Last week I got to make a pilgrimage to Seneca Falls, NY with fellow contributor Spunky, my boyfriend, and a friend of Spunky. I say pilgrimage because that is exactly what it was; Seneca Falls was arguably the birth-place of the suffrage movement in the United States.
It was here that Elizabeth Cady Stanton, committed social activist, created the first women’s voting rights organization in the U. S. She, along with other like-minded women, organized the Seneca FaIls Convention in 1848. They laid out goals for their movement, including female suffrage. It was the first meeting of it’s kind in the States.
It was on the streets of the town that Elizabeth was introduced to Susan B. Anthony; the two would go on to work tirelessly for women’s rights.
It was in Seneca Falls that Amelia Bloomer first advocated for lady-pants in an effort to literally lighten the load on women. Away with those heavy, restricting skirts!
As we were talking and reading about these strong women someone wondered whom feminists in the future will be remembering, and what victories they will celebrate.
I have been thinking about that ever since. I know that first wave feminism was not perfect. The current iterations (whichever version you ascribe to…third wave, intersectional, cultural, evolutionary, radical, socialist, sex positive…wow, there are a lot of them) are not perfect, either. But ultimately we are all still working for the social and political equality of women.
I have been discouraged lately with my own clumsy attempts to further the cause (sometimes it seems I do more harm than good); I have been discouraged watching the vitriol with which the feminists in my life have sometimes attacked each other; I have felt disenchanted with the whole endeavor, which seems to not be making much headway.
So my question today is this: What wins, large or small, have you witnessed lately? What recent history can we celebrate?