The Quotable Nerdy Chick: Belva Lockwood

In honor of the upcoming election, this week’s Quotable Nerdy Chick is one of my personal favorites: Belva Lockwood. It’s sad to me how many people have never heard of Belva. She was such a fascinating woman that I believe she should be a household name.

In the United States in 1884, only men were allowed to vote. But Belva decided that she would take a bold but legal step: she ran for president! After all, the law only prohibited women from voting, not from getting votes. And, believe it or not, Belva got votes! She ran an effective campaign and actually convinced hundreds of men to vote for a woman for president. But don’t think they were sympathy votes! Belva’s run for office was based on experience and merit: unlike many women of the time, she went to college, then to law school, and even argued cases before the Supreme Court.

Quotes from Belva Lockwood:

“If nations could only depend upon fair and impartial judgments in a world court of law, they would abandon the senseless, savage practice of war.”

“I know we can’t abolish prejudice through laws, but we can set up guidelines for our actions by legislation.”

“I am, and always have been a progressive woman, and while never directly attacking the conventionalities of society, have always done, or attempted to do those things which I have considered conducive to my health, convenience or emolument.”

File:Belva Ann Lockwood - Brady-Handy.jpg“The glory of each generation is to make its own precedents.”

“I have been now fourteen years before the bar, in an almost continuous practice, and my experience has been large, often serious, and many times amusing. I have never lacked plenty of good paying work; but, while I have supported my family well, I have not grown rich. In business I have been patient, painstaking, and indefatigable. There is no class of case that comes before the court that I have not ventured to try . . . either civil, equitable, or criminal; and my clients have been as largely men as women. There is a good opening at the bar for the class of women who have taste and tact for it.”

Learn more about Belva at the National Archives or check out my book, BALLOTS FOR BELVA.

The Quotable Nerdy Chick: Madeleine Albright

File:Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.jpg

 

Madeleine Albright is a Nerdy Chick extraordinaire! She has served our country as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations and as the 64th United States Secretary of State — and, oh, by the way, the first woman to ever hold that office. She has a PhD from Columbia University, she has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, she has served on the Board of Directors of the New York Stock Exchange, she is a Professor of International Relations at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service, and just to top all that off, she is fluent in English, French, Russian, and Czech. Oh, and she speaks and reads Polish and Serbo-Croatian, too. I wonder if she has a cape and mask to go with all those superpowers?

Quotes from Madeleine Albright:

“Even before I went to the UN, I often would want to say something in a meeting – only woman at the table – and I’d think, ‘OK well, I don’t think I’ll say that. It may sound stupid.’ And then some man says it, and everybody thinks it’s completely brilliant, and you are so mad at yourself for not saying something.”

“It’s one thing to be religious, but it’s another thing to make religion your policy.”

“I love being a woman and I was not one of these women who rose through professional life by wearing men’s clothes or looking masculine. I loved wearing bright colors and being who I am.”

“I really think that there was a great advantage in many ways to being a woman. I think we are a lot better at personal relationships, and then have the capability obviously of telling it like it is when it’s necessary.”

“I’ve never been to New Zealand before. But one of my role models, Xena, the warrior princess, comes from there.”

(FYI: Xena is one of my role models, too!)

Read more about Madeleine HERE or HERE.

 

The Quotable Nerdy Chick: Bella Abzug

File:Bella Abzug 1971-11-30.jpgWhen Bella Abzug was 13, her father died. There was no one to say the Mourner’s Kaddish for him in synagogue because that was the responsibility of the sons of the deceased — and Bella’s father didn’t have any sons. So Bella defied her community and said the prayers herself. It was one of her first feminist actions.

The daughter of Russian-Jewish immigrants, Bella started giving speeches about causes that were important to her in her childhood — speaking out in subways because she had no other pulpit. Over the course of her life, however, Bella found greater stages to stand on and larger audiences to listen to her words. including the House of Representatives, where she served from 1971 to 1977. She supported civil rights and women’s rights, and changed the world for the better.

Quotes from Bella Abzug:

  • “We are coming down from our pedestal and up from the laundry room. We want an equal share in government and we mean to get it.”
  • “Women have been trained to speak softly and carry a lipstick. Those days are over.”
  • “The test for whether or not you can hold a job should not be the arrangement of your chromosomes.”
  • “Women have been and are prejudiced, narrow minded, reactionary, even violent. Some women. They, of course, have a right to vote and a right to run for office. I will defend that right, but I will not support them or vote for them.”
  • “They used to give us a day–it was called International Women’s Day. In 1975 they gave us a year, the Year of the Woman. Then from 1975 to 1985 they gave us a decade, the Decade of the Woman. I said at the time, who knows, if we behave they may let us into the whole thing. Well, we didn’t behave and here we are.”
  • “All of the men on my staff can type.”

Learn more about Bella HERE.

 

The Quotable Nerdy Chick: Nora Ephron

Novelist. Playwright. Journalist. Director. Screenwriter. Producer. It might be easier to list all the things that Nora Ephron had not done as the list above is nowhere near complete. Nora had a way of writing about people and relationships that was deep and humorous, touching and laugh-inducing.

A New York Times book reviewer once wrote, “She’s like Benjamin Franklin or Shakespeare: her words are now part of the fabric of the English language.” So when I was looking for my first Quotable Nerdy Chick, I was immediately drawn to Nora.

Quotes from Nora Ephron:

  • Whatever you choose, however many roads you travel, I hope that you choose not to be a lady. I hope you will find some way to break the rules and make a little trouble out there. And I also hope that you will choose to make some of that trouble on behalf of women.
  • My mother wanted us to understand that the tragedies of your life one day have the potential to be comic stories the next.
  • Insane people are always sure that they are fine. It is only the sane people who are willing to admit that they are crazy.
  • I try to write parts for women that are as complicated and interesting as women actually are.
  • Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.

Learn more about Nora HERE, or read some of her work HERE.

The Quotable Nerdy Chick: Dr. Sally Ride

Dr. Sally Ride (1951-2012) needs no introduction this week. She was an American Astronaut and physicist. In 1983 she flew into orbit on the Challenger and became the first American woman in space. In 1989 she left NASA and later founded Sally Ride Science, hoping to inspire young women to follow careers in science, technology and math.  There is much more to be said about Dr. Sally Ride. To find out more about her, take a look at her BIOGRAPHY or visit www.sallyridescience.com.

 

Sally Ride Quotes

  •  All adventures, especially into new territory, are scary.
  • If girls are interested, they have the potential to go further. There are still lingering stereotypes that affect girls in middle school, and they lose interest in the subjects.
  • But even in elementary school and junior high, I was very interested in space and in the space program.
  • There are lots of opportunities out there for women to work in these fields, … Girls just need support, encouragement and mentoring to follow through with the sciences.
  • But when I wasn’t working, I was usually at a window looking down at Earth.
  • I felt very honored, and I knew that people would be watching very closely, and I felt it was very, very important that I do a good job.
  • My parents didn’t have a scientific bone in their body, and their daughter was pursuing a career in astrophysics. They didn’t even know what astrophysics meant, but they supported me.

I am thankful for women like Sally Ride who teach us that we can soar and for parents who give their daughters wings.

*The above photo of Sally Ride is a NASA photo and is therefore in the public domain.

 

Quoteable Nerdy Chick: Wilma Mankiller

Wilma Mankiller (b. 1945) made history when she became the first female principal chief of the Cherokee Nation in 1985.   She strove to improve health care, the education system and the government of her people. She served for a decade before deciding not to seek re-election because of poor health. Mankiller still advocates for  Native American rights and women’s rights.

Wilma Mankiller Quotes

  • The secret of our success is that we never, never give up.
  • A lot of young girls have looked to their career paths and have said they’d like to be chief. There’s been a change in the limits people see.
  • Everybody is sitting around saying, ‘Well, jeez, we need somebody to solve this problem of bias.’ That somebody is us. We all have to try to figure out a better way to get along.
  • I don’t think anybody anywhere can talk about the future of their people or of an organization without talking about education. Whoever controls the education of our children controls our future.
  • I’ve run into more discrimination as a woman than as an Indian.
  • Prior to my election, young Cherokee girls would never have thought that they might grow up and become chief.
  • One of the things my parents taught me, and I’ll always be grateful as a gift, is to not ever let anybody else define me; that for me to define myself . . . and I think that helped me a lot in assuming a leadership position.

Wilma Mankiller must have had some wonderful parents. I try to teach my children the same thing that she mentioned in that last quote.

 

 

The Quotable Nerdy Chick: Sandra Day O’Connor

Before I pick the each Quotable Nerdy Chick to highlight, I usually research a couple of different amazing women. Then I look at what each had to say. Are their words timeless?  Do they contain a message that speaks to success? This week I picked someone whose hard work has garnered her impressive recognition. In 2001 she was ranked the second most powerful woman in America by Ladies’ Home Journal. She was listed as 36th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes in 2004 and 2005. And she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 by President Barak Obama.

Everyone knows that Sandra Day O’Connor was the first female member of the United States Supreme Court, but do we really know how she landed such a prestigious position? After reading more about her, I think I do. She became the first female justice not only because she was intelligent, but also because she had an outstanding work ethic. I’m a firm believer in the idea that the path to success is paved with a lot of hard work. When you read the quotes below, you’ll know that Sandra Day O’Conner believes this too.

Sandra Day O’Connor Quotes

  • Do the best you can in every task, no matter how unimportant it may seem at the time. No one learns more about a problem than the person at the bottom.
  • We don’t accomplish anything in this world alone… and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one’s life and all the weavings of individual threads form one to another that creates something.
  • Each of us brings to our job, whatever it is, our lifetime of experience and our values.
  • I don’t know that there are any short cuts to doing a good job.
  • The power I exert on the court depends on the power of my arguments, not on my gender.

 

This week, I think my favorite quote is the second one.  How nice to see that someone who has risen so far, acknowledges that we all need help. To see a compiled list of nerdy chick quotes, click HERE.