Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Memorializing Women

Lately on national holidays I've been thinking about something I read and had an "Aha!" moment. John R. Gillis notes in the introduction to his book Commemorations that there are no national holidays for a woman in the US (he also notes to the lack of them in other countries).

I'd like to propose a list of women who deserve national recognition for their dedication to the freedoms of US citizens:

  • Elizabeth Cady Staton who wrote the Declaration of Statements was vital to the women's suffrage movement and was a social activist.
  • Susan B. Anthony, another woman who played a vital role in the women's suffrage movement who has her own coin - ironically associating women with ownership and property once again.
  • Another other woman involved in the women's suffrage movement who didn't oppose the 14th and 15th amendment openly and wanted to see rights extended to all citizens, irregardless of sex or race, like Carrie Chapman Catt. My vote goes to Catt.
  • Rosa Parks, African American civil rights activist who capitalized on civil disobedience. There's been lots of attention to her work due to her recent death. There's lots of people honoring her - just no national holiday.
Anyone else I'm missing?

It seems more common to commemorate women through objects (coins, statues) rather than through living memorials such as national holidays or large public spaces (parks, buildings).

1 comment:

jafish said...

How about Helen Keller? A member of the Wobblies back in the day whose story gave a voice to those with disabilities as well as the labor and women's movements in general.