Sunday, March 30, 2014

Out Spotlight

Today's Out Spotlight was an American feminist, abolitionist, prohibitionist, alleged spy, prisoner of war and surgeon. She is currently the only woman ever to receive the Medal of Honor. Today's Out Spotlight is Mary Edwards Walker.

Mary Edwards Walker was born on November 26, 1832 in Oswego, New York, on November 26, 1832, the daughter of Alvah (father) and Vesta (mother) Walker. She was the youngest of five daughters and had one younger brother.

She worked on her family farm as a child and did not wear women's clothing during farm labor, because she considered them too restricting. Her mother reinforced her view on corsets and tight lacings as being unhealthy.

Diverging from the norm on not only dress but on higher education for women for their daughters, her liberal parents encouraged her and her five sisters to attend college and pursue careers. Her father, a self-taught doctor and advocate of women's dress reform, largely influenced Walker.

Her elementary education consisted of going to the local school where her mother taught. As a young woman, she taught at the school to earn enough money to pay her way through medical school.

In 1855, Mary Edwards Walker graduated from Syracuse Medical College, becoming one of only a few female physicians in the country. She married fellow student and physician Albert Miller in an unconventional ceremony. Walker wore trousers and a man's coat and chose to keep her last name.

The couple set up a joint practice in Rome, New York. The practice did not flourish, as female physicians were generally not trusted or respected at that time. Walker briefly attended Bowen Collegiate Institute (later named Lenox College) in Hopkinton, Iowa in 1860 until she was suspended after refusing to quit the school debating society, which had previously been all male.

At the onset of the Civil War, having been denied a position as an Army medical officer, Walker volunteered as a nurse for the Union Army. During the next few years she served in several battles including the First Battle of Bull Run and the Battle of Fredericksburg. Despite her service, Walker often found herself at the scrutiny of male superiors who questioned her credentials.


The Confederate Army captured Walker in 1864 and held her captive for four months. The imprisonment proved to be a turning point in her career, winning her both respect and credibility. Later that year she became the first woman commissioned as Army Surgeon, earning a monthly salary of one hundred dollars.


The following year, Walker became the first and only woman in history to receive a Medal of Honor, the highest military honor in the United States. The bill, which President Andrew Johnson signed upon the recommendation of two major generals, reads:
Whereas it appears from official reports that Dr. Mary E. Walker, a graduate of medicine, has rendered valuable service to the Government, and.has devoted herself with much patriotic zeal to the sick and wounded soldiers, both in the field and hospitals, to the detriment of her own health, and has also endured hardships as a prisoner of war four months in Southern prison while acting as contract surgeon...It is ordered, That a testimonial thereof shall be hereby made and given to the said Dr. Mary E. Walker, and that the actual medal of honor for meritorious services be given her.
After the war, Walker continued to live a nonconformist lifestyle. A strong advocate of dress reform, she wore men's clothing exclusively and was arrested on several occasions for impersonating a man. In 1917, Congress revoked her Medal of Honor after revising the criteria for receiving the medal. Walker refused to return the medal, wearing it until her death.

A steadfast feminist, Walker defied nineteenth century patriarchal society by refusing to live within the confines of gender-based roles. As a student, physician, and activist, Walker defined her place in society while paving the way for future generations of women.

14 comments:

destiny said...

What an amazing story. I've never heard of Walker before. It would make a good movie.

Florida Tom said...

Weird seeing those latest pictures of Jake at the airport. He is definitely hiding that he has shaved the beard. Shows me that he is well aware of the deceit that his mgt uses in his photos. Sure is hiding something. Not sure how anyone could deny that.

Sophia! said...

the only evidence here is that Austin and Sophia really dated for years, and the relationship did not end well, friendship my ass, another epicfail weblog OMG

Anonymous said...

^another pearl of wisdom from pizza troll

Florida Tom said...

Yeah and I bet the current relationship will come to an epic end also. So funny :-)

destiny said...

Could be that Jake is done filming his part in the film, but wants to be able to create the fiction that he is still filming. It's the only reason I can think of to hide his face.

destiny said...

I have no idea if Jake is in NYC, but I don't buy that he's going to tell some random stranger on the subway that they're pretty. Jake, who does everything he can to avoid fans and drawing attention to himself, including looking like a hobo? (LOL, I love that tweet about not being sure if it was Jake or a hobo).

The "pretty" tweet sounds like pure fantasy to me.

prairiegirl said...


10:38 appears to be someone who thinks the majority of OMGers follow to the tune of JakeWorld thinking. I cannot speak for everyone for everything that is revealed on this blog.

Since WME mgmnt can see that there is no longer an audience at their hostiley taken over blog WFT2, they have to try and send the message over here.

But they have a huge problem now. Because they totally trashed that site and no one is buying that it is the old WFT2 any longer.

Now, if you want to see what WME and Jake/Austin want you to believe? Go over there and take a look. There's your cue. They'll send out the clues.

But what they can't stand is that OMG is constantly undoing what they work so hard to pedal. And that is why you see the kind of absolute nonsense that you see at 10:38.

These truly are tough times for Jake and Austin in the selling of the facade to OMG.

Change is Going to Come said...

I have to agree with 12:49 PM. I used to frequent WFT. I even have to admit that it was one of my favorite sites to visit on a daily basis for years. Not just for info about Jake. But, for witty, intelligent banter. And, news about the Hollywood closet and gay rights.

I can't quite place when it happen, but certainly the shift was connected to WME signing Jake. That's when WFT imploded. Harassment, taunting, bullying. Outright lies. Whatever it took. Regulars moved on. Not just because of the exasperation and irritation factor. But, because of Jake and his idiocy. And, it's true WFT actually pushes straight Austin and even Jake over there now. Jackie, who used to serve as the Blog Administrator is long gone. Whoever is in charge, even types of foul message to her whenever she/he is bored.

Bottom line, the suits are obsessed with controlling the message, but as long as people have a memory and a site like OMG exists, they continue to make mistake after mistake. Funny how you can lie and deceive to your hearts content, but the moment there is even a little bit of scrutiny, the Emperor's "clothes" are revealed for what they. Jake is gay. Austin is his husband/partner. They have a family together. And, both men are idiots. Puppets playing the game.

There is so much out there regarding these two guys (especially Jake) that people will continue to be deceived only because they want to be. Jake used to be a bright promise, now he has ended up just being part of the problem. Another casualty of the closet. There's no doubt, that hope rests with the younger generation. And, I do believe it's only a matter of time before some major artist/performer does come out. When it happens, Jake and Austin will look even more like the fossils that they are. In the meantime, it continues to be fun to read this blog. This haven is literate, analytical, funny, and perceptive. Nice to know now everyone is drinking the Kool-aid.

Change is Going to Come said...

^Nice to know not everyone is drinking the Kool-aid.

rendering valuable service said...

I liked the Jake hiding his beard-Freudian connection in the last post. Quite amusing.

I also enjoyed the Out Spotlight from Sunday. Walker's story sure does demonstrate how important parents are in shaping the future choices of their offspring. Reminds me of how once there was a time when being educated and a liberal thinker, made you more prone to break the rules. Challenge orthodoxy. Jump start changes that made life better. Improved peoples lives. Make others a bit more tolerant and understanding of the unfamiliar.

Strange, how liberal Hollywood is just the opposite. Naomi Foner being a classic example of one of Tinsel Town's biggest hypocrites. Shows you what happens when money and status become more important than living true and exhibiting some kind of core integrity.

destiny said...

Great posts Change is COming and Rendering Valuable Service.

Change is Going to Come said...

Thank you, Destiny.

Minus the troll patrol, we're all on the same side here. How many kids Jake and Austin have, or whether they married or not (and, with kids, I'm suspecting they did go through with the nuptials, if for nothing more than to protect their parenting rights), we're all on the same team. Team Truth.

Methodical Muser said...

I agree, Destiny. Some excellent comments, today. And, yes we may quibble about the details, but regulars pretty much agree on the essentials of our main protagonists. Including the eventual fate of WFT, and how Jake and Austin are being left far behind as others fight the fight they avoid, too distracted by shining objects to bother with.

Instead of just quietly living their lives, they continue to actively work to try and deceive the public into thinking they are flawlessly straight. Fake girlfriends, fake movie shoot timelines, photoshopped pics, social media manipulations, et al. The hocus pocus goes on and on. And, I agree. Problematic parenting has a lot to do with Jake's choices and actions.