The Gayly Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, Okla.), Vol. 17, No. 7, Ed. 1 Thursday, April 1, 1999 Page: 14 of 28
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7^. Page 14 ▼ The GAYLY ▼ April 1. '99
by Carol Lyons CFP
American Express Financial Planner I
The History of
Almost since our country' was formed,
women have fought for the nght to have the
same opportunities as men in politics, educa- i
tion and in the workforce. They have encoun-
tered similar struggles to find a place in the
financial world as well. The good news is that
great strides have been made — here's a brief |
look at the evolution of women and money.
Women as Investment Objects
It’s hard to believe, but in the early days
of our country, women were considered prop-
erty — the course of their lives often deter-
mined by husbands, fathers or brothers. It
wasn’t until the mid-1800s that a woman
could own property separately from her j
spouse. Even then, if the parties divorced, i
the husband retained control of all property !
— as well as the children. It was rare for
women in the late 19th century' to be finan-
cially independent, but it was about that time
when women made their first mark on Wall
The Entry to Wall Street
Victoria Woodhull, a pioneer for women's
financial independence, was born into a fam-
ily of ten. Married at 15 and divorced some I
time later, she and her sister were traveling i
the country as spintualists when they met !
Cornelius Vanderbilt. Taken with the sister’s
unique personalities and outspokenness, j
Vanderbilt helped them open Woodhull.
Claflin & Company in 1870 — the first women-
run brokerage firm on Wall Street.
The Evolution of
After winning the right to vote in 1920,
many women began to take charge of their
own finances. As newspapers and radio
made the stock tables easier for everyone to
understand, many women recognized that
investing required many of the same skills
they were using to manage household bud-
gets. By the time the market crashed in the
fall of 1929, many women across the country'
had dabbled in the market.
The Move to Modem Wall Street
It wasn’t until the late 1950s that women
began to break the gender barrier in the
traditional male-run brokerage houses of
modern-day Wall Street. During that period,
the first woman purchased a seat on the New
York Stock Exchange, while another woman
served as commissioner of the Securities and
Exchange Commission. At the same time,
many of these women dealt with the assump
tions that having children was out of the
question if they had a career, since the re-
sponsibilities of maintaining a home were a
The Role of Investment Clubs
As some women worked to make a place
and a name for themselves on Wall Street,
other women were determined to become
savvy investors. In the 1980s, many women
across the country' believed they had the skill
and the intuition to invest in the market.
They just lacked the capital to get started.
Building on a heritage of working together to
solve problems, women began forming in-
Made famous by a group of women from
Beardstown. Illinois, investment clubs give j
investors the opportunity to pool small
amounts — $25 to $50 a month from each
member — raising enough capital for their
securities purchases. These clubs have given
hundreds of women the opportunity to study
the world of finance and increase their invest-
ment knowledge, often while tucking away
The future looks bright for women in the
financial world as more and more women are
taking charge of family finances and invest-
ment decisions. To help them negotiate the
ups and downs of the current market, many
choose to work with a financial advisor. If
you've been thinking about your own finan-
cial strategy, a trusted professional can help
you achieve financial goals women used to
believe were impossible.
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bv Greg Kubiak
By now. when you watch an episode of
Will and Grace, The Simpsons, Dawson's
Creek, or Chicago Hope, you take for granted
that gay references, characters and story
lines are just part of the show. But if one "pro-
family" group has its way. you and America
will be warned beforehand with a big “HC”, for
“homosexual content," before the show comes
Luckily, it would be a difficult path to
have such additional labelling clear the cor-
porate. legislative or regulatory hurdles nec-
essary to make such a policy reality. But just
as the Christian Action Network (CAN) an-
nounced the recommendation, it’s surprising
to see how positively gay and lesbian charac-
ters are being portrayed on television today.
According to the Gay and Lesbian Alli-
ance Against Defamation (GLAAD), there are
now 25 GLBT characters on prime-time tele-
vision, and CAN doesn’t like it one bit. They
say that seeing so many gay characters on TV
has their members "increasingly disgusted."
They also claim that the characters "ridicule
the traditional morals of conservative Ameri
cans,” though some are "more flamboyant
and disgusting than others."
CAN. whose mission is to “defend the
American family and to advocate traditional
American principles of religious liberty, pub-
lic virtue, and good government,” wants the
"HC” stamp to go on shows, much like the
voluntary "V" and “S” for violence and sex
labels producers use.
While the fight over an HC fire would be
fun to fan. for all the homophobic and censor-
ship issues it raises, that is not my point nor
the essence of the story. What is particularly
in our interest in the year 2 A.E. (After Ellen),
is to see how far the gay image has come in
that time, and to consider how powerful and
positive a force it can be.
GLAAD has known the power of TV and
media in society since its founding in 1985. It
mobilizes responses to anti-gay media cover-
age and educates media and entertainment
professionals on the GLBT community’s con-
cerns. To recognize and reward good report
ersand programmers, they created the GIAAD
Media Awards, now m its tenth year. They
were formed to “honor individuals and projects
in the media and entertainment industries
for their balanced and accurate representa-
tions" of the GLBT communities, “and the
issues that effect their lives."
But still, so-called pro-family groups
believe that government should help them
censor these real-life and gay-positive im-
ages. To back up their claim of grassroots
concern over such programs. CAN conducted
j a poll over their own relatively little-trafficked
website. When asked. "Doyou believe Disney
should sponsor television programming that
promotes homosexual characters and gay
marriages as it did on the Ellen and Roseanne
shows?", two respondents said "yes," 1 1.173
said "no.” But a more accurate poll would be
the Nielsen ratings, which show many of
t hese programs are on solid corlsumer grout id.
Ultimately, the best judge of age appro-
priate television for children should be par-
ents with the voluntary system in place — not
by categorizing content. (As the executive
producer of Friends asked. “What's next. \J( ”
for Jewish content and BC’ for black con-
tent??) GLAAD and most industry leaders
agree. "There is a system already in place
which is designed to warn parents of violent,
sexually explicit, or adult-oriented material,"
said GIAAD Executive Director Joan M. Garry.
"I certainly understand the benefits of the
existing ratings system I don’t want my own
three kids being exposed to sex or violence."
But, Garry added. ’The notion of adding a
distinct label for homosexual content’ is
clearly based on ignorance and prejudice.
Such a label could only serve to stigmatize
members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender community by suggesting that
something is inherently wrong with them."
Jack Valenti, president and CEO of the
Motion Picture Association of America and
head of the Television Ratings Committee,
told CNN’s Talkback Live he thought the idea
was "an inhumane proposal" and is irratio
I nal. "It’s something that ought to be ignored
... I don’t think there's any chance of this
I becoming a reality — zero."
More importantly, as GLAAD points out,
i "We need to ensure that [a gay positive) tries
1 sage is there, for the millions of lesbian and
| gay youth who feel isolated and alienated.
I and to those who harass them."
So next time you see Will or Jack oi
! Smithers on 15/. don’t think of them as chal
lenging the religious right's sense of morality.
| but as inclusive images to erode prejudice m
middle America. And next time some haughty
Christian screams about how shameful these
gay characters are, tell them to CAN it
i Change to Another Network.
Greg l) Kubiak. public policy atialysl.
1 author and activist, writes “In Our Interest "Jbr
The Gayly (iklahoman. / lecan be reached via
this publication or bye mail. GKubink 'tiiul.com.
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Hawkins, Don. The Gayly Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, Okla.), Vol. 17, No. 7, Ed. 1 Thursday, April 1, 1999, newspaper, April 1, 1999; Oklahoma City, Okla.. (https://gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc825239/m1/14/: accessed January 21, 2020), The Gateway to Oklahoma History, https://gateway.okhistory.org; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society.