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Women Creators, Entrepreneurs Profiled In New Book By National City Teacher

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May 2, 2018 1:33 p.m.

Women Creators, Entrepreneurs Profiled In New Book By National City Teacher


Marlene Wagman-Geller, author, “Women Who Launch: Women Who Shattered Glass Ceilings”

Related Story: Women Creators, Entrepreneurs Profiled In New Book By National City Teacher


This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

It is often assumed that any famous organization or traditional product must have been created by a man. Much of the time that is true. As a new book points out, not always. The women who have started events like Thanksgiving or create it created organizations like the Girl Scouts have not always been famous or had their names attached to the organization. They are remembered now in the book women who launch. Joining me as San Diego author and sweet water high school teacher Marlene Geller. Welcome Marlene. The title of the book is a play on words referring to the term ladies who lunch. Why did you reference that phrase in the title.
>> I reference that phrase because of the illusion to what you said women who lunch because of the 1950s, the role of the woman was an accessory on the arm of the man. Basically they were consigned to Lise of idleness. That's what they would do in their time. They would be women who lunched. It was a futile existence. The women profiled in my book takes a play on that because rather than lunch they launched. The words found the same therein lies the difference.

>>> How has society's treatment of women change in her lifetime. Speaking immeasurably. When I was growing up I was bad at math and my father said it's okay girls are supposed to be stupid in math. When my sister-in-law went to law school, she was the only woman in her law class. Now I think it's an equal ratio. I have seen great strides. And in terms of teaching, when I first started at Sweetwater 28 years ago, my students would say, their aspiration was to get married and have children and stay home. Now when I asked my students what they want to do at the high school, they say we want to go to college, have jobs. I have seen a huge paradigm shift from when I started teaching in 1990 to the present.

>>> During times when women took a backseat in business, you found examples of pioneers like the entrepreneur Estée Lauder.
>> Estée Lauder because even though she married into the Lotter family, she made it the icon billion-dollar industry it is today. That is why it is fitting it bears her name. A lot of the cosmetic companies are maimed named after women but founded by men. In that case she was the mastermind behind in the driving force behind the company. What I found in my research was interesting. Heard daughter-in-law Evenlyn Lotter started the pink ribbon campaign which I found very interesting.

>>> For BreastCancer .
>> for breast cancer. They gave it out at the Estée Lauder counters.

>>> What about the woman who started the movement to create the Thanksgiving day holiday.
>> I found it fascinating. It was Sarah Josefa hail. In her lifetime she was a pioneer. She was an editor of a woman's home journal. It was in the midst of the Civil War. She thought that her eureka moment was if we all had a unified day of Thanksgiving, because at that time Thanksgiving was a regional holiday. Some states did not celebrate it or all. She lived a long time. She wrote to many successive presidents to have a unified day. During the Civil War, she wrote to Lincoln and he said yes it might help the South and North come together. Through the leather letter she wrote him he started the national day of Thanksgiving. What was interesting about Sarah Josefa hail, she was also the author of Mary had a little lamb. She meant it as a Christian parities like Mary was the mother of God and the white lime -- lamp was Christ.

>>> Tell us about one of the lesser-known women you profiled in the book.
>> I think my inspiration for the book was when they were having the million woman march in Washington. All of a sudden we started seeing the iconic pink hat with the ears. Is it why all of a sudden this big barbecue pink of hats in the market. Is started from Chris Sue in Southern California and she wanted to do something for the women's movement. Should to decided to join the women's March and she decided to go to her knitting class and started talking with the people and they got the idea of crocheting a pink hat as a protest.

>>> In the epilogue you talk about glass ceilings that still need to be broke. Tell us about that.
>> When Hillary Clinton was running, that was the ultimate glass ceiling had to got in. Women have shattered many glass ceilings in many different professions. That is the last one.

>>> You wrote about strong women in your previous books behind every great man and and still I rise. I now women who launch. Why are these the stories you choose to tell .
>> sometimes I find the back stories of everyday things more fascinating than the things themselves. I love hearing about the stories that are like these fascinating strong inspirational women.

>>> Tell us about your event you'll be at on Sunday .
>> it is an organization called the American Association of the University woman. This Sunday they are having a huge event in Oceanside. They invited four authors. That organization does wonderful things to better women female education, women empowerment. I am looking forward to that event on Sunday.
>> I have been speaking with Marlene Wegman Geller author of the book women who launch women who shatter glass ceilings. She'll be talking about her book at the women in arts event this Sunday at the Ocean Hills country club in Oceanside. Thank you for coming Marlene .
>> thank you for having me here.