Re: Victoria Woodhull

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Posted by Mary Shearer on November 05, 2000 at 15:32:53:

In Reply to: Victoria Woodhull posted by EA Kvernevig on November 04, 2000 at 19:41:50:

: My hat goes off to her and her sisterTennie C and I'll be sure to rock the boat in my History class when we talk about the Women's Suffrage Era.


Way to go! When I went to school, no one mentioned Victoria Woodhull, and I had no idea she was so famous. Susan B. Anthony was the icon of the movement,and she was--well--boring. She really isn't, but the way the schools present her and the suffrage movement, you'd swear the whole thing was about putting a pretty little paper in the pretty little ballot box and then heading out for an afternoon tea. (Are you snoring already? I am.) Victoria puts a whole new spin on the subject, and just the mention of her name wakes the dead.

A lot of teenagers identify with Victoria. Maybe it's because she was wiling to talk frank with them about sex. She had a hard life as a pregnant teen who was dissed by the man she loved, but she didn't let that get in the way of success. Or maybe it's because she rebelled against the conformity of her elders. Or maybe it's because she spoke about the rights of children, at a time when children were seen but not heard. Whatever it is, she makes for a livelier discussion than "Aunt Susan."

You probably will shake things up if you mention Victoria. You may even find that your teacher has never heard of her. If you really want to shake things up, maybe you should try this quote from President John Adams, long before there ever was a women's rights movement:

"The same reasoning that will induce you to admit all men who have no property, to vote, with those who have, for those laws which affect the person, will prove that you ought to admit women and children; for, generally speaking, women and children have as good judgments, and as independent minds, as those men who are wholly destitute of property; these last being to all intents and purposes as much dependent upon others, who will please to feed, clothe and employ them, as women are upon their husbands, or children on their parents."

Maybe it's time for those under the age of 18 to have the right to vote. After all, the laws on child support, child labor, school vouchers, etc. affect you just as much as anyone over the age of 18, if not more.

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