Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Image from, with caption: Ptolemaic Queen (Cleopatra VII?), 50-30 B.C., 71.12, Brooklyn Museum
One of the striking aspects of American exceptionalism/parochialism (two sides of the same coin?) is how "revolutionary" the USA political elite and some so-called "ordinary voters" consider the choice of Hillary as the "womyn" presidential candidate of the Democratic party.
The first woman-president-to-be!
Repeat over, over, and over again on your cell phone: Like, Wow!!! USA! USA! USA!
But does not a most elementary glimpse at history suggest that women have wielded, since at least Eve, political power/influence in shores not that far from the man's land of the brave and home of the free?
Allow me to mention a few Eves from my high-school history memory: Cleopatra, Queen Elizabeth, Catherine the Great, Maria Theresa, Indira Ghandi, Margaret Thatcher, Michelle Obama.
So is there really something that "exceptional" about a USA representative of "girl power" who's probably going to be
our nation's "Chief Executive," except from a very narrow, parochial "reverse-view" perspective on America's putative super-special, "male/cowboy" place on our small planet, suddenly becoming aware that women -- not just "mankind" men -- enrich humankind?
After all -- let's be honest, with a sense of humor -- don't we frail human beings sense, in our hearts and minds, that God is a woman?
Indeed, where did we all come from when miraculously landing, if I may quote Mr. Clinton in his recent speech, recalling how his wife "broke water," on planet earth?
And time passed. On February 27th, 1980, 15 minutes after I got home from the National Governors Conference in Washington, Hillary’s water broke and off we went to the hospital. Chelsea was born just before midnight. (APPLAUSE)
And it was the greatest moment of my life. The miracle of a new beginning. The hole it filled for me because my own father died before I was born, and the absolute conviction that my daughter had the best mother in the whole world.
Thursday, July 28, 2016
The New York Times Now
Woodhull image from
The first female candidate for the nation’s highest office was Victoria Woodhull in 1872, a half-century before American women won the right to vote.
Woodhull was nominated by the Equal Rights Party at a convention that she bankrolled. The abolitionist and former slave, Frederick Douglass, was nominated to be her running mate.
She was born in Homer, Ohio, in 1838, and grew up poor, working as a fortune teller with her younger sister, Tennessee.
In 1868, they moved to New York, and met one of the world’s richest men, the transportation mogul Cornelius Vanderbilt. Tennessee was his lover; Victoria provided him with stock tips.
Vanderbilt gave the sisters money for what became Wall Street’s first female-owned brokerage house. It did so well that they started a newspaper.
Woodhull used her wealth and status to promote the suffrage movement: She was the first woman to appear before a congressional committee on the issue. (See our list of political milestones.)
Days before the election, her newspaper exposed the extramarital affair of the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, one of the country’s most famous preachers.
Woodhull spent Election Day in jail, charged with sending obscene materials. Her candidacy was only a blip in the voting.
Beecher’s sensational six-month trial ended in a hung jury, but the scandal ruined Woodhull. She later moved to England, where she lived most of her last 50 years until her death in 1927.