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The War Against Women, worldwide
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:37 am    Post subject: New abortion law burdens women with lifelong stigma Reply with quote

New abortion law requires doctors to keep records that can follow patients through life

Indiana law makes symptoms following abortion part of a permanent record,
burdening women with lifelong stigma


04.07.2018•11:00 AM

Indiana passed a new abortion law last week that has made the news. Senate
Bill 340 requires that doctors gather data about women who come to see
them about “abortion complications,” ostensibly to improve patient
health and safety.

Sounds good in theory but the law is so broadly drawn that it quickly
becomes clear that the bill is actually designed to punish women who have
obtained abortions. First, the “abortion complication” symptoms that
trigger the reporting requirement are vast. In addition to physical
complications that could occur from any kind of surgery, such as blood
clots and infection, emotional and psychological symptoms such as anxiety
and depression are also included.

Moreover, although the law requires that the symptoms must arise “from
the induction or performance of an abortion,” there is no time limit on
the reporting requirement and no guidance for doctors to determine whether
any of these symptoms actually “arose” from an abortion.

The vagueness of the requirements is even more concerning when combined
with the potential punishment for failure to report the required data: up
to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. As a result, doctors are likely to
over-report data to avoid violating the law.

And what is this required data? Like the definition of “abortion
complications,” it is also broad and belies its stated purpose of
protecting patients’ health. Doctors must provide detailed data about
the abortion itself including its location, date and prior treatments for
complications. But information about the patient herself must also be
collected, including her county and state of residence, her age and her
race. Let’s just pause. Her race? What possible relevance could that
have? The age of patient is tenuous enough; perhaps some kind of argument
could be made that risks go up as the woman ages. But race. There is no
medical reason to collect that kind of information. Doctors must also
report the patient’s education level. Again, what? Why?

So, any time a woman comes in to see a doctor for an infection,
depression, or Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (which has multiple potential
causes), her doctor is likely to ask her if she had an abortion. If she
has, the doctor is then likely to ask her a series of questions about the
abortion and herself in order to make sure her symptoms are not caused by
the abortion. And then the doctor may report her information to the state.
As a woman who lives in Indiana and has experienced symptoms on the list
(there are 25 listed symptoms, one of which is death — I’ll let you
figure out how a woman could report that symptom to her doctor), I am
horrified by the thought that my doctor would quiz me on whether I had had
an abortion just because of those ailments. To say that the conversation
would turn awkward is an understatement. To say that women who have had
abortions would feel uncomfortable, shamed and persecuted by such
questioning is obvious. But is it legal? Can the state require doctors to
gather this information using such broad guidelines? Does it violate the
woman’s privacy? Does it violate the doctor’s right to freedom of
speech? The woman’s right to privacy is unlikely to be a viable avenue
to challenge this law — the information will not identify her by name or
address. Doctors might have a better chance by arguing that this law
compels them to speak. Compelled speech is generally unconstitutional
under the First Amendment. Recently, the Supreme Court has taken cases
that concern compelled speech, one of which involves abortion.
Unfortunately, the compelled speech doctrine has done little to assist
abortion providers. Historically, the Supreme Court has been unwilling to
strike requirements that doctors provide information to their abortion
patients, even if the information is not strictly medically necessary.
According to Planned Parenthood v. Casey, although the compelled speech
doctrine is implicated, doctors can be required to give information to
patients as long as the information is “truthful and not misleading.”

Since Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 26 states now require abortion
providers to give “informed consent information,” and the requirements
of the content of that information vary widely. In several states, some of
the required information is demonstrably false and clearly intended to
deter women from obtaining abortions. For example, some states require
physicians to tell women that abortions may cause breast cancer, despite
medical evidence to the contrary. The Supreme Court has yet to address the
issue of compelled false speech.

But Indiana’s law requires something different. Instead of requiring
speech in order to provide an abortion, Senate Bill 340 requires doctors
to ask questions and gather information after the abortion has already
been provided. This is not an issue of informed consent, which was the
sole basis for approving the information provided in Planned Parenthood v.

As noted above, the stated reason for the quizzing and data-gathering is
to improve women’s health and safety, but just looking at the data
gathered shows that something else is going on.

This is not about health and safety. First, abortions are one of the
safest surgeries a woman can obtain and are certainly safer than giving
birth. Legislators who argue the dangers of abortion surgeries have
historically, and hilariously, shown they have absolutely no knowledge of
how the surgery is carried about. For starters, there is no incision, and
physical complications are rare.

Second, the law does not apply to women who obtain the exact same surgery
— a “dilation and curettage” — if the fetus has already died due
to miscarriage, even though the surgery is the same. In fact, I know of no
other surgery that requires doctors to compile the kind of data required
by Senate Bill 340 several years after the surgery took place. If
women’s emotional health is so important, shouldn’t such data be
required at least for women who have suffered miscarriages, which are
incredibly traumatic?

Finally, the fact that anti-abortion groups are gleefully anticipating
future reporting shows the true purpose of this law: to further stigmatize
abortions. In sum, under this law, anti-abortion legislators have found a
new way to punish women for getting an abortion. Not only will Indiana
women have to endure reading informationthat tells them that Indiana
prefers childbirth, and abortion can lead to fertility issues (false),
but, for the rest of their lives, their doctors may quiz them about their
abortion if they ever present certain — very common — physical or
emotional symptoms. The stigma will follow them for the rest of their
lives, souring their relationships with their doctors, and likely chilling
their willingness to report these symptoms in the future. How does that
help women’s health?
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:39 am    Post subject: Executing Women Who Have Abortions Reply with quote

The Atlantic Finally Fires Kevin Williamson, Who Called for Executing Women Who Have Abortions

[Nota bene: This is NOT the Idaho candidate for Lt. Governor, who
expressed similar sentiments. -v]

The Atlantic on Thursday fired conservative columnist Kevin Williamson
after it became apparent that his belief that women who get an abortion
should be hanged was more than just a single tweet.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:43 pm    Post subject: The Biggest Myths about Mary Magdalene Reply with quote

The Biggest Myths about Mary Magdalene
Imagine devoting your time and money to supporting a fledgling religious movement only to have history remember you as one of its greatest whores?
Candida Moss

At least once a week someone emails me to tell me that Mary Magdalene and Jesus were married. Sometimes, they can trace their own family tree back to history’s most famous non-couple. Best publicized by Dan Brown in The Da Vinci Code the story that Mary M. and Jesus were married and had children is just one of a number of myths about Mary that simply refuses to die.

She wasn’t married to Jesus
If Jesus was married, that’s a fact that would have some serious theological implications. For the conspiracy theorist among us, the possibility that he was married and had children means that there might be a line of special, semi-divine human beings wandering around. For the Catholic Church, the ramifications are even more pronounced. If Jesus was married and had children should not Catholic priests also be allowed to marry and have children? It would set an important precedent for Pope Francis’ recent statements about older married men being able to become priests.

Let’s be very clear, though, none of the texts in the New Testament (which, more importantly, also happen to be the earliest texts written about him) refer to Jesus being married to anyone, much less Mary Magdalene.

There are some second and third century texts like the Gospel of Thomas (Saying 114, in which Jesus also declares he will make Mary male) and the Gospel of Philip (in which Jesus is said to have loved Mary more than his other followers) that suggest a close potentially romantic relationship between the two. What they really show, however, is that second and third century Christians were interested in the figure of Mary and used her as a cipher either for women’s authority in the church in general or, perhaps, as a means of challenging other more powerful Christian competitors. It wasn’t just Mary who received this kind of treatment: There are other early Christian stories in which individual disciples are singled out for special revelations.

But none of these later texts provide evidence for the historical Jesus himself. It may make for an excellent conspiracy theory, but there’s no data that anyone covered up or tried to hide a secret union between Mary and Jesus. And while you could imagine (with Dan Brown) that the boys club that was the medieval Catholic Church might want to eradicate any hint of this kind of scandal, the fisherman disciples that spread the good news in the first decades after Jesus’ death had no such incentive. Why would they have cared about suppressing the fact of Jesus’ supposed marriage when some of them were married themselves? In criminal terms: there’s neither a body, nor a motive.

But she was a disciple, and an important one at that
Just because she wasn’t married to Jesus does not make Mary Magdalene uninteresting. In all four Gospels the first person to witness the resurrection is a woman and Mary Magdalene is in that key group. In the Gospel of John she is alone at the time and it is because of this she is known as the “Apostle to the Apostles,” a truly elevated title and status.

Throughout the Gospels there are references to Mary “following” Jesus and she (like some of the other women) witnesses and, we might infer, supports him during his crucifixion. All of which suggests that Mary was a disciple and part of the core group of Jesus followers. Her presence in Jesus’ inner circle does not mean that she was his wife. In fact, there is something mildly heteronormative and chauvinistic about the assumption that she was.

Mary Magdalene was not a prostitute
If the iconoclastic rumor is that Jesus and Mary were married, the pious myth is that Mary was a prostitute. The identification of Mary Magdalene with the penitent woman who anoints Jesus’ feet with oil and dries them with her hair is cemented in Sunday school tradition, but it isn’t in the Bible.

The misidentification of the two figures was cemented in Christian tradition by Pope Gregory the Great in a homily he delivered in Rome in September 591. Though he was not the first to impugn Mary Magdalene’s reputation, the confusion of several stories from the New Testament has led to lasting impression that Mary of Magdalene was a former prostitute.

We don’t know how old she was
If European artists are to be believed, Mary Magdalene was a beautiful young white woman, with long flowing hair, a sensual attitude, and an odd inability to keep both breasts covered by her dress at the same time. There are a number of things wrong with these portraits (most notably that she is unlikely to have had the kind of alabaster colored skin reminiscent of anaemia), but for now let’s focus on her age. We don’t know anything about Mary’s age, profession, or appearance. The only reason she is depicted in Christian artwork as an attractive young woman is because she has been erroneously associated with sex work. For all we know, Mary was a middle-aged widow.

She was possessed by demons
The one clear biographical detail provided to us (other than her place of origin, Magdala or modern-day Migdal) is that she was once possessed by seven demons (Luke 8:2). This might seem like a straightforward spiritual flaw, but demonic possession in the ancient world was more ambiguous than it is today. Women, by virtue of the heightened porosity of their body, were considered more susceptible to demonic possession than men. For the ancient Greeks, this is one of the things that made women such excellent prophets.

Some modern interpreters want to diagnose Mary with mental illness, often with the commendable goal of providing comfort to those who struggle with mental illness today. But it is worth recognizing that, to an ancient reader, her condition, while negative, was suggestive of heightened supernatural receptivity and sensitivity. After all, in the Gospel of Mark it’s those who were possessed with demons that could recognize who Jesus was.

But we do know she had money
What the Bible does tell us about Mary is that she was comparatively wealthy. Along with Joanna, Suzanna, and other women she traveled with Jesus. And it is these women who are specifically mentioned as having “provided for” the group out of their financial resources. In ancient terms, therefore, Mary Magdalene was one of Jesus’ patrons. Where did her money come from? We aren’t entirely sure, but Magdala was a fishing town so it is possible that she owned some kind of fishing business. The fact that she did support Jesus financially adds further weight to the argument that she wasn’t a prostitute; as classicist Kyle Harper has written, your average prostitute earned about the price of a loaf of bread per customer. A prostitute would not have been in a position to sponsor a messiah.

All of this makes Mary’s fate that much more tragic. Imagine devoting your time and money to supporting a fledgling religious movement only to have history remember you as one of its greatest whores?

Music Farewell Angelina
The sky is trembling, and I must leave Music
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:25 am    Post subject: Jesus married? Reply with quote

Very interesting article Angelina. But my Jewish friends tell me that Rabbis are usually married and have children. Hence they are able to offer marital and parental advice to others. Jesus was referred to as Rabbi quite often so could have been married and had offspring. In fact the wedding where he turned water into wine might have been his own and he was interacting his mother to get more wine from the cellars for his guests....LOL The myths that surround the the bloodlines of Clovis and the Merovingians et al are rather intriguing aren't they because didn't on of them emerge from the sea from somewhere else? I guess we will never know the real truth but my guess is that Jesus was just an extremely charismatic Rabbi preacher whose real father was Joseph a successful building magnate....LOL
The Grumpiest Old Woman on Ave Viet.....
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:34 pm    Post subject: Mary Magdalene Reply with quote

This just made me laugh:

A beautiful young white woman, with long flowing hair, a sensual attitude, and an odd inability to keep both breasts covered by her dress at the same time.

I went to look at pictures of Mary Magdalene and, sure enough:

My CoS Awards Very Happy
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:52 pm    Post subject: What Happened to the Harriet Tubman $20 Bill? Reply with quote

What Happened to the Plan to Put Harriet Tubman on the $20 Bill?
Two years ago this week, the Treasury secretary announced civil rights and women’s icons would be on America’s money. Where are they?
BY Elisha Brown

When a Harriet Tubman scholar found out in 2016 that the abolitionist she studied for decades was going to be the new face of the $20 bill, she cried.

“Here you have an African American woman, formerly enslaved who fought and struggled her whole life for freedom and equality.” Kate Larson said.

But Larson and others eager to withdraw Tubmans from the bank may have to wait longer than expected. Two years ago this week, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced redesigns for the $20, $10, and $5 bills that would honor civil rights and women’s rights icons: Tubman, Alice Paul, and Marian Anderson. Lew said the new note designs would debut by 2020, 100 years after women gained the right to vote.

But now the Trump administration is putting the plan on the backburner, according to the Treasury department.

A spokesperson for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing told The Daily Beast that the redesigns have not been finalized or approved for circulation. The next note set to be released is the $10 bill, and the redesign won’t enter circulation until 2026, according to a spokesperson.

Before Lew’s announcement, the Treasury Department’s Advanced Counterfeit Deterrence Steering Committee signaled that a new $10 bill would be rolled out first, followed by the $50 bill, and then the $20 bill. The release dates for all the new notes could be pushed back even further to fight counterfeiting, according to a spokesperson. That means the public may not see the Tubman $20 bill until years, even decades after the original 2020 design release date.

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin has the final say on the Tubman $20 note and other redesigns, according the spokesperson.

“Ultimately we will be looking at this issue, [but] it’s not something that I’m focused on at the moment,” Mnuchin told CNN last year.

President Trump, a fan of Andrew Jackson, the current face of the $20, has not spoken on the redesign since his election, but in 2016 he said the decision was “pure political correctness” and recommended that Tubman’s portrait should go on the barely circulated $2 bill instead.

The original rollout in 2016 was met with fanfare and some frustration.

“For the first time in more than a century, the front of our currency will feature the portrait of a woman,” Secretary Lew said in a letter announcing the decision. Women’s rights organizations who rallied for a woman to go on paper money (two women have appeared on national coins, Sacagawea and Susan B. Anthony) applauded the decision they fought for but wondered why the recognition took so long.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:22 am    Post subject: ‘Father of gynecology’ experimented on enslaved women Reply with quote


The Washington Post
Statue of ‘father of gynecology,’ who experimented on enslaved
women, removed from Central Park

By Meagan Flynn April 18 at 6:19 AM

The first patient to endure James Marion Sims’s experimental surgery in
1845 was named Lucy. Lucy, an enslaved black woman in Alabama, remained on
her hands and knees on top of a table for more than an hour as Sims sought
to repair a hole between her bladder and vagina without giving her any
anesthesia, which was not widely used then.

Lucy quickly developed blood poisoning after Sims tried to fashion a
catheter out of a piece of sponge, which Sims later admitted was
“stupid” of him.

“Lucy’s agony was extreme,” Sims wrote in his 1884 autobiography.
“I thought that she was going to die.”

But Lucy didn’t die. She, and at least six other enslaved women, endured
four years of experimental surgeries before Sims finally perfected the
procedure, seeking to cure what’s called a vesico-vaginal fistula. His
success earned him the moniker “father of modern gynecology.”

But as the years went by that success was overshadowed by the fact that he
earned it on the backs of slaves.

That’s the reason his statue in Central Park was removed Tuesday — 124
years after it was erected with great fanfare directly across from the New
York Academy of Medicine.

New York City’s Public Design Commission voted unanimously Monday to get
rid of it. Crews arrived Tuesday morning with a forklift to take it from
its pedestal as onlookers cheered, “Marion Sims is not our hero.” The
bronze statue will be relocated to a Brooklyn cemetery, where Sims is

Sims’s statue is the first to come down in New York City in the
aftermath of the Charlottesville white supremacist rally, which left one
counterprotester dead. Amid ongoing nationwide protests of memorials
commemorating the Confederacy and its leaders, Mayor Bill de Blasio
ordered a complete review of the city’s own inventory of monuments.

The memorial celebrating Sims drew considerable protest and in August was
vandalized with the word “RACIST” scrawled across it in red paint. The
New York Academy of Medicine, which respected Sims and invited his
lectures more than a century earlier, joined in the call for his
statue’s removal. The academy did not even support the statue’s

“While we are pleased with the recommendation to remove the statue from
our East Harlem neighborhood, relocating to another public venue still
recognizes the work of J. Marion Sims without acknowledging his egregious
misuse of power in conducting surgical experiments on enslaved black
women,” Judith A. Salerno, the academy’s president, said in a January
statement,after the Mayoral Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments and
Markers announced its support for the statue’s relocation.

Sims is best known for his invention of the vaginal speculum and for the
surgical procedure for curing a vesico-vaginal fistula. Often caused by
problems during childbirth, a hole develops between the bladder and the
vagina, leading to uncontrollable urinating and ongoing discomfort and

For four years, from 1845 to 1849, Sims performed experimental surgeries
on slaves he kept in a “little hospital of eight beds, for taking care
of negro patients,” in his back yard in Montgomery, Ala., as he
explained in his autobiography.

On the issue of consent, Sims claimed in one case that a patient named
Betsey “willingly consented” to one examination, but that was before
his experiments began. At least one gynecologist who has defended Sims
cited an article he wrote in 1855, in which he said his patients all gave

But in his autobiography, Sims described the arrangement this way: “I
made this proposition to the owners of the negroes: If you will give me
Anarcha and Betsey for experiment, I agree to perform no experiment or
operation on either of them to endanger their lives, and will not charge a
cent for keeping them, but you must pay their taxes and clothe them. I
will keep them at my own expense.”

He was so convinced that he had figured out a surgical panacea for the
fistula that he invited “about a dozen” doctors to observe the first
surgery he performed on Lucy in 1845. The doctors watched in anticipation
as Sims prodded Lucy, only for the experiment to fail miserably.

Nevertheless, the experiments continued, as Sims obsessively sought to
perfect his procedure and his tools, including silver sutures used to
stitch the hole between the bladder and vagina. Eventually, his assistants
gave up on him. The enslaved women — “confident” that he could heal
them, he wrote — began assisting him themselves. Some fellow doctors,
aware of Sims’s repeated failures, wrote to him cautioning that perhaps
he should stop the experiments.

“I must tell you frankly that with your young and growing family it is
unjust to them to continue in this way, and carry on this series of
experiments,” Dr. Rush Jones, Sims’s brother-in-law, said in one
letter. “You have no idea what it costs you to support a half-dozen
n‑‑‑‑‑‑, now more than three years, and my advice to you is to
resign the whole subject and give up.”

But Sims didn’t. Not until after his 30th surgery on Anarcha, when his
procedure finally worked.

“Dr. Sims, ‘the father of gynaecology,’ was the first doctor to
perfect a successful technique for the cure of vesico-vaginal fistula,”
a social work professor at the University of Alabama wrote in one 1993
paper in the Journal of Medical Ethics, “yet despite his accolades, in
his quest for fame and recognition, he manipulated the social institution
of slavery to perform human experimentations, which by any standard is

When New York City erects Sims’s statue in Brooklyn’s Green-Wood
Cemetery, its new pedestal will be smaller, the New York Times reported.
The Mayoral Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments and Markers has
pledged to include a plaque next to the statue that explains Sims’s
“legacy of non-consensual medical experimentation on women of color
broadly and Black women specifically that Sims has come to symbolize.”

To “honor the sacrifice of the women whose bodies were used in the name
of scientific advancement,” the plaque will also include the names of
the women who endured Sims’s experiments: Lucy, Anarcha, Betsey.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 5:04 am    Post subject: Re: ‘Father of gynecology’ experimented on enslaved wome Reply with quote

vu wrote:
The first patient to endure James Marion Sims’s experimental surgery in
1845 was named Lucy. Lucy, an enslaved black woman in Alabama, remained on
her hands and knees on top of a table for more than an hour as Sims sought
to repair a hole between her bladder and vagina without giving her any
anesthesia, which was not widely used then.

Lucy quickly developed blood poisoning after Sims tried to fashion a
catheter out of a piece of sponge, which Sims later admitted was
“stupid” of him.

“Lucy’s agony was extreme,” Sims wrote in his 1884 autobiography.
“I thought that she was going to die.”

But Lucy didn’t die. She, and at least six other enslaved women, endured
four years of experimental surgeries before Sims finally perfected the
procedure, seeking to cure what’s called a vesico-vaginal fistula. His
success earned him the moniker “father of modern gynecology.”

God, this guy was as bad as the Nazi doctors experimenting on Jews in the camps!!! Very Mad
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 4:45 pm    Post subject: ‘Father of gynecology’ experimented on enslaved women Reply with quote

My God, that is a particularly horrible story!! Can you imagine what those poor women suffered? Eek Crying or Very sad
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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2018 3:22 am    Post subject: ‘There Were Really No Other Women at All’ Reply with quote

‘There Were Really No Other Women at All’
Women speak out about what it was like to be among the first female fighter pilots in the military.

Capt. Tammie Jo Shults in 1992 with an F/A-18 Hornet, the twin-engine supersonic fighter jet and bomber she flew. She was one of the first women to fly Navy tactical aircraft.

When Capt. Tammie Jo Shults of Southwest Airlines made her emergency landing of a Boeing 737 on April 17 after an engine explosion and traumatic injuries in the cabin, the world took note of the previous history she made as one of the first women to serve as a fighter pilot in the Navy. Shults, 56, who had wanted to fly since she was a teenager, first tried to enlist in the Air Force and was turned down. She was instead commissioned into the Navy in 1985 and served first as an instructor pilot for the T-2 Buckeye, a training aircraft for student aviators, and then flew as an A-7 Corsair pilot. When her squadron transitioned to the F/A-18 Hornet, then the Navy’s newest fighter jet, Shults was one of the first women to pilot it. But because she was a woman, Shults was prevented from joining a combat squadron, and so she transferred to the Reserve in 1993. Shults then started working for Southwest Airlines as a commercial pilot. Two days after Shults left active duty, the Navy asked the Clinton administration to allow women to fly in combat assignments.

Shults is one of a small sisterhood: the women who have served as military aviators. Even though restrictions on women flying aircraft in combat were lifted 25 years ago, the percentage of military pilots who are women remains around 6.5 percent — and is comparable in the commercial industry, where many pilots land after training and careers in the armed services. In the wake of Shults’s moment in the news, other pioneering women in military aviation considered what it meant to be among the few in a field still dominated by men, why the gender balance has remained so stubbornly lopsided and whether the armed services have done enough to make the history and the roles of these women publicly known.

Lt. Col. Amy McGrath, who retired last year after two decades of service, was an F/A-18 Hornet pilot and, in 2002, the first woman to fly on a combat mission in the Marine Corps.

“There were just so few women. You would think we would band together, but a lot of the time, we just wanted to fit in, so we didn’t. We didn’t even know I was the first. We deployed as a squadron to Afghanistan. It really wasn’t until after the first couple of missions that someone said, ‘Hey, I think you’re the first woman to do this in the Marine Corps.’ And then we just sort of dropped it. I didn’t really pat myself on the back. We were in war. We were busy.”

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