Life, Love, and Dirty Diapers

10 Finds for You – August 15th

Okay, so one thing that I do is that I love to share other people’s articles and content. Why? Because there are a lot of great things out there. So periodically, I’ll do what I’m doing today, which is leave you a list of things I recommend reading (or watching). Just a few notes because I’m just going to leave the links and not add any of my extra commentary, leaving a link here does not mean I agree with everything on the site – I just think the particular link is interesting whether or not I agree with it. If you want to discuss any one in particular, leave a comment and I’ll happily discuss it with you and what I think about it.

1. What About American Girls Sold on the Streets?

2. Couple to attempt 50-mile swim across Lake Michigan

3. Women Scientists Still Face Discrimination

4. College Teams, Relying on Deception, Undermine Gender Equality

5. Sentencing Juveniles

6. ‘The Girl’s Guide to Homelessness’ Author Brianna Karp Offers Advice to Young People on the Streets

7. One-third of tween clothes are sexy, study finds

8. TTC & IF: WHO Annoyance

9. Sex and Self-Esteem: A Big Boost for Men, Not So Much for Women

10. Fathers: Key to Their Children’s Faith

Happy reading!


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History: Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

This was a tragic event in our history and I think it’s often overlooked or just gets a passing mention, so I thought we’d look at it more in depth here.

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

  • happened in New York City.
  • happened on March 25th, 1911.
  • is the fourth deadliest industrial accident in the US.
  • caused the death of 146 people by smoke inhalation, fire, or just falling/jumping to their deaths – most of whom were women between 16 and 23 (final count was 129 women/17 men – almost all of whom were the main supporter in their family).
  • is still officially without a cause, but they suspect there was a match or cigarette tossed in a scrap bin still burning (this is the most popular and likely theory).

This video explains about it and also how a very similar situation happened in Thailand in the last five years:

Conditions and how people died

  • People jumped to their deaths because the doors to the stairwells and exits were locked, essentially trapping these women inside.
  • The few doors that were unlocked opened inward and with so many people trying to get out were held shut.
  • No fire alarms to warn these women until it was already too late. Someone on the 8th floor called up to the 10th floor to say something on a phone, but the 9th floor was completely in the dark.
  • The fire department lacked ladders tall enough to get to those floors.
  • The fire houses on each floor that the women tried to use lacked water.
  • Because of the bodies on the ground from people jumping, the fire department had a hard time getting close enough.
  • All the attempts to catch the jumpers failed because too many people jumped too quickly.
  • Some brave men who were working there formed a bridge from the 8th floor to a nearby window and a few more escaped that way, but those men eventually fell to their deaths as well.
  • The water from the hoses of the fire department only reached to the 7th floor.
  • People were so desperate they jumped down the shaft on top of the descending elevator – they died as well.

This is a video of a former New York State Senator discussing his grandmother and two aunts who were killed in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire:

Because of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

  • laws were passed that improved labor conditions.
  • the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union grew.
  • the owners of the company were indicted of first and second degree manslaughter but they were never convicted. However, in a later civil suit, they were required to pay compensation of 75 dollars per victim.
  • the New York City Fire Department created a division of Fire Prevention.
  • New York City created the The Factory Commission of 1911.

Statements about the fire (warning, a few are graphic)

One Saturday afternoon in March of that year — March 25, to be precise — I was sitting at one of the reading tables in the old Astor Library… It was a raw, unpleasant day and the comfortable reading room seemed a delightful place to spend the remaining few hours until the library closed. I was deeply engrossed in my book when I became aware of fire engines racing past the building. By this time I was sufficiently Americanized to be fascinated by the sound of fire engines. Along with several others in the library, I ran out to see what was happening, and followed crowds of people to the scene of the fire.

A few blocks away, the Asch Building at the corner of Washington Place and Greene Street was ablaze. When we arrived at the scene, the police had thrown up a cordon around the area and the firemen were helplessly fighting the blaze. The eighth, ninth, and tenth stories of the building were now an enormous roaring cornice of flames.

Word had spread through the East Side, by some magic of terror, that the plant of the Triangle Waist Company was on fire and that several hundred workers were trapped. Horrified and helpless, the crowds — I among them — looked up at the burning building, saw girl after girl appear at the reddened windows, pause for a terrified moment, and then leap to the pavement below, to land as mangled, bloody pulp. This went on for what seemed a ghastly eternity. Occasionally a girl who had hesitated too long was licked by pursuing flames and, screaming with clothing and hair ablaze, plunged like a living torch to the street. Life nets held by the firemen were torn by the impact of the falling bodies.

The emotions of the crowd were indescribable. Women were hysterical, scores fainted; men wept as, in paroxysms of frenzy, they hurled themselves against the police lines. – Louis Waldman

I would be a traitor to these poor burned bodies if I came here to talk good fellowship. We have tried you good people of the public and we have found you wanting. … We have tried you citizens; we are trying you now, and you have a couple of dollars for the sorrowing mothers, brothers and sisters by way of a charity gift. But every time the workers come out in the only way they know to protest against conditions which are unbearable the strong hand of the law is allowed to press down heavily upon us.

Public officials have only words of warning to us—warning that we must be intensely peaceable, and they have the workhouse just back of all their warnings. The strong hand of the law beats us back, when we rise, into the conditions that make life unbearable.

I can’t talk fellowship to you who are gathered here. Too much blood has been spilled. I know from my experience it is up to the working people to save themselves. The only way they can save themselves is by a strong working-class movement. – Rose Schneiderman

Thud — dead; thud — dead; thud — dead; thud — dead. Sixty-two thud — deads. I call them that, because the sound and the thought of death came to me each time, at the same instant. – William Shephard

It was all nice young Jewish girls who were engaged to be married. You should see the diamonds and everything. Those were the ones who threw themselves from the window. What the hell did they close the door for? What did the think we were going out with? What are we gonna do, steal a shirtwaist? Who the heck wanted a shirtwaist? – Pauline Cuoio Pepe

Girls were burning to death before our eyes. Down came bodies in a shower, burning, smoking, lighted bodies, with the disheveled hair of the girls trailing upward. They had fought each other to die by jumping instead of by fire.

There were 33 in that shower. The flesh of some of them was cooked. The clothes of most of them were burned away. The whole, sound, unharmed girls who jumped on the other side of the street had done their best to fall feet down, but these fire-tortured, suffering ones fell inertly, as if they didn’t care how they fell, just so that death came to them on the sidewalk instead of in the fiery furnace behind them. – Bill Shepard

There are a handful of catalytic, galvanizing moments where history really gets a big push to give us the world that we live in today, and the Triangle fire is one of those. Triangle led to changes that influenced the way every American lives. – David von Drehle

Even a hundred years later, workplace safety concerns are still a problem. You hear about the locked doors at the Triangle factory and it’s shocking. But to this day, we hear about grocery store workers in Brooklyn who are locked in the stores at night and it’s a very common practice in retail and the garment industry to lock the doors — they say it’s to prevent theft, which is what the Triangle factory owners claimed.

In many ways, we haven’t made much progress. The Triangle fire was a mostly immigrant population in a very competitive business. We have that now with janitorial, home health care, security workers, the garment industry — any labor-intensive industry, you have the same pressures. – Catherine Ruckelshaus

It happens all over the place — unsafe construction sites, sweatshops tucked away in all corners of NYC, just blocks from the Triangle factory site. The other part of it is, which is just as shameful, is that 95 percent of garment manufacturing is now offshore. Clothes are being made in Bangladesh, where they have very similar conditions to the Triangle factory, where workers are locked in. – Leigh Benin

Get Involved

Books (Note I haven’t read these, I just found them)*

I write this in memory of these, the victims:

• Adler, Lizzie, 24
• Altman, Anna, 16
• Ardito, Annina, 25
• Bassino, Rose, 31
• Benanti, Vincenza, 22
• Berger, Yetta, 18
• Bernstein, Essie, 19
• Bernstein, Jacob, 38
• Bernstein, Morris, 19
• Bierman, Gussie, 22
• Billota, Vincenza, 16
• Binowitz, Abraham, 30
• Brenman, Rosie, 23
• Brenman, Sarah, 17
• Brodsky, Ida, 15
• Brodsky, Sarah, 21
• Brooks, Ada, 18
• Brunetti, Laura, 17
• Cammarata, Josephine, 17
• Caputo, Francesca, 17
• Carlisi, Josephine, 31
• Caruso, Albina, 20
• Ciminello, Annie, 36
• Cirrito, Rosina, 18
• Cohen, Anna, 25
• Colletti, Annie, 30
• Cooper, Sarah, 16
• Cordiano , Michelina, 25
• Dashefsky, Bessie, 25
• Del Castillo, Josie, 21
• Dockman, Clara, 19
• Donick, Kalman, 24
• Eisenberg, Celia, 17
• Evans, Dora, 18
• Feibisch, Rebecca, 20
• Fichtenholtz, Yetta, 18
• Fitze, Daisy Lopez, 26
• Floresta, Mary, 26
• Florin, Max, 23
• Franco, Jenne, 16
• Friedman, Rose, 18
• Gerjuoy, Diana, 18
• Gerstein, Molly, 17
• Giannattasio, Catherine, 22
• Gitlin, Celia, 17
• Goldstein, Esther, 20
• Goldstein, Lena, 22
• Goldstein, Mary, 18
• Goldstein, Yetta, 20
• Grasso, Rosie, 16
• Greb, Bertha, 25
• Grossman, Rachel, 18
• Herman, Mary, 40
• Hochfeld, Esther, 21
• Hollander, Fannie, 18
• Horowitz, Pauline, 19
• Jukofsky, Ida, 19
• Kanowitz, Ida, 18
• Kaplan, Tessie, 18
• Kessler, Beckie, 19
• Klein, Jacob, 23
• Koppelman, Beckie, 16
• Kula, Bertha, 19
• Kupferschmidt, Tillie, 16
• Kurtz, Benjamin, 19
• L’Abbate, Annie, 16
• Lansner, Fannie, 21
• Lauletti, Maria Giuseppa, 33
• Lederman, Jennie, 21
• Lehrer, Max, 18
• Lehrer, Sam, 19
• Leone, Kate, 14
• Leventhal, Mary, 22
• Levin, Jennie, 19
• Levine, Pauline, 19
• Liebowitz, Nettie, 23
• Liermark, Rose, 19
• Maiale, Bettina, 18
• Maiale, Frances, 21
• Maltese, Catherine, 39
• Maltese, Lucia, 20
• Maltese, Rosaria, 14
• Manaria, Maria, 27
• Mankofsky, Rose, 22
• Mehl, Rose, 15
• Meyers, Yetta, 19
• Midolo, Gaetana, 16
• Miller, Annie, 16
• Neubauer, Beckie, 19
• Nicholas, Annie, 18
• Nicolosi, Michelina, 21
• Nussbaum, Sadie, 18
• Oberstein, Julia, 19
• Oringer, Rose, 19
• Ostrovsky , Beckie, 20
• Pack, Annie, 18
• Panno, Provindenza, 43
• Pasqualicchio, Antonietta, 16
• Pearl, Ida, 20
• Pildescu, Jennie, 18
• Pinelli, Vincenza, 30
• Prato, Emilia, 21
• Prestifilippo, Concetta, 22
• Reines, Beckie, 18
• Rosen (Loeb), Louis, 33
• Rosen, Fannie, 21
• Rosen, Israel, 17
• Rosen, Julia, 35
• Rosenbaum, Yetta, 22
• Rosenberg, Jennie, 21
• Rosenfeld, Gussie, 22
• Rosenthal, Nettie, 21
• Rothstein, Emma, 22
• Rotner, Theodore, 22
• Sabasowitz, Sarah, 17
• Salemi, Santina, 24
• Saracino, Sarafina, 25
• Saracino, Teresina, 20
• Schiffman, Gussie, 18
• Schmidt, Theresa, 32
• Schneider, Ethel, 20
• Schochet, Violet, 21
• Schpunt, Golda, 19
• Schwartz, Margaret, 24
• Seltzer, Jacob, 33
• Shapiro, Rosie, 17
• Sklover, Ben, 25
• Sorkin, Rose, 18
• Starr, Annie, 30
• Stein, Jennie, 18
• Stellino, Jennie, 16
• Stiglitz, Jennie, 22
• Taback, Sam, 20
• Terranova, Clotilde, 22
• Tortorelli, Isabella, 17
• Utal, Meyer, 23
• Uzzo, Catherine, 22
• Velakofsky, Frieda, 20
• Viviano, Bessie, 15
• Weiner, Rosie, 20
• Weintraub, Sarah, 17
• Weisner, Tessie, 21
• Welfowitz, Dora, 21
• Wendorff, Bertha, 18
• Wilson, Joseph, 22
• Wisotsky, Sonia, 17


*Note: I am now an Amazon Associate which means that if you click on a link to one of the books I promote and then buy it, I get a portion of those proceeds. Thanks for supporting me 🙂


Women at M.I.T. – Too Much of an Advantage?

I read an interesting article today from the New York Times. A bit old but still conjured up a lot of thoughts.

In the late 1990s, women at MIT began to talk. And when they began to talk, they realized that they were getting the short end of the stick. Their lab spaces were smaller, their salaries were lower, and there were a lot less of them than they were of men. So they took it up the ladder, to someone who could do something about it. And things changed for the better.

But now, they face the problem that people are accusing them of only being successful because they’re a woman. For example, people think the college works too hard to recruit them, that women only win prizes because they’re women, and that male undergrads tell female undergrads that they’re only there because of affirmative action.  And accusations like that can really hurt when you’ve worked hard. They also face tight personality roles that there is a lot of pressure to conform to, that women professors have to act a certain way.

Additionally, there are parts that the women themselves don’t like. There’s a rule requiring a woman on every committee, but with less women, the women have to take on more committees, so they argue that they lose out on a lot of time they could be spending researching or doing consultancies. Additionally, women get a lot of invitations to speak on panels about work life balance – many more invitations to speak than the men do.

Then there are parts that are really great – everyone can have a year off (male and female) after a child is born, there’s day care available, and if you travel away on business, M.I.T. helps cover the cost of child care.  However, even this gets abused as some men take it and use it to work instead of taking care of their child.

I don’t think this is the case. In fact, at M.I.T. for a man or a woman to get tenure, they need to have 15 different outside recommendations – a hard standard for anyone to beat. I would doubt too that anyone would say that this girl, who I blogged about before, was let in just because she was a woman. And this graduate of M.I.T. was certainly a smart and talented women. They do exist, male scientists, they do. Don’t knock those awesome women! Girl power!

“To women in my generation, these residual issues can sound small because we see so much progress. But they’re not small; they still create an unequal playing field for women — not just at universities, and certainly not just at M.I.T. And they’re harder to change because they are a reflection of where women stand in society.” – Nancy H. Hopkins

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Where are the Female Writers in Late Night TV?

Okay, so sometimes I talk about very serious subjects on my blog. You know rape, abortion, child soldiers, things of that nature. But sometimes there are other important women’s issues that need to be talked about too.

For example, where are all the Female Writers in Late Night TV?

What got me thinking was this chart that I saw:

Look at this chart. Even the female host has only half a staff of women. One (Bill Maher) has no women writers. And two hosts only have women writers who are related to them. This should be such a shocking picture.

And then I read that ‘The Late Show’ made history by hiring a second woman. And this was mere months ago. History. When you think of things that make history, should ‘The Late Show’ hiring a second woman make history in this day and age? Or should they have hired a second (or a third or a fourth etc) woman writer a long time ago?

That got me to try and figure out why this is. Some people just say it’s because there are not women out there looking for these jobs. “It’s harder; there are less women looking for work. It’s easier to have an all-white male writing staff,” is one quote from Dan Harmon on the matter. Are there really less women looking for work? I’m not sure. But it would seem that Laurie Kilmartin (the only female writer on Conan)would agree with him when she says, “This is a huge generalization, but I think guys get on stage to get laid, and women get on stage to get heard. For female comics, it’s such a personal thing. I hardly know any female stand-ups who talk about generic stuff: It’s always really what happened to you. It is sort of a big switch to go from that to writing for someone else. And I think that that stops a lot of female comics from making that jump over.” Others argue that it’s just too much of a boy’s house – crude and rude and lewd – and that limits women.

To be honest, I don’t know why there aren’t more women writers in late night tv. It’s probably not a simple answer. Are there more male comics? Possibly, but is that just because women have very few women role models to look up to in this area. Something should be done, because there obviously are funny women, the question is just, where are they?


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Employment Differences

Hello all! Sorry I had no new post for you yesterday. I had planned to, but then I got caught up in celebrating my birthday and getting ready for school to start (which it does this morning). I had even planned to video blog, but I’ll try that next week.

So today I want to show you a graph I found and talk about some possible explanations.

It’s pretty interesting that men have higher unemployment rates than women. One possible explanation I think is that perhaps less women are looking for work – i.e. there are more stay at home moms, who I would hope don’t count into the unemployment rate because they have a perfectly valid job, even if they’re not paid. Another explanation could be that women are more likely to work in fields that are considered more “isolated” like healthcare and teachers. It is harder to get rid of positions like those, because there will always be children to teach and there will always be sick or injured people. Whereas, it can be very easy to shut down a car factory, for example, when people stop buying cars and they’re not as profitable.

However, in this you have to remember that women still don’t quite get paid truly equal wages, so while they may be more sheltered, they still might not have the means as their male counterparts who are still employed.

So I hope this gives you all something to think about – just some food for thought.

I will try to be consistent and faithful doing the school year, but you’ll have to forgive me in advance if I get busy and drop off for a few days.

Source: Variation in U.S. Unemployment >> Sociological Images

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