Whose History is it anyway?
   

 

One would think the patriarchy maligned Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Lucretia Mott more than enough while the three worked to win the vote for women in the USA from 1848 until 1920. Think again. The patriarchy cuts all women down with tirades against the marble likenesses of these three formidable women. It is being done today, even as we speak.

Alice Paul, another historic fighter for women's equality, commissioned sculptor, Adelaide Johnson, to carve the image of these most renowned activists in a 7 ton block of beautiful white marble.

Congress commemorated the passage of the 19th amendment by accepting the statue in 1920. The inscription on the marble read:

    "Spiritually, the woman movement is the all-enfolding one. It represents the emancipation of womanhood. The release of the feminine principle in humanity, the moral integration of human evolution come to rescue torn and struggling humanity from its savage self."

The patriarchy removed the statue in 1921 to the basement with trumped up denigrating attacks of esthetics, paganism, and patriotism on three historical activists they further attempted to hide from historical records.

Supposedly this gold leafed inscription was whitewashed over after it was removed to the basement. However, it is obvious from the chipping on the block that the gold leaf was salvaged or maliciously removed leaving no present evidence of an inscription.

When Rep. Sue Myrick (R-N.C.) objected to using taxpayers' money to bring the statue back into the rotunda, everyone looked puzzled because former resigned Vice President Spiro Agnew's statue was recently placed near the Senate chamber with taxpayers' money.

The usual patriarchal double standard, say what?
Taxpayers' money was withheld to bring the statue out of the basement SO thousands of women across the United States of America sent in $75,000 to move the statue and defeat the patriarchy. Keep in mind that patriarchal women, as well as men, who formulate vociferous attacks, are now in positions of power simply and irrevocably because of the tireless work of the three women whose marble images they malign.

For seventy seven years after the vote was secured in the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, the patriarchy invented new cliches and continues to misrepresent the most dedicated and sincere women in our history. No more historical personages ever graced a statue in the hallowed rotunda of the United States Capitol building in Washington D. C. Our foremothers are as deserving of a hallowed a place in the rotunda as Rhode Island founder, Williams, or non-president Lafayette, whose historical actions did nothing to emancipate one half of the country's population.

Naomi in front of the statue described in this article. View larger image (100k) I watched as Asian women were photographed with the statue as I was on November 22, when women gathered to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the First Women's Conference in Houston, Texas, commissioned by the United Nations. The statue has no identifying marks, no indication of who the women are or their importance in our history. Capitol guides deny any knowledge of either. Explanation is not included on any guided tours.

The fate of the statue's position is in the hands of congress. Its one year trial period ends in May 1998. Will the patriarchy succeed in keeping women in the basement? It's up to you.

Letters, e-mails, or phone calls to your representatives will be the deciding factor as to what constitutes history or herstory in the eyes of the visiting world.

The following people could be most helpful in giving this memorial statue the respect it deserves. Write or call them.

    The man in charge of Capitol tours:
    Allan Hantman
      Capitol Architect
      SB-15 Capitol
      Washington, D.C. 20510
      FAX: 202-228-1893
      phone: 202-228-1793

     

    Two women in Republican leadership:

    Rep. Jennifer Dunn

      House of Representatives
      221 Cannon Office Building
      Washington, D.C. 20515
      dunnwa08@hr.house.gov
      FAX: 202-225-8673
    and
    Rep. Deborah Pryce

      House of Representatives
      221 Cannon Office Building
      Washington, D.C. 20515
      pryce15@hr.house.gov
      FAX: 202-225-8673

      Or,

    Rep. Denny Hastert

     

    Send a copy to your own Congressional Representatives and Senators.

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Copyright 1997, 1999 Naomi Sherer - All Rights Reserved