18 August 2009

Thank You Elizabeth, Sojourner, Susan, et al.

The 19th Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified on this date in 1920. So rather than my usual Daily Chat, I'd like to take this opportunity to honour the women who fought so valiantly for my right to vote. Eighty-nine years isn't so long ago. Both of my grandmothers were born before suffrage. Their mothers' and grandmothers' generations had fought hard for it. By the time my grandmothers died, their daughters' and granddaughters' generations were taking that right for granted.

Just a few of the more famous champions of women's suffrage in the US: Frances Wright, Lucretia Mott, Mary Ann M'Clintock, Lucy Stone and Iowa's Carrie Chapman Catt. Among the men who were brave enough to champion the cause: Frederick Douglass, Gerrit Smith and William Lloyd Garrison. But the three most famous and most ardent campaigners for women's suffrage were Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth and Susan B. Anthony. I am grateful for their courage.


  1. Right on, Montana!
    And I nominate Germaine Greer for inclusion on your list.
    I read Germaine's 'Female Eunuch' when I was 20, and it really opened my eyes. It should be required reading for all- particularly MEN.
    Hands up you men who've read it...

    Reading the stuff of Afghanistan reminds me of WW1 and the phrase 'heroes led by donkeys' except I've paraphrased outrageously. The generals running the Afghan show are blinkered idiots who know only war as a solution, but the politicians such as Ainsworth make the generals look like intelligent beings...
    And every time Obama opens his mouth to pontificate on the war he looks more of a fool... (Al Qaida "planning another 911", for instance)

    It makes me so ANGRY. I should really join in the 'apostrophe or not' chat, it might calm me down...

  2. Salutations Montana

    I'd like to nominate two mps now sadly expired and forgotten by most - Joan Maynard (Sheffield Brightside) and Jo Richardson (Barking). Both old lefty feminists and great women who got on with the job and although they never achieved high office were loved and admired by all who knew them.

  3. Do you thin men in general back women in their search of independence and freedom and equality?

    I hold many doubts about it. Not only Muslims but Christians, too. This is not a question of religion, it is an ages old clash between genders, between stronger and weaker muscle-wise.

  4. OF COURSE men don't support women's search for equality! (Present company excepted)

  5. Well said Dan and Jose but I think you'll find I'm an even better person than you.

  6. Dan

    "(Present company excepted)"

    Can I add my Dad, my brother, and actually almost all the men I know to that list please?!

  7. Yes it is too easily taken for granted. Although the vote as we have it is not the be all and end all of democracy it is important in that it gives official recognition to equality.

    My mother was 7 before British women over30 got the vote in 1918 and 17 when all women over 21 got the vote in 1928.

    Working men did not get the vote until 1918 either. Before this only male householders and male lodgers paying more than £10 per week could vote. This was achieved for men living in borough constituencies in 1867 and in agricultural constituencies in 1884.

    When you consider that the leveller's were demanding universal male suffrage in 1649. We all to wait a long time.

    We really do need to work at making that vote mean more and tbh only class solidarity can act as a counterweight to the power of the wealthy who can buy influence.

    But ultimately whatever we do the state as represented by the Monarchy, Parliament, the polce and the armed forces will always act in the interests of their paymasters and that, despite the talk about taxpayers etc isn't us, its the billionaire bankers and the big multinational corporations.

    This article
    was written by a dear friend and comrade who sadly died young I think it explains the role of the state and its development, very well. It also alludes to one of my favourite marxist writings Engels' Origin of the Family Private Property and the State'.

  8. Sheff I would second your words about Joan and Jo.

    I didn't know Joan but Jo Richardson I met on several occasions. She was a wonderful woman. When you think about women like that you really realise what a useless lot Harman and co are.

    In a very real sense a good member of parliament for working people is not one who seeks high office as so many of these are too easily seduced by the 'glitter' of the wealthy.

  9. I would like to add my grandfather Evan Davies and my father Wilfrid Thomas Roberts to the list of those men who have supported women in their struggles.

    They are representative of a sizable minority I think.

    Sadly the actions and attitudes of almost all of those who claim to speak for feminism do not encourage the swelling of those ranks.

    I am both sad and angry about that.

  10. elementary_watson18 August, 2009 09:31

    I would have thought that no man except BiteTheHand supports women's search for equality ...

  11. Lady Stoate tells me to say that I support women's equality and that if I think I am going to mess about on the computor all day I have another think coming.

  12. elementary_watson

    If we're using that standard most women don't support women's search for equality...........

  13. "Do you thin men in general back women in their search of independence and freedom and equality?"

    What about fat men?;0)

    That's a little difficult to answer. I'm more or less convinced that I treat women as my equal, even though I often commit the crime of thinking they are different in many ways. On the other hand, I tend not to support the kind of legislation that purports to improve their lot. I like to think I'd have voted in favour of votes for...

    I haven't read Germaine Greer; will Dale Spender and Luce Irigaray do, Dan?

  14. I like to think I'd have voted in favour of votes for women

  15. Well when I said that of course most men don't support women's liberation I was thinking about Muslim countries in particular and most third world countries, especially when Islam was originally founded to give equality to women.
    And yes, a great many 'western' women are opposed to women's liberation, notably US right wingers, who equate it with lesbianism - clearly a nonsense.
    And I believe there are a great many hetrosexual men who fear the strength of women. Womb envy, anyone?

  16. Martillo: who these people you mention?

  17. YES! Joan Maynard and Jo Richardson and Joan Dunwoody and Barbara Castle and and and...
    Agreed. But then The Labour Party used to comprise men and women of real calibre unlike the insignificant tossers we have in NuLab...

  18. "I'm more or less convinced that I treat women as my equal, even though I often commit the crime of thinking they are different in many ways. On the other hand, I tend not to support the kind of legislation that purports to improve their lot. I like to think I'd have voted in favour of votes for..."

    Same here, i think. Its not the goals of most current policies from Harman and her ilk that are the issue, its the means of getting there and the unintended consequences etc. For instance, when i look at Blears, Flint, Harman, Smith, they are just as repugnant, venal and useless as their male peers. So to actually put discrimination on the statute books to bring in more like them seems to me to not quite workout as a good return, the balance of pros and cons isnt there.

    I havent read Eunuch, though i probably should.

  19. Some writers I read on my (whispers) Cultural Studies degree. I think I was probably almost as annoying as BTH in those days...

    Hey Jay, you've got a thread on CIF!

  20. This comment made me laugh a lot,

    ""Cynicism. Who's the most cynical:
    Tanya Gold for writing it.
    CIF for posting it.
    Mug punters for responding to it."

    How bad does an article have to be to imply serious cycnism for anyone involved with it in any way, even the readers. Brilliant.

  21. @Dan:

    I'm not sure "a great many" Western women are opposed to women's liberation - it's just, as anne says, that the loony pronouncements of the boiler-suited radfem brigade muddy the waters with their crazy misandry and paranoia that the Patriarchy is out to squish their brave, lone voices crying in the wilderness. And I do include Harriet Harman in that swivel-eyed cadre, I have to say.

  22. I note that, on Cath's thread, bth has recently quoted a (quickly deleted) comment that I made about 4/5 months ago, although he didn't attribute it to me. Does he cut'n'paste these things for future use? Scary stuff!
    Might as well show it here and take responsibility for it. I'm not proud of being such an asshole, but I don't regret saying it. :0)

    "Well done! Protecting the ladies! And when he called you a revolting male feminist-sycophant that was totally out of order. He should have called you an obsessive, cyberstalking, retarded fuckwit. Still, nobody's perfect. Although you're close to being the perfect dickhead (excuse my use of a sexist term)."

  23. Feminists in Labour Party ?
    Ann Cryer, MP Keighley (?), does lots for local womens' rights & particularly young womens' protection. Got a good drop on how all that identity politics stuff gets applied in favour of minority male "tradition" and can normalise the abuse of females. Down to Earth and pretty sound, in my book.

  24. I support anyone's search for equality but I support nobody's quest for a bigger slice of the pie than anyone else.

    In addition, should I happen to see anyone arguing that they are discriminated against when I suspect that were the boot on the other foot would be arch discriminators themselves, then I will call them on it.

  25. Martillo,

    I take it that fat men do. I mean well fed men are generally so by women. LOL

  26. With regard to BTH and old quotes, I have seen him reqeust on WDYWTTA an upgraded CiF functionality where other posters' comments are listed under their profile in calendar order.

    Knowing his MO, he's probably trawled every one of his nemesis' posts and built a database ... I'll upgrade it for him using Access and VB if he asks nicely. A £million would cover the project initiation and consultation fees, which I'd obviously tender here to certain favoured partners.

    Anyone else good with forms and queries ?

    Heh heh...

  27. I remember it well Scherf (where you been?). I think he must keep detailed files on any offending post, probably sorted by user. He probably has files on 10-20 poster. Bless.

  28. @BW:

    I can't code them, but I can do the functional spec stuff, I'm up to my eyeballs in one at the minute.


    Good to hear from you mate, how's life?

  29. "Anyone else good with forms and queries ?"

    I could probably handle an advisory consultant type role. I have no technical knowledge at all, I'd just make the teas. But if BTHs paying I'd like to be involved.

  30. Hi swifty, jay, everyone. Busy, busy and life at the moment is ....frustrating. Computer problems, cycle problems, fantasy football problems (no decent strikers). Just starting to get back in the swing of things blog-wise. Things can only get better,as New Labour once said/sang :0)

  31. @Jay:

    As long as you don't lose your temper with the client. You wouldn't want to bite the hand that bites the hand, would you?

  32. @scherfers:

    Well, I'm very glad to see you back, mate.

    Talking of computer problems, my laptop is all over the bloody place today - ropey internet connection, wireless all messed up, Outlook playing silly buggers, it's driving me up the wall at the moment.

    Skiving at, erm, I mean working from home is meant to be the future, isn't it? At the minute I think I'd be better employed tying a message round a rock and chucking it at my clients...

  33. Great.

    OK, cool, we can get you on some courses for some of that, we'll take that out of the signup fee. Have your business case in with HR by Friday. Make sure its well acredited, see if you can get into Boston for a few weeks.

    with your comms skills, can you work up a Market Place Analysis ?

    We'll need to fully understand the working environment so it may involve a trip to China.

    Also, we'll need some weekly strategy meeting; somewhere reachable for the available Programme Team. How about The Ritz, say each Friday lunchtime?

    Remember, this project wants Gold Plating so we really need some hard steer and focus, especially with regard to scaleables (each one of these words is worth £85 on the project consultation fee by the way)

    Thanks for your input.

  34. @Andersenweed:

    And I quote from one of the latest edicts I received from on high:

    Following a meeting with Richard, Pan and Rachel last week, we have agreed the following process for submitting requests for development work to be done:

    1. Whoever is making the request, completes a concept definition form. I’ve attached the blank form but will also forward one I recently completed for the request to add XXX to the XXX for XXX to illustrate.
    2. Once the form is completed, submit it to the Interactive Project Review Board (email address: iPRB Mailbox) making sure you have cc’d Jenny on the email please.
    3. The IPRB meet once a fortnight and once they have reviewed the request for work, they will come back to you or Jenny with any questions and/or delivery date. Please make sure you keep Jenny in the loop at all times so we have one person in the team who’s aware of all outstanding requests.

    Jenny already has a fortnightly meeting in the diary to discuss any outstanding requests for development work, so we can review progress (and raise any other issues) at that time.

    Talk about making work for idle hands to do. Time was, I'd wander over to the techies, ask them to do something, and they'd do it. No longer, alas.

  35. @Bitterweed

    SELECT bth_posts
    FROM users
    WHERE stupidvalue > 0

    stack overflow

  36. Jay - glad to hear I'm not the only one who has CiF dreams! Really must get a life one day....

  37. @thauma:

    You dream about Comment is Free? Good grief.

  38. I know, I know. It's only been a couple of times.

  39. Swiftyboy
    Ain't that the truth !!

    Fantastic; and if I want something preliminary just sketched out in pseudo code I can always ask Bidisha...

    Boom boom !!

  40. Well, that's alright then ... NOT ;-)

    I've never dreamed about CiF but when I got addicted to the old PC game "Age Of Empires" I found everyone in my dreams had a little green/read 'health' bar above their heads.

  41. 'green/read' ... I mean 'green/red'

    I'll just go outside and shoot myself for the good of the glorious revolution!

  42. I fell out of bed a week or so ago after a particularly vivid dream. Woke up on the way down, banged my head, the lot. Very weird, waking up just as you hit the floor (via the bedside cabinet). For a full 5 seconds, I had absolutely no idea where I was.

  43. What were you dreaming about, Swifty?

  44. Do the untrusted dream of android mods?

  45. I had a dream that gillesboy was married to another cif poster. Thats all i remember. Very concerning.

  46. I once woke up and the first thing that popped into my head was LabanTall - I think after that I had an extended break from CiF.

  47. I have actually had an erotic dream about Ciffers,
    I awoke feeling soiled.

  48. Two weeks ago we had 7 buddhist meditators staying in our house- they were doing a ten day intensive meditation course organised by a neighbour- and one of them, an Italian guy, had a 19 year old Chinese girlfriend whose name translated as 'little ginko tree in the rain'- she wasn't a meditator and she took over Miranda's computer and spent hours on QQ, a Chinese version of Facebook, so that when M got her machine back, she'd type out Chinese pictograms, much to M's bafflement. She was excellent cook and taught us a thing or two about potatos...
    And this week another of our neighbours thought he'd booked a pair of 'work away' people who travel around exchanging work for accommodation but found he'd somehow booked TWO pairs by mistake and he didn't have room for all of them so he asked us if we'd put 2 of them up and now we have an Israeli couple who use my computer for emails which now comes out with Hebrew...
    Just thought you'd like to know what's been going on in deepest Italy...

  49. Nice comment on the etiquette thread Jay !

  50. I see that The Guardian has made it onto the Independent Smug Britons List...

    The Guardian

    Patronising toffs, taking their revenge on the world after being bullied at school.

  51. Here's my list of women to look up to:
    Mary Wollstonecraft

    Barbara Bodichon (nee Leigh Smith), who wrote 'A Brief Summary in Plain Language of the Most Important Laws concerning Women' in 1854. She campaigned on married women's right to property and earnings and founded the Langham Place Circle with Bessie Rayner Parkes, which was influential in starting the women's movement of the late C19th. She also encouraged Elizabeth Garrett Anderson into medicine and Emily Davies into the women's movement. BTW, Barbara Bs dad was involved with Wilberforce & brought up his children as equals.

    And for their efforts in taking the suffrage message directly to working class women: Enid Stacey; Eva Gore-Booth and Esther Roper.

    I have an old 'Votes for Women / She shall have the vote' china bell. It's worth more to me than mere money.

  52. Smug Britons list? Gissalink.

    Yep, classy Jay. I wonder if he'll answer.

  53. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/news/cats-that-got-the-cream-the-50-smuggest-britons-1772770.html

    Sorry Martillo, not great on links, something of a luddite....

  54. Perhaps the smug comment

    If you "can't be arsed replying" then simply don't bother.

    is the response?

  55. Ah yes, maybe it was, i think he's quoting me there, i recently said i couldnt be arsed replying as his points were so absurd and weak. That makes sense now.

  56. Ah probably, quick search of the JayReilly database....

  57. quick search of the JayReilliy database ..
    .. for the stash of Jaffa cakes for his (latest) wedding reception ..

  58. So the Indy says the Graun's all about Smug Britons eh ??

    This from the paper that was once described by an American comedian as:

    "A British tabloid used by angry high minded teenagers to brow-beat their parents"


    Just some more "litter picking / kicking" then eh ? heh heh...

  59. The Graun is a veritable landfill, BW, without a little kicking we'd never make it through.

  60. 'That Ray Jelly's quite a provocative wag isn't he?''

    posed the troll

    'introducing .....Pettyquette...................'

  61. Hello everyone.

    Anyone know when kizbot is back from holiday? Thinking of a short holiday in Greece after the kids have gone back to school and wanted her advice re weather/best islands/places to go to catch some sun before it's too late.

    Thanks, Original

  62. 'The UnCrusted..................................'

    posed the troll

    '... hmmmm.......... you have a REAL edge.....don't you'

  63. Anon, you are really, really boring now.

  64. Thinks shes back next week, Original, but not entirely sure.

  65. i am smugness personified this evening and you jolly taxpayers are stumping up for it.

    Currently on a jaunt (officialese = field trip) for work. Spent the morning and half the afternoon driving through the beauteous English countryside from South Yorkshire to Ledbury, Herefordshire - through Derbyshire, Cheshire and Shropshire - what a gorgeous country we live in (the nature, at least is beautiful).

    Am currently ensconced in the garden of a medieval coaching inn with large g 'n t, sunshine, wifi, fountains (plus leisure spar in what used to be dungeons). will be spending the next two nights here - there are ghosts too, so I am told, so it could be a busy night.

    No female politicos today of anything like the calibre of Joan, Jo and Barbara. Used to think Claire Short was good but she turned out to be a huge disappointment.

  66. Sheff, female politicos - Constance Gore-Booth aka Countess Markiewicz was the first woman elected to the House of Commons (1918). Didn't claim any expenses due to being in prison at the time. :0)

    Enjoy your G&T and the countryside - I envy you.

  67. scherfiq

    re Countess Markiewicz

    "One thing she had in abundance -- physical courage, with that she was clothed as with a garment." Sean O'Casey

    Bit different today, no? We can dream i suppose...

  68. Dreaming of Cif? How does one know one is not posting on Cif and only dreaming of posting here?

    Perhaps it is all a dream:

    'Once upon a time, I, Chuang Chou, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. . . Soon I awaked, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man.'

  69. Steady on, Edwin. Next thing you'll be having us wondering whether we actually exist. Which, of course, we don't. Or do we?

  70. Scheff - am jealous, of course.

    Still and all, we do live in a visually pleasing part of the world and, despite all the moaning, the rest of our lifestyle could be a fuck of a lot worse.

    Now I need some emergency cooking instructions!

    I have braising on the cooker some venison steaks, cut up, in a red wine sauce with carrots and shallots, and whose major herbs/spices include marjoram, parsley, bay leaves and garlic.

    The plan is to serve this over rice with sautéed brussels sprouts. The question: what should the sprouts be sautéed with? Obviously butter, olive oil, salt, pepper, but does anyone have suggestions for other herbs?

  71. Thauma - sprouts with venison is (forgive me) a bit weird, and I LOVE brussels sprouts. My advice - butter and salt. No oil or spices, nothing else - not necessary. Detrimental in fact.

    btw - brussels sprouts in August? Are they from Tanzania, Thailand or Jupiter? tsk, tsk!

  72. Not too many herbs, thauma: you have enough with the venison (MMMMM by the way!) I'd sautée them in just salt pepper, olive oil, garlic and bacon.

  73. Scherfig - I know. I wanted cabbage but forgot to get it. It was sprouts, broccoli or cauli, which both seemed worse.

    I lurve my sprouts and it's probably the least green thing I do - please forgive me! Package doesn't say where they are from. Think the last identifiable ones were from Morocco so not toooooo bad.

    *slinks off in shame*

    Will take your advice though!

  74. Oh dear, conflicting advice now!

    I don't have any bacon so that's out.

    Seems to be a consensus on 'keep it simple', though!

  75. martillo, the bacon thing is great with sprouts (lardons) but not with venison surely?

  76. Tell you what, I'm not sure about marjoram with venison (this is an experiment) but it smells fucking great. Off to take care of the other bits now - thanks to both for the advice!

  77. I suppose, scherfig. We usually have it as a starter here (with bacon or ham). We do peas in the same way. Delicious...

  78. thaumaturge
    Trys it with mash. Can't go wrong.

  79. BW - thanks, but I'm right out of lard as well....

  80. Agreed, martillo. And also Bitterweed re potatoes (but not necessarily mash.) Venison is a fairly common 'peasant' food here in rural Denmark. I've had the dubious experience of being out with the guys when they shot the fuckers. When they eat the deer, it's almost invariably with boiled potatoes and gravy (and root vegs). Nothing fancy. I remember the first time that I ate venison in a farmhouse in Jylland - after dinner (roast venison) the women retired, and us blokes were left at the table in the kitchen with beer and snaps, and a huge plate of ribs and bones was produced. They all made a big thing out of of gnawing the meat off and cracking the bones loudly with their teeth. I was mortified - I thought I was back in Neanderthal times. Good fun, though. Just as well those guys aren't reading this somewhat 'foodie' discussion. They'd cut our fucking heads off (and probably eat our brains).

  81. Martillo - if I am remembering correctly, Bitterweed had a rather edgy mashed potato experience in which the missus was not pleased.

  82. Please thauma! We were talking about eating..

    I lived in Denmark for about 5 months. Didn't have any great experiences like that though.

  83. martillo
    I got things a bit mixed up the other week. In the bit where you "fluff the potatoes up while mashing them, and after seasoning", you can "use a small amount of milk and butter". I couldn't find the butter, so I thought, "Lard. That'll do !"

    Didn't eat til half nine. Not the best aphrodisiac.

  84. scherfig
    Actually that all sounds pretty good fun mate ! Apart from the head ripping off bit, of course - Fucking vikings. So impolite.

  85. BW, it was very good fun. Of course, these viking types are fucking animals. You just want them on your side rather than against you. Good people.
    At the risk of sounding a bit sentimental and all 'guardian', it felt to me like a culture struggling hard to hold on to the old traditions while the reality is that modern Denmark is now a money/status-obsessed, neo-liberal, capitalist playground. It's all very sad. Globalism, innit?

  86. Well, the experiment wasn't too bad, although I think I overdid the herbs a bit. Still, I like a rich sauce and that it was. Yum.

    Kept the sprouts simple as advised, which was very good advice.

    Next time might go for potatoes as Scherfig said, although I generally like rice with that kind of dish.

  87. Yeah, exactly how I'd feel probably, it's the same in a way whenever I leave Cornwall. The culture has been a load of "Cornish tartan" bollocks for about forty years; I just saw the tail end of the true Cornish culture of fishing, mining and farming. It lives on here and there, but mostly for show.

  88. BW - ahhh, Cornwall - never been there, actually, but it sounds lovely and one day I shall go.

    Overheard a conversation in the canteen queue at work today where one participant started talking about Rebecca and how it was set in Cornwall - to blank stares by his listeners. He spoilt it when he said it was "sort of like Jane Austen; same time period" (to which he also got blank stares).

  89. Anyway, replete and off to bed - 'night all!

  90. "sort of like Jane Austen"

    Like it ...

  91. Oh god, bitterweed. Mash is one of my favourite things. Lard! Has she forgiven you yet?

  92. Heh, it's ok, but best still not mention it for a few weeks...

    Anyway, later matey, early one for me tonight !

  93. 'sort of like a' 19th century YouTube tribute to Sweet Jane Austen. (Mr Darcy on lead guitar, and by special request, Mr George Knightley on drums.)

    listen to this

  94. Night bitterweed. D'you know this? So many people have covered it...

  95. Never played it Martillo, but have heard it mani mani time...

  96. What do you play, BW? I feel very frustrated by the whole guitar thing. I've always believed anyone can learn anything to a certain degree, but anything more than a simple song played badly continues to elude me. I suppose it's a question of desire and dedication.

  97. Hi martillo
    I play electric blues Anything from Freddie King to Buddy Guy really, via.

    My main man has always been Hendrix.

    I also play & some acoustic roots/country stuff too.

    I play slide dobro too, for a blues girl singer.

    Can't do flamenco or jazz, much as I'fd like to.