“Gratitude?”

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Amazing post by Amananta at Screaming into the Void. Below is an excerpt:

“…So American women are supposed to feel indebted for our freedoms – to whom, exactly? To someone not women, in other words, men? We should thank them, feel indebted to them, seek to reciprocate in some way for the valuable gift of our freedom, which it cost them a lot to give us, but which they did out of the kindness of their hearts and their superior moral timbre (when compared with those icky Muslims). If we are not wildly grateful, thanking men frequently for allowing us unworthy non-penis owners to drive, vote, and otherwise live a life almost as good as (but not quite!) their own, maybe we need to be taught a lesson and scared a little bit with morality tales of how bad some women have it, so we know what we are risking going back to if men get fed up with our uppityness.

“Small little problem though – women don’t owe men one ounce of gratitude or thanks for our freedoms. But the idea that suffrage and other women’s rights were benevolently bestowed upon us by men is deeply imbedded into historical lies and the very language.”Women were given the right to vote.”This is what we are taught. The statement is often framed as such, implying that non-women – i.e., men – gave them that right. The reality of why women can vote here and in many other countries does not match this rather tepid statement. In order to win the right to vote, women have defied husbands and fathers, spoke publicly, started organizations, created newspapers, held massive protests and marches, petitioned lawmakers, were jailed for protesting, went on hunger strikes, were force fed and sometimes died, rioted in the streets, set fire to houses of anti-suffragists, and sometimes defied the law not allowing them to vote by forcibly inserting their votes into ballot boxes. …

“… After seventy-two years of protest and increasing political action, women’s ceaseless advocacy on thier own behalf hounded and shamed American political leaders into ceasing their discriminatory suffrage policy towards women. This was not a gift or a boon, but a hard-won victory. Every social and political right won by American women after this time has been won only because feminist groups consisting mainly of women have fought for that right. Women led the fight for legal contraception, for legal abortion, for equal pay, for fair treatment in school, at work, in all spheres of society. Men have NEVER led a political struggle for women’s rights – NEVER. Men as a group have been greatly resistant to the point of hostility to women’s demands for equality and freedom, both to both the women who petition for freedom and any men who side with them. …”

Read the whole post here.

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