Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Susan B. Anthony Day!

Bet you thought I was going to post a very gay love poem, right? Tune in tomorrow.
If, like me, you're not a big fan of Valentine's Heterosexuality Day (I have even more reason to hate it this year: lesson planning nightmare), and want to promote something a bit more uplifting than V-Day, how about celebrating Susan B. Anthony's birthday? Now, I'm a big fan of the Vagina Monologues, and V-Day is an absolutely necessary movement, but us feminists need all the cheerleading and inspiration we can get. And Susan B. Anthony, in addition to being really fucking cool, was born on February 15th. I say it's time to reclaim Valentine's Day for something actually worth celebrating.

"Independence is happiness."

I love this picture of her. She reminds me of Jane Eyre. Except she makes Jane Eyre look like a shrinking violet. They called her "the Napolean of the woman's rights movement." She was involved in abolitionism, temperance, labor, and education reform in addition to women's suffrage. She never married. She got arrested for voting in the 1872 election. She started a newspaper called Revolution that "championed women's suffrage, equal pay for equal work, women's education, the rights of working women and the opening of new occupations for women, as well as the liberalization of divorce laws." The Nineteenth Amendment giving American women the right to vote was originally called the Susan B. Anthony Amendment, but she died 14 years before it was passed.

She didn't mince words either:

It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union.

The fact is, women are in chains, and their servitude is all the more debasing because they do not realize it.

Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing, never can bring about a reform. Those who are really in earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing in the world's estimation, and publicly and privately, in season and out, avow their sympathy with despised and persecuted ideas and their advocates, and bear the consequences.

I can't say that the college-bred woman is the most contented woman. The broader her mind the more she understands the unequal conditions between men and women, the more she chafes under a government that tolerates it.

On foreign policy: How can you not be all on fire? ... I really believe I shall explode if some of you young women don't wake up --and raise your voice in protest against the impending crime of this nation upon the new islands it has clutched from other folks. Do come into the living present and work to save us from any more barbaric male governments.

I always distrust people who know so much about what God wants them to do to their fellows.

On abortion: We want prevention, not merely punishment. We must reach the root of the evil, and destroy it. To my certain knowledge this crime is not confined to those whose love of ease, amusement and fashionable life leads them to desire immunity from the cares of children: but is practiced by those whose inmost souls revolt from the dreadful deed, and in whose hearts the maternal feeling is pure and undying. What, then has driven these women to the desperation necessary to force them to commit such a deed? This question being answered, I believe, we shall have such an insight into the matter as to be able to talk more clearly of a remedy.

Resolved, that the women of this nation in 1876, have greater cause for discontent, rebellion and revolution than the men of 1776.

Oh, yes. I'd do it all again; the spirit is willing yet; I feel the same desire to do the work but the flesh is weak. It's too bad that our bodies wear out while our interests are just as strong as ever.

She rocks.

1 Comments:

At 5:10 AM, Anonymous roro said...

She totally rocks! Quelle great suggestion. I spent the first half of Feb cringing about this Valentine's promo I was writing for work because Valentine's? So so stupid. If only it had been the Susan B. Anthony Day promo, I could have sold the CRAP out of that product. Excuse me while I get started on that for next year.

 

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