Lou should have been a beacon for future first ladies.

Lou Hoover Opened The Door For Future First Ladies

Lou was an extraordinarily accomplished woman of her era.

29
views

Lou Henry Hoover was the wife of the 31st President of the United States, Herbert Clark Hoover. Lou was born in Waterloo, Iowa on March 29, 1874. She had a teaching degree and became the first woman to graduate with a degree in geology at Stanford University, where she met Herbert. The day after they married, on February 10, 1899, they moved to China and Lou assisted her husband on his work as a mining engineer.

Lou was an extraordinarily accomplished woman of her era. She was a scholar, an avid athlete, a philanthropist, as well as a strong-willed active feminist volunteering her time and most of her life for the betterment of women and children.

As an example, one of Lou's hobbies while traveling with Herbert was translating a manual on mining and metallurgy from Latin to English, De Re Metallica. Herbert added the explanatory notes and they published this work in 1912. The translation is noted for its clarity of language and the extensive footnotes. However, while living in London in 1914 World War I broke out and Herbert and Lou experienced the horrors of the "Great War" first hand. Spending a great deal of time establishing relief work for the victims of the war.

Upon her return to the United States in 1917, Lou did not stop activism for her husband's career as United States Secretary of Commerce. The main organization she kept close relations with for most of her life was the Girl Scouts. Lou served on various positions within the organization and was a president twice, as well during two decades.

With all of Lou's qualities as an accomplished woman, her four years as the first lady, for the most part, obscure and unremarkable. The Hoover's stopped the routine of social obligations such as the dinners and parties of previous residents of the White House. Celebrating with the Washington DC elite as well as keeping a very large staff for the East and West Wing of the White House.

The Hoover's had a strong belief that to combat the effects of the depression was to ask the private sector to keep the status quo. Believing the federal government did not have the right to force people to do anything. For this reason, Herbert and Lou relied on people's goodwill to help each other.

The President urged the manufacturers to continue production and keep their workers employed. However, the employees stopped spending the eventually many manufacturers had to stop production and lay off these workers. In a speech Herbert made in 1932 he states, "we met the situation with proposals to private business and the Congress of the most gigantic program of economic defense and counterattack ever evolved in the history of the Republic. These programs, unparalleled in the history of depressions of any country and in any time, to care for distress, to provide employment, to aid agriculture, to maintain the financial stability of the country, to safeguard the savings of the people, to protect their homes, are not in the past tense—they are in action."

Lou was working on her own relief efforts. Through the General Federation of Women's Clubs, the Parent-Teacher Organization, and the Girl Scouts, Lou backed the President's efforts with local agencies to help people on a one to one basis. This effort was slow and inadequate as well.

As the Depression escalated, Hoover's favorable image declined. What was not reported at the time was, the enormous staff they hired to help with their various projects, paying for many of their salaries and benefits out of their own pockets. The press never had the opportunity to report that Lou, on many occasions, gave donations to poverty-struck citizens that wrote letters asking for help. She refused to put her name on the donations and channeled them through others or an organization.

Lou was a very private person and refused to let the press into their private lives. She refused to be quoted by the press and in 1932, Mary Austin wrote Earth Horizon that exemplified Lou's lack of control over what was said about her in print. Once a close friend of the Hoover's, Mary lost contact with them during the "Great War" and "waged guerilla warfare whenever opportunity offered against them both," wrote Nancy Beck Young, author of, Lou Henry Hoover-Activist First Lady.

Her charitable nature was one of the main reasons Lou keep the press at bay. Young wrote, "This respect for privacy emanated from two sources: Hoover's personal approach to relief, and her pragmatic sensibility. If word spread too widely that she would provide help to those who asked, her limited resources and staff would have been overwhelmed by request."

Lou opened the door for future generations of first ladies. Her innovative style, feminist nature, as well as her generosity was overshadowed by the difficult era she lived in. Herbert and Lou worked as a team during World War I in Europe, but as the stress of the depression mounted their efforts took them in different directions. This lack of teamwork is one of the main reason's Herbert was unable to get re-elected. Her predecessor, Eleanor Roosevelt, took the reins from Lou and walked the same path. Lou's attention to detail and her purposeful life was overshadowed by the times. Her feminist personality should have been a beacon for future first ladies.

Popular Right Now

I'm A Christian Girl And I'm Not A Feminist, Because God Did Not Intend For Women To Be Equals

It is OK for me to not want to be equivalent with a man.

784036
views

To start off, I am not writing this to bash feminists or get hate messages. I am simply writing this to state why I do not perceive myself as a feminist.

March is International Women's Month and that is what has got me thinking about how I view myself as a young woman in the 21st century. I enjoy every day getting to soak up the world as a young lady, particularly in the South.

If you know me, then you know that I love and utterly adore Jesus. He is so perfect. He is everything. He is my whole life. Some people might say that I am a "Bible-thumper" or someone who has had too much Kool-aid and maybe I am, but I know who my Creator is and that He died for me, and that is all that matters.

In my young age, I loved to just sit in church with my parents and absorb all that God would deliver. As I have grown up, I have ventured off and joined a church that is different than my parents, so the responsibility falls more on me, but I love that. Since this era of independence began, I have thoroughly enjoyed taking ownership of my faith.

I spend a lot of time chatting with God, worshipping Him in all kinds of ways, and just diving deeper into His Word. Through all of this growth as a Christian, I have learned a lot, but something I have learned is a concept that some may not agree with, which does not surprise me.

I do not believe God meant for women and men to be equal.

There, I acknowledged the elephant in the room.

It is a shocker, I know, but I have some Biblical evidence to back up this belief that I have.

Let us begin in Genesis. God created man and then he created woman. This was two separate occurrences and order is key. He created Adam and then Eve.

Jesus treated women with grace and kindness, do not get me wrong. I mean just look at how He treated the woman at the well, the one who used all of her expensive perfume to cleanse His feet and not to mention His own biological mother! He has a truly unique place in his heart for women, but He also has special intentions for us in the world and in the family setting.

We are to submit to our husbands.

We are to be energetic, strong, and a hard worker.

We are to be busy and helpful to those in need.

We are to be fearless.

All of this is explicitly laid out by God in Proverbs 31.

We are not to be equal to our male counterparts. Jesus does not lay out the Proverbs 31 man, but He rather lays out the Proverbs 31 woman.

A husband or man is to be the head of the household as Christ is to the church.

A man is to love a woman so deeply that represents how he loves himself.

A man is to leave his father and mother.

Women and men are not equal in God's eyes, but they each represent Him in their own ways that the other needs.

If we were all equal, we would not need one another and therefore we would not need God. I am so thankful that we were not created equal. I am so thankful that God is so great that He could not just create only man or woman to represent His image. He is so perfect.

So, you see I am not a feminist, and it is OK.

It is acceptable for me to have this belief that God intended for men to lead women. It is also okay for people to have differing opinions. Writing this was not easy, but I know that not all people agree.

To feminists and those that are not, you are allowed to believe whatever you wish but have evidence to back it up.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

An Open Letter To The Middle-Aged, White Men Of Various State Governments Who Think They Own My Body

First off, I would like to express how disappointed I am in all of you.

15
views

To the middle-age, white men of various state governments,

First off, I would like to express how disappointed I am in all of you. Do you even know what you are trying to do here?

In recent light, both Ohio, yes this state, and Georgia are trying to ban not only abortions but also birth control and miscarriages. First off, do you even know how to ban a miscarriage? A miscarriage is something a woman cannot control most of the time. From personal experience, my best friend's mom went through three miscarriages, and she didn't want them to happen at all.

Second, I hope it goes through your mind that birth control is not just for preventing pregnancy. I'm on birth control myself, but it is to control horrible cramps I had growing up and to keep my hormones in balance. I know people who have birth control for other medical reasons, like endometriosis and PCOS. Do you know what those are? Please do your research.

This was all written before Wednesday.

As more news comes into the light, especially with today's due date coming up, I'm seeing that even Alabama is trying to ban abortions, and there is no exception with rape. I'm sorry, but this is just all messed up.

If this is the government's way of trying to put us into a better future, they are making the future horrid for women.

This is not becoming the United States of America. This is becoming Gilead.

Yeah, Gilead. Have you read "The Handmaid's Tale"? If not or have not seen the Hulu series, I'll give a summary. Women are stripped of their rights and are put into a position where they have to bear children for powerful people. They don't get a say and are pretty much silenced into submission.

Let me talk about something that I'm pretty sure you've heard in the news already.

There is a girl in my state. Yes, Ohio. She is 11 years old, she was raped, and now she's pregnant. She learned she was six weeks and one day pregnant, and now she can't have an abortion. Why might you ask? Because this stupid Heartbeat Bill is preventing her. Even this new legislation is preventing her. NO ONE AT 11-YEARS-OLD SHOULD BE PREGNANT! THIS WASN'T HER CHOICE! Don't let her live with this and have to go through giving birth.

Oh, wait. She's going to have to because of these things.

So shame on all of the people involved. Shame on the government. Shame on these pro-life people that want to do away with safe abortion. Shame.

To those that are reading this and want to do something, you can. Call your state representative, vote in elections, voice your opinion, anything.

This whole thing not only has me worried for women of the United States, myself, and my future daughter if I have one.

I am in charge of my own body, not the American government and these "men".

Sincerely,

A 20-year-old college student, a liberal democrat, a woman who uses birth control, and a fighter.

Related Content

Facebook Comments