Originally posted to MSN Today Books on March 8th.
Watch Raoul Felder, celebrity divorce attorney and co- author with Barbara Victor on “The Good Divorce,” as he discusses the mistakes many people make while going through a split and how to manage financially through the ordeal.
“The Good Divorce” can be purchased on Amazon
Originally posted to BarbaraVictor.com on March 6th.
The year was 1986 and Colonel Ghadaffi was smarting from an air attack implemented by the Brits and the Americans. Then, as now, there had been accusations back and forth of Libyan planes invading foreign air space and American planes crossing over into Libyan air space. There were threats of consequences for not respecting no-fly zones, and of course promises of sanctions imposed on Libya for a variety of other reasons. At the time, I was living in Paris and when the United States finally made the decision to bomb Tripoli, the French would not allow our planes to fly over French air space. The situation was polarized from the beginning and destined to be a failure both militarily and eventually politically.
Who was one of the greatest female film and fashion icons of the 20th Century?
Audrey Hepburn, a native of Belgium, enchanted the public with her charm, wit and elegance throughout the number of films she starred in during her 15 year career. Born in 1929, Hepburn grew up in England and the Netherlands, attending boarding school in the former. Hepburn and her mother faced austere times after the Nazis invaded England, stirring Audrey’s interest in the resistance movement. After World War II, Hepburn studied ballet in Amsterdam and London, the latter where she starred in theater productions such as High Button Shoes. It was her performance in the Broadway production, Gigi, that catapulted Hepburn onto Hollywood’s radar screen.
Mary Wollstonecraft is most commonly referred to as “The first feminist” or “The mother of feminism” for her writings on feminism and philosophy. Her essay “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman” from 1792 is one of the earliest works of feminist thought, in which she argues that men and women should have equal education and treated both as rational human beings. This essay was in response to Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s “Emile” from 1762 in which he argued that woman should be educated for the pleasure and service of men.
“Women are systematically degraded by receiving the trivial attentions which men think it manly to pay to the sex, when, in fact, men are insultingly supporting their own superiority.”
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman was considered a radical text as Wollstonecraft was highly critical of the contemporary attitudes towards woman at the time.
Louise Nevelson, a Russian native, immigrated to Rockland, Maine as a young child and in her twenties, studied art in New York at the Art Students League. Inspired by a statue standing outside the Rockland Public Library, she decided to concentrate on sculpting and rejected the materials artists such as Alexander Calder and David Smith were using at the time: metal. Nevelson used wooden objects off the streets of New York as her point of inspiration in combination with monochromatic colors. Her style shifted in scale (small scale to outdoor pieces), color (black, white, gold) and imagery (personal, cultural and universal).
A major theme Nevelson seemed to incorporate into her work without directly alluding to is her own marriage troubles. Her sculpture came to reflect her marriage to art and her loss of connection to her husband, a well off businessman. Nevelson’s work has become synonymous with Cubism, Dadaism, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, and Minimalism. Her work has been featured in illustrious locations such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum.
Journalist Barbara Victor reflects on the current situation in Libya and on Qaddafi with KGO Radio News.
Lena Horne, a singer, actress and activist with talent, style and elegance, was born a few decades before Hollywood could fully appreciate her skills as a consummate performer. Horne had to contend with the dual obstacles of overcoming racial and social inequalities of society and those perceptions as portrayed on the big screen in Hollywood.
As an actress, Horne was able to break the mold of Hollywood’s racial stereotypes of maids and butlers and became a cultural icon of her own. Her performances in The Cabin in the Sky and Stormy Weather, catapulted her into the public’s imagination as well as those of entertainment executives. By the 1940’s, Horne was the highest paid black actor in America.
Babe Didrikson Zaharias was a pioneer in women’s athletics for the first half of the 20th Century, creating a foundation for a second generation of women to equalize the playing field of sport.
As the dominant basketball player, track and field athlete and golfer of her time, Zaharias earned AAU All American honors, an Olympic gold medal in the 80 meter hurdles and the javelin, an Olympic silver medal in the high jump and won the first US Women’s Open.
A woman of Zaharias athletic stature and muscular physique was uncommon during the first half of the 20th Century, as female athletes had not gained greater acceptance from the public at large. Critics such as Joe Williams from the New York World-Telegram, denounced her lack of femininity in attitude and appearance, as he suggests, “It would be much better if she and her ilk stayed home, got themselves prettied up and waited for the phone to ring.”
Despite not conforming to society’s cultural expectations of women at the time, Zaharias captivated others such as famed sportswriter, Grantland Rice, who encouraged her to take up golf. Impressed by her mental and physical fortitude Rice opines, “She is beyond all belief until you see her perform. Then you finally understand that you are looking at the most flawless section of muscle harmony, of complete mental and physical coordination, the world of sport has ever seen.”
To kick off Women’s history month at the Woodhull Institute, we need to start with a basic and overlooked question: why and when was Women’s history month created?
In its infancy, this commemoration started as a single day on March 8th. At different points over the course of the 20th Century, this day has taken on multiple meanings given the social, economic and political issues of the time. It initially sought to acknowledge the plight of women laborers and their role in the Russian Revolution.
During the latter half of the 20th Century, the cause shifted from the labor movement to female led anti-nuclear protests to the women’s liberation movement. In 1981, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Rep. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) sponsored the first Joint Congressional Resolution declaring “Women’s History Week”. In 1987, the National Women’s History Project lobbied Congress to expand the observance to the whole month of March.
To commence this month long celebration, the Woodhull Institute will post a “Woman of the Day” for the month of March.
To lead off the month, we will start with the woman our organization is named after, Victoria Woodhull.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if my previous two Blogs were wrong?
How great would it be if democracy and a sound economic structure, employment, education, job opportunity and all the other good things emerged for the Arab people after their brave and vocal uprisings throughout the Arab world?
Perhaps I did lean toward a doomsday scenario when I wrote that the vacuum created by the overthrow of dictators would result in the religious extremists taking over. Maybe, just maybe, a transition to equality where there is not such a gaping disparity between the rich and greedy in power with the majority who are poor and hopeless, would cancel out a desire for an Islamic Republic. After all, the Koran teaches that this life is merely a preparation for the afterlife. Frankly, if there is little hope for the basic necessities on earth, embracing religion would provide hope after death. But is that really what people want?