anti suffrage

Ida B. Wells

Civil Rights Activist, Journalist (1862–1931)

Ida B. Wells was an African-American journalist and activist who led an anti-lynching crusade in the United States in the 1890s. 

Born a slave in 1862, Ida Bell Wells was the oldest daughter of James and Lizzie Wells. The Wells family, as well as the rest of the slaves of the Confederate states, were decreed free by the Union, about six months after Ida’s birth, thanks to the Emancipation Proclamation. However, living in Mississippi as African Americans, they faced racial prejudices and were restricted by discriminatory rules and practices. 

On one fateful train ride from Memphis to Nashville, in May 1884, Wells reached a personal turning point. Having bought a first-class train ticket to Nashville, she was outraged when the train crew ordered her to move to the car for African Americans, and refused on principle. As she was forcibly removed from the train, she bit one of the men on the hand. Wells sued the railroad, winning a $500 settlement in a circuit court case. However, the decision was later overturned by the Tennessee Supreme Court.

This injustice led Ida B. Wells to pick up a pen to write about issues of race and politics in the South. Using the moniker “Iola,” a number of her articles were published in black newspapers and periodicals. Wells eventually became an owner of the Memphis Free Speech and Headlight, and, later, of the Free Speech.

While working as a journalist and publisher, Wells also held a position as a teacher in a segregated public school in Memphis. She became a vocal critic of the condition of blacks only schools in the city. In 1891, she was fired from her job for these attacks. She championed another cause after the murder of a friend and his two business associates.

In 1892, three African-American men—Tom Moss, Calvin McDowell and Will Stewart—set up a grocery store in Memphis. Their new business drew customers away from a white-owned store in the neighborhood, and the white store owner and his supporters clashed with the three men on a few occasions. One night, Moss and the others guarded their store against attack and ended up shooting several of the white vandals. They were arrested and brought to jail, but they didn’t have a chance to defend themselves against the charges—a lynch mob took them from their cells and murdered them.

These brutal killings incensed Wells, leading to her write articles decrying the lynching of her friend and the wrongful deaths of other African Americans. Putting her own life at risk, she spent two months traveling in the South, gathering information on other lynching incidents. One editorial seemed to push some of the city’s whites over the edge. A mob stormed the office of her newspaper, destroying all of her equipment. Fortunately, Wells had been traveling to New York City at the time. She was warned that she would be killed if she ever returned to Memphis.

Staying in the North, Wells wrote an in-depth report on lynching in America for the New York Age, an African-American newspaper run by former slave T. Thomas Fortune. She lectured abroad in 1893, looking to drum up support for her cause among reform-minded whites. Upset by the ban on African-American exhibitors at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, Wells penned and circulated a pamphlet entitled “The Reason Why the Colored American Is Represented in the World’s Columbian Exposition.” This effort was funded and supported by famed abolitionist and freed slave Frederick Douglass, and lawyer and editor Ferdinand Barnett. Also in 1893, Wells published A Red Record, a personal examination of lynchings in America.

In 1898, Wells brought her anti-lynching campaign to the White House, leading a protest in Washington, D.C., and calling for President William McKinley to make reforms. 

Ida B. Wells established several civil rights organizations. In 1896, she formed the National Association of Colored Women. After brutal assaults on the African-American community in Springfield, Illinois, in 1908, Wells sought to take action: The following year, she attended a special conference for the organization that would later become known as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Though she is considered a founding member of the NAACP, Wells later cut ties with the organization; she explained her decision thereafter, stating that she felt the organization—in its infacy at the time she left—had lacked action-based initiatives.

Working on behalf of all women, Wells, as part of her work with the National Equal Rights League, called for President Woodrow Wilson to put an end to discriminatory hiring practices for government jobs. She created the first African-American kindergarten in her community and fought for women’s suffrage. In 1930, Wells made an unsuccessful bid for the state senate. Health problems plagued her the following year.

Ida B. Wells died of kidney disease on March 25, 1931, at the age of 68, in Chicago, Illinois. She left behind an impressive legacy of social and political heroism. With her writings, speeches and protests, Wells fought against prejudice, no matter what potential dangers she faced. She once said, “I felt that one had better die fighting against injustice than to die like a dog or a rat in a trap.”


How Women (and men with low testosterone) Dismantle Nations & Other Uncomfortable Truths - Black Pigeon Speaks


[image description]

[Ethel Smyth, a dapper and butch-presenting woman, as a younger and an older woman.

Annie Kenney, shown as a young woman.

Edith Craig, posed with a thoughtful hand to her jaw and looking rather like a Byronic hero.

(From left) Edith Craig with her partners Clare “Tony” Atwood and Christabel Marshall St. John.

Rosa May Billinghurst, depicted at the center of two crowd scenes. In the first, she is wearing an overcoat and sitting in an old-fashioned wheelchair;  in the second, she has a rather grand hat and is in her famous adaptive tricycle. ]

For @disabilityfest this year, I wanted to continue what I started last year, making posts about historical figures who were disabled. It’s been really important to me to know that my forebears existed, survived, and in some cases thrived. In the historical record, disability erasure is a huge issue: many historical figures’ disabilities aren’t talked about, or the individuals are forgotten entirely.

As an autistic bisexual woman, I’m very aware that sexuality is also subject to historical erasure, often in much the same way. So I’ve decided to focus especially on disabled historical figures who were also gay or bisexual. For me, finding out about and researching historical people who represent those important intersections in my identity has been very powerful, and I hope my information can also benefit some of you.

Today’s post is about disabled suffragettes! (trigger warning for brief mentions of police brutality).

Keep reading
Susan B. Anthony would never have joined the Women’s March on Washington
Unlike march organizers, Anthony and many of her feminist compatriots were staunchly opposed to abortion.

Breaking my hiatus already, just because this issue is so relevant, with the (predominantly pro-choice) Women’s March only days away.

See this anti-suffrage cartoon? People were accusing feminists of hating men literally a hundred years ago.

If you know someone who says that feminism used to be a good thing but now it’s being taken over by extremist man-haters, please show them this.

Their criticism of “feminism today” is just a rehash of the same age-old feminist bogeyman from their great great grandfathers’ tall tales.

emeraldincandescent  asked:

I'm... not really sure how you posting a free book online = fanfiction, (or why people think fanfic is bad, because fanfic is AWESOME,) but I'm sorry that people have been being horrible to you. You're my favorite author, and it makes me so sad that people are mean to you. I hope you don't stop writing. I love The Turn of the Story, and I love Wings in the Morning, and I'm (finally!) about to start Unmade, which I'm sure will be delightful and heartwrenching. So thank you so, so much.

Thank you so much for the kind words! I too am sad people are horrible, and I am very glad you like my writing. I will not stop writing ever, I promise you that, because writing is my one true love. (And I never have to text writing, which is awesome. However, writing also never takes out the trash. God writing, I’m so mad at you.)

I did think I could use this (very lovely) ask as a jumping off point for another… point I’d like to make.

People often respond to these kinds of posts from myself and others with ‘so sorry this is happening to you, people outside fandom don’t understand fanfiction is awesome’ and ‘calling your books fanfiction isn’t insulting, because fanfiction is awesome’ and ‘do you not think fanfiction is awesome?’

I think fanfiction can be awesome. I don’t at all want to put fanfiction down, make anyone think I think badly of it, make anyone feel bad for writing or reading it. However, I also think fanfiction is a community comprised mainly of girls, and thus unconsciously the work within it as seen as less worthy because it’s by girls… and I think the people within that community think that way, as well as the people without.

Nobody from outside fandom has ever called my books fanfiction, though they have decided my books must be crappy because I used to write fanfiction. (I do realise that if I was more popular, I’d get more of this. Which is the catch-22 of women’s success: popularity is awesome, but holy hell do people [inside and outside fandom] dislike seeing women’s success and holy hell will they attack successful women. Popularity is awesome, being attacked is not awesome.)

As it is, however, only people from within fandom do this: people who like fanfiction, and who often liked *my* fanfiction. 

It is very hard to accept this, and it is super weird and contradictory, but it is true. Is it a sense I think too much of myself? Is it unconscious dislike of themselves and their own work? Is it a Groucho Marx deal of not thinking a club that lets you join could be a worthwhile club? Every explanation I can think up is really horrible, and makes me feel really sad for us all.

It’s part of the system of sexism: if you can get women to attack other women, to put them down and stop them succeeding, then the dudes’ work is done for them—they can float on doing their own thing with fewer obstacles in the path of their work.

Very few people are consciously saying ‘women suck and people from this women’s community I’m part of suck and their work is lesser and I hate them and I’m gonna get them’—this is all unconscious, but it is happening: this call is coming from within the building.

Saying something is ‘like fanfiction’ is almost exclusively said about women’s work. (Like the description ‘Mary Sue’ is used sneeringly about women characters, largely in women’s work, who are ‘too awesome.’ And that, too, comes from fanfiction.)

I actually have a list of reviews in which women’s writing is sneeringly called ‘like fanfiction’ but it occurred to me I’d then be sharing a ton of (I think) unfair criticism of women’s work and that would be awful of me. I’m already risking my own work getting more flak: I don’t want to drag any more women into this.

(Women creators get plenty of horrors already. Another thing that happened to me on Christmas Eve was a friend, not at all associated with fandom incidentally, telling me about the death threat she’d received on twitter that day. How jolly.)

Thus, I’m just asking you guys to think back on work discussed that way: how often work is described as ‘like fanfiction’ as a compliment, how often the work thus described is written by men. 

Inherent in fanfiction, of course, is also the fact people writing it don’t own the characters or the world. Which is neutral to say about fanfiction: hey, I wrote fanfiction about Draco Malfoy. I don’t own him, I didn’t create him. (I don’t want him.) It’s not neutral, again, to say about women’s books. I wrote books about Kami Glass. I do own her. I do want her. She’s mine: Elliot Schafer is mine, Nick Ryves is mine, Mae Crawford is mine, Cynthia Davies is mine. (And hey, I’ll share them if you want: happy you’d like to. But saying they’re some other characters, someone else’s characters… not an okay thing to do, not a neutral thing to do. There are many discussions to be had about influences, and influences on worlds and characters, and the way men can be influenced and they’re joining the conversation, but if women are influenced they’re writing fanfiction/ripping someone off/both. I think knowing and speculating on writers’ influences is super interesting, but it’s also potentially harmful, done this way. It’s denying the fact a woman, in this case me, can be a creator, by saying they didn’t create.)

Even though I think fanfiction is totally fine, it’s used as a gendered insult so much that it’s not a neutral thing to say to someone, and I think there needs to be acknowledgement of that, and of the different treatment meted out to male creators and female creators—especially, let me add, male creators who are fandom adjacent, and female creators from fandom.

Fandom is very keen on guys outside fandom being close to fandom, or approving of fandom, or saying girl nerdiness is great: fandom valorises those guys. Their approval is seen as worth something, and their work accepted as obviously worth a lot. Fandom is not at all keen on women, particularly women who come from within fandom. (Again, I’m not linking to any dissing of lady colleagues, but THINK of women known to come from fandom and the things said about them.)

Here is an example of different stuff that comes from a boy’s association with fandom and a girl’s. (Again, I can only use myself, because I will not drag other women into this.) Lev Grossman in 2011 wrote an article on fanfiction in TIME, and there was an inset included of (I think?) the top ten most popular/beloved fanfiction. One piece on my fanfiction was included on the inset.

The whole internet fell on my head, that summer. I was writing Unspoken (my fourth book, the start of a new series I was really excited about). I had not yet written a free book online like a big stupidface: I thought the worst of the fandom crap I get was over. Then suddenly every day, emails arrived saying ‘where can we get that fanfiction.’ When I nicely responded that I’d taken it down, they responded with ‘bitch,’ ‘I’ll kill you’ and ‘who do you think you are.’ I lost patience and began responding with ‘good news: you can read my writing by buying my books or taking them out at the library (libraries: people can still get my work free!).’ They did not wish to do that. They were extremely angry I had made the suggestion. (My writing might be good, and people might want to read it? THE VERY IDEA. Who did I think I was x 10000!) One guy wrote me many long, condescending emails on how my fanfiction might, MIGHT persuade him to read my books, why couldn’t I see he knew better, why couldn’t I just give him what he wanted! The death threats and explanations of how worthless my books were (honestly, I prefer the death threats) redoubled. Every day I sat crying angrily in a house in France, and my friends pressed me to their bosoms. (It wasn’t a total loss, as summers go: the France and the bosoms part were great.)

Lev Grossman got to write an article in TIME (hey, always an awesome career boost). I got a summer of hatemail (hey, sucks psychologically and shockingly hearing ‘nobody wants to read your books’ every day makes it much harder to write). Lev Grossman got articles and posts written about how great he was, he really gets fandom, he understands us. I got, well, you all know what I got. Wasn’t fun.

None of this is Lev Grossman’s fault (I hear he’s a very nice guy). None of this is any particular woman in fandom’s fault, either, even if that woman has thoughtlessly participated in this kind of behaviour (lifting up guys as more worthy, putting down another woman’s work). Like I said in the interview o’doom, we have all done gross stuff.

It is just a crappy system, which is really hard on women and really hard on female creators, and we’re all born into the system, learn behaviours from it, and often fall back into those patterns even though many of us genuinely believe, say, that women are equal and their work is of equal worth… we still fall down when it comes to valorising specific guys, and pulling down specific girls.

The system is the reason guys who write YA get more attention: guys who wrote stories spinning off from Harry Potter’s success got more attention: guys who write anything get more praise and less criticism.

Fandom is a sub-system within the larger system of media, and I often hear it doesn’t display the same problems.

I would really like that to be true. I think there are a lot of people in fandom who are hoping for it to be true and trying to make it true. Currently it’s not true. In order to proceed towards making it true, I’d say to fandom: Encourage your girls, encourage their writing, stop putting it down, stop saying girls’ work is always this one thing and this one thing is bad. Being a girl, using your voice, making it heard, is hard enough. Girls’ communities should not make it harder.

TLDR: I don’t mean at all to bag on fanfiction when I talk about this and I very much hope nobody takes it that way: I am bagging on sexism, and the way it is displayed within and without fandom.

(I am sorry to have spun off wildly from your kind ask, lovely asker, and I hope it was okay.)

Happy 95th birthday to the 19th Amendment!

Here is Elizabeth Cady Stanton with her children at the Metropolitan Opera for her 80th birthday in 1895. The party was thrown by the National Women’s Council, an organization that represented diverse groups of women and their interests. As Stanton’s good friend Susan B. Anthony put it, “For all classes of women, liberal, orthodox, Jewish, Mormon, suffrage and anti-suffrage, native and foreign, black and white—to unite in paying tribute of respect to the greatest woman reformer, philosopher and statesman of the century will be the realization of Mrs. Stanton’s most optimistic dream.”

RBG, who also celebrated her 80th at the Met 118 years later, keeps this picture in her chambers.

The Rise of the Single Dad

When his son, Kyle, was four months old, Stefan Malliet woke up to his crying at three o’clock in the morning. Stefan tried to figure out what was wrong—Kyle wasn’t hungry, his diaper wasn’t dirty, but he still wouldn’t settle down and go to sleep. He just kept screaming. With no one else in the house to take Kyle off his hands, Stefan called a friend, crying: “I had no idea what was going on.”

When I asked Stefan how he decided to take on the responsibilities of a single dad, he said, “This is my child. I have to be here.”

Today, more men than ever are making the same choice. A Pew Research study published this statistic this summer: 8 percent of households with minor children are now headed by a single father, up from just one percent in 1960. This represents a nine-fold increase, from fewer than 300,000 households in 1960 to more than 2.6 million in 2011. In contrast, the number of single-mother households increased four-fold during that time period, from 1.9 million in 1960 to 8.6 million in 2011. These numbers speak to two trends in American family life today: a rising divorce rate over the past half-century, along with the increasing frequency of parents never marrying at all; and the growing societal acceptance of fathers as primary caregivers.

A century ago, this image of men left alone with children was horrifying enough to spur an anti-suffrage movement. So what happened? How did single fatherhood go from terrifying to increasingly normal?

Read more. [Image: AP File Photo]

“The Home or Street Corner for Woman? Vote No on Woman Suffrage.” Tom Fleming, 1915(Rare Book Division, The New York Public Library)

An introduction from Tom Fleming’s work arguing against women’s suffrage. 

“What follows is an annotated bibliography of American fiction published between 1870 and 1920 that deals with the woman suffrage movement. Some works use the “suffragette” figure to caricature the social and political excesses of the day; others are blatant propaganda for or against giving women the vote. All, however, encapsulate the major pro- and antisuffrage arguments of the period and provide insight into the debates over woman’s nature and women’s roles. For antisuffragists, women were inextricably connected (by God and nature) to the home, a haven from commercial and political life. Stereotypically “feminine” emotionalism over logic, in addition to physical delicacy, made women unfit for all the strenuous duties of full political participation. Domestic responsibilities, charitable work, and the exercise of indirect influence (through men) in the public arena occupied women sufficiently–the further burden of suffrage was unnecessary and unwanted. Furthermore, continued the antisuffrage argument, women who actively engaged in politics risked causing dissension in the home by arguing about political issues with their husbands, neglecting their children, and involving themselves with radical ideas such as socialism and free love. The foregoing is a rather crude exposition of some of the major reasons advanced for denying women the vote, but should give the reader some idea of the context in which the books below were written and some of the issues they sought to address. I have limited the selection of material to the 50-year span given above because this was the period of greatest public debate about woman suffrage, beginning with the notorious Victoria Woodhull’s brief association with the movement and its split into two separate camps. Their reunion into the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) in 1890 gave fresh impetus to the cause, which began to attract a large middle-class membership. Moreover, the “New Woman” of the 1890s had in effect achieved the goals outlined in the 1848 Declaration of Sentiments–all except gaining the vote on a national scale. During the 1910s, the younger generation of suffragists adopted the more radical British tactics of pickets, demonstrations, and parades, in addition to aligning with other Progressive-era reformers (such as Jane Addams) and organizing working-class women. During this period, too, both pro- and antisuffrage forces produced a large amount of graphic paraphernalia–posters, cartoons, banners, and even films–to convert the public to their respective stances. This material has been covered elsewhere (see “FURTHER READINGS” and “RELEVANT INTERNET SITES” below), but little has been written about the fiction generated by the woman suffrage movement in America. This bibliography attempts to fill that gap by providing both plot summaries and historical information as needed for each title.”

anonymous asked:

hi! can you explain why you dont like the open letter post? not questioning you- just curious! :)

A few reasons actually.

WARNING: This is a long post.

I’ll list them and explain each.

First of all, it’s clear you don’t know what feminism is. But I’m not going to explain it to you. You can google it. To quote an old friend, “I’m not the feminist babysitter.”

1. The implication that people who choose not to call themselves feminists simply “don’t understand” what it is.

Beyond the fact that the accusation is clearly dripping with condescension, it incorrectly assumes that anyone who chooses not to call themselves a feminist is ignorant about it. 

Granted, it can certainly be true that reasons someone might have for not calling themselves a feminist could very well be based in ignorance on some level (I’ve certainly seen it be the case more than once), however it’s definitely not something that applies universally.

There are people who have legitimate reasons for choosing not to call themselves feminists. There are people who did call themselves feminists who no longer do. There are people who do not call themselves feminists who know more about the feminist movement than many people I know who do call themselves feminists. “Knowing what feminism is” and “calling yourself a feminist” are not even remotely synonymous.

But here is what I think you should know.

You’re insulting every woman who was forcibly restrained in a jail cell with a feeding tube down her throat for your right to vote, less than 100 years ago.[…etc, ad nauseam.]

…You reap the rewards of these women’s sacrifices every day of your life. When you grin with your cutsey sign about how you’re not a feminist, you ignorantly spit on the sacred struggle of the past 200 years. You bite the hand that has fed you freedom, safety, and a voice.

2. The implication that the decision not to identify with a label means you are shitting on the memory of every woman who has been in a difficult situation or fought for equal rights.

This one is an unfortunately common one too. The idea that because feminism fought for your rights you were born with a massive I.O.U on your forehead, and not being a feminist is a violation of that. 

And that’s effectively what the argument amounts to:

“You owe us. WE gave you the right to vote. WE won you your autonomy. WE won you your individuality and agency. You wouldn’t have any of that without us. If you don’t call yourself a feminist then you don’t deserve the rights we won you.”

I don’t know about anyone else but that’s a terrifying thing to believe; that people only deserve rights when they agree with your point of view, and if they don’t then they should revoke said rights.

If feminism fought for women’s agency (that is, women’s right to choose for themselves) then feminism should be okay with women (and anyone for that matter) choosing not to identify with that label. 

Interestingly enough the “You would be nothing without me” argument is one commonly used in emotionally manipulative and abusive relationships. Just something to think on.

This post also comes to mind:

Going back to what I was saying about having legitimate reasons not to call yourself a feminist, feminism is a label that literally anyone can adopt. 

At it’s most basic level, it requires believing in advancing women’s rights (which you don’t even have to be a feminist to believe in). Anything beyond that puts it in a specific feminist school of thought. 

Examples being:

-If you believe in promoting the rights of women+minorities and the LGBT community, you’re an intersectional feminist.

-If you are against including trans people in feminist circles, you are a trans-exclusionary radical feminist.

The feminist label gives a lot of room for individual and subjective opinions. Even within feminism there are feminists that are at odds with each other concerning many issues.

As a result, there are many instances of feminists advocating for things that go beyond simply advocating for women’s rights, and might not reflect the views of many people.

Therefore, people don’t call themselves feminists. And that’s honestly okay. As long as they believe in equality then why does what they call themselves matter?

The icing on the cake:

In short, kiss my ass, you ignorant little jerks.

3. The juvenile, flippant attitude concerning the entire thing.

Meryl Streep, a woman who many would argue is a prime example of a strong woman in Hollywood and recently acted as a Suffragette in a film, doesn’t identify as a feminist. Is she an “ignorant little jerk”? 

Is anyone who simply doesn’t identify as a feminist an “ignorant little jerk” for no other reasons than that?

More importantly, how is reacting this way to their decision going to make them want to change their mind? Responding with so much vitriol to something so simple will most likely only reinforce their decision. In the end it wouldn’t have accomplished anything except the person jerking themselves off about their own moral superiority and “progressiveness”.

The entire post was just a mess of fallacies and really childish logic that anyone with a maturity level over 15 would understand is more complicated than how they present it.