Fierce

You Can Thank African-American Mary Kenner For Modern Progress Of Tampons And Pads

Today in Black History, let’s take a look back at a woman’s whose name is not one referenced often in households, but whose made its mark in many.

Mary Beatrice Davidson Kenner was an African American inventor who found a love for innovation at a very young age. Stories about her illustrate a who from a younger age imagined all sorts of household appliances. One story a six-year-old Kenner recalls a time in which the little girl would often wake up to the comings and goings of her mother in the early mornings for her day job.

“So I said one day, ‘Mom, don’t you think someone could invent a self-oiling door hinge?’” Kenner said according to GOOD BLACK NEWS. “I [hurt] my hands trying to make something that, in my mind, would be good for the door,” she said. “After that I dropped it, but never forgot it.”

Kenner ultimately chased her love for inventions all of the way to adulthood even despite the racial prejudices that threatened to hold her back.

According to Good Black News, in 1931 Kenner graduated high school and went onto attend the prestigious Historically Black College: Howard University. Unfortunately, she was ultimately forced to leave because of financial pressures. ut was forced to drop out a year and a half into her course due to financial pressures. Despite the discouragement she might have felt, Kenner held jobs as a babysitter and as a federal employee and pursued her inventions during her spare time.

At the time, as similar to today, Kenner’s biggest obstacle in the way of pursuing her inventions was money. At the time, and even today, obtaining a patent can be extremely expensive. Still by 1957, when Kenner was 45 years old she earned enough money to obtain her first patent, one she had created for sanitary napkins. At the time, when women still used cloth pads and rags for their periods, Kenner imagined an adjustable belt with an inbuilt moisture-proof napkin pocket. The idea insured a cleaner experience with sanitary napkins and worked to ensure that less menstrual blood would leak and stain clothing.

“One day I was contacted by a company that expressed an interest in marketing my idea. I was so jubilant,” Kenner once explained. “I saw houses, cars, and everything about to come my way.” A company rep drove to Kenner’s house in Washington to meet with their prospective client. “Sorry to say, when they found out I was black, their interest dropped. The representative went back to New York and informed me the company was no longer interested.”

While Kenner’s inventions never actually sold in stores, her inventions did make an impact. The innovative African-American woman, continued to chase her inventions throughout her entire life and ultimately filed five patents total. That’s more than any other African-American woman in history.

Domestic Violence Victims Have Been Using Code Words At Pharmacies To Escape Abusers During Lockdowns

Fierce

Domestic Violence Victims Have Been Using Code Words At Pharmacies To Escape Abusers During Lockdowns

@CiaoMaximilian / Instagram

As lockdowns continue to occur across Europe, Asia and the Americas, worrying reports of domestic abuse have spiked.

According to news outlets, women and men who are victims of domestic abuse are at risk for greater threats now more than ever. With so much of the world in lockdown, reports have said that many confined to their homes with their domestic abusers could become victims of the pandemic.
In a report by CNN, multiple studies proclaimed “that emotionally stressful events can lead to an increase in aggressive behavior at home. Researchers identified such spikes during the 2008 economic crisis, when major natural disasters hit, and also during big football tournaments.”

According to Lucha y Siesta women’s shelter in Rome, the crisis has made abuse all the worse.

According to an interview with Lucha y Siesta and CNN, one young woman had contacted the women’s shelter with reports of a controlling relationship turned violent. The unknown woman told Lucha Y Siesta that ” her partner of four years had always been controlling and abusive but had become much worse during the lockdown.”

With the current public health crisis overwhelming Italy’s resources the country has been forced to turn its direction towards fighting the virus as opposed to helping victims.

“The court procedures are working slower than usual because most people are working from home,” Simona Ammerata a woman who works for Lucha y Siesta and spoke to CNN explained. “The fear is that the legal decrees to protect women won’t be put in place in time.”

Domestic abuse searches have surged in countries across the globe. Not just Italy. Australia and the UK are among some of the countries to report these findings.

Refuge, a domestic violence charity based out of Great Britain has also rung the alarms about similar concerns.

According to CNN, victims of domestic abuse have been using trips to supermarkets and pharmacies to ask for help as strict rules about remaining in quarantine have made it particularly difficult for abused women to escape abusers.

Codeword: “Mask 19.”

Victims of abuse have reportedly been using the codeword “Mask 19” in interactions with pharmacists behind their local counters toa ask for help. According to Elle magazine, local authorities in Spain and the Canary Islands launched an action last week that supports domestic abuse victims in making reports. Those who are incapable of outrightly making complaints to staff about their abuse, are using the code “mask 19.”

Hand Sanitizer Was Invented By A Latina Nursing Student In The 1960s

Fierce

Hand Sanitizer Was Invented By A Latina Nursing Student In The 1960s

Kelly Sikkema / Unsplash | Twitter

When the novel coronavirus COVID-19 started to spread in the U.S., hand sanitizer became a hot commodity. Stores sold out of the product needed to clean your hands while on the go to prevent catching and spreading the virus. But, did you know that a Latina nursing student in the 1960s created hand sanitizer?

Lupe Hernandez, a nursing student in California in 1966, is the woman behind hand sanitizer.

Credit: @Rainmaker1973 / Twitter

Hernandez was in nursing school in Bakersfield, California when she thought about a gel form of rubbing alcohol. Hernandez realized that a gel form of alcohol would make it possible for people to clean their hands while on the go with no access to water and soap.

Hernandez knew she was on to something so she reached out to an invention hotline and submitted a patent.

While washing your hands is the best way to avoid contracting COVID-19, hand sanitizer is an important tool for those that still have to work. It is also a good option for people who are still healthy but have to go to the pharmacy, grocery store, or bank.

Hand sanitizer was just an industry product until the H1N1 viral outbreak in 2009.

Credit: Kelly Sikkema / Unsplash

The 2009 outbreak of H1N1 drove up the demand for hand sanitizer among the public and it was soon packaged for consumers. According to The Guardian, the value of the hand sanitizer market has grown exponentially since the time before and after the H1N1 scare.

In 2018, the global hand sanitizer market value was $2.6 billion. The Guardian reports that the U.S. market value of hand sanitizer was $28 million in 2002 and $80 million in 2006.

Viral outbreaks like H1N1 make hand sanitizer a highly-prized commodity and some people try to profit off that fear.

Matt Colvin faced severe backlash after he and his brother bought out thousands of bottles of hand sanitizer in Tennessee and Kentucky after the first COVID-19 death in the U.S. The two covered 1,300 miles driving through Tennessee and Kentucky buying all of the hand sanitizers they could find in various dollar stores.

The brothers then started selling the hand sanitizer on Amazon for as much as $70 a bottle. Amazon shut them down and the attorney general of Tennessee launched an investigation into them for price gouging. They pledged to donate the product and Tennessee officials are making sure they follow through with the promise.

READ: American Cities And States Announce Mass Closures As They Brace For The Growing COVID-19 Outbreak