Women’s History Roundup: Our Sheroes

Here is a mish mash of women who have kicked much booty in their own way. If you’ve got a sheroe you want to mention, be sure to give us a link in the comments section.

The Two Lives of Frida Kahlo – Feminist Peace Network
Remembering Jeannette Rankin, Fist US Congresswoman – Gloria Feldt’s 9 Ways
Conversations with Alice Paul – Suffragists Oral History Project
Women on Waves – Feminists for Choice

The National Women’s Hall of Fame is generally a good resource for honoring women’s history – be sure to bookmark it so you can check back when you need a little inspiration.

Preserving Women’s History is the Challenge

If preserving our history was as simple as preserving fruit, we might be onto something

Uncovering women’s history has often been challenging because of the scarcity of written records about women’s lives.  But another challenge is the lack of funding for preserving women’s historical sites.  Some sites are in better condition than others, which can be influenced by several factors.

Take Seneca Falls, for example.  The Wesleyan Chapel where the first women’s rights convention was held has not always been designated as a historical site, nor has it been home to a women’s history museum.  In the years following 1848, the Wesleyan Chapel was sold several times.  In its lifetime, the Wesleyan Chapel has been an opera house, a laundry mat, and a car dealership.  Today, the chapel is stripped of all its furniture.  However, the Visitors’ Center next door has an amazing tribute to the women’s movement in the US.

Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s homes are two other examples.  Although the homes are being preserved, there were many decades where the homes served as private residences, rather than museums.  Stanton’s home is preserved by the National Park System, but Anthony’s home is being preserved by a private foundation.  When I visited Stanton’s home last fall, it had been stripped of everything inside in order for the park service to do structural repairs.  When I asked the tour guide when the home would be restored, he said he did not know – it depended on funding streams.  The Anthony home has been slowly repaired over the years, but there are a few sections of the house that are not safe to enter.  Again, this is an issue of funding.  When you compare the state of these homes to the historical sites that honor men, it’s a little heartbreaking to think that women’s history has no monetary value in the US.  And that’s why we women need to keep demanding to have our history preserved.  [Read more...]

Challenging Oklahoma’s new abortion law

h140 In 1913, Alice Paul and Lucy Burns founded what would come to be called the “National Women’s Party”. The seal pictured was the official flag of the party, there were 36 stars to represent the 36 states needed to ratify the 19th Amendment which allowed women access to the right to vote. Now, i’m pretty sure you’re wondering what this flag, or the NWP have to do with the new Oklahoma law that was passed a few weeks ago. At first glance, not a whole lot, but in examining the way that the brave women of Oklahoma are fighting back against HB 1595, i have to ask…

What would Alice do? [Read more...]

E.R.A re-introduced into Congress for 27th year

FE_PR_081022whispers_obamaIts the E.R.A….take 27

Almost three decades after the Equal Rights Amendment was introduced and defeated, and eighty six years after it was originally drafted by women’s rights leader, Alice Paul, the E.R.A has made its way back to Congress. This time, in hopes of FINALLY getting the votes its been needing since 1982.

Its not a difficult concept to grasp, Equal Rights. Yet, every year since 1982, the E.R.A has been re-introduced into Congress and repeatedly shot down for one reason or another. At this point in time, it has been ratified by 35 of the required 38 states needed for a Constitutional Amendment. And yet, here we are, almost thirty years since, and it seems as if we’ve all forgotten to care.

The current bill in this session of congress was introduced by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) under House Joint Resolution 61. The text of this legislation is exact to the very same E.R.A bill that was submitted to Congress in 1972 under President Richard Nixon. The only difference is that this bill, if passed through both houses, would not contain the original 7 year time limit for ratification that the original bill did. In 1979, we were still three states short of the 38 needed, and an additional bill was drafted to extend the deadline another 4 years to 1982. It was at this juncture that, under President Ronald Reagan, the E.R.A is said to have “died”. To this day, Ronald Reagan was the first and only president to actively oppose a Constitutional amendment to give equal rights to women (Chronology of the Equal Rights Amendment) [Read more...]