Tuesday 28 April 2015

Reasons To Be Cheerful 14

Roman law gave women property rights, Christianity gave monogamy and Greek education (with emphasis on literacy) gave them tools to rule. (Byzantine Ambassador ‏@byzantinepower)

But that’s positively medieval! “Europe in the 11th-13th centuries, when we see the invention or development of the great cathedrals, the first universities, the invention of spectacles, musical notation, perspective, the plus and minus sign, alphabetization, modern punctuation, etc." (Culture and Civilization, ed. Irving Louis Horowitz)

Somehow that picture of an Italian woman Astronaut  Flight Engineer for Expedition and  a Captain in the Italian Air Force photographed by an American with a Russian Team member in a Space Station sums it all up for me. (TD)

The annual numbers of people dying in wars has declined since the 1940s.

[Quakers had] established equality between the sexes in their Meetings as early as the 1600s. Just about every American social movement you could think of had been supported and often spearheaded by the Quakers, from abolition, to women’s rights, to temperance (O.K., one mistake), to civil rights, to environmentalism. (Jeffrey Eugenides, The Marriage Plot)

When did Burberry stop labelling trench coats “for officers only”?

1753 Marriage Act stipulates that young people under 21 need their parents’ consent to marry
1969 Age of majority (and ability to marry without parents’ consent) lowered to 18

1847 London’s first public toilet for women opened
1855 Cesspools outlawed (shit pits under your house or back yard)
1992 Women US senators get their own private toilet
1998 EU bans marine dumping of sludge

1860 Nude bathing banned in UK
1862 Margate prohibits nude bathing
1920s Bans on mixed bathing increasingly ignored

1872 Licensing Act forbids being drunk in charge of a horse.
1875 First Teetotal People’s Café opens in Whitechapel.
2003 Under the Licensing Act 2003, it is an offence to sell alcohol to a person who is drunk, or to obtain alcohol for consumption by a person who is drunk.
And we don’t sell gin to children any more.

Until 1950s and 1960s, that "utmost resistance" standard [in US rape cases] was replaced, but with a "reasonable resistance" standard! So even after the 1960s, a rape victim had to prove she resisted! (Brienne of Snarth ‏@femme_esq)

1841 Rape is no longer punishable by death

1872 In defiance of US law, suffragist Susan B. Anthony votes for the first time, and is later fined $100 (via Hamish Thompson)

1879 Lady Margaret Hall is first Oxford College to admit women

1883 Contagious Diseases Acts suspended (repealed 1886). Under the Acts, women thought to be prostitutes could be arrested, forcibly examined for sexually transmitted diseases, and confined in a “Lock Hospital”.

1918-1970: The National Council for the Unmarried Mother and her Child The charity was originally founded in 1918 as The National Council for the Unmarried Mother and her Child (and for the Widowed or deserted Mother in Need) by Lettice Fisher. The charity had two goals: to reform the Bastardy Acts and Affiliation Order Acts laws which discriminated against illegitimate children, and to provide alternative accommodation to the workhouse for mothers and babies.

1922 Carrie Eve becomes the first woman mayor of the Metropolitan Borough of Stoke Newington
1922 Helena Normanton, the first woman barrister, “scandalised the legal profession by insisting on practising in her maiden name”.

1929 Marion Phillips becomes Labour MP and the first Jewish woman MP

1938 A woman who witnessed a burglary was jailed for 5 days for wearing slacks into court when she testified.

1959 Repeal of 1913 Mental Deficiency Act enabling unmarried mothers to be categorised as “moral imbeciles” and sent to lunatic asylums

1997 Protection from Harassment Act

1998 Dame Heather Hallett becomes the first woman to chair the Bar Council, 103 years after its creation. She now sits in the Court of Appeal.

2014 Women in India are allowed to be makeup artists
2014 Saudi Arabia’s new domestic violence laws take effect

2015 Economist magazine appoints its first female editor
2015 Malawi bans child marriage, raises minimum age to 18
2015-03-26 The new royal succession rules, giving women equal rights to girls and allowing marriage to Catholics, came into force on this day.

1950s Circumcision of boys begins to fall out of fashion

1978 Protection of Children Act The Times in February 1978: ‘At present police have difficulty in gaining a conviction under the Sexual Offences Act 1956, because there must be evidence of assault on a child. The Indecency with Children Act, 1960, is concerned only with those under the age of 14 and its wording is not clear. The Obscene Publications Act, 1959, has been described as the most useless legislation on the statute book.’ At the time a lawyer said: “There’s no point prosecuting because it’s very difficult to get a conviction.”

1987 Family Law Reform Act repeals the Bastardy Acts and Affiliation Orders Acts, ending the concept of illegitimacy

1998 School Standards and Framework Act requires all UK state schools to have anti-bullying policies

2014 Divorced parents get assured contact with children

Scotland: neyfs (serfs) disappeared by late 14th century
England and Wales: obsolete by 15th-16th century
Iceland: 1894 (completely)
Bosnia and Herzegovina: 1918
Afghanistan: 1923
Bhutan: officially abolished by 1959

1676 Slave rebellion in Virginia
1681 Law stops slave owners breeding Irish and African slaves to create lighter-skinned, more valuable, slaves
1963 End of an unofficial bar on the employment of black and Asian bus drivers in Bristol
2015 Modern Slavery Act consolidates current offences relating to trafficking and slavery, establishes an Anti-Slavery Commissioner and provides for the protection of modern slavery victims.

1731 England starts recording laws in English rather than Latin
1793 Catholic Relief Act gives voting rights to Catholics in Ireland who meet property qualifications
1827 CoE clergy lose remaining legal immunities
1868 Penal transportation from Britain and Ireland officially ends
1916 Soldiers in the British Army are no longer required to wear a moustache
1960 Betting and Gaming Act repeals the injunction for all adult Englishmen to practise with the longbow
70s, 80s laws passed to ban flammable furniture
2015-03-26 For the first time since surveys began in 1983, UK support for death penalty is under 50%. (BBC)

History class nugget: for hundreds of years up to 1215, the Church forbade marriage between anyone more closely related than sixth cousins. (sumit paul-choudhury ‏@sumit)

When America became a Republic, it was based on the democratic state of Athens (men get the vote, but not women or slaves). But the family copied a despotic state: the man is the unelected head with supreme powers; women, children and slaves have no vote (and no property).

Latinas/Latinos were excluded from access to the legal system in Mexican Cession States for decades. Also Asians in California, ditto.

Kinship carers don’t have the same rights as foster parents.

Spousal citizenship has been a right since 1948, and was generally upheld before that back to the 1700s. In 2012, low-earners were excluded. (@zoesqwilliams)

In France, hate speech is only illegal if it directly incites violence, according to cartoonist Garry Trudeau.

And reporting child abuse is still not mandatory.

1534 First Act of Supremacy 1534 and the Treason Act 1534 made it illegal to harbour a Catholic priest. Both have been repealed.

1850 Fugitive Slave Act punished northerners who helped slaves escape – they had to send them back.

1857 The Dred Scott decision of 1857 said the Negro is not a citizen of this nation, he is merely property. He has no rights that the white man is bound to respect. (Martin Luther King)

1896 the Plessy v Ferguson Decision established as a law of the land the doctrine of separate but equal. (Martin Luther King)

1910 Tennessee is the first state to adopt the “one-drop” rule

1921 Women’s football banned by FIFA in the UK (ban lifted 1971, leading to a revival across the world)

2015 Russia bans from driving transgender people, fetishists and voyeurs among others

More here, and links to the rest.

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