"My response to the “I am not a feminist” internet phenomenon….
First of all, it’s clear you don’t know what feminism is. But I’m not going to explain it to you. You can google it. To quote an old friend, “I’m not the feminist babysitter.”
But here is what I think you should know.
You’re insulting every woman who was forcibly restrained in a jail cell with a feeding tube down her throat for your right to vote, less than 100 years ago.
You’re degrading every woman who has accessed a rape crisis center, which wouldn’t exist without the feminist movement.
You’re undermining every woman who fought to make marital rape a crime (it was legal until 1993).
You’re spitting on the legacy of every woman who fought for women to be allowed to own property (1848). For the abolition of slavery and the rise of the labor union. For the right to divorce. For women to be allowed to have access to birth control (Comstock laws). For middle and upper class women to be allowed to work outside the home (poor women have always worked outside the home). To make domestic violence a crime in the US (It is very much legal in many parts of the world). To make workplace sexual harassment a crime.
In short, you know not what you speak of. You reap the rewards of these women’s sacrifices every day of your life. When you grin with your cutsey sign about how you’re not a feminist, you ignorantly spit on the sacred struggle of the past 200 years. You bite the hand that has fed you freedom, safety, and a voice.
In short, kiss my ass, you ignorant little jerks.”
I had the distinct privilege of having an art studio in one of those places you talked about, the Lorton Workhouse Reformatory. For two years I got to hear from curators about Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Alice Paul, Lucy Burns and others who stayed there. Sadly the women prison side was demolished to put a water treatment plant- which easily could have been put further down river. (though there was some debate on whether or not the building I was in housed some of the women temporarily until they were transfered to the women’s prison) Yet, for now the history of the women who valiantly fought for women’s right to vote has been pushed into one small 300 square foot room, because the non for profit that runs the now arts center did not see it fit to help build museum on the history of women’s suffrage.
At one point I offered to do a fundraiser to help them get money to renovate the space that they needed to help get a museum- they need 2 million dollars by the way and I wanted to do a crowdfunding campaign- no one had the time to get back to me on trying to plan one out. It is sad that there is no lasting testament for women’s suffrage, the history of feminism, nor the fight that women of all demographics have had to go through to get to where we are today.