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In looking online for information about Women’s History Month celebrated each March, I came across an interesting list of items about the history of women. Below are some of those. In parentheses are my comments.

  • “The two highest IQ scores in recorded history belong to women.” (Well, yeah).
  • “Women earn more than 60 percent of all college degrees in the United States.” (And to think that in our lifetimes, many families sent their sons to college but not their daughters. “The girls will just get married anyway,” they would say. What?).
  • “On average, women live two to five years longer than men, a fact which holds true in every country in the world. This isn’t limited to human beings; female orangutans and chimpanzees also outlive their male counterparts.” (Maybe males just monkey around too much).
  • “In the 1940s, women in the U.S. were encouraged to use products to gain weight and become more ‘ideally curvy and beautiful.’” (Hmmmm, gaining weight to be more attractive? I can do that. In fact, I am doing that. Just not the attractive part).
  • “Virne Mitchell, the first professional female baseball player, struck out both Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.” (You rock, girl).
  • “In India and Napal, the practice of widow burning called “sati” occurred when women burned themselves alive on their husbands’ funeral pyres as a sign of devotion and love. It was meant to be a voluntary act, but occasionally women were drugged or pushed into the fire.” (I love you, honey, I really do. But there’s a limit).
  • “Jane Austen said, ‘I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be in calm waters all of our lives.’” (There’s always been a problem with that word ‘ladies’. Never liked it. Never will. We are ‘women.’ Hear us roar).
  • “The nearer a mother lives to the equator, the more likely she is to give birth to a baby girl as opposed to a baby boy.” (Maybe that’s why women are warmer).
  • “In the 19th century, Dr. William Acton of England said that ‘the majority of women — happily for them — are not very much troubled with sexual feelings of any kind.” (Could we women tell Dr. Acton a thing or two).
  • “Around the world, one woman dies every 90 seconds from complications of pregnancy or childbirth.” (As far as the U.S. has come with childbirth, there are so many countries without safe and adequate pregnancy and birthing procedures. Too sad).
  • “A 1770 bill proposed in the British Parliament suggested that any woman wearing makeup should be punished for witchcraft.” (How many women over the years have suffered for the bogus crime of witchcraft? Makeup. Really?).
  • “Although women were not allowed to even watch the first Olympic Games, the ‘Games of Hera’ were held every four years for women to compete in foot racing events.” (Maybe watching the Olympics would have given them ideas……like women’s tennis, golf, baseball, basketball, etc. Well, at least they got to run).
  • “The only event women could enter in the 1924 Olympics was ice skating. Fifteen women performed.” (We women have always had to inch our way to inclusivity).
  • “Zeng Jinlian, from China, was the tallest woman in recorded history. She stood an astonishing 8 feet, 1 ¾ inches tall. That’s over a foot taller than Shaquille O’Neal.“ (Wow).
  • “Because of the high production of estrogen during puberty, girls’ brains generally mature two years earlier than boys’.” (As any middle school teacher can tell you).
  • “The earliest known female physician lived in ancient Egypt around 2700 B.C.” (And until very recently, everyone discouraged young women from applying for medical school. ‘What if you wanted to get married?,’ they would ask. Duh).
  • “Baby girls have more interest in looking at happy faces than fearful faces.” (Maybe that’s why women tend to be drawn to friendly people).
  • “Women, even from infancy, are generally more interested in facial expressions, emotional tones in voices, and non-verbal cues than men.” (So appreciate women’s faces, voices, and actions. We were just born expressive).
  • “Women tend to talk more than men do. A recent study shows that women say, on the average, 13,000 more words per day than men.” (I would respond but it would up too many of my words for the day).
  • “The anterior cingulate cortex, the part of the brain that weighs options when making a decision, is larger in women than in men.” (Ya think?).

There’s more, but I’ll end here. Happy Women’s History Month to women and to men. And here’s a suggestion for you guys out there. One of you should initiate a Men’s History Month.

Start with a list.

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Linda Flashinski is a retired educator whose column, “In What Light There Is,” appears periodically in the Family & Life section of the Journal Times. The phrase is from a poem by the late John Ciardi who wrote, “And still, I look at this world as worlds will be seen, in what light there is.” You may reach Linda at Copyright, Linda Flashinski, 2019.


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