I’ve been told that if it weren’t for suffragettes I would be ‘barefoot in the kitchen’. Nothing like how quick people jump to remind me of my ‘place’ and ‘use’ as a woman than those irate over me using my own individual voice and speaking facts about the suffragettes.. I have human rights thanks to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, without him I would still be at risk for being hung, not the luxury of barefoot in the kitchen. The suffragettes appealed to the KKK for support as, again, their basis for existence was not ‘equality for all’ but outrage that black men were going to be able to vote even though black men earned it. Men, black and white, were dying for their privilege to vote. The suffragettes were made up of an elite group of rich white women and lived better than most men and women. They supported the KKK and the KKK supported the suffragettes. They did not want the black community empowered and empowering black men would be a step in that direction. The suffragettes, used black women and white women of poverty to get their numbers up during what they called ‘woman’s suffrage’. As soon as the white elitist suffragettes got the privilege to vote, they joined together to ensure black women and white women of poverty could not vote as they raised the education and literacy requirements that most of these women could not afford. Asian women and Native American women were not in the conversation. Native American men and women would not have the privilege to vote until the 1940’s. So I find it disrespectful all of the continued outrage of these rich elite women not being able to vote, while ignoring we took the lands from Native American’s who were then forced to apply for citizenship in the very lands they originated so they could have any rights or privileges. To me the suffragette praising is one of the biggest smokescreens. The outrage of these rich elite women while black women were their house slaves and black men went to war to keep them safe and risk their lives for freedom, along with the white men who had been doing going to war as well and did not have the privilege of living like the suffragettes and forget white women of poverty. Ida B. Wells- my heroine- Black woman called the suffragettes out and prominent suffragette and her colleague did everything in their power to try and shut down her voice. Ida B. Wells did not subscribe to the mainstream mentality and through persistence, Ida was finally heard by parliament in Europe in her please for support.
There were women pre-woman’s suffrage with property who were already in higher positions of power than most men who did not have the wealth to own property. Women were indeed able to have say in property and vote and were already voting in the 1700s. Women have been in the medical profession, including surgeons as far back as the 11th-12th Century. Trotula is said to be the first woman professor of these earliest times in Europe. It’s time we stop keeping women from their actual history and speaking to women as if women had no idea how to think before the suffragettes arrived. Women have been powerful since the first woman existed and I’m not basing that simply on academics. I do not owe my strength as a woman to suffragettes, my strength as a woman is innate & mine. I’m a sovereign being as all women are, as are men. I know the history of the suffragettes and I’m not interested in praising them. Ida B. Wells, that’s my heroine. She stood strong in the face of the illusion of the suffragettes and stood for the black community getting support during the time of lynching’s. Ida B. Wells is a powerful woman I will always hold dear to me. When speaking on the privilege of voting we must also remember that many men died for their country and were unable to vote, even up until 1971 where men of every ethnicity were not able to vote due to the voting age requirement of 21. These men died to keep the war from our doors and to allow us to live a privileged life.If after reading this you still want to praise the suffragettes, by all means, that’s your choice. For those who hold the suffragettes as an icon close to the heart, I hear you, I get that it’s important for you. Whatever icon works, great. People are entitled to have whatever icon they wish. Go for it. I’m not here to demonize you for your choice in icons. It’s called individuality we will all never all think the same. I’m not here to pretend I have the power to strip people of choice, nor would I want to. Not my interest. I’m sharing some well needed unknown facts about the suffragettes and my curiosity as to why these facts are not common place.
Let’s say I take a moment to step into the world of those who perceive suffragettes as ‘heroines’. Let’s say I completely live that viewpoint for a moment. I would still say, if the point is to praise these suffragettes, these women who in your perception stood for ‘all women’ then why are you using them as a weapon against women who have a different narrative than you? Be you man or woman, if you’re perception is the suffragettes ‘stood for all women’ then why aren’t you? So what if these women coming forward and speaking up about the suffragettes don’t think like you? That’s a reason to be vicious towards them? If you support suffragettes under your perception that they stood for ‘all women’ and ‘equality’ then why not live from this perception? Equality is not just for those we agree with. I could personally care less if someone is a feminist, MRA, liberal, conservative, Hilary supporter, Trump supporter, atheist or religious. I could care less. My concern is not how you choose to identify, have at it. My concern is not who you choose to praise, or not. I care about human rights for all people, absolute agreement not required. I don’t need you to agree with me for me to see you as a human being who does not deserve to be dehumanized. When these self chosen icons, such as these suffragettes are used as a weapon, that’s when I take issue. And even then, by take issue I mean share awareness. Take the awareness or not, I’m not attached to it and I will speak it. If a woman, or man, choose to not support the suffragettes based on their history, that’s their choice as much as those who choose to support the suffragettes. To use anyone idea as a weapon is simply taking a banner, any banner, and using it to shame another human being. A way to justify being vicious to a human being and falsely claim that’s for a good cause. No. We are who we choose to be. We are who we excuse ourselves to be. No matter what the banner, we ultimately are responsible for how we view men and women. Most important, above absolute agreement, is laying down destructive narratives in how we see each other as human beings and joining in supporting human rights for all.
As per all of my articles, don’t ever take my word for it, research for yourself.