A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from December 16, 2011
Marble Ceiling

When Nancy Pelosi would become the first female Speaker of the House of Representatives following new Democratic control of the House after the November 2006 elections, she said:

“When my colleagues elect me as speaker on January 4 (2007—ed.), we will not just break through a glass ceiling, we will break through a marble ceiling.”

“Marble ceiling” was meant as a variation of the term “glass ceiling”—an unstated barrier that prevents women and minorities from advancing in business and government. Many houses of government are richly designed with marble (although more commonly on the floors and the walls rather than the ceilings).

Nancy Pelosi had used the term “marble ceiling” at least as early as 2002, when she became the first woman to be a House Minority Whip. “Marble ceiling” appears to have been used in an academic paper in 1998 (see the 2006 citation, below).


Wikipedia: Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Patricia D’Alesandro Pelosi ( /pəˈloʊsi/; born March 26, 1940) is the Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives and served as the 60th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 2007 to 2011. She was the first woman to hold the office and to date, has been the highest-ranking female politician in American history.

A member of the Democratic Party, Pelosi has represented the 8th Congressional District of California, which consists of four-fifths of the City and County of San Francisco, since 1987. The district was numbered as the 5th during Pelosi’s first three terms in the House. She served as the House Minority Whip from 2002 to 2003, and was House Minority Leader from 2003 to 2007, holding the post during the 108th and 109th Congresses. Pelosi is the first woman, the first Californian and first Italian-American to lead a major party in Congress. After the Democrats took control of the House in 2007 and increased their majority in 2009, Pelosi was elected Speaker of the House for the 110th and 111th sessions of Congress.

On November 17, 2010, Pelosi was elected as the Democratic Leader by House Democrats and therefore the Minority Leader in the Republican-controlled House for the 112th Congress.

Urban Dictionary
marble ceiling
January 10, 2007 Urban Word of the Day
Discriminatory barrier keeping a certain class of people out of an upper echelon of American government. Distinguished from a glass ceiling because not only is this class prevented from rising to the next level, they cannot even see what is going on up there.

Coined by incoming Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

“When my colleagues elect me as speaker on January 4, we will not just break through a glass ceiling, we will break through a marble ceiling.” - Nancy Pelosi, Jan. 3, 2007.
by Ben Frey Jan 3, 2007

Christian Science Monitor
Pelosi shatters a marble ceiling
Vote Thursday expected to confirm Democrat as first woman to lead a party in Congress.

By Gail Russell Chaddock, Staff writers of The Christian Science Monitor, Mark Sappenfield, Staff writers of The Christian Science Monitor / November 14, 2002
WASHINGTON AND SAN FRANCISCO
Sure, there’s the image of pearls, parties, and the best-cut suits on Capitol Hill. But it’s another dimension of Nancy Pelosi that helps explain why she’s closing in on the highest rank ever attained by a woman in the US Congress: meticulous preparation and work - most of it at the end of a phone.

If House Democrats vote as expected today, the eight-term California lawmaker will become the first woman to lead a party in Congress. She would replace Rep. Richard Gephardt, who stepped down as minority leader last week.

Nearly 13,000 people have served in the Congress since the founding of the Republic. But only 216 have been women - and of those, none has been the leader of a political party. This is “definitely smashing the glass ceiling,” says former GOP Rep. Margaret Heckler, who cofounded the women’s caucus in Congress 26 years ago.

Google Groups: alt.society.liberalism
Newsgroups: alt.current-events.clinton.whitewater, alt.impeach.bush, alt.politics, alt.politics.bush, alt.politics.liberalism, alt.society.liberalism, talk.politics.misc
From: “Gandalf Grey”
Date: Sun, 24 Nov 2002 13:28:39 -0800
Local: Sun, Nov 24 2002 3:28 pm
Subject: Carving Knives at work on Pelosi While Whack Job Delay Gets free Pass

Posted on Fri, Nov. 22, 2002
The carving knives are already at work on Pelosi
By Ellen Goodman
BOSTON GLOBE

Isn’t it nice to have a woman around the House? It’s barely a week since Nancy Pelosi became minority leader and there’s already been a regime change of metaphors. Out with sports; in with food.
(...)
The mother of five was the first woman to break through what she called the “marble ceiling.” No sooner had she won than people were asking, did you run as a woman? This is a question that Pat Schroeder famously answered with the retort, “Do I have a choice?”

Google Books
Reconciling Family and Work:
New challenges for social policies in Europe

By Giovanna Rossi
Milano: FrancoAngeli
2006
Pg. 71:
In 1940—a year taken as a reference for the study of trends in female segregation—it was observed, for female workers, that there was a “marble"* ceiling: in many businesses, it was patently clear that women could not fill positions at the top with high level responsibility and authority.
*This definition (marble ceiling) is given by Valiant (1998): the central thesis of the North American scholar is that a set of implicit, non-formalized factors on gender differences has a neuralgic role in determining the professional opportunities in the life of men and women.

CBS News
November 8. 2006
Pelosi: ‘I’ve Broken The Marble Ceiling’
By Melissa McNamara
(CBS) For the first time, a woman will become Speaker of the House, second in line of succession to the presidency. That woman is Rep. Nancy Pelosi. She’s 66 years old and has represented San Francisco in California’s Eighth Congressional District for almost 20 years. But she never ran for office until her five children were grown. She also has five grandkids, with a sixth one on the way.

CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric spoke to her this afternoon, and asked for her reaction to Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld’s resignation.
(...)
Couric: So you’re a Democrat first and a woman second?

Pelosi: Well, in terms of the politics, in terms of the change it will make for the American people, yes. But as a woman, I’m very, very thrilled because I carry a special responsibility. I’ve broken the “marble ceiling.” This Congress is steeped in tradition and history, and it’s very hard for a woman to succeed to the level that I have, and I think it sends a message to all women that if this can happen, anything can happen.

Local10.com (Miami, FL)
What will it take to make a woman president?
Author: By Marianne Schnall
Published On: Dec 15 2011 03:54:21 PM EST
(CNN) - It has been three years since we applauded Hillary Rodham Clinton’s “18 million cracks in the glass ceiling” during the 2008 presidential campaign. However, there has been little progress for women in Washington to celebrate since then.
(...)
Nancy Pelosi, House Democratic leader, first female Speaker of the House
“As I’ve said before, you can lose the election but win the campaign, because even by running you’ve asserted your strength and authority. In her historic run for president, Hillary Clinton certainly helped crack what I like to call the ‘marble ceiling,’ which has largely kept women from the halls of power for hundreds of years.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Friday, December 16, 2011 • Permalink