Sunday, January 2, 2011

A True American Heroine

No, this isn't going to be a political soapbox oratory or a resurrection of early American history. Oh no. This is about a woman who is a true heroine of this great land of opportunity. There are many, but I've got a few names that I'd like to throw into the mix and will begin with my favorite of all time:

(1975 candidate photo)

Yep. Dr. Eu has indeed been a politician - she served as California Secretary of State and if she hadn't been, she wouldn't have been able to accomplish one of the greatest services to womanhood that has happened in the Great State of California.

So, you are wondering by now, just what exactly did this woman do?

She took a sledge hammer to a toilet on the steps of the State Department. Yep. Why? Well, why not? Back then, a woman had to pay to use a toilet out in public. Men didn't. Pay toilets were commonplace and if you had to use the jane (slight modification here to match the gender) and didn't have a dime or a quarter, you were out of luck. Meanwhile, those of the opposite gender who needed to use the john, didn't have to pay this discriminatory poll tax.

March had had enough. This symbolic gesture led to the end of pay toilets for women. In 1973 she made her point and endeared herself to women throughout the land. To this day, I bless her.

Who are your heroes?


  1. It's interesting to see how people can launch themselves into the public spotlight. What Dr. Eu did is certainly original.

    My mom was my quiet hero. She did nothing spectacular in her lifetime, but she raised four sons in tough circumstances that included a difficult husband, my Dad. Although she lacked education, she didn't lack character.

  2. Wow - I never knew that! What an awesome story :) My heroines are the girls in my book - I wrote them because I was sick of the 'damsel in distress' reads. My girls rock *grin*

    The Arrival, on Amazon now!

  3. Dr. Eu has my vote! I love it when the conversation usually goes:
    "Why is this the way it is?"
    "It just is."
    "Who says it has to be?"
    "I do."
    And, instead of subsiding, the questioner says, "I don't think so!"

    The next time I go into a public jane, I'm going to think, "Thank you, Dr. Eu!"

    My heroes are that kind of person: Rosa Parks, the Suffragists, all people who question the status quo. Guess my hippiness is showing. ~grin~

    Thanks for an informative post. :)

    Marian Allen

  4. I had no idea! So glad she broke that toilet!!!

    My heroine is my grandmother. So strong and humble and kind. I can only hope to be like her when I am her age. She is in her mid-80s, lost my grandfather two years ago, and still lives by herself. She loves to keep busy.

  5. She is a great role model. I didn't know she launched herself in politics with such flair. Cool. A strong, thoughtful woman who can make an outrageous gesture and win!