A Message From The Creator

A Message From The Creator

Inspirational Woman Of The Day: Betty Ford

Inspirational Woman Of The Day: Betty Ford

Inspiration Of Style: MAGGIE SEMPLE AT WOW FESTIVAL 2012

Inspiration Of Style: MAGGIE SEMPLE AT WOW FESTIVAL 2012

Women’s Health: Birth Control Morally Acceptable To Catholics, Most Americans

Women’s Health: Birth Control Morally Acceptable To Catholics, Most Americans

Women’s News: Give Women 21st Century Rights

Women’s News: Give Women 21st Century Rights

A Message From The Creator

“Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.” 

-Mary Kay Ash

Inspirational Woman Of The Day: Betty Ford

Betty Ford became the First Lady when President Nixon resigned and made her Vice President husband, Gerald Ford, the acting President. She became well known for her openness as a First Lady, a trend that continued after the Ford’s left the White House, when she created the Betty Ford Center for addiction.

Early Life

Former First Lady, social reformer. Born in Chicago, Illinois, as Elizabeth Anne Bloomer on April 8, 1918. Elizabeth “Betty” Anne Bloomer was the third child, and only daughter, of William Bloomer, Sr. and Hortense Neahr. Elizabeth’s father worked for the Royal Rubber Company in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her mother was related to a wealthy Grand Rapids furniture manufacturing family.

Betty’s mother thought social graces were important, so in 1926 eight-year-old Betty enrolled at Calla Travis Dance Studio in Grand Rapids, where she studied ballet, tap and modern movement. Dance became a passion, and soon Betty decided to pursue it as a career. At 14, she taught younger children dances such as the foxtrot, waltz and “The Big Apple.” While still in high school, she opened her own dance school teaching children and adults.

When Betty was 16, her father was asphyxiated by carbon monoxide poisoning while working on the family car in a closed garage. It was never confirmed whether his death was accidental or a suicide. With the main bread-winner gone, Betty’s mother supported the family by working as a real-estate agent. Her strength and independence in the face of tragedy greatly influenced Betty, shaping her views on equal pay and equality for women.

After graduating from high school, Bettyspent two summers at the Bennington School of Dance in Vermont studying under legendary choreographer and dancer Martha Graham. To pay for her lessons, she worked during the year as a model at a Grand Rapids department store. In 1940, Betty was accepted to study and work with Martha Graham’s auxiliary troupe in New York City. She made numerous appearances as a dancer, including a performance at Carnegie Hall.

Work and First Marriage

Hortense Bloomer never completely accepted her daughter’s career choice and urged Betty to come home. Finally, after realizing that she would probably not be a premier dancer, Betty returned to Grand Rapids in 1941 to work full-time at Herpolscheimer’s department store. After a series of promotions, she became a fashion coordinator for the store. She continued her strong interest in dance, teaching at Travis Dance Studio in Grand Rapids and organizing her own dance troupe. She also offered weekly dance classes to African-American children, and taught ballroom dancing to children with sight and hearing disabilities.

In 1942, Betty Bloomer met and married William C. Warren, a furniture salesman whom she had known since she was 12. Warren had a series of jobs in different cities, often as a traveling salesman, and Betty sometimes worked as a department store saleswoman and model in cities where they lived. After three years, however, Betty realized the marriage wasn’t going to work. She wanted a home, family, and children and grew tired of the couple’s itinerant lifestyle. But before she could discuss a divorce, Warren fell ill with acute diabetes. While he recovered over the next two years, Betty worked to support them both. This experience left her with a strong impression of the inequalities in compensation between genders for doing the same job. After Warren recovered, the couple ended their marriage.

Marriage to Gerald Ford

In August of 1947, Betty Warren met 34-year-old attorney Gerald Ford, a U.S. Navy lieutenant. Ford had returned from duty to resume his law practice, and to run for U.S. Congress. The couple dated for a year before Ford proposed in February of 1948, and the couple married two weeks before the November election. He picked this date because he was concerned the voters in his conservative district might have second thoughts about him marrying a divorced ex-dancer. During the wedding rehearsal dinner, Gerald had to leave early in order to make a campaign speech.The day after their wedding, the Fords attended a political rally, followed by a University of Michigan football game, and a speech by New York governor Thomas Dewey. Gerald won the election three weeks later, ushering Betty into the world of politics.

In December 1948, the Fords moved to a Virginia suburb outside of Washington, D.C. Betty quickly immersed herself in the political process. She got to know the names and positions of powerful legislative figures, served as her husband’s unofficial adviser, and networked with other Congressmen’s spouses. As Ford built his Congressional career, winning re-election 13 times and rising to the position of House Minority Leader, Betty assumed the traditional responsibilities of a father as well as a mother to their four children. She also became involved with charity organizations and volunteer work.

First Lady

On December 6, 1973, Ford was appointed Vice President under Richard Nixon, after Vice President Spiro Angew resigned. Then, on August 9, 1974, in an unprecedented move, Richard Nixon resigned from office under pressure from the Watergate scandal. Under United States law, Gerald Ford became the 38th President of the United States. Betty Ford was officially the First Lady.

In short order, it became apparent that the new First Lady was going to make an impact.

Betty became known for dancing to disco music at informal White House events, and was especially good at the dance move, “The Bump.” She chatted on her CB radio under the call name “First Mama.” But Betty Ford could also be very serious on subjects such as equal rights for women, abortion and divorce. At times, her outspokenness raised disapproval from the more conservative elements of the Republican Party. After a 60 Minutes appearance where she openly discussed how she would counsel her children if they were involved in pre-marital sex and recreational drugs, some conservatives called her “No Lady” and demanded her resignation. But the nation as a whole found her openness appealing, and her approval rating reached 75 percent.

Political Will

Weeks after Betty Ford became First Lady, she was diagnosed with malignant breast cancer during a routine exam. Ford underwent a mastectomy, and her openness about her illness raised visibility for a disease that Americans had previously been reluctant to discuss. During her convalescence, she realized the influence and power being a First Lady had on influencing policy and creating change. She supported the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment), and lobbied hard for its passage. She also became a strong advocate for a women’s right to free choice in many decisions that affected their lives. As a result of her efforts, Timemagazine named her woman of the year in 1975.

In 1976, Betty Ford showed her innate political skills when her husband ran for president against Democratic challenger and former Georgia governor, Jimmy Carter. The First Lady played a highly visible role during the campaign. She not only advocated for her husband, but also stood as a symbol of a moderate Republican as the conservative Republican wing of the party began to emerge. Betty taped radio ads, spoke at rallies, and campaigned hard, despite the tremendous strain on her health. Though most of her activities were spontaneous, she was often confined to stops in moderate-to-liberal states by the campaign staff, who worried at times that Betty Ford was appearing more liberal than Rosalynn Carter, the Democratic candidate’s wife. She remained very popular with the public, however, and many supporters for President Ford wore buttons saying “Vote for Betty’s Husband.” When Gerald Ford lost to Jimmy Carter in the election, it was Betty Ford who delivered his concession speech, due to her husband’s bout with laryngitis in the last days of the campaign.

Struggle with Addiction

Since the early 1960s, Betty Ford had been taking opioid analgesics for pain from a pinched nerve. Her dependency on these drugs had dissipated during her time in the White House, but after leaving Washington, D.C., her drinking of alcohol increased—as did her use of prescription drugs. In 1978, the Ford family staged an intervention, and forced Betty to confront her addition to alcohol and pain pills. After her initial anger over the intrusion in her life, Betty remained home for a week, and underwent a monitored detoxification. She then entered Long Beach Naval Hospital for drug and alcohol rehabilitation. There, the former First Lady shared a room with other women, cleaned restrooms, and participated in emotional therapy sessions. In keeping with her sense of authenticity, Betty fully disclosed her addictions and resulting treatment to the public shortly after her release from the hospital.

The experience in drug rehab had a profound effect on Betty. She realized during her convalescence that, as a former First Lady, she had the power to create change and affect behavior. She also realized there was no recovery facility specifically established to help women with the unique problems associated with drug and alcohol abuse. In 1982, after her full recovery, Betty helped establish the Betty Ford Center, dedicated to helping all people, but especially women, with chemical dependency. Through her work at the Betty Ford Center, Betty began to understand the connection between drug addiction and those suffering from HIV/AIDS. She soon began to voice her support for gay and lesbian rights in the workplace, and spoke out in support of same-sex marriage.

Final Years

In 1987, Betty Ford published a book about her treatment entitled Betty: A Glad Awakening. In 2003, Ford produced another book,Healing and Hope: Six Women from the Betty Ford Center Share Their Powerful Journeys of Addiction and Recovery. In 1991, she earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George H.W. Bush; then received the Congressional Gold Medal in 1999; and was honored with the Woodrow Wilson Award for public service.

Gerald Ford, Betty’s husband of 58 years, died on December 26, 2006, at the age of 93. The couple had four children together: Michael, John, Steven, and Susan. After her husband’s death, Betty refrained from any public appearances, but remained active as chair-emeritus of the Betty Ford Center.

On July 8, 2011, Ford died of natural causes at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, California. After her death, her casket was flown to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where it lay in the Gerald Ford Museum over the night of July 13, 2011. She was buried next to her husband during a funeral service on July 14, 2011, on what would have been her husband’s 98th birthday.


Inspiration Of Style: MAGGIE SEMPLE AT WOW FESTIVAL 2012

Maggie Semple, Polly Vernon and Oonagh O’Hagan are three women that are synonymous with fashion but most importantly, they are known for their great sense of style. Classic, elegant and feminine these three women have learnt exactly what constitutes good style throughout their careers in the fashion industry. Yesterday saw these three women join together to host a panel for the Southbank’s Women of the World Festival, talking about fashion and the world of decorative arts.

The lively discussion was both informative and perspicuous, covering a whole plethora of subjects ranging from society’s perception of women right down to the history of high heels. Everyone joined in, sharing their fashion stories with the group and the main point highlighted through the conversation was that women wear things that give them confidence. Polly made the analogy that women wear high heels, despite their agonizing nature, to make their legs look longer resulting in a small boost of self-confidence. According to Maggie, women and their high heels have already defined the landscape of London and if you look carefully between the paving stones on Hungerford Bridge, it is possible to see the indentations made by women walking in high heels.

It has often been said that women that care about fashion are normally shallow and this could not be further from the truth, after all, men are allowed to be football fanatics without being considered hooligans so why should women be treated differently? This was the question on everybody’s lips but through the discussion Maggie, Polly and Oonagh uncovered unspoken truths about why women dress in a certain way, revealing that style and substance do in fact work together harmoniously.

This empowering talk followed Maggie’s successful Semple Secrets event which was also held at the Southbank Centre, proving that women are not just interested in the way they look but in the story behind the garments they wear. It is this mentality that drives the work of Maggie Semple Ltd forwards and sharing Maggie’s love of fashion at Women of the World festival was the perfect way to celebrate and unite women for International Women’s Day 2012.

Grace Molan and Laura Roig Vericat

Women’s Health: Birth Control Morally Acceptable To Catholics, Most Americans

Hey Everyone, I would love your opinion on this story!

The Huffington Post  |  By 

The controversial contraception mandate proposed by the president had Congress debating about the morality of birth control, however according to a recent Gallup poll, 89 percent of all Americans and 82 percent of U.S. Catholics agree that birth control is morally acceptable.

In fact, birth control ranked as the most acceptable of 18 behaviors tested this year with the second and third most acceptable behaviors being divorce and gambling, ranking at least 20 percentage points lower.

What does this mean for the embittered battle between congress and the White House?

According to a Wall Street Journal article, Americans overwhelmingly agree that employers should be required to offer birth control, but a slight majority opposes the rule mandating Roman Catholic and other religious institutions from having to provide the service.

“When asked whether employers overall should be required to offer free birth control, Journal/NBC poll respondents favored the rule by 53% to 33%. Approval was slightly higher among women, 58% to 28%.However, when asked whether the government should mandate that Roman Catholic and other religiously affiliated hospitals and colleges offer birth control paid for by the institutions’ insurance companies—as required by the rule—Americans were opposed by 45% to 38%. Women split evenly, with 40% in favor and 40% opposed.”


As CBS news reported, last Monday various Catholic institutions, including the University of Notre Dame, the Archdioceses of Washington, New York and Michigan, and the Catholic University of America, sued the government for this requirement of the 2010 Affordable Care Act on the ground that this is an overreach of government into the affairs of the church.

Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, disagrees, stating that this is first and foremost a health issue.

“Access to birth control is a critical health and economic concern for American women,” Richards told CBS News. “It is unbelievable that in the year 2012 we have to fight for access to birth control. Yet this lawsuit would make it harder for millions of women to get birth control. Insurance companies should cover birth control just like any other preventive prescription, as the independent Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommended.”

According to the Gallup poll, the least acceptable behavior, to 89 percent of Americans, was married men and women having an affair, with cloning and polygamy tying for second least acceptable at 86 percent.



Women’s News: Give Women 21st Century Rights

By Dennis Miller

When I started my novel, One Woman’s Vengeance, it was to be a revenge novel with a strong female protagonist in the post-Civil War west, a time and a place where women were not even second-class citizens. They weren’t citizens at all.

During the seven years of developing the novel, I realized with dismay that in some major areas not that much has changed for women.

Nora Hawks watches her husband’s cold-blooded murder by a gang of hired thieves. She is brutally gang raped and left for dead. She survives, secretly returns and hires a retired bounty hunter to teach her how to track and kill. She is intent on getting rid of each member on her own terms.

During the course of the story, Nora enlists the help of a Hispanic madam of a whorehouse. During the writing and research, I realized that when a woman lost her husband back then she had three alternatives: searching for another man, menial labor, or selling her body.

Recent conversations and proposals made me realize with some horror that little has changed. Rush Limbaugh’s attack on Sandra Fluke underscored the apparently widespread male feeling that if a woman has sex for any other purpose than procreation, she’s a slut. He strengthened his assault later by suggesting that if “we” pay for affordable birth control for women, then women should videotape their sexual activities so he can watch and get something for his money.

He said the last statement was meant to be humor. No, it was not meant to be funny. It was meant to strip a woman of all dignity and humanity by creating a mental image of a naked woman having sex as men watch. Men earned the right to watch, according to Rush, because they helped pay for birth control. His proposal is not only devoid of humor, it’s sick and twisted.

Meanwhile the Georgia State Legislature debated a bill making some women carry stillborn or dying fetuses until they “naturally” go into labor just like cows and pigs do, according to Representative Terry England. In Virginia and Pennsylvania, politicians pushed to require women to have ultrasound exams before proceeding with an abortion. These procedures are an invasion of privacy designed to humiliate and dehumanize.

Early in my novel, Peter, the retired bounty hunter who doesn’t yet understand Nora’s rage, asks “What’s so hard about being a woman?” Her answer: “Men.”

During the novel’s climax, Nora Hawks faces villain Butch Wheeler one-on-one. A few minutes later the wounded manyells for help from the onlookers. “F–ing woman shootin’ a man! She can’t do this! A woman ain’t got no rights! Kill her!”

That “rights” feeling is still around us by men who shape opinion and men who make laws. This way of seeing needs to change quickly.

Violence is never the answer. But what women have gained since the 19th Century are access to education and the right to vote. I really wish they — and men — would use these and elect leaders who would not only change laws but change consciousness.

One Woman’s Vengeance is fiction. “Every Woman’s Rights” is a dream. We need to make it a reality. Be outraged. Fight with votes and social media to bring the media and elected officials from the 19th century into the 21st.

Dennis Miller, of Horseheads, NY, is the author of the novel One Woman’s Vengeance. All proceeds from his book will go to benefit scholarships for the English department at Mansfield University in Mansfield, PA.

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