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?
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.
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.
Washington, D.C. 20510
Two women in Republican leadership:
Rep. Jennifer Dunn
221 Cannon Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Rep. Deborah Pryce
House of Representatives
Rep. Denny Hastert
Send a copy to your own Congressional Representatives and Senators.
Copyright © 1997, 1999 Naomi Sherer - All Rights Reserved