The purpose of our blog is to discuss topical issues, stories, and situations, as well as to share what we are up to and new ways for you to get involved. We are always searching for possible answers to the question: Why is a girl's worth culturally and historically relative?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Women's History Month "K": Frida Kahlo and Kappa Alpha Theta


Frida Kahlo, Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird

Frida Kahlo was born in Mexico in 1907, the daughter of European father and a mother of native Mexican descent.  When she was eighteen, she was involved in a serious bus accident that punctured her uterus and left her unable to walk for a while.  The accident also caused her recurring pain for the rest of her life  Kahlo had been studying medicine at the time, but during her recovery she began to pursue a career in painting.

Throughout her life, Kahlo created 143 paintings, 55 of which were self-portraits.  These self-portraits often focused on the physical pain she endured, as well as the mental anguish over the three miscarriages she had due her damaged uterus.  Many of her paintings also depicted traditional Mexican imagery, in honor of the nation’s pre-Columbian culture, as well as Christian and Jewish symbolism.  In 1939, the Louvre purchased one of her paintings for an exhibit, making her the first contemporary Mexican artist to have work displayed in an international museum.

Kahlo married fellow Mexican artist Diego Rivera in 1929.  Rivera encouraged her artistic pursuits, but on all other counts he seems to have been a bad match for Kahlo.  Both artists pursued affairs while they were married – one of Kahlo’s lovers was Josephine Baker, an African-American actress who performed in France.  Kahlo and Rivera even divorced at one point in their lives, but remarried a year later.

When Kahlo died in 1954, she was known only as Diego Rivera’s wife.  It wasn’t until the 1980s, when modern Mexican culture began to be recognized for its artistic contributions, that Kahlo’s work became more widely known.


I have no regrets. I don't believe in looking back. What I am proudest of? Working really hard... and achieving as much as I could.
~Elena Kagan, United States Supreme Court Justice

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. 
~Helen Keller, Author and Disability Activist

The main thing is to care. Care very hard, even if it is only a game you are playing. 
~Billie Jean King, Tennis Pro

Freedom and justice cannot be parceled out in pieces to suit political convenience. I don't believe you can stand for freedom for one group of people and deny it to others. 
~Coretta Scott King, Civil Rights Activist

Our concern must be to live while we're alive--to release our inner selves from the spiritual death that comes with living behind a facade designed to conform to external definitions of who and what we are. 
~Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, Psychologist


Kappa Alpha Theta is oldest collegiate Greek organization exclusively for women.  Its official name is Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity, so termed because as the first women’s Greek society, it came into being before the word “sorority” had been coined.

Kappa Alpha Theta was founded in 1870 Bettie Locke, a student at Indiana Asbury (today known as DePauw University).  Locke expressed interest in joining her brother’s fraternity, but that fraternity told her she could only be their “mascot.”  Her father then suggested that she start her own fraternity exclusively for women, so she formed Kappa Alpha Theta.

Today Kappa Alpha Theta more than 125 college chapters, as well as 190 alumnae organizations.  The organization gives away more than $500,000 each year in college scholarships, and sponsors the Court Appointed Special Advocates program.  To learn more, visit the Kappa Alpha Theta website.

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