Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Remembering Seneca Falls

Today is the anniversary of the Seneca Falls Convention. It wasn't until 72 years after that event that American women finally got the right to vote.

It took many more decades before American women obtained other rights taken for granted by men, and though women's rights look good on paper, there is still rampant discrimination against women in this country, much of it subtle, much of it legal.

There is also a movement of "progressive" women who want to do away with the word "feminism" because of "everything associated with it." If women allow the media to take a perfectly good word and trash it, and then--fearing the word's new assocation--dump the word, they will be acting exactly like patriarchal forces want them to act: submissive, eager to please, and frightened.

Remember Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, and Susan B. Anthony. They went through way too much to be belittled by a culture of Feminist Lite.

6 Comments:

I'm male. I've been a feminist ever since reading Betty Friedan back in the mid-60's and seeing my mom and her friends on every page. I am a feminist. I will remain a feminist.

By Blogger handdrummer, at 3:26 PM  

I've read some of that stuff about moving away from the word "feminism", too, and find it alarming. Why would I abandon a perfectly good word, one with a full and rich history and an intellectual tradition?

Think about how threatened friends, relatives and strangers are when you introduce the word "feminism" or "feminist". Anything that scares people that much, that has that much power for women, should not be jettisoned.

I'm never abandoning feminism, or its name. Why would I? Feminism has never abandoned me.

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