For two decades, award-winning American historian and documentary editor Ann D. Gordonhas been on a quest to collect, preserve, and annotate the writings and speeches of two of America's most important feminists, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.
Excuse me while I gather my bearings. Where do I even begin? Who is more badass than Audre Lorde? No, really. This is a question I want you to answer. Can't think of anyone? Good. Did you think of someone? Don't tell me yet. You'll ruin this moment. Born in New York City on February 18th, 1934, Lorde began reading and writing by age 4, wrote her first poem in the eighth grade, and was quickly growing into the wonderful poet, writer, theorist, and activist so prominent in fields of contemporary feminist, queer, and race theory she would become.
Imagine, if you will, that you are living in Missouri at the end of the Civil War (1864 or thereabouts). Imagine also that you are a woman without a ton of moneymaking options who is in need of a job ASAP. Oh, and you are also a recently freed slave living in a place and time where people are still getting used to the idea that you aren't a piece of property. (And we thought it was tough to find a job in this economy.) What on earth will you do to support yourself?
Well, if you are a feisty entrepeneuse with a working knowledge of military life like Ms. Cathay Williams, what you will do is dress in drag and join the U.S. Army.
Earlier in this series I did a post on the bluestockings and a Facebook commenter suggested I do a follow-up piece on Japanese anarchist feminists. I thought now would be a good opportunity to mention them and some more feminerd forerunners from around the globe, including Kurdistan, Indigenous North America, and even ancient Babylon.
Here is the semi-embarrassing circumstance that resulted in the more-than-semi-embarrassing-realization that I haven't yet written about Maya Angelou for this blog: I was watching the first day of OWN's (Oprah Winfrey Network, duh) new programming with my mom, (...nope. Can't even come up with a sarcastic parenthetical. I just was.) and saw that Dr. Angelou would be featured on an upcoming series called "Master Class." Actually, I saw that a new show on OWN would feature Maya Ang—, which is all I saw before I bolted off the couch to my computer and yelled back to my mom that we needed to figure out DVR recording before Sunday night at 10. She was surprised by my new enthusiasm for the Winfrey gospel, needless to say. And I'm surprised I haven't yet waxed adoring on this writer, this poet, this actress, director, dancer, professor, activist, this woman who more than any other artist makes me glad to be American, to be female, to be human at the same time as her.
Today's installment of Adventures in Feministory is about a woman who fought for freedom in the Mexican Revolution, reminding her male cohorts that the equal rights they were fighting for should include women as well as men. Meet Dolores Jiménez y Muro: teacher, writer, activist, and Colonel in the Mexican Revolutionary Army.
Ladyween (yes, that's what we're calling Halloween here at Bitch HQ these days—it's gonna catch on, trust us) is fast approaching. If you're still searching for the perfect costume, one that combines feminism with history and still leaves you looking sharp, look no further than the Adventures in Feministory archives!
What do Mary Daly, Margaret Sanger, Nellie McClung, Martha Griffiths, Gloria Steinem, Geraldine Ferraro, Julie Bendel, Robin Morgan, Germaine Greer, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Janice Raymond, Sheila Jeffreys, and Beth Elliott have in common?
You were going to tell me they're feminist icons, weren't you? Awww, how cute.