brushwork and bright background was unlikely to be appreciated by the jury of the Exposition Universelle to which she submitted it in 1878, but did so all the same. When it was turned down, “it was proof that she was now a bona fide modernist and part of the Impressionist rebellion,” says curator Nancy Mowl-Mathews.

Degas invited her to officially join the group and she made her debut with them in 1879, receiving favourable reviews from the French press even if the Americans were less impressed with her new direction. “I feel sorry for Mary Cassatt. why has she gone astray?” sniffed The New York Times.

Cassatt became known for portraits of modern women, such as her sister Lydia, in The Cup of Tea (c 1880-81) (Credit: RMN-Grand Palais / Image of the MMA)

Cassatt became renowned for her portrayals of modern women which she painted with a unique respect. In a painting such as The Cup of Tea (1881), in which her sister Lydia is depicted in an elegant pink dress taking afternoon tea, it is clear that Cassatt’s interest lies more in the mind of her subject than her outer appearance. “She was really trying to capture the idea of thinking,” says Mowl-Mathews.

Sofonisba Anguissola

Sofonisba Anguissola, Self-Portrait, c. 1556, varnished watercolor on parchment, 8.3 x 6.4 cm (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston). The medallion is inscribed in Latin: “The maiden Sofonisba Anguissola, depicted by her own hand, from a mirror, at Cremona.”

The 16th-century painter and author of Lives of the Artists, Giorgio Vasari, praised the work of Sofonisba Anguissola. Vasari wrote that Sofonisba,

has laboured at the difficulties of design with greater study and better grace than any other woman of our time, and she has not only succeeded in drawing, colouring, and copying from nature, and in making excellent copies of works by other hands, but has also executed by herself alone some very choice and beautiful works of painting.”[1]

Sofonisba Anguissola was an artist who came from a noble family in Cremona (northern Italy). She is well known for the paintings she made of herself and her family (she was the oldest of seven children). In 1559, she became a lady-in-waiting to the Queen of Spain, Elisabeth de Valois, and continued to produce works while at the court of King Philip II until 1573. Interestingly, Sofonisba painted at least twelve self-portraits at a time when this was not a particularly common subject for artists (in the next century, Rembrandt would be the first artist to make the self-portrait a major part of his oeuvre).

Sir Anthony Van Dyck, Sofonisba Anguissola, 1624, oil on panel, 41.6 x 33.7 cm (Knole, Kent)

Women in Renaissance Italy were generally barred from becoming apprentices to master artists (the standard way in which artists were trained during the Renaissance). Female artists tended to come from families where a father (or sometimes a brother) was an artist. In this way they could receive training and bypass the apprenticeship system. Sofonisba is atypical in this respect—her father was not an artist. Instead, she studied with other artists—with Bernardino Campi as well as Bernardino Gatti (Il Sojaro)—who exposed Anguissola to the fundamentals of painting, such as the importance of disegno (drawing or design).

We have a letter from the artist’s father dated 7 May 1557 thanking the great Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, and architect, Michelangelo, for the “honourable and thoughtful affection that you have shown to Sofonisba, my daughter, to whom you introduced to practice the most honourable art of painting.”[2] While it is clear from this note that Sofonisba met the famous Renaissance artist, it has also been suggested that she may have even studied with Michelangelo. Certainly the renown she gained in Italy helped to secure her position as lady-in-waiting at the Spanish court.

Sofonisba’s international renown grew throughout her lifetime. Later in her life, the great Baroque painter Anthony van Dyck visited her in Sicily and painted her portrait (above). Centuries later, with the feminist movement of the 1970s, Sofonisba’s fame and significance have been once again “rediscovered” and she is now counted among ranks of other important painters of the early modern period, a revival of interest similar to that accorded to artists such as Artemisia Genitleschi.

Self-Portrait, 1556

Sofonisba Anguissola, Self-Portrait at the Easel, 1556, oil on canvas, 66 x 57 cm (Łańcut Castle)

In the 1556 self-portrait (above), Sofonisba shows herself in the act of painting, applying mixed pigments to a canvas that depicts the Virgin and Christ Child tenderly kissing. She gazes outward—as if we have just interrupted her in mid-stroke. Her expression is calm and reserved. A maulstick (a common device used to support the artist’s hand) held in her left hand supports her right hand as she touches the brush to the canvas.

Sofonisba Anguissola, Self-Portrait, 1554, oil on poplar wood, 19.5 x 12.5 cm (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna)

The artist wears a simple black dress—possibly to connote modesty and virtue. Her simple fashion embodies the woman of court, as outlined by Baldassare Castiglione in his Book of the Courtier (1528):

I wish this [Court] Lady to have knowledge of letters, music, painting, and to know how to dance and make merry accompanying the other precepts that have been taught the Courtier with discreet modesty and with the giving of a good impression of herself. And thus, in her talk, her laughter, her play, her jesting, in short, in everything, she will be very graceful, and will entertain appropriately, and with witticisms and pleasantries befitting her, everyone who shall come before her. [3]

Some of Sofonisba’s other self-portraits, such as one where she holds a small book (left), even include inscriptions like “Sophonisba Angusola virgo seipsam fecit 1554” (The virgin Sofonisba Anguissola made this herself in 1554) to identify herself as a chaste, virtuous woman.

The inclusion of a painting of the Virgin Mary and Christ child in the 1556 self-portrait further reflects on Sofonisba’s virginity. While Mary feeding, kissing, or embracing Christ as a child were common subjects of this era, it is likely that Sofonisba incorporated this intimate scene between mother and son here to fashion herself as a virtuous woman—one who identifies with the ultimate virtuous woman, the Virgin Mary.

Catharina van Hemessen, Self-Portrait at the Easel, 1548, oil on panel, 32.2 x 25.2 cm (Kumstmuseum, Basel)

Displaying herself in the act of painting associated her with an established tradition of artists depicting themselves—not all of them men. While contemporaneous artists like Titian and Albrecht Dürer painted self-portraits, those that included a painter’s tools of the trade—a canvas, palette, and maulstick—were less common. Examples do exist, however, from the sixteenth century, and artists showing themselves with their tools became increasingly popular over time. Like Sofonisba, Caterina van Hemessen fashions herself at a canvas, holding a maulstick while she paints. A self-portrait by the Dutch artist Joachim Wtewael also shows the artist holding his painter’s tools, most likely applying paint to a canvas outside the picture plane.

Other Portraits

Beyond painting self-portraits, Sofonisba also produced miniatures and group portraits. Many of those completed before her departure for Spain, such as The Chess Game, exhibit members of her family. Sofonisba would not have had access to male models, and drew inspiration from those people she encountered in her daily life like her family.

Sofonisba Anguissola, The Chess Game (Portrait of the artist’s sisters playing chess), 1555, oil on canvas, 72 x 97 cm (National Museum in Poznań)

This painting shows the artist’s three sisters (Lucia, Europa, and Minerva) playing chess—an intellectual pursuit—with their governess looking over them. Sofonisba shows an intimate setting with her sisters. The sister to the left, thought to be Lucia, looks out at the viewer after winning the game. Sofonisba displays her virtuosity as a painter here by positioning her figures in a variety of poses. Their gazes also lead our eye around the canvas and eventually back to the artist herself, who occupies the position outside of the canvas. Sofonisba also demonstrates her skill by painting a variety of textures in her sisters’ clothes and the imported carpet under the chessboard.

Sofonisba Anguissola, Self-Portrait, c. 1610 (Gottfried Keller Collection, Bern)

Sofonisba continued painting portraits throughout her life, including self-portraits of her in advanced age. One, dated to 1610 (left, when the artist was 78) shows the artist seated on a chair, holding a book and a piece of paper. Her dress is not altogether different from the outfit in her 1556 painting: black, modest, and reserved. Upon her death at age 93 (in 1625), her second husband, Orazio Lomellino, had her tomb inscribed, “To Sofonisba, my wife, who is recorded among the illustrious women of the world, outstanding in portraying the images of man.”

[1] Giorgio Vasari, The Lives of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, trans. Gaston du C. de Vere (London: Philip Lee Warner, 1912–4), pp. 127–8.

[2] Buonarroti Archives, Florence. From Ilya Sandrea Perlingieri, Sofonisba Anguissola, The First Great Woman Artist of the Renaissance (New York: NY, Rizzoli, 1992), p. 67.

[3] “Third Book of the Courtier,” from Baldassare Castiglione, The Book of the Courtier, trans. Leonard Eckstein Opdycke (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1903), p. 180.

32 Chilling Images of the Ku Klux Klan and Their Children

The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) is the name of three different right-wing extremist movements in the United States that have advocated extremist positions such as white supremacy, white nationalism, anti-immigration, anti-Catholicism, and anti-Semitism. Historically, the KKK used terrorism against groups or individuals whom they opposed. The movements called for the ‘purification&rsquo of American society.

The first Klan came to be in the Southern United States in the late 1960s. This Klan sought to overthrow the Republican state governments in the South during the Reconstruction Era after the Civil War by using violence against African American leaders. The KKK was suppressed around 1871 through federal law enforcement.

The second coming of the KKK came in 1915 and spread nation-wide in the early and mid-1920s. This Klan was rooted in local Protestant communities and opposed Catholics and Jews. This edition stressed its opposition to the Catholic Church during a time of high immigration from mostly Catholic nations of southern and eastern Europe. This organization adopted the white costume and started burning crosses and parading as intimidation.

The third and current incarnation of the KKK emerged after 1950 and they focused on opposition to the Civil Rights Movement, often using violence and murder to suppress activists. It is classified as a hate group by the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center. The Klan currently has between 3,000-6,000 members.

A mother looks on as her seven-month-old child is baptized into the Klan. Long Island, New York. July 4, 1927. Bettmann: Getty Images Two children — in the original caption, labeled as mascots of the Ku Klux Klan — stand with the Grand Dragon. Atlanta, Georgia. July 1948. Library of Congress A young girl in robes drinks a Coca-Cola while she and her mother watch a Ku Klux Klan rally. Location unspecified. August 1925. Library of Congress A child is initiated into the Ku Klux Klan. Macon, Georgia. January 1946. Keystone-France: Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images A group of Klan members lead their children through a parade. Location unspecified. Circa 1912-1930. All that is Interesting Shelby Pendergraft, 15, and Charity Pendergraft, 17, attend a cross lighting ceremony at the Christian Revival Center. Bergman, Arkansas. 2008. Barcroft USA: Getty Images This unidentified Klan woman gets her son dressed up in KKK robes and hat. Getty Image A young girl holds her father&rsquos hand as he marches down the street in a Klan parade. Atlanta, Georgia. June 5, 1967. Bettmann: Getty Images A group of women, one holding her child in Klan robes, are among the 125 people who showed up to be initiated into the Klan. Atlanta, Georgia. June 1949. Bettmann: Getty Images Seven-year-old Perry Blevens sticks his head out the car window, showing off the sign that calls for no integration. Gwinett County, Georgia. April 14, 1956. Bettmann: Getty Images A mother and her child hold hands as they watch a cross burn. Georgia. April 27, 1956, Bettmann: Getty Images A young girl clutches her doll in one hand as her father wraps his arm around her and her brother. Port St. Lucie, Florida. Date unspecified. Evan Hurd:Sygma:Sygma via Getty Images Ku Klux Klan members parade past the U.S. Treasury building in Washington, D.C. in 1925. AP Photo Louisiana KKK leader David Duke and his wife Choe arrive at the Destrehan, La., High School where they placed flowers near the flag pole, Oct. 9, 1974. A 13-year-old boy died following racial unrest and a shooting at the school. AP Photo Unit of the KKK, as they appeared on the auditorium stage of the Bargaintown, New Jersey, Klavern to welcome 6,000 South Jersey Klansmen to the annual rally held Sept. 21, 1929. Senator J. Thomas Helfin of Alabama was the principal speaker. Flashback

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