Conference Call

The White House Office of Public Engagement and Council on Women & Girls has requested to host a conference call for AAUW members to discuss issues impacting women and girls, including the new preventive care coverage requirements, STEM education initiatives, the Violence Against Women Act, and the budget.

Just announced: Our speakers will include Tina Tchen, Executive Director of the White House Council on Women & Girls and Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama; Lynn Rosenthal, White House Advisor on Violence Against Women; and Steve Robinson, Special Assistant at the White House Domestic Policy Council.

WHAT: White House Special Summer Update Call Just for AAUW Members
DATE: Thursday, August 16
TIME: 2 p.m. Eastern Time
*Dial-in information will be sent prior to the call*

There will be an opportunity for questions, so come prepared! During the call, you can also submit questions by tweeting @AAUWPolicy using the hashtag “#AAUW2WH.”


From Janet Watkins, President, AAUW of Michigan

Take part in “RAISING OUR VOICES: Michigan Women’s Virtual-Action Days,” August 13, 14, & 15.

The assault on women’s health by state legislators has mobilized women to take action.

AAUW of Michigan opposes state H.B. 5711 which will virtually eliminate safe, affordable, and comprehensive family planning and reproductive health services in Michigan. The bill especially affects economically disadvantaged women who rely upon family planning clinics for mammograms, Pap exams and cervical cancer screenings.

AAUW and AAUW of Michigan public policy position supports:

~Protecting Reproductive Health
~Improving Reproductive Health
~Putting Prevention First
~Comprehensive Sex Education
~Access to legally prescribed contraception and emergency contraception

Let your elected officials know that women’s reproductive choice is a matter of health, not a matter of politics! See page 43 of our Dearborn Branch Directory for contact information.

Also, plan to visit Lansing this Wednesday:

“Women Are Watching,” Wednesday, August 15, 2012, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Join us at 11:30 a.m. on the Capitol Lawn. We will then go inside to show the Michigan Senate that “Women are Watching” from the Michigan-Senate Gallery! The Senate Session is scheduled to begin at noon.

Several petitions are circulating urging the Michigan Legislature to put an end to this. We urge you to make your voice heard; sign on to ALL of them!
• Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan
• Michigan NOW
• ACLU of Michigan
• Credo Action

The Blithe and Brash Bella

Congress designated August 26 National Women’s Equality Day after passing a bill introduced by U.S. Rep. Bella Abzug in 1971.

Bella Abzug (1920–1998) famously wore wide-brimmed hats and exuded a fiery personality. Her work for feminism, peace and civil liberties landed her at the center of the women’s movement. She championed human rights, especially for the poor and oppressed, throughout the world. Her wit was wondrous. Some of her pithy observations follow:



• They used to give us a day–it was called International Women’s Day. In 1975 they gave us a year, the Year of the Woman. Then from 1975 to 1985 they gave us a decade, the Decade of the Woman. I said at the time, who knows, if we behave they may let us into the whole thing. Well, we didn’t behave and here we are.

• Women have been trained to speak softly and carry a lipstick.

• The test for whether or not you can hold a job should not be the arrangement of your chromosomes.

• Our struggle today is not to have a female Einstein get appointed as an assistant professor. It is for a woman schlemiel to get as quickly promoted as a male schlemiel.

• We are coming down from our pedestal and up from the laundry room. We want an equal share in government and we mean to get it.

• Abortion doesn’t belong in the political arena. It’s a private right, like many other rights concerning the family.

• The inside operation of Congress — the deals, the compromises, the selling out, the co-opting, the unprincipled manipulating, the self-serving career-building — is a story of such monumental decadence that I believe if people find out about it they will demand an end to it.

• I’ve been described as a tough and noisy woman, a prize fighter, a man-hater, you name it. They call me Battling Bella, Mother Courage, and a Jewish mother with more complaints than Portnoy.

Two Weeks From Now

Two weeks from now, Sunday, August 26, is Women’s Equality Day which commemorates women gaining the right to vote. That occurred on August 26, 1920, when the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution was certified. It is worth noting that the amendment had been originally introduced in 1878!

Clearly, persistence and tenacity are keys to societal evolution. Ultimately, the patience and determination of suffragettes paid big dividends.

Canadian Women Legalized in 1929!

Member Donna Palm photographed this statue in Calgary’s Olympic Park. In her email she states, “The stunning point of course is that women were not defined as legal persons until 1929. The entire sculpture is actually a group of five women.”

Wikipedia explains: “The Famous Five or The Valiant Five were five Canadian women who asked the Supreme Court of Canada to answer the question, “Does the word ‘Persons’ in Section 24 of the British North America Act, 1867, include female persons?” in the case Edwards v. Canada (Attorney General). The petition was filed on August 27, 1927, and on 24 April 1928, Canada’s Supreme Court summarized its unanimous decision that women are not persons.  The last line of the judgement reads, “Understood to mean ‘Are women eligible for appointment to the Senate of Canada,’ the question is answered in the negative.” This judgement was overturned by the British Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. This case, which came to be known as the Persons Case, had important ramifications not just for women’s rights but also because in overturning the case, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council engendered a radical change in the Canadian judicial approach to the Canadian constitution, an approach that has come to be known as the “living tree doctrine”.

The precedent did establish the principle that women could hold any political office in Canada. Moreover, the Five clearly did devote their energies to increasing women’s participation on legislative bodies with greater power.

The five women were:
Emily Murphy, the British Empire’s first female judge;
Irene Marryat Parlby, farm women’s leader, activist and first female Cabinet minister in Alberta;
Nellie Mooney McClung, suffragist and member of the Alberta legislature;
Louise Crummy McKinney,  first woman elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, or any legislature in Canada or the rest of the British Empire;
Henrietta Muir Edwards, advocate for working women and a founding member of the Victorian Order of Nurses.
Nearly 80 years later, on 8 October 2009, the Senate voted to make the five the first “honorary senators”.



Member canoes Lake Louise.

Branch member, Donna Palm, canoes Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada, this summer while husband Rick captures the moment. Donna notes that the letter S on her life vest indicates its small size! She and Rick enjoyed an eight-week trip through Canada and Alaska. What a great place they chose to be this hot summer! Was it their combined wisdom or psychic energy that led them to such a grand adventure?

On Balance






“Life is like riding a bicycle. In order to keep your balance, you must keep moving.”                             ~~Albert Einstein

Political Mudslinging Could Be Fun!




“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” — Voltaire


Clearly the political campaign this year seems more acrimonious than ever, but part of that may be that so much of it feels dull and uninspired. Once upon a time, hurling a good insult depended upon the clever inventiveness of wit which, of course, relies upon more than the four-letter words endemic in today’s impoverished language.

Lady Astor: “If you were my husband, I’d poison your tea.”
Winston Churchill: “If you were my wife, I’d drink it.”

Member of Parliament: “Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease.”
Disraeli: “That depends, Sir, whether I embrace your policies or your mistress.”

“He had delusions of adequacy.” – Walter Kerr

“He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.” – Winston Churchill

“I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.” -Clarence Darrow

“He (Hemingway) has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.” – William Faulkner

“Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I’ll waste no time reading it.” – Moses Hadas

“I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.” – Mark Twain

“He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends..” – Oscar Wilde

George Bernard Shaw: “I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend…if you have one.”
Winston Churchill: “Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second…if there is one.”

“I feel so miserable without you; it’s almost like having you here.” – Stephen Bishop

“He is a self-made man and worships his creator.” – John Bright

“I’ve just learned about his illness. Let’s hope it’s nothing trivial.” – Irvin S. Cobb

“He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in others.” – Samuel Johnson

“He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up.” – Paul Keating

“He loves nature in spite of what it did to him.” – Forrest Tucker

“His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork.” – Mae West

“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.” – Oscar Wilde

“He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts…for support rather than illumination.” – Andrew Lang

“He has Van Gogh’s ear for music.” – Billy Wilder

“I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it.” – Groucho Marx

Help Make Their Dreams Come True!

Remember the old saw about how one gets to Carnegie Hall? Practice…practice…practice!

Students in the Edsel Ford High School Chamber Ensemble are slated to do just that! Around twenty students will have their dreams come true when they sing in that world-famous venue in March, 2013, in the Big Apple.

Their choir director/music teacher,  Robert Doyle, indicates it will cost about $2,000 per student. Expenses include transportation, housing, food and participation in activities such as workshops and taking in a Broadway play. So far, fundraisers have included garage sales, bottle-and-can-deposit returns and restaurant donations.

YOU can help make a young person’s dream come true between now and August 31. Simply buy a milk shake from Potbelly Sandwich, 22941 Michigan Avenue at the corner of Nowlin, just east of Westborn Shopping Center. The fundraiser, “Get a Carnegie Shake at Potbelly,” donates fifty cents to the effort from every purchase. It’s a great way to rationalize dipping into ice cream on a hot August day!

Registered to Vote?

In the last year, there has been a nationwide assault on the American citizen’s right to vote. Aside from the unnecessary, expensive, and ineffective new voter ID laws, there has also been targeted purges of eligible, registered voters from state rolls. Little has been done to educate the public about these actions. As a result, there are thousands of eligible voters are at risk of being turned away on Election Day.

These voting law changes have created unnecessary obstacles for many American citizens. In order to help navigate the changes, we are releasing a new voter registration app. This tool will allow anyone to check the status of their registration, learn about any new requirements, and provide all the information needed to successfully register in their state or territory.

Click the image to launch the app to learn detailed information on voting registration and requirements in any of the 50 states and 6 territories: