Tag Archives: Women’s History

Lesbianism

One bright spot to appear in the last generation or so, it seems to me, is the weakening power of social censure, and therefore the closet, in the lives of gay men and lesbians. When I first started working with kids a couple of hundred years ago, my co-workers and I, several of whom were gay and lesbian themselves, were really unable to recognize or address the needs of young people in the midst of a crisis of sexual identity in a repressive society. I’m not saying that is gone–but, again, it has been weakened.

And that’s a good thing. So here, for high schoolers, is a reading on lesbianism and its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. This has tended to be a high-interest item in my classroom, so I’ve tagged it as such; it is also material written to address personal identity, so I’ve tagged it as social-emotional learning as well.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

The Algonquin Wits: Dorothy Parker

Mrs. Parker once collided with Clare Boothe Luce in a doorway. ‘Age before beauty,’ cracked Mrs. Luce. ‘Pearls before swine,’ said Mrs. Parker, gliding through the door.”

Excerpted from: Drennan, Robert E., ed. The Algonquin Wits. New York: Kensington, 1985.

Louise Bourgeois

Louise Bourgeois: (1911-2010) Franco-American painter and sculptor, Bourgeois was born in Paris to a family that operated an art gallery specializing in historic tapestries. Dissatisfied with the conservatism of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, she pursued her education at a number of independent academies and in the studios of modernist painters Fernand Leger, Andre Lhote, and others. Her early paintings are notable for their feminist content. In 1949, Bourgeois gave up painting and began experimenting with new sculptural materials that ranged from concrete to marble. Later, Bourgeois focused on naturalistic and amorphous forms. By the seventies, her engagement with feminism had led her to a more assertive depiction of women and further exploration of sexual themes. Her works vary in scale and media, but most often evoke bodies, or parts of them, in order to call into question how the human body is perceived.”

Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

The Weekly Text, March 27, 2020

Here’s the last post of the day and for the final Friday of Women’s History Month 2020, a short reading on the fascinating Victoria Woodhull and its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

The Algonquin Wits: Beatrice Kaufman

Beatrice Kaufman, who held little appreciation for music of any sort, once accompanied Oscar Levant to Carnegie Hall to hear Stokowski conduct Bach’s B Minor Mass. While en route to the theater Beatrice realized they were going to be late and urged her escort, ‘In heaven’s name let’s hurry or we’ll miss the intermission.’”

Excerpted from: Drennan, Robert E., ed. The Algonquin Wits. New York: Kensington, 1985.

The Weekly Text, March 20, 2020

Alright, I do want to remember that March is Women’s History Month. This week’s Text, in observation of the month, is a reading on flappers along with its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. The reading is short, but it allows for the possibility of asking a critical question about them: were they avatars of female agency, and thus an early paradigm of feminism?

This post on the cartoon character Betty Boop, which I posted almost exactly a year ago, might complement today’s Text, depending on how far you want to go with this. I can tell you that the Betty Boop material has been of relatively high interest to the students I’ve served over the years.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Book of Answers: The Bell Jar

“Who wrote The Bell Jar? The novel of attempted suicide and recovery was written by Sylvia Plath, but was published under the pseudonym of Victoria Lucas in 1963. It did not appear under the author’s name until 1966.”

Excerpted from: Corey, Melinda, and George Ochoa. Literature: The New York Public Library Book of Answers. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993.