A Tribute to Womanhood

Welcome to "I Am Woman"...a tribute to all those women who had the courage and perseverance to stand up and fight for their rights. Thanks to those who came before us we enjoy a freedom unknown to women not too long ago. But, sadly, in many parts of the world, women continue to be repressed. In fact, even in this country there are women living today under the threat of violence...completely controlled by a violent spouse. Some may make it; others won't. Hopefully, one day ALL women will be free. May that day come soon.


Through the Eyes of a Child

Did I do something wrong
to make you lose control?
Anger so strong or do you even know?
that when you come home
I want to run and hide
The pain is so deep
that i keep it inside
I'm not the same
because of you
Always afraid of what you'll do
If only you could see
yourself through my eyes
You’d know why (I’m
dying inside)

Sometimes I need a firm, but gentle hand
Someone who cares
and understands
that I am still learning
But I just can’t take this
abuse, from you
There is no excuse
I’m not the same
because of you

Always afraid of what you'll do
If only you could see
yourself through my eyes
You’d know why (I’m
dying inside)
This is no way to live if
you try to change I’ll try
to forgive.

From CHANCE (Changing How Adults
Nurture Children's Egos) -Located on the ACADV website.


Susan B. Anthony on Women Suffrage

n 1872, Susan B. Anthony attempted to vote in a presidential election; as a result, she was indicted because in her day it was a crime for women to vote. This was her response.

Friends and fellow citizens: I stand before you tonight under indictment for the alleged crime of having voted at the last presidential election, without having a lawful right to vote. It shall be my work this evening to prove to you that in thus voting, I not only committed no crime, but, instead, simply exercised my citizen's rights, guaranteed to me and all United States citizens by the National Constitution, beyond the power of any state to deny.

The preamble of the Federal Constitution says:

"We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union. And we formed it, not to give the blessings of liberty, but to secure them; not to the half of ourselves and the half of our posterity, but to the whole people - women as well as men. And it is a downright mockery to talk to women of their enjoyment of the blessings of liberty while they are denied the use of the only means of securing them provided by this democratic-republican government - the ballot.

For any state to make sex a qualification that must ever result in the disfranchisement of one entire half of the people, is to pass a bill of attainder, or, an ex post facto law, and is therefore a violation of the supreme law of the land. By it the blessings of liberty are forever withheld from women and their female posterity.

To them this government has no just powers derived from the consent of the governed. To them this government is not a democracy. It is not a republic. It is an odious aristocracy; a hateful oligarchy of sex; the most hateful aristocracy ever established on the face of the globe; an oligarchy of wealth, where the rich govern the poor. An oligarchy of learning, where the educated govern the ignorant, or even an oligarchy of race, where the Saxon rules the African, might be endured; but this oligarchy of sex, which makes father, brothers, husband, sons, the oligarchs over the mother and sisters, the wife and daughters, of every household - which ordains all men sovereigns, all women subjects, carries dissension, discord, and rebellion into every home of the nation.

Webster, Worcester, and Bouvier all define a citizen to be a person in the United States, entitled to vote and hold office.

The only question left to be settled now is: Are women persons? And I hardly believe any of our opponents will have the hardihood to say they are not. Being persons, then, women are citizens; and no state has a right to make any law, or to enforce any old law, that shall abridge their privileges or immunities. Hence, every discrimination against women in the constitutions and laws of the several states is today null and void, precisely as is every one against Negroes.

The 19th amendment finally passed in 1920, almost 50 years after this speech. 


Marianne Williamson Quote

I feel that as women we've allowed ourselves to be deluded
by certain ideas that hold us back,
such as the over-glorification of masculine consciousness.
To me, liberation doesn't mean that I can think just like a man.
Real liberation means that I can think, act, and be like a woman
and receive equal respect, honor, and compensation.
Liberation also means that even though I'm a woman
I have masculine parts of my temperament which I can safely explore
and integrate into my experience.
In the same way, real liberation for men
means that they can explore and integrate
their feminine aspects of consciousness.

--Marianne Williamson --


The $20 Bill

As we travel through that journey called  life, we will find it full of full of 'ups and downs'' which, if we do not remain strong, will cause us to our hope and confidence. The following tale helps us to realize that no matter what happens in our lives, we remain valuable as individuals.

A well known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill.

In the room of 200, he asked, "Who would like this $20 bill?" Hands started going up.

He said, "I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this." He proceeded to crumple the dollar bill up. He then asked, "Who still wants it?" Still the hands were up in the air.

"Well," he replied, "What if I do this?" And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty. "Now who still wants it?" Still the hands went into the air.

"My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20."

"Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value in God's eyes. To Him, dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to Him."

THOUGHT: The worth of our lives come not in what we do or who we are but by WHOSE WE ARE! You are special - Don't ever forget it! null where do you want to go next!

Author Unknown


Quote of the Day

Women really must have equal pay for equal work, equality in work at home, and reproductive choices. Men must press for these things also. They must cease to see them as 'women's issues' and learn that they are everyone's issues essential to survival on planet Earth.

Erica Jong


Quote of the Day

When you have decided what you believe, what you feel must be done, have the courage to stand alone and be counted.

(Eleanor Roosevelt)



When I was in 8th grade, my girlfriend and I began writing to a couple of male pen pals we had found in a magazine. Neither of us were very popular in school, so we jumped at the opportunity to portray ourselves as someone we were not. I remember that my pen pal, at 19, was from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, not really that far from Sussex County, New Jersey as I realize now, but at that time, it seemed to be a million miles away.  So, with him I could be as pretty, as old, as popular, as I wanted.  
We wrote back and forth for almost a year, and during that time, the tone of his letters had changed from one of friendship, to one of declaring his undying love and plans for our future. In fact, his letters were actually beginning to concern me, and I was getting a 'bad' feeling. We never did exchange pictures, but when he wrote and told me he was planning a trip to meet me, I knew I had to break it off, so I wrote and rather than lying and telling him I met someone else, I told him the truth, thinking that when he read that I was actually a rather unpopular high school freshman, he would back off, but instead, he became all the more interested in meeting me. 

Finally, I took his letters to my mom who proceeded to 'chew me out' for putting myself in that situation and told me that I was NEVER to write him again, one direct order that I definitely chose to obey.  Fortunately for me, he eventually gave up writing and never did appear at my doorstep, but for a long stretch of time, I lived in fear.  Stalkers love to instill fear in their victim.  This fills their need for power and control. Today we would call him a stalker, but back then, I don't think we even knew what the word meant.

Stalking is now easier than ever due to the increased use of  internet communication which can be used to threaten or intimidate. Stalkers are now using email and the internet to prey upon their victims. Known as cyberstalking, online stalking, or internet stalking, the acts include sending unsolicited e-mail of a threatening nature, posting pictures or personal information and negative messages in live chat rooms,  posting false information, computer viruses, and the spreading of malicious rumors on social sites. 

The rapid growth of the online dating industry has opened new avenues for stalkers. This is b
ecause of the anonymity that the internet provides; the stalker can, from the safety of his/her home, trace, track and find out personal details of the victim. Not too long ago I read where it is estimated that there are some 750,000 predators online every day, trolling through blog sites, chat rooms, and online dating services.  That is very frightening...and dangerous. As an example, there is the case of Christina Long, a 13 year old girl from Connecticut who became the first confirmed death in the United States by an internet sexual predator. 

Christina was born into a dysfunctional. Her parents had split when she was only two years old due to her parents alcohol and drug addiction problems. Christina went to live with an aunt  who loved her very much and, for all appearances, seemed to be well, but she lived a double life. On one hand, she was a sixth grade honor student, an altar girl, and led the cheerleading squad, but the other Christina  was playing a fatal game on the internet.  While on the internet in chat rooms, she used provocative screen names and routinely had sex with men she met online. Sadly, it led to the loss of her life.

Although most of us will not engage as Christina did, that doesn't necessarily mean that we are totally safe.  In fact, we don't even have to participate in chat rooms or dating services to become the target of a stalker.  There is far too much of our personal information out there dangling in cyberspace for anyone cares to look for it.  For example, I am a survivor of domestic violence.  In 1991 I left my abusive ex and entered into a battered women's program.  Once settled in an entirely new borough, I contacted the phone company and had my phone installed.  I asked for and was given an unlisted number because he had threatened my life.

Now, all these years later, I entered onto a genealogy website and find myself...my unlisted number, plus my address.  Not only did I move from there quite awhile ago, but my ex died in 1986.  My question is...what if he hadn't died?  And what if I had loved that place so much that I continued to live there?  What then?  It would have been so easy for him to find me.

So, what can we do to minimize the risk of falling victim to cyberstalking? Here are a few tips:

1.  When creating your email address, don’t use your full name. 

2.  Do not use your full name as your screen name or ID on online dating profiles or dating chat rooms, and by all means, use different email addresses for each social network you belong to.  I know it can become mind-boggling trying to remember so many addresses, but remember,  this can save your life.

3.  Use as little personal information as possible about on online profiles.. This means no pictures, information or anything. Keep your screen names to ones that are not gender related to even protect the truth of your gender. 
Do not publish your phone number, or address.

4.  Be sure to use whatever privacy controls are available on sites you visit in order to limit disclosure of information about you. 

5.  Don't accept online 'wants you as a friend' invitations unless you know them or have checked them out.  I get many of  these, and lately I've been receiving tons of invitations to be friends with someone on Yahoo Messenger.  I don't even  use it. And on that note, even be wary if it is a name of someone you know.  Lately, hackers have been using address lists to gain entry into your cyber life.  

6.  Never forget the 'lurkers' in chat rooms and other groups you may belong to. Although you may feel you know everyone and are safe to disclose, there are others there you don't know about.

7.  It goes without saying that if you decide to break up with someone you met through an online dating service, it would be wise to change all your passwords, secret questions etc. 

8.  Record all incidents of stalking, no matter how small or trivial they may seem to you.  In the future, they may escalate.

9.  If you are find that you are being cyberstalked, stop all contact with the perpetrator. Do not try to argue with them; just cut off all ties with them  and contact your internet service provider (ISP) for help. In addition, alert the administration of your dating site as well so he can be removed from the site.

10. If the stalking continues, and you believe that you are in danger, collect all the evidence you accumulated and do not hesitate report the stalker to your local police. If you are a minor, please, I cannot stress how important it is for you to contact an adult immediately. This is the kind of that  you should keep as  a secret. Let your parents know right away.  This could mean the difference between life and death.


Angel or Demon

You call me an angel of love and light,
A being of goodness and heavenly fire,
Sent out from God's kingdom to guide you aright,
In paths where your spirits may mount and aspire.
You say that I glow like a star on its course,
Like a ray from the altar, a spark from the source.

Now list to my answer; let all the world hear it,
I speak unafraid what I know to be true:
A pure, faithful love is the creative spirit
Which makes women angels! I live but in you.
We are bound soul to soul by life's holiest laws;
If I am an Angel--why you are the cause.

As my ship skims the sea, I look up from the deck,
Fair, firm at the wheel shine's Love's beautiful form,
And shall I curse the barque that last night went to wreck,
By the Pilot abandoned to darkness and storm?
My craft is no stauncher, she too had been lost--
Had the wheelman deserted, or slept at his post.

I laid down the wealth of my soul at your feet
(Some woman does this for some man every day).
No desperate creature who walks in the street,
Has a wickeder heart than I might have, I say,
Had you wantonly misused the treasure you won,
--As so many men with heart riches have done.

This fire from God's altar, this holy love flame,
That burns like sweet incense forever for you,
Might now be a wild conflagration of shame,
Had you tortured my heart, or been base or untrue.
For angels and demons are cast in one mold,
Till love guides them upward, or downward, I hold.

I tell you the women who make fervent wives
And sweet tender mothers, had Fate been less fair,
Are the women who might have abandoned their lives
To the madness that springs from and ends in despair.
As the fire on the hearth which sheds brightness around,
Neglected, may level the walls to the ground.

The world makes grave errors in judging these things,
Great good and great evil are born in one breast.
Love horns us and hoofs us--or gives us our wings,
And the best could be worst, as the worst could be best.
You must thank your own worth for what I grew to be,
For the demon lurked under the angel in me. 

by: Ella Wheeler Wilcox


Today's Quote

Woman must not accept; she must challenge.

She must not be awed by that which has been built up around her;

she must reverence that woman in her which struggles for expression.

Margaret Sanger


A Servian Legend

Long, long ago, ere yet our race began,
When earth was empty, waiting still for man,
Before the breath of life to him was given
The angels fell into a strife in heaven.

At length one furious demon grasped the sun
And sped away as fast as he could run,
And with a ringing laugh of fiendish mirth,
He leaped the battlements and fell to earth.

Dark was it then in heaven, but light below;
For there the demon wandered to and fro,
Tilting aloft upon a slender pole
The orb of day—the pilfering old soul.

The angels wept and wailed; but through the dark
The Great Creator's voice cried sternly: sternly: "Hark!
Who will restore to me the orb of Light,
Him will I honor in all heaven's sight."

Then over the battlements there dropped another.
(A shrewder angel well there could not be.)
Quoth he: "Behold my love for thee, my brother,
For I have left all heaven to stay with thee.

"Thy loneliness and wanderings I will share,
Thy heavy burden I will help thee bear."
"Well said," the demon answered, "and well done,
But I'll not tax you with this heavy sun.

"Your company will cheer me, it is true,
And I could never think of burdening you."
Idly they wandered onward, side by side,
Till, by and by, they neared a silvery tide.

"Let's bathe," the angel suddenly suggested.
"Agreed," the demon answered. "I'll go last,
Because I needs must leave quite unmolested
This tiresome sun, which I will now make fast."

He set the pole well in the sandy turf,
And called a jackdaw near to watch the place.
Meanwhile the angel paddled in the surf,
And playfully dared his brother to a race.

They swam around together for awhile,
The demon always keeping near his prize,
Till presently the angel, with a smile,
Proposed a healthful diving exercise.

The demon hesitated. "But," thought he,
"The jackdaw will inform me with a cry
If this good brother tries deceiving me;
I will not be outdone by him—not I!"

Down, down they went. The angel in a trice
Rose up again, and swift to shore he sped.
The jackdaw shrieked, but lo! a mile of ice
The demon found had frozen o'er his head.

He swore an oath, and gathered all his force,
And broke the ice, to see the sun, of course,
Held firmly in the radiant angel's hand,
Who sailed away toward the heavenly land.

He gave pursuit. Wrath lent speed to his chase;
All heaven leaned down to watch the exciting race.
On, on they came, and still the Evil One
Gained on the angel burdened with the sun.

With bated breath and faces white as ghosts,
Over the walls leaned heaven's affrighted hosts.
Up, up, still up, the angel almost spent,
Threw one foot forward o'er the battlement.

The demon seized the other with a shout;
So fierce his clutch he pulled the bottom out,
As the good angel, fainting, laid the sun
Down by the throne of God, who cried: "Well done!
Thy great misfortune shall be made divine:
Man will I create with a foot like thine!"

Esther Wheeler Wilcox


Jewish Prayer

In the rising of the sun and in its going down 
we remember them.

In the blowing of the wind, and the calm of its stillness, 
we remember them.

In the opening of buds and in the rebirth of spring, 
we remember them.

In the blueness of the sky and in the warmth of summer, 
we remember them.

In the rustling of leaves and in the beauty of autumn, 
we remember them.

In the midpoint of the year, and as its beginning and end, 
we remember them.

When we are weary and in need of strength, 
we remember them.

When we are lost and sick at heart, 
we remember them.

When we have joys we yearn to share, 
we remember them.

So long as we live, they too shall live, 
for they are now part of us, 
we remember them.


Traditional Jewish Prayerbook remembrance, 
Candle Lighting Ceremony for Journey of Hope.


A Recovery Bill of Rights for Trauma Survivors

As a Matter of Personal AUTHORITY, You Have the Right...

...to manage your life according to your own values and judgment

...to direct your recovery, answerable to no one for your goals, effort,or progress

...to gather information to make intelligent decisions about your recovery

...to seek help from a variety of sources, unhindered by demands for exclusivity

...to decline help from anyone without having to justify the decision

...to have faith in your powers of self restoration -- and to seek allies who share it

...to trust allies in healing as much as any adult can trust another, but no more

...to be afraid and to avoid what frightens you

...to decide for yourself whether, when, and where to confront your fear

...to learn by experimenting, that is, to make mistakes.

For the Preservation of Personal BOUNDARIES, You Have the Right ...

...to be touched only with your permission, and only in ways that are comfortable

...to choose to speak or remain silent, about any topic or at any moment

...to choose to accept or decline feedback, suggestions, or interpretations

...to ask for help in healing, without having to accept help with work,play, or love

...to challenge any crossing of your boundaries

...to take appropriate action to end any trespass that does not cease when challenged.

In the Sphere of Personal COMMUNICATION, You Have the Right ...

...to ask for explanation of communications you do not understand

...to express a contrary view when you do understand and you disagree

...to acknowledge your feelings, without having to justify them as assertions of fact or actions affecting others

...to ask for changes when your needs are not being met

...to speak of your experience, with respect for your doubts anduncertainties

...to resolve doubt without deferring to the views or wishes of anyone.

Specific to the DOMAIN of Psychotherapy, You Have the Right ... .

...to hire a therapist or counselor as coach, not boss, of your recovery

...to receive expert and faithful assistance in healing from your therapist

...to be assured that your therapist will refuse to engage in any other relationship with you --business, social, or sexual -- for life

...to be secure against revelation of anything you have disclosed to your therapist, unless a court of law commands it

...to have your therapist's undivided loyalty in relation to any and all perpetrators, abusers, or oppressors

...to receive informative answers to questions about your condition, your hopes for recovery, the goals and methods of treatment, the therapist's qualifications

...to have a strong interest by your therapist in your safety, with a readiness to use all legal meansto neutralize an imminent threat to your life or someone else's

...to have your therapist's commitment to you not depend on your "goodbehavior," unless criminal activity or ongoing threats to safety are involved

...to know reliably the times of sessions and of your therapist's availability, including, if you so desire, a commitment to work together for a set term

...to telephone your therapist between regular scheduled sessions, in urgent need, and have the call returned within a reasonable time

...to be taught skills that lessen risk of retraumatization(a) containment (reliable temporal/spatial boundaries for recovery work);(b) systematic relaxation;(c) control of attention and imagery (through trance or other techniques)

...to reasonable physical comfort during sessions.

© 1995 by Thomas V. Maguire, Ph.D.191 King Street, Chappaqua, NY 10514.tmaguire@pipeline.com All rights reserved, except that permission is hereby granted to freely reproduce and distribute this document, provided that it is reproduced unaltered in its entirety and distributed free of charge.


Why Does the Victim Stay?

Why do women so often accept violence as a normal part of relationships? Why do we choose to stay? Many shake their heads in bewilderment as to why someone would choose to stay in such a relationship after her face has been disfigured or her body bruised and broken.  Even that battered woman herself may wonder why she finds it so impossible to break away. This is because the dynamics of domestic violence are so complex that it is difficult for most people to understand. Many of the common explanations as to why victims stay are as follows:

Some victims choose to stay with their batterers for fear that leaving would further enrage their partners. One day while my ex was out, I packed bags and hid them in the closet, planning to leave later that night when he was fast asleep.  It was almost as if he knew for, as soon as he returned home, he went to the closet and found my bags. Then and there he threatened to kill me if I ever left, and once I did gather the courage to go, I found myself always looking over my shoulder, always ready to run.  It was a dreadful way to live.  Fear was eating me alive. 

“It’s not denial. I’m just selective about the reality I accept.”

- Bill Watterson -

Some victims remain in abusive relationships because they are in denial of their situation. The victim chooses to hide the truth from herself and others. They may feel shame about the abuse, as though it were their fault. Victims are often blamed and frequently blame themselves. Denial is a coping mechanism that gives the victim time to adjust to distressing situations. In this case, it is an act of self-betrayal that lulls its victim into a false security because it enables the abuser to continue to feel justified in continuing their destructive behavior and allows the victim to continue to believe that they can change the situation and can in some way control the abuse and stop it.

Many victims dependent on their abuser for financial support. Abusers have cut off access to cash or bank accounts, and the victims have not been allowed to work outside of the home. Hence, the victim just doesn't  have enough money to support themselves - a fear that often gets worse if they have children, and statistics show that most abused women have at least one minor child.

Many women have been conditioned to believe making the marriage or relationship work is their responsibility.  Admitting that their relationship has failed would be likened to admitting that they have failed as a woman. Their mom may have been in an abused woman, but stayed in it because that was what women 'are supposed' to do.  Society/culture  has taught these women that their worth is measured by their ability to get and keep a man. 

Other reasons may include:

The fear of being alone, that she cannot take care of a home and  her children by herself. 

The fear of his suicide.  He says he will kill himself if she leaves.  I went through this one with an old abusive boyfriend.  He'd call me every night and leave threats.  One day I had all I could take and told him to 'go ahead'.  Needless to say, that was the last phone call I ever received, and two months later I saw him out with his new girlfriend.  (Poor thing doesn't know what she is in for was my first thought).  Seriously, though, if someone keeps calling and threatening to kill themselves if you don't go back with them, it is a tactic they are using to get you back. True suicides just don't threaten like that.

Religious pressure to keep the family together. Some women feel pressure from their faith that it is their duty to honor their commitment t and stay in the abusive relationship. Leaving or getting divorced  may be against their religious beliefs 

Wanting a father for the children. Domestic violence is a generational issue. Violence is a learned behavior, and as a result, many children who grew up watching such behaviors are doomed  to repeat the behavior as spouses and parents. Even if the violence is repeated, the psychological effects can stay with one for a lifetime.

She loves him, and he is often quite  loving to her when he’s not being abusive. This gives her hope that one day the violence will end. Bear in mind, though, that the ending of the violence doesn't always mean he stops his abuse.  Indeed, some cases of  domestic violence can only end in death.


Laura D. Bridgeman

Laura Bridgeman was born in Hanover, New Hampshire on December 21, 1829. She was the first deaf, dumb and blind person ever educated. A highly intellectual child, Laura lost her eyesight and hearing about the end ofher second year when she was beginning to talk, and in consequence soon lost the power of speech when she suffered from a severe attack of scarlet fever.  She was left practically but one avenue of perception—the sense of touch.  

Although her mental faculties were unimpaired, t from the time when she recovered from this sickness until she was eight years of age, they were practically at perfect rest. Her mind had but one way of reaching out for a perception of the objects about her. It dwelt in darkness and stillness. Even the  memory of her lost senses was gone. She did not have, and unaided she could not have, any conception of beautiful sights, sweet sounds, or pleasant odors. But, she had so sensitive a touch, that she was able to select different colored worsted, and manufacture elegant patterns of crochet work with the accuracy and taste in combinations of color that belong to the work of those who can see.

She was taken to Boston when she was eight years old, and placed in the Parker Institute for the Blind. The late Samuel G. Howe, then superintendent of the school, took a great interest in the child, and undertook the difficult task of instructing her, which he accomplished. Under the guidance of Dr. S. G. Howe, of the Perkins School for the Blind, she learned to read and write and to sew, eventually becoming a sewing teacher at the school, where she remained until she died from heart problems. 

Bridgman was famous, her life and education described in newspapers and magazines worldwide. The education of Laura Bridgeman, a blind girl, by Dr. Samuel Howe, a Boston philanthropist, had prepared the way for the work done for Helen Keller. The facts of her life have been referred to by theologians, philosophers, and medical men all over the world, and her physical and mental condition aroused the greatest interest until the hour of her death.—Educational News.