Arguments for equality in dentistry and in life #tbt #WomensEqualityDay

The blog is part of a series paying tribute to pioneers in dentistry. Celebrate changemaking women in dentistry at the 7th annual Lucy Hobbs Project Celebration, set for October 3-5 at The Blackstone in Chicago. Register today: https://www.regmadeeasy.com/benco/the-lucy-hobbs-project/2019/

I am writing this post on August 26, #WomensEqualityDay. It’s the 99th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, that gave women the right to vote. Today, I’m focusing on a few voices that advocated for and against allowing women to practice dentistry. There were many against, but only a few brave souls who felt women were equal to men and that dentistry was a place where women could excel.

Sarah Grimke, Early Suffragette
SaraGrimke

I ask no favors for my sex. All I ask our brethren is that they will take their feet off our necks. – Sarah Grimke, early suffragette.

Dr. Lucy Hobbs Taylor

The Dental Times Dispute

If you follow The Lucy Hobbs Project, you’re familiar with the story of Lucy Hobbs, the young woman who sought a career as a dentist, but was constantly denied entrance to dental school based solely on her gender. This was common across a range of educational institutes; law schools, medical schools, and dental schools, among others, frequently denied women admittance to their programs.

Dental Times

Around the same time Lucy Hobbs was finishing up her dental studies in Ohio, a dispute was brewing in Pennsylvania between the pages of The Dental Times, featuring arguments both for and against allowing women to be dentists.

The 1866, Volume III, Number 4 issue of The Dental Times featured two articles, one advocating for women in dentistry, and the other arguing they are “not fitted physically for such taxing work”.

girl-graduates

The first article is the Valedictory address of James Truman, DDS, dean of the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery from 1865-1876. In it, he states:

The recognition of the right of every human being to an equal share in the privileges that we enjoy, has not yet become a principle of faith and practice, as I think it should. We say to one-half of the human family, stitch, stitch, darn stockings, make shoes for a shilling, stand behind counters for two or three dollars per week, do anything, but don’t enter the sacred precincts that we have marked out for our peculiar benefit…Talent is of no sex, color or clime…

This thought was revolutionary for the time and Dr. Truman knew it.

…It may be that I stand alone in these views, both with the Faculty of this College and the audience; but I trust not, as in my judgement, the advancement of the world depends, to a large extent, upon their adoption.

The Opposing View

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Within the same scientific journal, there came the opposing view, with the glaring title, “Dental Surgery – Should Females Practice It?” Its author, Dr. George T. Barker, editor of The Dental Times, emphatically believed women were not suited for the physical rigors of dentistry.

Dr. Barker states, in part:

Should females be encouraged to enter the dental profession? I contend they should not, and it is with no disrespect that the assertion is made. The same reason holds good against females practicing dentistry that it does against a feeble male, for the reasons as previously stated. The very form and structure of a woman unfit her for its duties…

By 1872, three women were admitted to the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery; however, after completing the first year, they were not allowed to return because they were women. When that occurred, there was a dissenting vote by a member of the faculty. The matter then was brought to a committee of members of the board, who rendered the decision that “a student could not be cast out without due cause.” In 1874, two of the three women graduated from the college. Obviously some agreed with Dean Truman, regarding women in dentistry.

1911-Suffragettes

On this #WomensEqualityDay, we are glad that more and more people are of the mind of Dr. Truman rather than Dr. Barker. Here’s to more women in dentistry and to the pioneers, like Lucy Hobbs Taylor, Henriette Hirschfeld, and others who defied convention to become dentists.

Next year, the 19th Amendment turns 100! Here’s to more “firsts” for women!

About the blogger

Guest blogger Jenn Ochman, Database Publishing Production Specialist in the Branding and Communication Department at Benco Dental, dedicates her time outside work to historical reenactment. She shares knowledge of dental history with TheDailyFloss.com readers on a monthly basis.

5 reasons to register for The Lucy Hobbs Project Celebration

The Lucy Hobbs Project hosts an annual celebration that encourages dental professionals to become a part of the movement that is changing the face of dentistry.

At this year’s event, the 7th annual celebration of women in dentistry, Cameo Dental Specialists is partnering with Benco Dental to host at The Blackstone Hotel on October 3-5 in Chicago, Illinois.

A national initiative, powered by Benco Dental and free to join, The Lucy Hobbs Project aims to bring women together from all facets of the dental profession through networking, innovation and giving back. It pays tribute to the legacy of the first woman to earn a dental degree in the U.S.: Dr. Lucy Hobbs Taylor. When she was refused admission to dental school in 1859 because of her gender, Lucy persevered (read her inspirational story here).
This pioneering spirit fuels the Project, and its members to drive dentistry forward.
The annual celebration will not only help attendees grow individually, but will also help dental teams grow together.

On the fence about registering? You’ll be able to make a concrete decision after reading the next 5 reasons to register for this year’s Lucy Hobbs Project annual Celebration.

1. Networking

  • Dental professionals from all over the country attend the three-day celebration. Attendees can learn from and network with peers to gain insight. Participants have the opportunity to take part in activities in line with this year’s theme “Mind+Body+SoulAchieve Your Personal Best Balance, at Home & Work“, hosted at The Blackstone, a location outside of the typical professional environment to encourage the creation of long-term bonds.

2. Giving Back

  • The Lucy Hobbs Project annual Celebration not only offers attendees the opportunity to better themselves and their dental practices, but also allows them to give back to those in need. Through a collaboration with the non-profit organization Let It Be Us, those at the event will have the chance to take part in a give-back activity aimed to help find homes for the 18,000 children living in foster care across Illinois.

3. Teamwork

  • Cameo Dental Specialists joins Benco Dental in hosting this year’s celebration. Cameo Dental Specialists includes practices located across Illinois. Its doctors and highly trained staff always strive to provide exceptional care to their patients in the most comfortable environment.
Dr. Vladana Babcic will be a guest speaker during this year’s celebration.
  • Dr. Vladana Babcic, of Cameo Dental Specialists, will participate as a guest panelist at the Celebration in October and share advice gained from working in the dental profession and offer words of encouragement to attendees.

4. Empowerment

CNN anchor Poppy Harlow will be this year’s featured guest. When she’s not co-anchoring the weekday 9-11 a.m. ET edition of “CNN Newsroom”, she hosts the CNN podcast “BossFiles with Poppy Harlow” with guests including Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Melinda Gates. This fall in Chicago, the Emmy-nominated journalist will join The Lucy Hobbs Project in partnership with Cameo Dental Specialists in celebrating six outstanding women in dentistry. Attendees will be inspired to maintain a positive mindset while striving for their long-term career goals and balance professional growth with a fulfilling family life. Harlow’s passion for life is sure to spark initiative within participants.

5. Recognition

  • Among attendees will be six exemplary women in dentistry who will receive awards that highlight their perseverance and dedication to the profession. These awards shine light on their unique accomplishments. This year’s winners will be honored at a celebratory ceremony:

Still need another reason?

Attendees will also earn three Continuing Education credits. Those interested in registering for this year’s 7th Annual Celebration at the Blackstone Hotel in Chicago Oct. 3-5 can do so here.

#LHP19 Celebration will honor six women in dentistry and feature CNN’s Poppy Harlow

On October 3-5, The Blackstone Hotel, 636 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605 will welcome Benco Dental’s 7th annual Lucy Hobbs Project Celebration; registration is currently open. Click here.

When she’s not co-anchoring the weekday 9-11 a.m. ET edition of “CNN Newsroom”, Poppy Harlow hosts the CNN podcast “BossFiles with Poppy Harlow” with guests including Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Melinda Gates. This fall in Chicago, the Emmy-nominated journalist (shown above, interviewing Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg) will join The Lucy Hobbs Project in partnership with Cameo Dental Specialists in celebrating six outstanding women in dentistry.

On October 3-5, The Blackstone Hotel, 636 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605 will welcome Benco Dental’s 7th annual Lucy Hobbs Project Celebration; registration is currently open. Click here.

“Each year, The Lucy Hobbs Project celebrates the achievements of women in dentistry. Our goal is to gather leaders in the profession to discuss relevant issues and overall well being. We want our guests to leave feeling uplifted, knowing they’ve gained insight to benefit their dental practice and themselves.”

Rachel Pugh, Branding and Communications Manager for Benco Dental


As a highpoint of the three-day event, The Project will honor six women selected as award recipients for setting new benchmarks in the dental profession:


Powered by Benco Dental and 10,000 members strong, The Lucy Hobbs Project encourages dental professionals to become part of the movement that is changing the face of dentistry through networking, innovation and giving back. Named for Dr. Lucy Hobbs Taylor, the woman who, in 1866, became the first American female to earn a degree in dentistry, this national project aims to bring women together from all facets of the dental profession – dentists, dental assistants, hygienists, receptionists, sales representatives and others.

Three days of events, with a focus on Mind+Body+Soul, will include panel discussions, Continuing Education credits, and opportunities to give back, while inviting the project’s members – and all women in dentistry—to “Achieve Your Personal Best Balance, at Home & Work”.

Upcoming at The Blackstone Hotel in Chicago, Illinois and included in the $199 ticket price:

  • Thursday, October 3: Afternoon reception and optional tours
  • Friday, October 4: Full day of panels, speakers and the Celebration ceremony honoring six Lucy Hobbs Project award recipients
  • Saturday, October 5: Morning group yoga and healthy breakfast followed by give-back activity to benefit Let It Be Us, a nonprofit that finds homes for the 18,000 children living in Illinois foster care.
On October 3-5, The Blackstone Hotel, 636 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605 will welcome Benco Dental’s 7th annual Lucy Hobbs Project Celebration; registration is currently open.

To attend the 7th Annual Celebration of Women in Dentistry, host a regional event, or take part in a Lucy Hobbs Project YOU event at a dental school, contact Event Coordinator Ali Riviello at 570-602-7068 or ariviello@benco.com.

Free to join, The Lucy Hobbs Project invites women in dentistry women to use their voices as a force for change. To learn more about previous winners of The Lucy Hobbs Project® Award, or to sign up for The Lucy Hobbs Project®, visit: www.lucyhobbscelebration.com

Benco announces six women in dentistry earning Lucy Hobbs Project Awards for 2018

September 13-15 in San Francisco, the nation’s largest privately owned dental distributor will host 6th annual celebration featuring a Digital Dentistry Symposium with Straumann From standing ovations and inspirational messages, to opportunities for education and giving back, The Lucy Hobbs Project® 6th annual Celebration will create an uplifting experience for its attendees. The three-day event, […]

Want some Wednesday inspiration? Find it in this timeline of dental firsts.

Dr. Horace Wells, Dr. Per-Ingvar Brånemark, Dr. Lucy Hobbs Taylor, Dr. Francis Mouyen — women and men who have helped transform dentistry from craft to science. Inspired by these thinkers and pioneers, one family-owned distributor set out to create an exceptional customer experience for dentists across the U.S. The result: Firsts from Benco Dental have made a difference […]