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Classic Recordings
Robert Altman Week

Monday
Jan142013

« In Which We Note The Time »

A Feminist Timeline

by KARA VANDERBIJL

Had I the mind to do it, I would dedicate the following to Susan Sontag. Or perhaps to Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality, or really to any of the women represented here. What is wonderful about them is not that they stand alone in history - although many of them deserve to - but that they stand together, that each one leans in some small way on the last. No matter what their intentions, the passing of time and Wikipedia have allowed us to pretend, at least for today, that these women were all trying to say the same thing.

1458 BC – Queen Hatshepsut dies

1330 BC – Nefertiti dies

610 BC – Sappho born

69 BC – Cleopatra born

29 – Livia Drusilla dies

246 – Empress Helena of Constantinople born

350 – Hypatia of Alexandria born

705 – Wu Zetian, the only female ruler in the history of China, dies

1098 – Hildegard of Bingen born

1137 – Eleanor of Aquitaine disagrees with her husband Louis VII over the correct pronunciation of “vase”

1253 – Clare of Assisi dies

1303 – Bridget of Sweden born

1347 – Catherine of Siena born

1381 – Catherine of Vadstena dies

1388 – Juliana Berners born

1416 – Julian of Norwich dies 

1432 – A year after her execution, Joan of Arc returns to earth as an alien endowed with a vagina dentata

1438 – Margery Kempe completes her autobiography, arguably the first to be written in the English language

1559 – Realdo Colombo, an Italian professor of anatomy, discovers and names the clitoris, describing it as "the love or sweetness of Venus"

1564 – Elizabeth I finds a gray hair

1607 – Pocahontas saves John Smith’s life

1630 – Ann Bradstreet, New England's first published poet, lands on American soil

1651 – Juana Ines de la Cruz, self-taught scholar and one of the earliest literary figures in Mexico, born

1729 – Catherine the Great born

1786 – Jane Austen’s needlework meme goes viral at boarding school

1789 – French women propose that a decree be added to the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen ensuring, among other things: the right of all to wear pants, the end of degrading soldiers by having them wear women's clothing, and the equality of the sexes in French grammar

1792 – Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Women published

1793 – Marie Antoinette executed

1820 – Susan B. Anthony born

1840 – Elizabeth Cady Stanton castrates a bald eagle

1843 – Margaret Fuller becomes the first woman allowed in the library at Harvard

1855 – Florence Nightingale’s primitive Jell-O shots vastly improve conditions in the Crimea

1867 – Marie Curie born

1880 – Helen Keller born

1884 – Eleanor Roosevelt born

1899 – Kate Chopin and Willa Cather stage a pagan fertility dance somewhere in the American South

1901 – Queen Victoria dies

1908Simone de Beauvoir born

1910 – Virginia Woolf dresses as an Abyssinian royal, beard included, to gain access to the Royal Navy’s flagship

1913 – Rosa Parks born

1916 – Margaret Sanger opens the first U.S. birth control clinic in Brooklyn, NY

1920 – The 19th Amendment of the US Constitution, granting women the right to vote, is signed into law

1925 – Margaret Thatcher born

1928 – Amelia Earhart embarks on her first transatlantic flight

1931 – Jane Addams becomes the first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize

1936 – The government rules that birth control information is no longer obscene

1942 – Ms. Sanger’s American Birth Control League becomes Planned Parenthood

1943 – Rosie the Riveter born

1954 – Angela Merkel born

1958 – bell hooks skips an important grammar lesson to picket outside her segregated elementary school

1960 – The FDA approves the pill

1963 – Sylvia Plath goes domestic: mixes up a pie crust, sets her oven to preheat

1963 – Gloria Steinem lands a job as a Playboy Bunny

1963 - Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, orbits the earth 48 times

1966 – Betty Friedan founds the National Organization for Women

1969 – California is the first state to approve a divorce on the basis of “mutual consent”

1973Roe vs. Wade establishes a woman’s right to a safe and legal abortion

1976 – The state of Nebraska becomes the first to condemn marital rape

1976 - Shirley Temple serves as the first female Chief of Protocol of the United States

1979 – Hermione Granger born

1992 – Camille Paglia bares pierced nipples at a Madonna concert

1994 - Oprah freezes briefly during her morning show, later attributing the attack to a "disturbance in the force"

1995 - Octavia Butler becomes the first science fiction writer to win the MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant

2000 – Mattel widens Barbie's waist

2004 – January Jones mimes the “pow-pow” motion of a handgun while staring down at an 8-year-old girl who cut her in line at a hot dog stand

2007 – Construction begins in Chicago on Jeanne Gang’s 82-story skyscraper “Aqua”, the tallest building in the world to be designed by a woman

2009 – Zooey Deschanel outquirks Phoebe Buffay

2011 – HelloGiggles.com founded

2013 – Meryl Streep plays Hillary Clinton, Bathsheba, Ann Bradstreet, Yoko Ono, herself, Amelia Earhart, and Laura Ingalls Wilder in various films

2015 - Roughly 75% of Tumblr's content is devoted to complaints about misogyny in sitcoms

2027 - Scientists concur that Jennifer Lawrence was composed entirely of a clay-like substance

Kara VanderBijl is the senior editor of This Recording. She is a writer living in Chicago. You can find her website here. She last wrote in these pages about relics. You can find an archive of her writing on This Recording here.

"In Love" - Carly Simon (mp3)

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References (2)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Response: Source
    Awesome Web page, Keep up the fantastic job. Thanks a ton.
  • Response
    Response: news
    Fantastic Web site, Carry on the useful work. Thank you so much.

Reader Comments (1)

wow this is so insiring
are you a writer?

“One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice —
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.

so beautiful
original emotions!!
i mean: thanks so much,

im so proud of you!!
January 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commentere

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