improvement of civilization

One woman, in her early sixties, celebrated the rapid improvements in gay and lesbian civil rights she’d lived to see. She confided, “Sometimes I can’t even believe it! The pace of change has been so sweeping that I can only compare it, maybe, to being African American and in just one lifetime going from slavery to seeing the election of President Barack Obama.” Not twenty minutes later a much younger couple approached me. In their early twenties, still in college in rural Pennsylvania, these women told me, “Everyone here thinks our generation has it so easy—that everything’s fixed; that everything’s been handed to us. But we don’t have it so easy. Not at all.”

This younger couple had grown up in the first decade of the twenty-first century with the same old bullying, religious homophobia, and rejection from their home community and families. Yes, there had been new resources and legal protections available to them, as well as information and support networks, via the Internet—if they knew where to look. But what their coming-out process had lacked, compared with mine thirty years earlier, was the network of physical social spaces and events that defined lesbian cultural activism from the mid-1970s through the mid-1990s.
Progress had proven to be a mixed blessing. It offered the next generation of younger women visible role models in entertainment media—yet it took away feminist bookstores and other sheltering hangouts. Ironically, now that LGBT leaders and smiling, empowered lesbian celebrities declared that it was safe to come out, there were in fact fewer lesbian places to go in America.

anonymous asked:

I just love how gobber always stands up for hiccup. Do you think he misses hiccup in the forge.

One of my favorite things is Gobber’s relationship with Hiccup. For all Gobber has a lot of sarcastic remarks to make, you can tell he deeply cares for the boy.

Hiccup wouldn’t be working the forge during RTTE times when he’s on Dragon’s Edge. He can’t be at Gobber’s stall on Berk and on an island far away, after all. I imagine Gobber does miss Hiccup’s presence on the forge - and it could be why, by HTTYD 2 times, Hiccup is working there again.

Gobber chides Hiccup for being late to work in HTTYD 2. This line indicates that Hiccup returns to work for Gobber between RTTE and HTTYD 2. The fact the shop has been altered to focus mostly on dragons also seems to be indication of Hiccup’s hand in the station. And even though Hiccup is obviously not the best employee at this point, going around and exploring islands, being late for work even when he is on the right island… Gobber still has Hiccup working for him. I believe this shows affection on Gobber’s part and a desire to have the chief’s son with him. Gobber has Hiccup around not necessarily because Hiccup will get a lot of work done… but because, when Hiccup is there, it’s a good time.

Gobber might miss the times when Hiccup was there working for him reliably every day as an apprentice, but he’ll take the times they can together. I think Hiccup on his own end will never get the shop out of him. Hiccup creates his own shop on Dragon’s Edge, and he obviously makes improvements to Berk between RTTE S4 and HTTYD 2 times (the aqueducts, dragon feeding stations, etc.). Hiccup continues to work on projects to improve his civilization, and I think he always will, even when he is chief of Berk. 

Hiccup won’t be able to spend time as an apprentice now that he’s running the village, but I’m sure there are still some days when Gobber sees Hiccup slipping into the shop. Hiccup and Gobber will still talk shop. Hiccup will ask Gobber what he thinks about a new idea. Hiccup might be involved in Gobber’s production of new technology. Hiccup might ask Gobber for use of the shop and do some work himself. It’s something that the two of them can enjoy together, and I’m sure they’ll both always like evoking to those simpler times.

It won’t be as common for Hiccup to enter the shop the older he gets. Gobber might miss those old days. But I don’t think Gobber will complain. He’ll be integral helping advise and encourage Hiccup about being a leader. He’ll still be treated like family. He’ll still be around, closely interacting with the Haddock, through the years and all their changes.

Mass Effect Relationships Week: Day 2: Pictures of You

On the dresser sits a photo. The photo is of a handsome man, staring straight at the camera and wearing a small smile. His shoulders are square; he sits with the natural profile of an old soldier, and his hair is worn close to the scalp. The light blue button-up accents his same-colored eyes, so sharp and clear but not cold like the sea. No ice in these eyes, only warmth.

On the dresser sits a photo of a man who hung the sun and the moon and the stars. Now it’s like the stars have taken that bright light the man was once made of and spread it amongst themselves, to hold tight until they burn out and all this is long gone. And supposedly, that is what happened. The Reapers that hang out in the sky late at night, uneasy shadows, say so.

Why Kaidan would believe that, he’s not sure. He’s not sure what to think about any of it, really. One day, he had everything he needed in this lifetime and then some, despite the ugliness of the war and the fight for survival. But all too soon there was a hurried kiss, a race for the beam, and radio silence.

Then his world fell apart.

Kaidan sighs, preparing himself for a long day. The new Council swear-in is today, which will be nothing more than a load of posturing and politics, something Kaidan was once good at, and even enjoyed in some respects, but now has no patience for. Then comes the next human Spectre induction, so at least he won’t be alone in that sense anymore. It’s a small thing, but the small things in life are what keep him going these days.

But the itinerary gets much worse. At the end of a long day, far after exhaustion sets in, there’s a meeting with the Reapers, and these are his worst missions, if they can even be called that. He will have to face Harbinger, their old enemy-turned-cautious-ally. Kaidan hates Harbinger with an undying passion, but there isn’t anything that can be done about it. Seeing as how Ghost has requested him in particular to be humanity’s ambassador to the Reapers, he doesn’t have much choice.

And Ghost will be there, too. Ghost, who has an uncanny and frankly quite creepy habit of reading Kaidan’s mind sometimes.

He shudders and runs his fingers over the photo. “I suppose we did know the score, huh,” he murmurs to the handsome man framed there. “But this is even harder than I thought it would be. I miss you every day, John. Please give me strength.”

As usual, there’s no answer, so he squares his shoulders and walks into the bright morning. It’s warm, but that warmth doesn’t spread to the ice in his heart. Not even close.

On the dresser sits a photo of the only man Kaidan Alenko has ever loved, but he’s not there anymore and Kaidan has work to do.

More specifically, Kaidan has to make nice and put up with this goddamned black spider-looking motherfucker while his heart is screaming and cursing and bawling in the corner.

“We are almost finished with the repairs. Soon the Citadel can go back to the Serpent Nebula.”

Well, something nice for a change- nice being, of course, a relative thing. At least the Citadel won’t be a danger to Earth anymore.

“That’s great news, Harbinger. Thank you for your hard work.”

And don’t those words just leave his mouth tasting like ash.

“We have mined 11 tons of palladium at the edge of the Far Rim that will soon arrive via the fourth fleet. Our understanding is the salarians are requesting a shipment of approximately half that. Will this request be filled? We can begin preparations if you like.”

“I don’t know, I will have to discuss it with the Council.” He makes a note on the datapad. “Next order of business?”

Harbinger drones on, emotionless. It’s all Kaidan can do to avoid using his biotics against it. Even though it’d probably swat him away like a fly. Even though it’d be pointless.

On the dresser in his bedroom sits a photo of a distant memory. Everything is pointless now.

The meeting drags on. There are several items that are concerning, but overall there are many positives. The damage done by the Reapers is slowly being cleared up, and they will soon be able to dedicate more time to actually improving civilization. Everyone will cheer.

Kaidan won’t. Kaidan can no longer cheer about anything.

He turns around and hands over the datapad to an assistant, a man with caterpillar eyebrows and stars in his drab brown eyes every single time he sees Kaidan. Eyes that are the opposite of John’s baby blues. The opposite of life and love and happiness. It makes him sick to his stomach to look at them. That probably makes him a bad person, but he no longer cares.

Ghost, until now eerily silent, makes a noise before he can walk away. It sounds suspiciously like a throat clearing.

Kaidan turns back toward the Reapers paired side by side, Harbinger’s frame wide and imposing, Ghost much smaller and far more sleek.

Sexy, Kaidan’s mind supplies helpfully.

He takes a breath and thinks about that photo. There is nothing sexy left in the universe, especially not these vile things.

He clears his throat back at it, and hopes his disgust- not just with said thing, but himself for that thought as well- doesn’t come through. “Is there something I can help you with?”

“We are requesting your presence onboard, Major Alenko.”

Kaidan startles. What the hell?

“I, uh… I’m not sure that’s a good idea,” and here he rubs the back of his neck just like John used to do, goddammit, “I mean, how can I even do that?”

In response, a door appears as though by magic in the thing’s hull, and a walkway slides out and bangs up against the dock where Kaidan stands.

On the dresser in his bedroom sits a photo of a man, and he is walking into the waiting arms of that man’s mortal enemy.

He might as well. Not much else to do anyway, really.

The first thing Kaidan is aware of is a Presence, the kind with a capital P. Terror possesses him, but he forces himself to be calm. There are running lights that lead him to some chamber, a strange place with dimensions that hurt his brain to look at; this wasn’t meant to be seen by any mortal, and he knows that for certain. But any awareness of that falls to the wayside and his heart stops- quite literally- for a second or two when he glances in the far corner.

On the dresser in his bedroom sits a photo of a man, and that man sits in front of him now.

Impossible, it should be, and yet.


It comes out as a breath, something no human ear would have heard. But the man, if he is indeed a man anymore, hears him.

“There are things in this universe we can never hope to understand. Do not ask the question, for the answer will grant you no solace. But before you ask, yes, I am real,” John Shepard says, and Kaidan sinks to his knees on the soft obsidian floor.

“John, I don’t… I don’t know what to say.”

“Then don’t say anything. We never needed words anyway. I loved you the moment I saw you, Kaidan. I know you like my own heart.”

“Are you… what are you?”

“I am me,” he shrugs. “I am both what you remember and yet more. And I can make you the same. You can be one with me, if you like.”

The ice blue eyes glitter, with something like mirth, something like awe. Kaidan knows it’s reflected in the hazel of his own.

“Like you have to ask?” he whispers, still barely able to speak in fear of the apparition vanishing like smoke in the breeze. Or maybe he’s dreaming.

You’re not dreaming, says a voice in his head.

John, this can’t be real. Can it? Can I be so lucky?

Kaidan, come here.

Kaidan had never been able to resist him, and so he does, and what he feels is flesh and warmth and true human contact.

And he is finally home.

On the dresser sits a photo gathering dust, of a man made of dust. Soon, it will go into a museum, next to a series of photos of the man and his husband, who disappeared into the jaws of a Reaper a few months after his death.

And all that will remain is a ghost.


Rules: Answer the 11 questions the tagger sets, tag 11 people, and ask them 11 questions.

Unfortunately, I didn’t do it on the day when I was first tagged as a result of which I will have to answer 66 questions instead of 11 ‘cause I was tagged by 6 amazing people ❤

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fics where keith turning physically galra makes him become more animalistic/savage are weird to me bc like…they’re not really supported by canon? aside from galra being fuzzy/scaly and growling a lil, if you look at canon galra they seem more bureaucratic and disciplined than anything, especially if you look at the flashback of them? 

Like, before this I felt like maybe they were a bit like Klingons, not naturally violent but naturally passionate, which can project into violence, but…at this point it doesn’t even feel like that? maybe more like Cardassians, an imperial force hiding behind excuses of ‘civilizing/improving’ the people they conquer, which when I think about it is a pretty reasonable comparison. (although that makes kolivan garek i think but lance is the tailor)

anyway I feel like in canon keith might worry about becoming savage and stuff, because that’s the perspective the paladins have after their battles, but based on what we’ve seen of actual galra it doesn’t seem a likely outcome–it might be interesting to lampshade this concern, but not actually have it play out.

Galra aren’t like animals–they’re scientists, military leaders, mall cops, chefs, and waiters. They’re people. The galra empire is evil, but it’s not made up of animals.

Civil War II #6. Where Miles is traumatized by the vision, Ms. Marvel, Nova, Riri Williams and Cyclops go out to find him and adult heroes sit talking and arguing and talking some more and then more talking. Seriously, aside of Captain Hydra’s manipulations and Strange doing one teleportation it feels only young heroes do anything this issue.

Which is probably an improvement.

Amputation In The Civil War- Staphylococci, The Blood Stream And Death

Photograph shows portrait of Corporal Michael Dunn of Co. H, 46th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment, after the amputation of his legs in 1864, the result of injuries received in a battle near Dallas, Georgia, on May 25, 1864.

Photographed by Hope, successor to M.H. Kimball, 477 Broadway, New York.

After Antietam, for example, 22 percent of the 8,112 wounded treated in hospitals died; but after the Battle of Gettysburg one year later, only 9 percent of 10,569 died. Despite that, an editorial writer in the Cincinnati Lancet and Observer noted in September 1863 that ‘Our readers will not fail to have noticed that everybody connected with the army has been thanked, excepting the surgeons….’ Infection threatened the life of every wounded Civil War soldier, and the resulting pus produced the stench that characterized hospitals of the era. 

When the drainage was thick and creamy (probably due to staphylococci), the pus was called ‘laudable,’ because it was associated with a localized infection unlikely to spread far. Thin and bloody pus (probably due to streptococci), on the other hand, was called ‘malignant,’ because it was likely to spread and fatally poison the blood. Civil War medical data reveal that severe infections now recognized as streptococcal were common. 

One of the most devastating streptococcal infections during the war was known as ‘hospital gangrene.’ When a broken bone was exposed outside the skin, as it was when a projectile caused the wound, the break was termed a ‘compound fracture.’ If the bone was broken into multiple pieces, it was termed a ‘comminuted fracture’; bullets and artillery shells almost always caused bone to fragment. Compound, comminuted fractures almost always resulted in infection of the bone and its marrow (osteomyelitis). 

The infection might spread to the blood stream and cause death, but even if it did not, it usually caused persistent severe pain, with fever, foul drainage, and muscle deterioration. Amputation might save the soldier’s life, and a healed stump with a prosthetic limb was better than a painful, virtually useless limb, that chronically drained pus. Antisepsis and asepsis were adopted in the decades following the war, and when penicillin became available late in World War II, the outlook for patients with osteomyelitis improved.

“My Lucy”: Rutherford B. Hayes Loses His Love

Rutherford Birchard Hayes and Lucy Webb Hayes are not amongst the most well-known of our First Families, but their solid, successful family and deep love for one another is fortunately chronicled in the candid, personal diaries that the 19th President kept for most of his life.

When President Hayes is remembered, it’s usually because of the disputed 1876 Presidential election between him and New York Governor Samuel J. Tilden. Hayes lost the popular vote and there was widespread voting irregularities on both sides which resulted in the electoral votes being held up in three states – South Carolina, Louisiana, and Florida. At the time of the dispute, Tilden, a Democrat, was ahead in the Electoral College, 184-166, just one vote away from clinching the Presidency. The three states where the electoral votes were disputed were all controlled by Republicans and while Hayes led in South Carolina, Tilden was leading on ballots in Louisiana and Florida before a significant number of Democratic votes were declared invalid. The dispute continued for months. Eventually, Congress created a 15-man Electoral Commission to decide the election and the Commission did so along party lines, 8-7, on behalf of the Republican Hayes just days before Inauguration Day. Just a dozen years removed from the end of the Civil War, Southern Democrats again talked of rebellion due to the election of Hayes but Tilden refused to challenge the decision and, placating his opponents with the Compromise of 1877, Hayes removed federal troops from the South and ended Reconstruction. Unfortunately, the quick end of Reconstruction and the Compromise of 1877 left newly-freed African-Americans in the South in a position little better than slavery, with few improvements until the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s.

When Lucy Webb Hayes is remembered, it’s usually as “Lemonade Lucy” due to the fact that, as First Lady, the strict Methodist banned alcoholic beverages from White House functions. However, the White House was not a boring, gloomy place during the Hayes Administration. The President, First Lady, and their five surviving children were a loving family and Lucy frequently held popular social events at the Executive Mansion, including creating the tradition of the White House Easter Egg Roll. Their home was frequently open to members of Congress, Cabinet officials and their families, and diplomats, particularly for Sunday evening hymn groups. Despite the lack of alcohol, for years Washington society excitedly recalled the 25th wedding anniversary celebration of the President and Mrs. Hayes at the White House where the 46-year-old First Lady, mother of eight children (five of whom survived to adulthood), donned the same wedding dress she had worn a quarter-century earlier and the First Couple renewed their wedding vows.

Although Rutherford and Lucy first met in 1847 in Hayes’s hometown of Delaware, Ohio, they began dating in Cincinnati where Lucy was attending college (she was the first college graduate to become First Lady) and Rutherford was practicing law. In his diary at the time, Rutherford wrote, “By George, I am in love with her!”, and later noted that when he first expressed to her that he loved her, “She did not comprehend it – really, no sham. I knew it was as I wished, but I waited, perhaps repreated…until she said, ‘I must confess I like you very well’ – a queer, soft, lovely tone, it stole to the very heart, and I, without loosing her hand, took a seat by her side – and the plight was fated for life.” It was an hour later before Lucy finally told him, “I don’t know but I am dreaming. I thought I was too light and trifling for you.” The couple were married in Cincinnati on December 30, 1852, and were extraordinarily close throughout their marriage. Shortly after their wedding, Rutherford wrote, “A better wife I never hoped to have. This is indeed the life…Blessings on his head who first invented marriage.”

Their close relationship continued as they began having children. Hayes practiced law and had an eye on politics. When the Civil War broke out, he served with honor, saw heavy fighting, was wounded on several occasions, and was Major General of volunteers when he resigned shortly after the end of the war. Hayes had been nominated for Congress while in the field but refused to campaign while still in uniform. He won anyway and served until being elected Governor of Ohio, a position he held for two terms (1868-1872), refused to break precedent and seek a third consecutive term, and then was elected again four years later – the office he held when he became President in 1877.

When Hayes had been nominated by the Republicans in 1876, his acceptance of the nomination included a declaration that he would not seek a second term if elected. When the 1880 election rolled around, President Hayes had no interest in breaking that promise and looked forward to retirement, handing the Presidency over to a fellow Ohio Republican, James Garfield, on March 4, 1881. Rutherford and Lucy retired to their beloved estate, Spiegel Grove, in Fremont, Ohio, and the former President was a progressive voice in retirement when it came to access to education and prison reform, although he opposed the women’s suffrage movement. Although he survived until 1893, however, the former President’s heart broke in 1889 when Lucy left him.

As he had done for most of his adult life, Hayes kept a personal diary through the days of heartbreak as Lucy suffered a stroke and slipped away. Nobody can tell that story better than Rutherford Birchard Hayes:

“June 22 [1889]. Saturday. Returned, from attending committee and board meeting of Ohio State University at Columbus, with Laura yesterday afternoon, reaching home about 5:30 P.M. Rutherford [Hayes’s son] met us. He looked as if something awful was on his mind. We got into the carriage when he said: 'I have very bad news for you,” and with sobs he told us that Lucy had an attack of paralysis about 4 o'clock P.M. – fifteen minutes before four was the exact time. She was sitting in our room, first floor, in the bay, with Ella sewing. Ella noticed that Lucy had difficulty with her fingers trying to thread a needle; went over to her. Lucy could not speak. She was sitting in the large low chair that stands near the southeast window. She did not fall out of it at all, but sank back in it, and seemed to realize what had happened to her; was depressed and in tears. Fanny and Mrs. Haynes and Miss Lucy Keeler were playing tennis just outside of the room; were called in. Sophie Fletcher, the cook, came also. Lucy Keeler drove rapidly for Dr. Rice and he was soon present. He spoke with encouragement and confidence to Lucy. She was perfectly conscious but not able to speak. She was still in the chair. Had had her placed in the bed. When Laura and I reached her bedside, she seemed to know us. In her old manner she pressed my hand and tried to smile, or smiled! The report of the attack published in the newspapers this morning has brought many dispatches from friends and acquaintances in all parts of the country – from Comrade John Eaton, Boston, to Tom Ballinger, Galveston. Sympathy and inquiry.

June 23. Sunday. Lucy is apparently more difficult to arose. Her face and eyes looked natural, almost with their old beauty, when Dr. Rice tried to awaken her so she could swallow her medicine. I think she failed to swallow it. But she had life in her eyes and face. Now I fear, alas! I have seen her eyes for the last time. Those glorious eyes! are they gone – forever? She still grasps my hand, I think intelligently and with the old affection. This at 7 A.M.

[At] 7:20 A.M., Lucy opened her eyes and with a conscious grasp, as she looked in mine affectionately, responded to my inquiry, “Do you hear me, darling?” But her eyelids do not open as they did last night!…

[At] 8 A.M. Dr. Hilbish calls. He thinks the indications rather less favorable than yesterday… She is weaker and more disposed to sleep. She now looks natural and rests quietly.

June 24. Monday, 4:40 A.M. The end is now inevitable. I can’t realize it, but I think of her as gone. Dear, darling Lucy! When I saw and hear her last in full life, she was gathering flowers for me to carry to Mary, last Monday. When she found I would be too late for my train to Toledo if I waited longer, with her cheerful voice she said: “Oh, well, it makes no difference. I can send them (or I will send them) by express at noon.” This she did, and Mary got them. I was barely in time for the train – not a moment to lose. A characteristic act. It was like her. For me the last – oh, the last!

At 4 P.M., Now, more than three days since the attack, finds her much in the same condition she has been since the first day. We wait. Letters and dispatches come from all quarters – full of words that sustain and encourage.

June 24-25, 1889. It is past midnight, almost one o'clock. We do not expect Lucy to see the light of another day. All of our children, Birchard, Webb, Rutherford, Fanny, and Scott, are waiting for the inevitable close. With us are our dear young friends – our darling daughter, Mary, wife of Birchard [and] our cousin and much loved adopted niece has come from Mississippi to be with us, Adda Cook Huntington. Lucy Elliot Keeler, so near and dear to both of us, and, more fortunate than could be hoped, the eldest child – the representative of my never to be forgotten sister Fanny – Laura Platt Mitchell, so beloved by both Lucy and myself that no sacred circle could be complete in my home without her; and with [us, also] the favorite aunt of our dear Mary, Mrs. Miller, a precious addition to our company of relatives and friends. The doctors too, Dr. John B. Rice and Dr. Hilbish, so attentive and thoughtful and devoted, and uniting with these lovable traits such skill and knowledge and judgment in their high profession that we have the best assurance that all will be done and has been done that man can do to save the dear one, and to smooth her way into the unknown if that is to be; and with them the good nurses, Mrs. Dilenschneider and Miss Woolsey, whose sterling excellence has in these few anxious days made them esteemed friends for life.

And Lucy herself is so sweet and lovely, as she lies unconsciously breathing away her precious life, that I feel a strange gratitude and happiness as I meditate on all the circumstances of this solemn transition we are waiting for. Would I change it? Oh, yes, how gladly would we all welcome the least indication of the restoration of the darling head of the home circle. But we cannot, we must not, repine. Lucy Hayes is approaching the beautiful and happy ending of a beautiful, honored, and happy life. She has been wonderfully fortunate and wonderfully honored. Without pain, without the usual suffering, she has been permitted to come to the gates of the great change which leads to the life where pain and suffering are unknown. Just as she was reaching the period when the infirmities and sufferings of mortal life are greatest, she is permitted to go beyond them all. Whatever life can give to the most fortunate, she has enjoyed to the full. How wise and just this is! If ever a man or woman found exquisite happiness in imparting happiness to others, the dear companion of my life, my Lucy, is that woman. Should I not be full of joy and gratitude for the good fortune which gave me her? Few men in this most important relation of life have been so blessed as I have been. From early mature manhood to the threshold of old age I have enjoyed her society in the most intimate of all relations. How all of my friends love her! My comrades of the war almost worship her.

Often I have said our last days together have been our best days. Who knows what the future might have brought to her? It is indeed hard – hard indeed – to part with her, but could I or should I call her back? Rather let me try to realize the truth of the great mystery. 'The Lord hath given, the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.“

June 25. Tuesday. Lucy died without pain this morning at 6:30. All were present. I held her hand and gazed upon her fine face to the last; when, kissing her good-bye as she left the earth, I joined the dear daughter and the other children in walking on the porch in the bracing air of the lovely morning.

June 26, 1889. I notice in the newspapers the phrase, 'the beautiful home in Spiegel Grove.’ Yes, it is, in its own plain, homelike, and sensible way, a beautiful home, but I now begin to realize that the soul has left it.

Lucy Hayes was 57 years old when she died on June 25, 1889. Obviously, the former President was heartbroken. Indeed, it was his heart which gave out on January 17, 1893, also at the Hayes’s beloved Spiegel Grove estate in Fremont, Ohio. Rutherford B. Hayes was 70 years old and before he died in the arms of his son, Webb, the 19th President’s last words were, "I know that I am going where Lucy is.”

Women & Feminism in the French Revolution (D. Godineau)

Women participated in the revolutionary events, but, not being a distinct whole, some were revolutionaries and others counter-revolutionaries. An important women’s movement, a component of the popular movement, stood out in certain moments of the Revolution, and it was for example by their manifestations that the journées of October 1789 and the insurrections of spring of Year III (1795) began. Women, who, by their role as nourishing mothers, paid special attention to the alimentary problems, were particularly numerous in all food riots. But they were not motivated by this question alone and their interventions in the revolutionary process were not limited to this aspect. The militants took part in events whose motives were political (17 July 1791, 20 June, 10 August 1792, conflict between Gironde & Montagne and struggle against federalism in 1793, 9 Thermidor Year II, etc.). One even notices feminine motions in sans-culotterie, against a background of the crisis of supplies but relating to political subjects (spring and summer 1793, Ventôse Year II, winter of Year III). The citoyennes did not legally have the right to vote and were not accepted as members in most revolutionary organisations. In order to overcome these limits that were imposed on their engagement, the most active women organized in Women’s Clubs (Citoyennes Républicaines Révolutionnaires in Paris and around thirty others in the provinces): they were forbidden on 30 October 1793. Women furthermore rushed into the public tribunes of the societies, clubs or assemblies (Convention, municipalities), where they educated themselves politically while working there (hence the nickname of tricoteuses). The place which was theirs in the Sovereign and their incomplete citizenship were at the heart of certain aspects of their interventions in the Revolution as of a certain feminist expression.

From the beginnings of the Revolution onwards, women expected an improvement of their condition in social, familial and economical outlooks. Some, like Olympe de Gouges, Etta Palm d'Aelders or Théroigne de Méricourt, appeared rather radical, others were obviously more moderate. Two texts dominate a production of writings that were often very different: On the admission of women to the rights of citizenship by Concordet (July 1790) and The declaration of the rights of woman and the female citizen by Olympe de Gouges (September 1791). Both of them thought that, as beings of reason, women belong to the human community and are therefore born with the same natural rights as men ; to forbid them to « contribute to the law » is a violation of the « principle of the equality of rights » and an « act of tyranny », wrote Concordet. These two essential texts present a theoretical feminism ; but the reflections on women’s rights were not particular to the debates of the Revolution and, based on the philosophy of natural rights, were revived with new vigour in 1793 while feminine sans-culotterie asserted itself with force within the popular movement. Women, thinking and social beings, have the right to take part in political life, assured the militants who added: « the declaration of rights is common in the one and in the other sex » ; and « since the Constitution is based on the rights of man », some demanded its « whole exercise » (the right to vote). Some rejected the image of passive and unimportant women which they linked  to the condition of a people that is submitted to despotism and opposed to it the one of « free women », members of a free people, who participate by their action in the conquest of the liberty of mankind. The masculine oppression was compared to the former royal despotism: in a Republic, the « marital despotism », « just as despotic towards women as was the one of aristocracy towards the peoples », has to disappear because « everywhere where women will be enslaved, men will be bent under despotism », these women wrote. The feminism of Olympe de Gouges, Concordet, Etta Palm d'Aelders, Théroigne de Méricourt or of the militants of 1793 was considered in a general perception of society: to restore their natural rights to women was regarded as one of the conditions that are necessary in order to arrive at a truly free society. Alongside these texts, certain approaches of women have, if one examines them in the light of the concepts acting under the Revolution, a feminist character: the ceaseless demands since the beginning of the Revolution of the militants of the right to bear arms (an inherent attribute of popular sovereignty, one of the foundations of citizenship), the solemn approval of the Constitution of 1793 by groups of women who, by this gesture, asserted themselves as members of the sovereign and reacquired a right (sanction of laws by voting) which they did not enjoy. When it comes to questions of mentalités, the majority of the revolutionaries were hostile to this feminism ; the report of Amar (30 October 1793) which prohibited the Women’s clubs and the exercise of political rights by women largely put an end to the feminist reflections. If the revolutionaries legally refused the political rights to them, they nonetheless took a certain number of measures which improved their condition: civil acknowledgement, successional equality, divorce (by mutual consent, if it took place). But, after the Revolution, the Napoleonic Civil Code would place women under the domination of the chef de famille for many years.

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BREAKING: 19 civil liberties organizations oppose final version of dangerous cyber bill

December 9, 2015

Contact: Evan Greer, 978-852-6457, 

A group of 19 civil liberties organizations from across the political spectrum this morning issued a letter to the White House and Congress urging lawmakers to oppose the final “conferenced” version of a dangerous cyber bill that experts say will dramatically expand government surveillance while failing to make us safer from cyber attacks.

Click here to view the letter and complete list of signers as a PDF.

“The final version of this bill is an insult to the public and puts all of us in greater danger of cyber attacks and government surveillance,” said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, who organized the letter, “This was already a fundamentally flawed piece of legislation, and now even the meager privacy protections it provided have been gutted, exposing it for what it really is: a bill to dramatically expand abusive government spying.”

The text of the letter is copied below. Signers include prominent civil liberties groups ranging from the American Library Association, Fight for the Future, Demand Progress, and Free Press Education Fund to FreedomWorks, Campaign for Liberty, and R-Street.


December 9, 2015

Dear President Barack Obama and Members of Congress,

The undersigned organizations urge you to oppose the newly negotiated “conference”  legislation that purports to resolve differences between H.R. 1560, which includes both the Protecting Cyber Networks Act (PCNA) and the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act of 2015 (NCPAA), and the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 (CISA, S. 754). The current version of these bills is the result of secret negotiations between the House and Senate intelligence committees at the expense of critical expert input from the House Committee on Homeland Security, and it loses any advantages and improvements in the Homeland Security Committee’s own cybersecurity bill, the NCPAA.

Many organizations and companies† opposed CISA in its earlier form because they believed it would damage Americans’ privacy without improving security. Civil liberties organizations’ concerns are well known. Companies share many of the same concerns. But companies also work hard to earn users’ trust when it comes to privacy. Without that trust, business suffers. Instead of addressing these concerns with the existing bills, the current proposal would build a government regime that makes it impossible for companies to guarantee the protection of customers’ civil liberties and privacy, while also failing to meaningfully improve cybersecurity.

Specifically, the text just negotiated is publicly reported to include the following gravely flawed changes to the passed bills. These changes would render it an unacceptably compromised piece of legislation that will be both unhelpful for cybersecurity and dangerous to Americans’ civil liberties. Specifically, It threatens to:

-Create a loophole that would allow the President to remove the Department of Homeland Security, a civilian agency, as the lead government entity managing information sharing;

-Reduce privacy protections for Americans’ personal information;

-Overexpand the term “cyber threat" to facilitate the prosecution of crimes unrelated to cybersecurity;

-Expand already broad liability protection for information disclosure;

-Preempt state, local or tribal disclosure laws on any cyberthreat information shared by or with a State, tribal, or local government; and

-Eliminate a directive to ensure data integrity.

Moreover, these modifications worsen bills that already contained fundamental flaws. These bills, in particular CISA, would already:

-Dramatically expand the amount of sensitive information held by government agencies with dismal records on data security;

-Undermine civilian agency leadership of cybersecurity efforts;

-Institute blind, automatic transfer of personal information to intelligence agencies, including the National Security Agency, that would be authorized to use the information for non-cybersecurity purposes;

-Allow private entities to transfer irrelevant and sensitive personally identifiable information to the government without accountability;

-Allow companies and other entities to use “defensive measures” to protect “information systems,” which could unintentionally harm systems and computers of innocent parties; and

-Provide unnecessarily expansive liability protections to companies, thereby undermining customer trust and limiting judicial remedies for those whose rights are violated.

Because it fails to resolve these weaknesses originally present within the three bills and makes new and alarming changes to them, we strongly object to the intelligence committee’s latest iteration of “cybersecurity” legislation and the undemocratic process that produced it.

Please join us in rejecting these new, troubling flaws and insisting that any version of cybersecurity legislation brought to the floor of either chamber draws heavily upon NCPAA and the expertise and extensive input of the House Committee on Homeland Security.


Advocacy for Principled Action in Government
American Library Association
Bill of Rights Defense Committee
Campaign for Liberty
Constitutional Alliance
Defending Dissent Foundation
Demand Progress, Inc.
Fight for the Future
Free Press Action Fund
Media Alliance
Niskanen Center
Our America Initiative
Restore the Fourth
R-Street Institute