Happy International Women's Day, Week, Month! Today, we celebrate International Women’s Day across the globe and the commencement of the first HeForShe Arts week in New York City (links below), all part of Women History Month. Happy celebrations. Honor your HERstory.
I am known as the Guy Feminist. I am honored by this title because as a humanist, believing in the empowerment and ascendance of all people, especially women who have long been mistreated, I am naturally a Feminist.
As a modern day Feminist, I am disappointed and very concerned about the current tenor of equal rights in America. Here’s why.
My book, Outrageous, exposes the horrific conduct toward women in Victorian America. I write about the early suffrage movement and the great divide that delayed women getting the vote for fifty years. In 1870, the differences in ideals of social conduct—whether women should be granted legal standing as persons under the law and not exclusively the right to vote—was voiced as contempt and condemnation. It was also a geographic and religious battle pitting the “holier than thous” Boston conservatives lead by Mary Livermore, Catherine Beecher, and Harriet Beecher Stowe affronted by the New York radicals Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Lucretia Mott.
The first woman to run for President in 1872, Victoria Woodhull, also the first woman along with her sister to operate a Wall Street brokerage firm and publish a newspaper, was the popular spokesperson for the progressives, some would say revolutionaries. The conservative Boston Brahmins demonized Victoria attacking her through the press. The intention was not to simply remove a very able spokesperson, but to discredit women of the National Woman Suffrage Association who argued for both a right to vote and full legal standing as a person, instead of chattel—the property of their fathers or husbands. A man even had the right to will a mother’s children away from her upon his death.
I felt the chill of history repeating itself when Secretary Albright and (my personal hero) Gloria Steinem chastised, ridiculed, and condemned to hell women not supporting Hillary Clinton.
Then there was the Democratic Debate on March 6, in horror stricken, afflicted Flint, Michigan. The lead story for a major news network was “Excuse me! Sanders tells Hillary when she can talk.” (I am paraphrasing.) The unspoken implication was how dare a man try to control a woman by telling her when she can talk. Which should greatly agitate Feminists, except that (unmentioned in the news report) Hillary was repeatedly interrupting Sanders at a very heated moment in the debate.
Equal means equal! If Sanders had conducted himself in the exact same manner with a man interrupting him, there would not have been any mention of it. Just look at the Republican Debates if you want proof. Should the rules of engagement change if one candidate is a woman? That is called sexism. The ongoing campaign to get women on the side of Hillary due to her gender has the potential of ripping the movement apart in much the same way it did close to one hundred and forty years ago.
I am one hundred percent certain that all three feminism icons—Albright, Steinem and Clinton—would actively educate the voting populace not to even consider voting for gender if Carly Fiorina, Michelle Bachmann, or Sarah Palin were nominated for the Presidency.
To celebrate all three events, International Women’s Day, HeForShe Arts Week, NYC, and Women History Month, I offer this list of the issues important enough for Victoria Woodhull to include in her platform for the 1872 election and a quote:
Women’s suffrage and full legal standing as persons under the law; equal wages for equal work, regulation of monopolies, nationalization of the railroads, an eight-hour work day, direct taxation, abolition of the death penalty, legalization of prostitution, welfare, vocational training for the unemployed and Free Love.
Yes, I am a free lover. I have an inalienable constitutional and natural right to do what I please with my own body and to love whom I may, to change that love everyday if I please, and neither you nor any law you can frame have any right to interfere.
I think we can all agree she was an amazing Feminist, way ahead of her times. She and her sister Tennessee Celeste Claflin lived in Europe from 1878 until their deaths in the 1920’s. The British Suffragette movement modeled its theory and practice on the writings of the sisters. Queen Victoria made Lord Cook the Baronet of Portugal and Tennessee became Lady Cook, Viscountess of Montserrat. She lived in a castle outside of Lisbon, and would often speak at women’s gatherings. Victoria Woodhull married an English banker and became Lady Martin, implementing universal health care in her hamlet, shelter for battered women, and women’s vocational training. She was one of the few original suffragists to live to witness the vote being given to American women.
Emma Watson on International Women’s Day
HeForShe launches first Arts Week in New York City
#Feminism #HeForShe #WomenHistoryMonth #EqualMeansEqual #PledgeForParity #Bernie #Hillary #Steinem #Albright #GuyFeminist #EmmaWatson #PatriciaArquette
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