150 years ago, women weren’t even allowed to own property in the U.S.
Much less, were they able to vote, hold office or seek out their own destiny. Throughout the 20th century, from the suffrage movement to the women’s liberation movement of the 60s’, 70s and beyond, we have so much to be grateful for. Without the organizers and trailblazers of yesterday, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Women own businesses, they are world-class athletes, they can (often) choose to stay home with the children or go to graduate school or work from home or some combination of all three. Not only can women vote, we may just see the first female American president in 2016.
However, as with almost every social movement, the work is not complete .The glass ceiling is real, unequal pay for the same work is still empirically true and most women can share a story (or many) about harassment, discrimination and misogyny. Not only is the work incomplete, but the mainstream movement left/leaves much to be desired. Much of the critique stems from its inability to address the intersection of other forms of oppression such as racism, class and disability.
The popular logo of the women’s liberation movement is a fist inside the astrological symbol for female. That iconic fist has a deep history entrenched in social movements across the globe from the French and Soviet revolutions abroad to the Black Panther Party and labor movements on American soil. One would hope that connection to other struggles for liberation would encourage organizers and activists to heed MLK’s warning: “A threat to injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” But, fortunately, it’s not too late.
They wrote the last chapter and its our turn to write the next…