472 Comments

My mother was born in November of 1920, just 3 months later. Growing up I could not fathom a United States where I would be barred from voting based on my sex.

I am now worried what the Christo-fascists will do with the franchise should they gain power.

Will the right of women to vote last only a few generations? Are we going backwards?

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My mother was born in September of 1920. My mother-in-law was one of the founders of the Massachusetts chapter of the League for Women Voters. I am now quite active in the League here in Texas. I've been very proud to see that the League is taking an very active role in protecting the right to vote of all citizens by being among the first to take legal action and continually working with state legislatures to change the voter suppression laws.

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What a great family history, Cathy. Since my parents were born in Germany, I had to learn how things work here pretty much by myself. I still remember learning about the League of Women Voters when I first started voting at age 18 and knew nothing, and they struck me as having the most consistently sensible voting suggestions of any information source.

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Roland! Good to see you here.

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Thank you Pam! Can’t sleep.

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Hi, Roland! It is so good to see you (always) in our LFAA classroom. However, I wish you some decent rest, first and foremost!

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Thank you sweetheart. I am retired now from truck driving, so I’m well rested. One sleepless night in three months, no big deal. 😘

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Excellent example of how much we need women included, involved, active and at the top leadership levels!

These efforts are not simply to suppress the impact of women's votes -

extremism is essentially trying to eliminate women as autonomous individuals.

We have to fight these misogynistic attacks on personhood with everything we've got, because it is spreading!

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I so agree! Patriarchy is doing everything to hang on to their privilege!

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That’s right, Sister Cathy. The League is on it. Also going after Desantis’s WOKE Act. Treating First Amendment with respect. Not as an excuse for white Christian nationalists and leaders to spew hateful rhetoric and conspiracy notions to encourage prejudicial legislation that strips freedoms from We the People.

Unita. 🗽

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Notice these efforts to ban books and whitewash history are evidence they want people to remain IGNORANT rather than learn to read and think critically.

Acknowledging problems begins the process toward creating solutions, to making real change.

Ignoring injustice only leads to revolt by the oppressed - the voices will not remain silent.

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"True peace is not merely the absence of war,

it is the presence of justice." – Jane Addams

Keeping people ignorant is controlling the masses.

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Another wise woman...

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These particular Rs don't want solutions, justice or truth. They only want power.

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Wish we could find another way to label them. Their hateful, holier-than-thou attitude is not my definition of Christianity. For me, it means "Love thy neighbor" -- we're there for each other and our inclusive communities.

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Boo-yah Cathy! Matthew 25: 31-46 all the way.

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Heather's wonderful essay a few days ago on Francis Perkins is such an example of this lesson from the Bible. Neighbors helping each other to survive the depression. She took the lesson to the entire country with Social Security as a safety net for all. Native Americans measure wealth by how generous a person is to their community.

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Wasn't that helpful? As is this lesson on how long and hard it was for ANYONE not white & male to vote.

Frances Perkins is a national heroine, right along with those women who pushed and pushed for decades... (WHY should anyone have to do that in this so-called 'free country' ???)

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💕💕💕

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Great Org! Wish they still put on the Presidential debates.

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Even if they were the main organizers of debates, notice the GOP/GQP has been feeding their base such a false alternative reality that they have all their candidates refuse to debate, under the "guise" that the MSM won't treat them fairly. In fact, they can't afford to let their potential voters see the stark realities between policies and issues being addressed vs the mischaracterization, name calling and lack of any support to help the average person survive. Since TFG descended the escalator in 2015, the cult of MAGA quit offering any platform planks - just handed him a "blank check." Never mind health care, a pandemic, deaths from gun violence and opioids, a housing crisis, infrastructure needs, the globe nearing an irreversible tipping point of climate change. No, they want to stoke racial fear and hatred, erase history and outlaw truth, impose a perverted form of "Christian nationalism" on others, deny women the right to decide about their own bodies, and recruit Nazis and Confederates to form a personal militia force armed and ready to end democratic governance and the peaceful transfer of power.

The GOP/GQP will never agree to debates; they have to control the narrative to push their (and Putin's) propaganda.

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Sadly, I cannot disagree with a thing you've written.

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We do do Candidate Forums at the local level which are very well received.

The Presidential debates do need a new nonpartisan organization sponsor. Currently the debates are run only by the two major parties. There is a big difference between bipartisan and nonpartisan. As John Adams said, the two-party system would be the worst evil to befall the Constitution. Sure is being proven in this century!

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Not sure who in the 'parties' run prez debates. DNC and RNC are actually corporations... not necessarily looking to represent voters. They've both said so quite publicly.

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Thank you for all your incredible work in TX Cathy. You navigate in such a steady and clear way. Very appreciated for all you do and how you inform us of necessary activism actions we can take and/or support.

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Thank you for your kind words. The People, all of us this time, united can turn this all around.

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Aug 20, 2022·edited Aug 20, 2022

I wish so much the LWV would return to facilitate election debates. If I'm not mistaken, the League began the debates and Gwen Ifill moderated. I wonder how they would handle TFG?

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Politely but firmly. Not brook any nonsense.

🗽

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Republicans know they cannot win without gerrymandering and as many voter restrictions as possible. Also, SCOTUS backs them up. The Robert’s court gave us Citizens United and the gutting of the Voting Rights Act. Republicans do not care about fair elections-just power. They are authoritarians in every fiber of their being.

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SCOTUS seems to think gerrymandering to deprive people of their representation is a fine, old American tradition.

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Deeply rooted, in fact

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Oh, the sarcasm!

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Yes, even rooted in the Constitution, which gave States a lot of leeway in limiting representation. Fortunately, it also provided a tool for cutting those roots through the Amendment process in Article Five ... but as history shows, trimming them has been difficult. Are we really back to the question that the Framers artfully dodged, of whether this nation was to be the United States of America or simply the united States of America? Perhaps that's why Jefferson called his party 'Democratic-Republican,' hedging his bets.

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"weed with roots in hell"

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As my neighbor says the problem with the Dems they play by the rules the GOP don’t. Only way they can win and power is their drug of choice.

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No. The problem for Democrats is that Republicans promise to deliver what most white Americans want: preservation of systemic white advantages. Democrats, to the contrary, work for fair treatment of everyone. Democrats cannot and should not abandon that goal, which means Dems must win elections with the majority of white voters standing in opposition to decency. It’s a tall order. Can be done, just barely, unless the new, big-lie promoters likely to be in charge of elections in a couple dozen states after November do what they promise to do, which is to count only the votes they approve of. If that happens, it’s hard to see how the US avoids being controlled, top to bottom, by white Christian nationalists, who already have most of law enforcement with them, giving them the ability to impose their will on the population.

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Aug 19, 2022·edited Aug 19, 2022

Even Dems don't always play by the rules, especially in the distant past, but yes, I think that assessment is true enough. Republicans gained a "Dark Side" superpower by playing to sociopathic resonance in our brainstem, our personal survival-oriented "reptile brain" which I don't claim to understand thoroughly, but I see people responding viscerally to appeals to fear, hate, greed and hubris, the latter evident in the narcissistic flattery of "Master Race", "The Righteous" or "True Patriots" and Real Americans" in demagogic propaganda. Active bearing witness to truth lacks that "performance enhancing drug".

But telling the truth in ways that are hard to ignore has significantly overcome demagoguery before, ending slavery, the reducing main topic at hand, legal subjugation of women, granting rights and protections to workers, and removing at least some of the worst of "Jim Crow" legislation. Vested interests are clawing back, but need our collective passivity to do so.

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Regarding our passivity, Republicans will not need it if they put big lie proponents in charge of counting votes in ten or twenty states or if several states make it possible for their (gerrymandered) legislatures to choose presidential electors irrespective of vote counts, both of which are at least plausible and maybe likely at this point.

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Don't forget that they also, in some states, are giving their state legislatures the legal right to nullify results of an election if they disagree with the results. A case before the Supreme Court this session may extend that right to other state legislatures controlled by Republicans.

The only way to stop this is to elect additional Democratic U.S. senators to stop a filibuster against adopting the Freedom to Vote John Lewis Voting Rights Act, and adopt this national level voting rights act.

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They also know they cannot win without the above, including the EC and being owned and beholden to corporations (problem with both parties). We are facing our dark shadows of white supremacy, corporatocracy in capitalism gone awry and imbalanced-- our own patriarchal caste system that never progressed for humanity, but for power and money. Same old story of civilizations. Can we be an actualized, civilized species, ever?

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We had better be, or we could very well self-destruct.

It seems to me that we are overdue for critically examining the abiding Jekyll/Hyde tropisms in our own human nature. I believe the oft quoted insanity of doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is apocryphal, not Einstein, and I have quibbles with it anyway, but I think we really, really need to examine "tried and true" procedures along with stepped up, yet carefully considered innovation, to get out of the hole we have been digging ourselves into, before we run out of breathing room.

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Agreed. Why they’re listening to Victor Orban on how to get rid of democracy and transition to authoritarian in a somewhat similar society

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https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/08/supreme-court-liberal-bloc-dissent/671158/. This article in The Atlantic makes the case for liberal justices moving away from writing middle-of-the-road dissents that invite compromise, to creating full-throated and substantiated cases for their opinions that lay the groundwork for future reform.

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Aug 19, 2022·edited Aug 19, 2022

Thank you, Annabel, for reminding us that it was not so long ago that these struggles were being fought by women — and by extension, by people of color.

I remember how proud I was to cast my ballot in the first election after I was granted US citizenship. Not long afterwards, I viewed a documentary by Ken Burnes and Paul Barnes called “Not for Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony,” which made me even more gratified and determined to vote in their honor. https://shop.pbs.org/WB6492AV.html

To this day, I encourage all my students to vote, and they have to listen to my recounting of the history of suffrage.

Speaking of Christo-fascists, Elizabeth Cady Stanton learned early on from Lucretia Mott — a wonderful Quaker leader in the Abolitionist Movement — how critical the Christian Bible had been in the diminishment of women and their placement into second class citizenship. In her later years, Stanton and a few other women wrote “The Woman’s Bible” — the first feminist reading of the Christian text. Its publication angered many women in the suffrage movement, especially, since some were among the first practicing ministers in the movement. She was ostracized by her peers.

It is a disgrace what is happening in Florida and other red states.

“Yesterday the Department of Justice filed a friend of the court brief in the case of League of Women Voters v. Secretary of State of Florida alleging that ‘in the face of surging turnout in the 2020 election, the Florida Legislature responded by enacting provisions that impose disparate burdens on Black voters’ when it imposed new voting restrictions.

A hundred years later, we are still fighting the same fights.”

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Aug 19, 2022·edited Aug 19, 2022

Rowshan: "Elizabeth Cady Stanton learned early on from Lucretia Mott how critical the Christian Bible had been in the diminishment of women and their placement into second class citizenship."

Interesting. Although the Old Testament is rife with stories of conquering cities and towns and then taking the women after all the men are dead or enslaved, the New Testament, based on my readings of the Bible, did not, that I could see, denigrate or separate women.

In fact, without Mary Magdalene there is no resurrection and Christ is just a man with a pretty good message for how to live.

It was Mary Magdalene that went to the tomb early only, in her telling, to find the stone rolled back and Christ missing. It was to Mary Magdalene that, in her telling, an angel appeared to tell her not to worry, Christ had arisen.

And, it was Mary Magdalene who brought along the risen Christ to introduce him to the other male disciples who, puzzlingly, did not initially recognize him in some cases.

So, in the New Testament, written only by men, it was a woman that gave us Christianity.

And, it was Christ himself who, when confronted by a bunch of Judaic guys all set to stone a woman who was caught in the very act of "adultery" (an act punishable by stoning to death in Judaic law at the time), it was Jesus who asked each of the men who wanted him to confirm that she should be stoned to death: (something like) "Let those among you without sin cast the first stone".

They all walked away leaving the woman safely with Christ.

So, maybe Stanton was talking more about the PREACHERS of that time than the New Testament anyway. Because, even in my time in East Texas, PREACHERS would make it clear what a woman's "place" was.

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There are many reasons to recall and re-read abolitionist Sojourner Truth's “Ain’t I Woman?”, Speech Delivered at Ohio Women’s Rights Convention, May 1851. While her methods of evangelism were particular to her time and place in history, I just love her logic and witness.

Then that little man in black there, he says women can’t have as much rights as men, ‘cause Christ wasn’t a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.

If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back, and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it. The men better let them.

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Thank you! That last paragraph is for the ages!

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I'm sorry my copy/paste job was a little rushed but I know ! I love that!

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She was a gem!

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So the history of “mansplaining” has deep roots!

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Deep roots in male-centered religious interpretations.

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deep roots in millennia of patriarchy

it is well past time for change.

In 1988 I voted for both Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein. They stuck around for decades.

Now it's time for a woman in the White House. Well past time.

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Good one!

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😇😉😄

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If Mary Magdalene gave us Christianity perhaps she should have slept in that fateful Sunday morning !

From 1776 through 1920 women have been chattel, second class citizens and powerless in the public realm. All over the world religion of all kinds have kept us in our place with arcane rules and hideous cultural traditions. Families are still marrying off daughters with dowries - what nonsense !

This morning I commented along with another lady on Robert Hubbell that his letter cleared our heads and gave us a positive attitude and then I read Heather ‘s and now I am ready to rip someone’s head off !

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Women have been fighting patriarchy since the beginning of time. The Ancient Greek play, Lysistrata, gives it a comic twist as the women stop a war by refusing sex to the warriors.

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Unfortunately that is fiction! Too many women just can't oblige!

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We gave our girls my Mothers maiden name as their surname to honor their matriarchal liniage, later I realize Mother's maiden name was her Fathers surname.

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Two of my daughters chose my surname. I considered my mother's surname but I grew up with my father's family (an unusual situation in my culture, where usually men joined their wife's family), and feel part of that extended clan. And, like you, I realized that in this culture, no matter how far back I went, it would be still a patrilinial name.

My other daughter, ironically, decided to take her father's name after dithering between his and mine. It was the same as my mother's last name, a fairly common name. I told her that one of the things I knew bothered my mother was that her name had been lost. I am happy that my daughter gave that gift to my mother.

The interesting thing is that the practice of patrilinial surnames is largely anglo-saxon, adopted from the Roman occupation, and spread to their areas of influence. In most of the rest of the world (including Europe), women kept the name they were born with. Of course, surnames in Europe (and elsewhere) are fairly recent, a matter of a few centuries. In most of the rest of the world there are different ways of naming, including some who have only a single name.

I am especially intrigued that Britain and the countries most strongly influenced by them are almost the only ones that expect a woman to take her husband's surname on marriage, a practice I personally find bizarre. Many women still do it, a holdover from the British adaptation of Roman law about households, in which everyone and everything, living or not, had chattel status belonging to the male head of household.

Even then, and still, in Anglo-influenced cultures, men might take their wife's name, or families might simply choose a different name altogether - until record-keeping and laws forbid it. Now we have to go through an arcane legal process.

I long ago decided that since all a surname ever really was is an identifier (this John or Jane, not that one or the one in the next town kind of thing), it didn't matter all that much. My surname is not so much my father's as a mark of belonging to an amazing clan of people. So I'm good with it. And love the women who reclaim their married name, or create a name of their own choosing or creation.

As for the status of women, I think that the roots of respect for women go well back. Regardless of the limitations written into the law, there were still legal protections for women especially fiscal and personal ownership, and often parental rights of women. When middle names became a thing around the turn of the 19th century it was common to give children, regardless of gender, the mother's surname or the grandmothers' original name to honor them. My 4th great-grandmother's middle name was Beall, her mother's last name. The name continues in my family to this day - I have a cousin whose middle name is Beale (the name had multiple spellings even back in the day).

We build on those things. The past influences the future, but does not preordain it. The radical right is already losing it's influence, and signs are that that trend will continue. Our job is to recognize the validity of our anger and use it to fuel us as we come together. I suspect that we can not only regain what's been lost, we can use that momentum to gain some of the things that have been pushed to the side. Time, determination, and working together.

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Can't win! However, you were right the first time, PabloPablo -- your daughters are **first-generation** in the new tradition, and that definitely works! Good for you! Many kudos.

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Joan, certainly in the religion that came into the middle east and Europe, and influenced other parts of the world, women were often subjugated. But this is by no means a universal thing, nor is it a "natural" condition. There is plenty of anthropological evidence to show this, both now and in the past. Increasing archaeological evidence shows that indeed, subjugation of women is not even historical, nor prehistoric. Remember who was doing the digging (men) and the writing (men). From the beginning, even the Bible was selectively compiled from various sources, and often rewritten to serve a political agenda.

Recommend reading "The Dawn of Everything", Graeber & Wengrow. Well-written, well-referenced, questions a good many of the assumptions we hold and shows why they need to be questioned.

I grew up with a different origin story that did not include female subjugation - which doesn't mean I haven't experienced or witnessed it- only that I've experienced another way to be in the world as well, one in which women were active and revered.

There's room (and need) for both Heather and Robert's perspectives. I read both. They have different, and often comlementary takes. What most frustrates me while reading comments (and often limits how much time I spend on them) is when people don't really read and respond to the topics of the day, and then let comments set their attitude. Or sometimes it seems people come in with an attitude just sort of simmering, and something sets it off before they stop, breathe, and consider what the issues really are.

Remember also that Robert curates reader comments. Heather doesn't, though I believe she has someone remove altogether inappropriate ones. The result is that Heather's Letters generate a highly dynamic and wide-ranging discussion that we ourselves are responsible for choosing how to read and when to respond. It can be a bit challenging. I prefer this, to tell the truth. I learn a much deeper truth by feeling challenged by other people's perspectives.

Most importantly, sometimes being challenged to the point of anger is critical in the growth of ourselves as responsible citizens and neighbors. And there is the welcome silliness that ends up building community, for which I am grateful.

Hope you feel better now. Maybe another cup of coffee?

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Love D of E!

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Don’t you think that the Abrahamic texts (Jewish, Christian, Muslim) are a reaction to all of the cultic goddesses that surrounded them in the Mediterranean ring? I agree that myth cycles vary from civilization to civilization; but they also carry certain common perspectives as well. That is why we can find so much in common with the rest of the world if we only look. Thank you for your statement here!

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Perhaps. My main interest is not in the history of the Abrahamic texts themselves, but in how they influenced over time the power structures we now deal with, via the Euro centered revision.

I think that is the root we've been focusing on in our discussions: power and control, and the attempts to undermine a democratic bent that is built into the human race. That tendency toward democracy emerges even amongst people living under autocracy: it's how they survive and maintain their sanity.

My own sense is that economics is the cohesive factor here. When I use the term economics, I use it to refer to the various ways in which human beings interact, share, exchange, and cooperate (or not). It may or may not involve money, but it always involves reciprocity. I hear too many people use the word "economics" strictly in reference to so-called free capitalism, which is only one economic system, and a recently contrived one at that. Capitalism is a philosophy, which, like all philosophies, begins with a set of assumptions about human nature. Those assumptions are way out of whack, which is why it's adherents have to resort to manipulation and power control to make it sorta-kinda work, and not well at the best of time. It is obviously failing. So we are back again to rethinking what human nature is. We're getting closer, I think, bit by bit, as we seek the kind of community based processes that seem to serve us best.

The problem with assuming there is commonality with the rest of the world is that generally we look for what resembles our own assumptions about that, and miss the things that we cannot recognize but could learn from. Therein lies a lot of the damage our Euro bound culture has done with its adaptation (and often misconception) of concepts from other places. I suggested earlier that people might find reading "The Dawn of Everything" by Graeber and Wengrow, as an introduction to rethinking our assumptions about human history.

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Aug 20, 2022·edited Aug 20, 2022

Respectfully, Patricia, the comment above yours refers to The Dawn Of Everything, a marvelous tweaking of prehistory and current thought, too. I don't know that there was very much goddess worshipping after all. But there is archeological evidence of "hoards sweeping into" relatively peaceful and settled villages and towns. All in all, gods and God seem to be a rather recent system of beliefs that emanates from projections of patriarchal power. I don't mean to refute your comment. It's just that the book is an amazing look at possible origins of human social structures and communities. Even the rotund bellies and bodies of ancient clay artifacts seem to be dedicated to elderly women, not early goddesses after all.

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Mike, you are interpreting the story of Mary Magdalene from a 20th and 21st century feminist perspective. Believe me, I know all about her (my Ph.D. was in Church History and Feminist Theology). Until the mid-twentieth century, she was still depicted as a prostitute who had been redeemed by Jesus -- a mischaracterization of MM by Pope Gregory the Great in the 6th century. In fact, she is so significant that even in medieval times, she was often referred to as "apostola apostolorum" -- apostle to the apostles. But male theologians, priests, preachers, and ministers always tended to read the male-penned biblical texts through a definitively male lens.

In any case, with regards to the New Testament, men and many women continue -- to this day -- to use the Pauline epistles (some of which were not even written by Paul) to keep women silent and in subordinate positions. Paul was, and is considered to be, the primary evangelist of the Christian church -- so his words are given great weight. Male interpretations of Jesus' actions are focused on the fact that he chose 12 male apostles -- plus the obvious reality that Jesus was male. As Mary Daly, a wonderful feminist theologian of the 20th century mused to explain the patriarchal psyche: "If God is male, then the male is God."

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Rowshan, absolutely right on. Thankyou. Were you familiar with the Wisdom Commentaries I referenced to Mike?? Sounds as if you could be one of the contributors with your Ph.D. i got mine in Theology, but in arena of Public Theology, but have always kept up with feminist writing in theology and scripture. Thank God for the Mary Daly's of our world !

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Yes, I am familiar with the Wisdom Commentaries, Carol -- they are well worth reading. I also like Elaine Pagels' The Gnostic Gospels and her other works. Yes, thank goodness for Mary Daly, Rosemary Radford Ruether, Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza, etc. and their dogged pursuit of reading against the grain in their search for biblical truths.

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I was fortunate to have a graduate seminar with Elizabeth Schussler Fiorenza while studying at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.

She is powerful!

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Good info. Thanks

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Thank you, Mike. There are strong ,creative and gutsy women--named and unnamed-- throughout Biblical texts and in some that did not make it into the Canon of the Bible as we have it.

Literal and selective reading and preaching of scriptural texts have unfortunately promoted both misogyny and anti-semitism in Christianity.

Stanton was on early to the way the Bible can be weaponized against women. Today, over 300 women biblical scholars of Hebrew and New Testament Scriptures are contributing to research that delves into the lives of the women in Scripture through history, sociology, archeological learning ( the unearthed Qumran scrolls as well as other digs uncovering lifeworlds of folks in the Hebrew world before and then in First and Second Temple and early Jesus Movement) to try to better understand those lifeworlds and the scriptures that came out of oral and written traditions. For example: Liturgical Press is slowly putting out "The Wisdom Commentary " a 60 volume feminist interpretation of every book of the bible to help preachers and teachers. There are other good Commentaries too.

Your last comment is so right !

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This is fascinating. As a young woman trying to understand what Christianity was, (and how it got that way), I did some considerable reading on the topic, but haven't read deeply for several decades (or longer), though I still take notice of things that come my way. I am still trying to grasp how the Judaic traditions evolved from their origins. So making a note in my Evernote about the writings you mention and hope to heck I live long enough to get to at least some of it. "The Wisdom Commentaries" sound absolutely fascinating.

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Hi Annie, what I love about the Wisdom Commentaries is that it is a true interfaith and ecumenical corroboration of female scripture scholars, using the latest resources. That Commentaries are pricey

(all Commentaries are--priced as library reference books)) but priceless in a way. Hope you get to some of them.

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Thank you, Carol. I will explore a couple of possible resources. In the meantime, I probably could do a search for citations for them, and read the pubs using them as a start. And one never knows: I and many of my Quaker group participate in Vermont Interfaith Power and Light (VTIPL) a Vermont Interfaith organization (clearly with a sense of humor). Though the organizational focus is environmental justice, some of the folks in it are scholars (lovely, fascinating people). I do need to get my pile of unread books down to a less intimidating size, but this exploration, to me, is very much a part of what we are dealing with politically right now. Thank so much for bringing it to my attention.

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Women are so magnificent, focused on the call when it sounds, fabulous, and strong. What Light we have!

Salud Rowshan!

Unita. 🙋🏻🙋🏼🙋🏽🙋🏾🙋🏿 🗽

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Salud, my sister!

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And so will our progeny a hundred years hence, if we survive

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Aug 19, 2022·edited Aug 19, 2022

I was in my forties before it dawned on me that when my father was born, near the end of 1919, women could not yet legally vote in federal elections. I had read of the women's suffrage movement, of course, but in my child's mind, it had been impossibly long ago, back there with pharaohs and T. Rex. Somehow putting it together that it has occurred within my father's lifetime seemed a bit of a shock.

I am convinced we should be paying far more attention to the psychology of power. Certainly we see it manifested in many troubling and pathological ways. In my mind, political power is, more than anything else, the process by which we determine whose will prevails. That can be a benign and consensual process, like four friends deciding which restaurant in which to meet for lunch, or it might be coercive, like a mugger with a weapon. Politics occurs between couples and family members, and in organizations large and small, and a certain degree of a clash of wills can be tolerable, perhaps resolvable and even creative. Bullying is the pathological presentation. Some people unite to dissuade or contain bullies, while others join them.

I think the latter is where most preventable human suffering comes from. Bullies spoil or complicate everything the Preamble of the Constitution claims to have been intended to promote and protect, including the welfare, and perhaps even the continued existence, of our posterity.

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So well stated, I think back to an article in WaPo about a dinner in DC in Jan 1981, “honoring Mr. Murdoch for his work on behalf of Mr. Reagan. Representative Jack Kemp, a New York republican, said ‘Rupert Murdoch used the front page, the editorial page, and every other page necessary to elect Ronald Reagan president.’” And 40+ years later, we are still his quarry, with total success in his sights…. Glib-tongued Reagan married the master of propaganda and the republicans never flinched at the evil they unleashed on us all.

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Drown compassion and conscience in a bathtub, and the rest is easy.

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That is Grover Norquist’s whole idea. As president of Americans for Tax Reform, he wants a government small enough to drown in a bathtub. Charles Koch’s idea also. Such a government could basically do no nothing. This is what evil looks like, normal looking people doing monsterous things.

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Back in the day there were leftists that thought that there should be no significant private property, and there are to this day, right-wingers who believe that everything should be private property, and if it's not extracting profit, it's offensive to God. Allowing Reagan Republicans to alter laws that attempted balance, the advantage has swung to the latter.

The cry of "Small Government" has a certain visceral appeal because virtually no one wants to be micromanaged; but we have laws to discourage and prevent predation, or dangerously irresponsible acts, such as pollution or drunk driving, and also to maintain public safety, such as who goes first through a four-way stop. Right-wing "Small Government" was always Orwellian cover for actually very invasive and heavy-handed governmental actions (ask POC) that serves the plutocrats, not the public. It was democracy and the common weal that Reagan eroded and defamed, not abuses of governmental power. The record is clear enough.

The record is also clear who has suffered, who was stiffed, and who made out like bandits in the four decades since. "Small Government" is just one of those "war is peace" obfuscatory labels, like "Citizens United", that has altered who the government is of, by and for.

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The Koch Family are all John Birchers by a new name. Their father one of its biggest supporter and financial contributor. The “black sheep “ of the family David delved into science, and biggest supporter of NOVA on PBS.

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And we who are swindled by artful (or just plain shameless) liars have just not come down hard enough on lies. We often can prove who is a manipulative liar and who is just a fool (and who has never been fooled?) such as Harriet Hageman's remarkable petty yet execrable claim against Liz Cheney https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/aug/18/liz-cheney-concession-call-trump-harriet-hageman, Like the Grand Master of Misinformation Trump, petty little lies alongside the whoppers.

Like pathogenic "germs", democracy can survive lies if we successfully fight them and/or avoid them, but other wise they make us sick, and gone septic, they can kill.

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“I am convinced we should be paying far more attention to the psychology of power.”

Thank you! Yes!

For a species with such a remarkable brain, I do not understand why we treat it so poorly, do not invest more in the functional health and study of it, educate from the earliest ages on the care and use of it, invest in protection of it as arguably our greatest resource (because it will protect the air, water, and earth if engaged fully). Neuroscience, psychology, behavioral health, parenting, education. Everything else depends on those.

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You must begin with the very young human and Maslow's hierarchy of needs which also must include nurturance, love and community. Check out the early lives of so many narcissists and despots and see what was missing... Education, nurturance and teaching the young how to critically think should be our highest human goals to change this world. The world is now at their fingertips (for good or bad) and they need the skills, more than any other time in human development, to discern right from wrong, fact from fiction, manipulation techniques (grooming) and how to research what they are truly interested in. Their foundations are critical. Teachers and teaching environments need to begin to transform to adapt to the Information Age we now live in. Maria Montessori, Italy's first female doctor, had an amazing early life and education, and eventually opened the Casa dei Bambini (Children's House) to provide education to low-income children in Rome, ages 3-7 who were running free while their parents worked all day. Instead of using traditional teaching methods, Maria Montessori began testing her own child-centered educational theories she had developed in an Orthrophrenic School into the classroom with little people. They worked. As a former Montessori teacher, I feel she developed some very sound principles for educating the whole child and the importance of movement, just the turn of the century. Something like that could be improved upon a wee bit and updated for this century for early human development. Right now, in this country, only the wealthy can afford that kind of early child education, which all children should have access to in order to improve our world.

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"Bullies spoil or complicate everything the Preamble of the Constitution claims to have been intended to promote"

Based on my good residence in public schools from age 6 or so to age (well, I was in public schoools a long time), I can say there is only one way to counter a bully that appears to offer a physical threat.

A sound and thorough physical beating. With the promise of another if said bully continues on his path.

I hope that is not where we are headed. Because, that process is fraught. Based on my experience.

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My experience dealing with bullies that way usually lands the bullie’s victim in the principle’s office. Why? Because the “local law enforcement” (the playground monitors or teacher) found it easier to stop the dust up by fingering the weaker of the duo. Many schools now have “zero-tolerance” policies, yet the victims still get the shaft. To stop bullying it is a truly multilevel effort - in school and society at large. If the layer of authority above does not do their part, chaos continues with payback. Eliminating Bullying is EVERYONES responsibility.

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Hi Mike! Today it might be more prudent to give bullies a time out of the community. Some new forms of prison where they must work on social justice and reparations and themselves in order to be allowed back into society. All prisons should be social justice institutions and places of education. Those who are not able to grow and change then are placed in the holding tanks of prisons. This could be an incredible process for our country and create tons of employment for the benefit of the whole. Businesses and concerts can arise to help pay for the programs. Prisons should be 501c3's. I witnessed this in Zurich with the huge drug addict problem filling the main park in the city. With support, many were able to recover and start all kinds of venues to help themselves and others, learn skills, create products, give back, and become re-integrated into the world in new ways.

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Indeed.

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Ally, someone was posting yesterday (no pun intended, you'll get it when you open the link) that we are overdue to hear from Randy Rainbow. I think it was you?? Anyhow, I just found this and thought you'll enjoy it as well. It's good.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=MdSZRkeQfnk

(Best line IMHO is "I'm running out of show tunes!" LOL Have a good weekend!)

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Thanks; I’ll check that out when I get home.

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I spent several hours last Saturday registering voters at an event called Indiafest here in MN (celebrating India’s independence from Britain) One thing that was notable for me was that very few folks needed to be registered- MN has among the highest voter turnout in the nation, generally hovering around 90%. In four hours, we maybe registered 50 people in a crowd of many thousands. In some ways, the best news of the day was that we League of Women Voter members didn’t have a lot to do other than remind people to vote and hand out Voter 411 information in case they had questions going forward. It was heartening to realize how active this community of Indian Americans is

The best parts of the day were talking with first generation Indian American women who understand very well the need to be active and involved citizens, and meeting the daughter of an African American woman who ran one of the “Freedom Schools” in Meridian Mississippi in the 1960s. Rhonda’s stories of her mom’s efforts to register voters had me in tears. OMG black women are over the top amazing in what they have endured and how they fought and continue to fight for the right to vote!

My maternal grandmother was a Summa Cum Laude college graduate who couldn’t vote until she was 43 years old. My paternal grandmother was 37 in 1920. 102 years later, the right to vote is still being shredded for women and people of color. If I do nothing else this year, registering voters is the most critical use of my time I can think of. Join me if you can - League of Women Voters - https//www.lwv.org

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Thank You Sheila!!

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Sheila!

You and clearly many women in your life-path are just fand@mntastic ❣️

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Great story Sheila, thanks

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Republicans have our gears in reverse on many fronts. And MAGAts of all stripes applaud. Rupert needs to be deported, before he adds this country to the string of others he has trashed.

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Yes. MAGA platform resembles taliban no?

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Yep. Sure does.

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Yes, I believe we are going backwards. With the Roe reversal , women have lost a lot of their basic rights to good health. Next up, I believe is gay marriage and after that who know what right will be on the chopping block. The upcoming midterms and the 2024 presidential elections are crucial elections. Women and really anyone who cares about our democracy must turn out in such overwhelming numbers to vote these Republican fascists' out. These numbers should leave no doubt as to what we the people really demand for this country and the people who represent us.

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As Heather stated in the last line, "A hundred years later, we are still fighting the same fights." It's not just women for the voting rights for all have been attacked by state legislatures imposing restrictions such as those imposed on black voters in the south that required extraordinary measure to have the right to vote.

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Very old texts reveal that mores change, but I don't think human nature has changed much, if at all, in historical times. But perhaps we can get a better handle on that.

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Definitely backwards.

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Very sad!

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Annabel Ascher my mother was born in March of 1920. I agree with you! It is very scary for our granddaughters!

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Christo-Fascist? And of course federalizing elections under Eric Holder will fix that?

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If you’re referring to the Shelby County v Holder case: yes, it was a terrible scotus ruling. In 2013, it removed important protections from the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by ruling that Section 4 of the Act’s preclearance requirements were unconstitutional,

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?????

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David,

Makes sense. Good suggestion..

Federalizing elections, after sending in troops to make sure there were free and fair elections, worked before in the 1860's.

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Thanks. There’s so much other mess in the political sphere that it’s easy to lose track

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Beware! Mitch always speaks with forked tongue. He is not to be trusted. I repeat, NOT TO BE TRUSTED!

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Never, I hope he is right, but don’t let guard down. He embraced a devil he hates in order to regain power. He is indeed, Moscow Mitch

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Aug 19, 2022·edited Aug 19, 2022

Moscow Mitch LMFAO? Corrupt shallow Tortoise-man maybe but Moscow Mitch? Seriously WTF is the matter with all of you people? You lived through the Red-Scare, (not to mention the LBJ Democrat Vietnam War) which is understood to be a shame in American history and yet here you are right back at it. Such is the power of propaganda especially on those willing to be propagandized.

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Ho Chi Minh visited Washington, D.C. in 1948 and met with Allen Dulles who was the head of the CIA. Ho pleaded with Dulles that France was operating a cruel and despotic regime in Viet Nam. If Dulles had investigated Ho's claims and decided against supporting France's feudal corruption, our Country and Allies might have saved billions of $$ and millions of lives and never used such terrible war toys such as Napalm and Agent Orange.

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Awesome information Ronald. Thank you for sharing.

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Yes Ho Chi Minh got a raw deal from the U S, I agree. My husband is a Vietnam vet who would attest to that.

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The label "Moscow Mitch" comes from when McConnell worked a deal to have certain sanctions against Russia dropped in exchange for a $200 million investment by Rusal, the aluminum company partially owned by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, to build a new aluminum plant in Kentucky. Ex-McConnell staffers lobbied the U.S. government in 2019 while Democrats urged the government to look carefully at the "deal." Once the sanctions were dropped, the investment "suddenly ran into trouble raising the funds from financial partners, and the project was dropped. The "deal" for Kentucky never happened. Russia got what it wanted, with McConnell's help, and Kentucky got the shaft.

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Thank you. Moscow Mitch is a current and appropriate appellation. As so many Republicans did, Mitch joined the Russian attempts to thwart the 2016 election which included false information and voter suppression. I hope so much that he loses his attempted comeback as Senate leader.

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Check out this very similar story about the Clintons in the New York Times back before it went full blown partisan. You would never see such a story published today:

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us/cash-flowed-to-clinton-foundation-as-russians-pressed-for-control-of-uranium-company.html

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His political history patently indicates he can be trusted only to be unworthy of trust.

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Marlene, absolutely. Never trust that man.

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Correct.

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AGREE!

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Aug 19, 2022·edited Aug 19, 2022

Morning, Spooky.

TC covers this in his latest essay “The GOP Hits Some Speed Bumps” from his Substack That’s Another Fine Mess. Good read for the latest in midterm races that can gain majority for Democracy. https://tcinla757.substack.com/p/the-gop-hits-some-speed-bumps?r=l2aa7&s=r&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web&utm_source=direct

And, as Robert Hubbell says today in his essay… “As always, we have every reason to be hopeful, but no reason to be complacent!” https://roberthubbell.substack.com/p/the-tipping-point?r=l2aa7&s=r&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=email

Let’s keep on keeping on and hold our focus on Democracy. And exemplify the determination and focus of so many women before us as HCR narrates in her letter today. May this be the time that our efforts eliminate the myth that oppression can rise yet again on a whim to challenge our most formidable and unalienable rights as human beings.

Unita. 🗽

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Christine, thank you for the link. TC is very interesting to read. I certainly hope his predictions and observations bear out this fall.

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How can I find his books?

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TC’s books on military history including fabulous narratives are all available on Amazon. He is quite a prolific writer and his works are well reviewed. Books can be found under his name Thomas McKelvey Cleaver.

Salud, Sharon 🗽

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Christine, thank you! I haven't subscribed to his Substack yet because of campaigning...but plan to after November 8!

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Christine, thanks for introducing me to Robert Hubbell. Had not heard of him before, or seen anything with his name attached.

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Hub bell worth the price of subscription.

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He is such a dedicated journalist. Daily newsletter/essay.

One can subscribe easily to his Substack.

Unita. 🗽

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Yes, found him and signed up.

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One SOOO hopes. My daughter studied Aikido, an Japanese martial art that finesses the power of an attack to defeat the attacker. Republicans seem to be attacking spasmodically as well as diabolically, and meeting with enough finesse, may start hitting the mat.

And yes, Republicans have started calling this "war". Every able-bodied vote will be needed at the front.

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It has been war for decades, but Dems were loathe to call it so. The 2000 sleight-of-hand election and the tea party emboldened the evil in the party, which drew chump like a moth to a flame…

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Well said. When the main stream media gets the message it is a war for freedom and only the dems are for democracy please let me know. Bad timing of the abortion ruling, success of January 6 committee and the unfortunate Republican primary winners produced the perfect storm for a blue wave. Beto is even with Abbot in Texas. Power grid issues, Ted Cruz antics and the national mess I mentioned above it should be no contest.

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It appears you have more faith in the mainstream media than I do. I am a skeptic - they follow the ratings in order to follow the money - and the nation suffers.

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The undeclared War since ‘94.

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Since Ronnie in 1980....

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Don't forget Fox Entertainment!

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Aug 19, 2022·edited Aug 19, 2022

One of the propaganda machines extraordinaire. They are amazed that the trump cult believes their "entertainment" lies. What an upside down, alternative narrative the extremists have burdened our country with. What exactly do they want? Total white supremacist control and authoritarian power? Do they feel the death knell of the patriarchy? The men I know do not want to go backwards-- they appreciate women and POC as equals and intelligent and are not afraid of them. They do not feel the need to inflict their testosterone and power over others to feel strong. They are real men who want to move the world forward and focus on real issues like food, water, shelter, resources, and climate. They are not interested in militias, owning AKs to feel powerful, and destroying other people's rights to their bodies, their religions. They see the Bigger picture in which we are all living on a small planet and could save it for future generations if we dropped all the narcissism and grew up into mature adults living in community with one another and with the planet we depend upon for life. It is difficult to see what very different animals we can be but are in the same species. And have the power to destroy the planet. That is the unfathomable thing. Trump was totally so self-absorbed he thought using our nukes in war was a good idea. If we have 'em, use 'em. His lack of knowledge and the incredible damages nuclear weapons commit is incredibly alarming. That one so ignorant can rise to this level, and then take top secret documents as if he owns them is against everyone's health and well-being, as well as the planet and all living things. Power at all costs. And money-grifting at all costs. Where does it leave those of us who want to live safely, raise families, get a real education and not indoctrination by rising fascists? I ask all people who support authoritarian rule on our democracy, how is this fair and safe for All The People?

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Very well said!

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Raw power and the "Big Liars Wanted" sign drew chump, who, though pretty rough around the edges, fit the bill for a bombastic demagogue who could lie without a particle of shame; Il Douche

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Aug 19, 2022·edited Aug 19, 2022

Moscow Mitch LMFAO? Absolutely pathetic.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McCarthyism

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He earned the nickname by not supporting sanctions against a Russian oligarch who messed with elections here and abroad and was investing in a Kentucky business venture. https://www.salon.com/2021/10/21/rachel-maddow-explains-origins-of-how-mcconnell-earned-his-moscow-mitch-moniker/

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While I agree with you about the obvious corruption of Mitch McConnell, I reject dangerous, escalatory anti-Russian rhetoric. Rachel Maddow explaining absolutely anything is completely null and void. Remember when she told us that the vaccine would stop the spread of COVID? Remember the years of fake bombshells regarding the now thoroughly debunked, corrupt, Russian collusion investigation? Her anti-Russia inflamatory rhetoric helped in a major way to get us to where we are today – on the brink of nuclear war. Good riddance.

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But, in truth, there was a time when, if enough people had gotten vaccinated, it would have created a true herd immunity and stopped the spread of Covid. Unfortunately, a vast number of people were suckered into the intentional disinformation and scare tactics coming from Faux and the right, many of them paying with their lives for their stubborn adherence to the lies, and we lost the opportunity to achieve that broad level of immunity.

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I'm sorry to tell you this, CC Barton, but this is simply not true. That's not how herd immunity works. I'm afraid you are the victim of "disinformation". You know what would have probably prevented the spread of COVID-19? Not performing gain-of-function research experiments on Coronavirus strains at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in the first place. Here are a couple of excellent articles from Vanity Fair of all places that elucidate this:

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2022/03/the-virus-hunting-nonprofit-at-the-center-of-the-lab-leak-controversy

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2021/06/the-lab-leak-theory-inside-the-fight-to-uncover-covid-19s-origins

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Seriously. Referring to McConnell as Moscow Mitch is hardly "dangerous, escalatory anti-Russian rhetoric."

Does The Grim Reaper pass your sniff test?

Rachel Maddow bringing us to the edge of nuclear war? Odd cherry picking.

The vaccine was more effective for the variant it was made for - before the current more easily transmitted variant.

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Thank you. I am thinking someone is trolling us. Repeated emphasis on shaming others' opinions is a dead give away.

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But Rachel was correct about the carve-out to the sanctions on Russia for the project in Kentucky. If the House and Senate hadn’t demanded transparency, which the Russian refused saying he’d kill the project an 10,000 jobs—which he did when it passed.

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For sure, Mitch McConnell is corrupt. I will not defend him for a second. My point is pretty clear; anti-Russia rhetoric is dangerous and completely unhelpful.

A secondary point; why would Maddow never report on this:

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us/cash-flowed-to-clinton-foundation-as-russians-pressed-for-control-of-uranium-company.html

In fairness to Maddow, the NYT wouldn't report on this either today because it has become a completely partisan rag

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Russia manipulation of our government and elections has hardly been debunked. If anyone is inflammatory it is Vladimir Putin. He is the person responsible for nuclear threats. He reminds me of Nero but with far greater risk to the world. He murders with impunity, imprisons innocent people and thinks he can change the physical boundaries of his nation based on whim.

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I don't call Mitch "Moscow" (though I have called him other things) and am aware that this kind of name calling isn't really helpful (Trump does it, but so have I when just "shooting the bull") but I think you conflate a number of things. Russia is up to some very creepy things in the here and now, and both Russia and The Republican Party appear to wink at, or at least not object to each others proven attacks on American Democracy. And surely Maddow has nothing to do with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. As for COVID and vaccination, it has provably been decisive in taming the pandemic, especially who dies as a result of infection.

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Well good for you for not calling him "Moscow Mitch" like so many other clowns on here.

Pay attention to how you speak, don't let the propaganda seep in:

"Russia is up to some very creepy things in the here and now" - I think what you are trying to say here is that the Russian Government is up to some very creepy things. Can't really argue with you there except to differentiate between Russia and the Russian Government. Btw if you don't think our government is up to some very creepy things, it's probably because you have been inside a cocoon your entire life.

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Well I think it's pathetic to label him "Moscow Mitch" for the reason I have already stated. Anti-Russian rhetoric is dangerous and unhelpful. Here's a similar story published by the NYT back when they were relatively fair.

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us/cash-flowed-to-clinton-foundation-as-russians-pressed-for-control-of-uranium-company.html

This story highlight the extreme corruption of the Clinton family but I'm not about to start calling her Moscow Hillary!

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Thank you for the timely history lesson. I was clueless that the roots for women's suffrage dated back to the Civil War. It's a safe bet that women will vote like never before starting this year and, I hope, well into the future. Not just to regain rights quashed by a Supreme Court of questionable legitimacy but also to help correct recent obstacles to voting. Women are the key to defeating the party of authoritarians that preaches patriotism but is anything but patriotic.

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Fun fact: The last "yay" vote to ratify the 19th Amendment in 1920 was because a wise woman in Tennessee got her 24 year old son to "be a good boy."

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/19th-amendment-ratified-tennessee-thanks-to-one-vote

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That was fun, Ellie! How wonderful that his mother put the monkey on his back and he obeyed! 👏🏼👏🏼

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In 2018 the NCJW grandmothers in Michigan (that’s National Council of Jewish Women) organized an email campaign asking their grandchildren to vote with them

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💜🗽

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Elena,

Love this!

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Every woman blessed to have a son or village of women who have helped to raise that son is nodding her head at that one as she takes an extra sip of coffee or morning beverage.

Salud, Ellie! 🗽☕️

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Great story Ellie. The good son. I completely understand what that is like.

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As a long-time member of the League of Women Voters, I want to thank you for this perspective. Today's report on the League by ProPublica is pretty accurate, even the part about how we have not been particularly sensitive to the needs of women of color. Our longstanding principle of nonpartisanship is being rewarded by the Republican Party walking away from us, but then, it is walking away from every democratic norm so we are not surprised. We will not back down from our support for voters rights, reproductive freedom and our efforts to become more inclusive. Sorry, I don't have the skill to embed the URL for the piece but here it is -- copy and paste -- https://www.propublica.org/article/league-of-women-voters-gop-trump

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This is disheartening to say the least. I have always supported The League for its efforts. I agree that no one should back down, however, if black or Native American women are not being sought for their input, then why have an organization?! Failure for lacking inclusivity is tragic.

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Aug 19, 2022·edited Aug 19, 2022

Morning fab Marlene. I noted with personal satisfaction that Professor Richardson, ever sensitive to historical perspective, brought up the concept of “intersectionality” as defined by Kimberlé Crenshaw. The support and driving focus of black women in the suffragist movement of the right to vote is fascinating in its altruism. Ever supporting for freedoms but cruelly denied for so long.

I simply love how HCR introduces a little recognized perspective of a well known historical movement into our consciousness. That, to me, is enlightenment.

Salud, Sister! Unita. 🗽

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Hi Christine, sharing the married name of ECS I looked into her over the years. Her hubby Henry Brewster Stanton was a leading abolitionist when she married him. Never to take away what she and and SBAnthony and Lucretia Mott and the other women accomplished, but with 7 kids and a husband who travelled around in the cause.....he had to be an influence on her and to some degree supportive ( both good and challenging as she was living the plight of women relegated to the home fires and the kids!!) But I do know there was some disappointment after working for abolition that the 15th came without including women's vote. She died before the 19th-- another lesson for us who are working away for change-- some of which we may not see come in our lifetime! But I often think of the Berlin Wall,.. anything can happen seemingly overnight.( But of course it is never

" overnight". )

Keep cheering us on.

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Always, Sister.

🗽💜

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Yes, it’s tragic, but remarkably common. I have seen a number of different well-meaning and even excellent organizations started by whites and for whites that never seem to embrace diversity. It’s also acutely obvious here in Washington state (62% white), and back in California in the rural county that I left behind (85% white). Some organizations and communities are just overpoweringly white and will never change.

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Highly recommend to all white folk to read this book: Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving.

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Have also been investigating the companion piece:

Waking Up Male And Finding Myself in the Privileged Gender Class. 😉 there is a lot of lesson material in the study of privilege.

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Roland! When did you migrate to Washington? Can you tell us where? I’m in Washington too, and so are several other commenters.

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As you know, Patricia, I’ve been reluctant to share things about myself. There’s a reason I am secretive about certain info. Who needs unnecessary harassment, especially when there are still FSB Russians here (less often), and perhaps right-wing US troublemakers lurking.

This year has been a big deal. My wife and I sold our house in California in May and moved up here to the Olympic Peninsula (even writing that took a deep breath). She has always been a Californian, and although I lived in Germany (teens) and Boston (twenties), I have always been a Californian at heart. Still am. Die-hard Giants fans. Pained when we each turned in our CA DL for a Washington driver’s license.

Leaving California, of course, means retiring, so now I’m retired from truck driving, at least for now. It’s a complete change of life. Out of the rat race and into Paradise and the good life.

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I am also on the north end of that peninsula. Hope to say hello some time!

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That's very sweet. I have been reflecting on your kind offer. The logistics require some care. We could meet at a specific time and place, that would allow us to get around the tricky and unacceptable option of posting sensitive information here.

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We are making great efforts now around the country. We are applying DEI to everything we do and at our recent national conference, we made justice for black, brown and indigenous women a major priority. Of course, even that enables the GOP to point the finger at us for being "progressive>"

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Just FYI: posting the URL has the effect of "embedding" it in your comment.

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Having lived in Japan for many years, I’ve been quite fascinated by the difference between the American and Japanese constitutions. It has been noted that the Japanese constitution has more rights than there are in the US constitution. Here is the story behind that:

Beate Sirota Gordon, the daughter of Russian Jewish parents, at 22 almost single-handedly wrote women’s rights into the Constitution of modern Japan, and then kept silent about it for decades. She was the first civilian American woman to work in postwar Japan. In February 1946, she worked in Tokyo on a top-secret project to draft a new Japanese constitution. Her assignment: women's rights. Her work — drafting language that gave women a set of legal rights pertaining to marriage, divorce, property and inheritance that they had long been without in Japan’s feudal society — had an effect on their status that endures to this day. The previous constitution declared, “Woman are to be regarded as incompetent,” Article 4 clearly stated.

“It set a basis for a better, a more equal society,” Carol Gluck, a professor of Japanese history at Columbia University, said. “By just writing those things into the Constitution — our Constitution doesn’t have any of those things — Beate Gordon intervened at a critical moment. And what kind of 22-year-old gets to write a constitution?”

Colonel Charles L. Kades and others were put in charge of preparing a draft constitution. The draft was written between February 3 and 12, 1946, and presented to the Japanese on February 13. Kades exclaimed: "My god Beate, you've put in more rights in here than there are in the US constitution!" And Beate replied, "That's very easy to do, the US constitution does not have the word 'women' in it."

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Thank you for introducing us to Beate Sirota Gordon. What an amazing woman in the right place at the right time in Japan!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beate_Sirota_Gordon

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Absolutely fascinating—thank you for posting. I’ve learned so much from LFAA and the many people here who contribute knowledge of our country. In our current time, it’s so frightening and overwhelming (for me anyway), but to be taught/reminded that we have such a tapestry of great Americans such as Beate Sirota Gordon gives me hope and some peace. How truly blessed we are ❤️🤍💙

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Aug 19, 2022·edited Aug 19, 2022

Thank you, Kristin. “ And Beate replied, "That's very easy to do, the US constitution does not have the word 'women' in it." Now we have and there’s more work than ever to make our voices heard and counted.

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Three cheers for Beate; and more for the citizens of Japan who knew a good thing when they saw it.

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Good Lord, hallelujah to Beate

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I just subscribed to your substack.

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This is so amazing! Thank you.

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WOW-I want to read more about this AMAZING young woman!

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These are great books about her:

Last Boat to Yokohama: The Life and Legacy of Beate Sirota Gordon by Nassrine Azimi and Michel Wasserman

https://www.amazon.co.jp/-/en/Nassrine-Azimi/dp/1941110185

The Only Woman in the Room: A Memoir of Japan, Human Rights, and the Arts by Beate Sirota Gordon

https://www.amazon.co.jp/-/en/Beate-Sirota-Gordon/dp/022613251X

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Thanks so much!

One more woman many have not learned about.

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Great historical background post. Thank you.

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This would be inspiring but for the fact that Japanese culture is as repressive of women as so many other world cultures, including like our own used to be in the recent past. Japan is a lot like the US: still a paucity of women in political positions of power.

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That’s true in many respects, but where else can a woman walk alone at night, in Tokyo, Osaka, and other Japanese cities, without fear? When I lived in Los Angeles, I never felt safe walking alone even in the daytime.

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Aug 19, 2022·edited Aug 19, 2022

Thank You. Subscribed to your site, and shared this on FB with credit.

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“A hundred years later, we are still fighting the same fights.“. 😡

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That sentence struck me too …. what the hell is wrong with these people?! And, everything the repugs are doing (besides attempting to invoke a totalitarian “government”) is meant to overshadow the actual accomplishments of the Biden administration - starting with his cleaning up the devastating mess left by trump’s criminal cabal (the impact of which is going to last for decades).

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That’s the plan man, from start to finish. Poor Joe, an honorable man, is being skewered as was HRC, the latter for being a woman, most of all.

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HRC had the audacity to be smart, capable, and prepared. And she was right about the vast right wing conspiracy.

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