Category Archives: Ladybusiness

Representation Matters

Representation Matters

A book on sketchbooks, written by a man, contains artwork mostly by men. Not at all surprising. Call them “visual journals” and the author will much more likely be a woman, and the artists represented will be mostly women. Art is for men, but craft is for ladypeople. I’m reminded of a Joanna Newsom interview in which she said that men were harpists and women were harp players. We don’t let women play in male spaces (still!), but we also devalue the spaces where women are allowed to play.

(I may not even have noticed, except I started to wonder how many drawings of teen boy sexual fantasies there would be in the book. A lot. And all of them drawn by men, so I looked at the artist bios and did a quick tally of the genders: 31 men, 10 women, and one non-binary person.)

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Game Changer

That may not look exciting, but free tampons at the main university library? That’s kind of a big deal if you’re a ladyperson. I don’t know if this is going to be a campus-wide thing or library system-wide, or if it’s only being instituted at the main library, but it’s kind of amazing.

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Margaret Basquill: Housewife

Certificate of Death
Ohio Department of Health, Division of Vital Statistics, death certificate 14238 (1948), Margaret B. Moorman; digital image, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” FamilySearch ( : accessed 26 Jan 2017). Rec. Date: 15 Oct 2016. Cit. Date: 26 Jan 2017.

I’m still working on the families of Nicholas and John Basquill, who settled in Jackson County, Ohio. Margaret is the daughter of John Basquill and Margaret Daughan. She married Elmer J. Moorman in 1869. As far as I can tell, they had no children.

I consider myself an unapologetic feminist, but today I had another reminder of just how insidious the patriarchy really is. We’re soaking in it, and it informs everything we do, whether we like it or not. We don’t have a choice in the matter.

As I was entering information from Margaret’s death certificate, I saw that her occupation was listed as “housewife.” I am ashamed to admit that, until today, I’d been neglecting to add that information to women in my database. It’s not a real job, right? Only I know it is a real job. I truly do. I can’t explain why I haven’t been giving these women credit for their work, but that’s going to change NOW.

Margaret B. Moorman
screenshot from Legacy Family Tree

I rather like the way the default occupation sentence reads, at the bottom of the screen: She worked as a housewife in 1948 in Springfield, Clark County, Ohio, United States.

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Polly Larned

Application for Marriage License
Application for Marriage License
Hosea H. Tucker and Polly Larned, 17 Mar 1834, Geauga County, Ohio

I’ve felt a little silly, getting obsessed over figuring out what is going on with this family. I should have stopped researching when I figured out that Bridget Theresa was the daughter of Patrick Basquill and Ellen Cannon, and that she married Frank H. Shipman in Berlin, Wisconsin. There was no reason to take it any further, because the Shipman ancestors were only tangential.

However, it bugged me that a couple of the censuses for the father, Abiram Shipman, had unrelated people residing with him that looked like they should be related. And then there was a granddaughter in the 1880 census. She couldn’t be a blood relative of Abiram Shipman, because he only had one son (despite having been married four times!). That son, Frank, married just once, as far as I can tell–to Bridget Theresa Basquill. And even if he had been married previous to that marriage, he was far too young to be this grandchild’s father.

So I was puzzled about what to do with this kid. I needed to figure out who Abiram’s 4th wife was married to, before Abiram. And I did! It’s taken me several days, but I think I have it figured out. The grandchild was the daughter of Abiram’s 4th wife and her first husband, identified in the only census I could find him listed in as just H. H. Tucker.  A little more digging turned up his first name, Hosea, and that he’d died and was buried in the same county where Abiram and wife number four were married:  Geauga, Ohio.

That didn’t help with the name of Abiram’s fourth wife, though. Their marriage license listed her as Polly Tucker. But what was her maiden name? It took some more digging, but I turned up the marriage record for Hosea H. Tucker and Polly Larned. She was just fourteen. If the age at death on his headstone is to be believed, Hosea Tucker would have been 27 at the time of marriage. That’s heartbreaking. But at least I can now give her back her own name.

And here’s the exciting and weird part: In sorting all that out, I found that Abiram Shipman had two wives who were sisters. Their names were Harriet and Joann Hamilton.

I knew I had Hamiltons in my family tree already, on my maternal grandpa’s side. And they were in the right part of the country in the right time to be the same Hamiltons. And I’ll be damned if they aren’t! The father of the sister wives was Nathaniel Augustus Hamilton. Their mother was Nathaniel’s second wife, Frances Dolph. My grandfather is descended from Nathaniel’s brother, Andrew Hamilton.

So all that work wasn’t entirely pointless. And I managed to give a lost woman back her name, in the process.

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What Will the Men Do?

I’m not any kind of serious gamer, but I have loved Zelda since day one. And look, a new Legend of Zelda is coming out. Yay! Oh, wait. When the producer was asked whether or no we’d finally get to play as a female character, he responded with this bucket of nonsense:

“We thought about it,” Aonuma told GameSpot through a translator, “and decided that if we’re going to have a female protagonist, it’s simpler to have Princess Zelda as the main character.” But that idea was shot down because “if we have Princess Zelda as the main character who fights, then what is Link going to do?”

From:  The Verge, “Nintendo offers really stupid reasons why you can’t play as a woman in The Legend of Zelda

Seriously, dude? You can’t allow folks to play as a female character, because if you did, WHAT WOULD THE MAN DO? Jesus wept. Maybe Link could be held prisoner and Zelda rescues him? IT COULD TOTALLY HAPPEN, RIGHT? No complicated gymnastics involved. Just literally flip the script. I promise, the world will not end if a woman rescues a man.

His comments about the Triforce are even more ridiculous.

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Seen at Work

Seen at Work #ladybusiness
“Imagine if society was as disgusted by rape as it is by periods.”

Seen at Work #ladybusiness
“A sexual assault occurs every 107 seconds.”

On my way into the work this morning, I saw these stuck to the columns outside the library. It’s unforgivable that college women have to speak up about being mistreated, but at the same time, I’m glad to see them doing so. Sometimes I worry about “kids these days,” and other times, I think they’re just fine. It’s a mixed bag, but it always has been.

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Seen at Work

French Fry #stairwell #libraries #frenchfries #seenatwork

This lonely little french fry has been sitting in the stairwell at work for weeks. I’m kind of curious about how long it will take the custodians to sweep it up.

Unless you're in a frat

And this editorial comment was left on a flyer in one of the women’s bathrooms.

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Sarah Ann Goodwin

Old lady in chair, next door to Deam’s (Mrs. Knapp)
Source: Lilly Library, Frank M. Hohenberger Photograph Collection

This one was a puzzle. A fun puzzle. From Hohenberger’s title, I knew Mrs. Knapp’s neighbors were the Deam family. One of the preceding photos in the set was of someone Hohenberger identified as Alberta Deam. Another photo showed an interior from the Deam home, with cabinets full of stacked papers and an open botanical specimen displayed on a desk. Knowing what I do of Hohenberger, the study likely belonged to a locally important botanist. So I searched for botanists named Deam and came up with Charles Deam. From there, I was able to figure out that the family was living in Indianapolis at the time of the 1910 census and that the daughter Hohenberger photographed was named Roberta.

This photo was taken in 1913, so there was a good chance the Deams and Mrs. Knapp were neighbors in 1910. And they were. I found Mrs. Knapp listed in the 1910 census, living at 304 Burgess Avenue. The Deams lived at 318 Burgess Avenue. The 1913 city directory for Indianapolis confirms that both families were living in the same homes in that year.

So with that, I give you Mrs. Sarah Ann Knapp, neé Goodwin, born 5 April 1831 and died 19 March 1915. This photo was taken, then, just two years before her death.

I’m delighted that I was able to properly identify her. It would have haunted me if I hadn’t. I mean, just look at that face! She is fabulous. And I’ve no doubt she’d be more than capable of haunting anyone she pleased.

(ETA: I added this to the genealogy category, because while these are not my ancestors, the research strategies are the same I’d use in identifying my own family members.)

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Male Pelvis

This image is making the rounds of Facebook. It’s kind of amusing, until you look closely. Likely an honest mistake. I doubt whoever made the image even realizes that male and female pelvises are anatomically different. But they are, and this is just one more example of how male bodies are the default.

In this case, it’s exasperating but harmless. It can be dangerous to women, though, when we only study men’s bodies and then assume that women’s bodies behave just like men’s. Sometimes they do, but often they don’t.

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In Ladyhating Bullies News

Did you know that bullying ladypeople is an act of courage? Me, either! Well done, ladyhating busybodies!

“We hope that our story of rising above discriminatory opposition can inspire pro-life students around the country to courageously take a stand for life and speak truth to power at their own college campuses.”
— Andrew Guernsey, Voice for Life

“We are ready to begin the real work of saving lives.”
— Monica Rex, Vice President, Voice for Life

And, need I say that if “pro life” (by which I mean “pro forced birth”) groups actually cared about saving the lives of children, maybe they could have been doing things like working to ensure access to birth control, prenatal care, and programs for low income children and parents, instead of waiting around for permission to harass women seeking legal medical care?

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