Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Stateside with Rosalea: Adam's Rib, 2003


Stateside with Rosalea

Adam's Rib, 2003

By Rosalea Barker

The entry on my calendar says that 26 August was Equality Day: "1920 - US women win right to vote with ratification of 19th amendment. 72 year struggle for woman suffrage is victorious." My Oxford Companion to United States History says the movement is dated from an 1848 convention held in Seneca Falls, New York, to discuss the "Social, Civil, and Religious Condition of Woman."

Between 1846 and 1851 eleven states called conventions to redraft their constitutions, and many of the early conventions on women's rights were organised in response to those. Under the curious subhead "From the Civil Wart to 1890" - sorry, just had to have a dig at the Oxford University Press! - the Companion says that the Civil War curtailed the women's rights conventions.

So really, the bulk of the struggle for "woman suffrage" came in the years between 1893, when Colorado became the first state to give (some) women the vote, and 1920 - with the bulk of the action happening between 1910 and 1920. That was the era of Progressive politics, during which time "local reformers adopted 'initiative, referendum, and recall' measures enabling voters to initiate legislation, ratify legislative acts, and remove public officials who violated their trust."

Which brings us neatly to the present day and the California recall election. And this morning's appearance by Governor Gray Davis in a lengthy interview on ABC's This Week. I confess to being somewhat flummoxed by his sudden assertion that his wife is a blessing from God and has brought him back to God, until I watched another talk-fest over on NBC. There, a White House correspondent said that Laura Bush is being wheeled out in the campaign to save GW's falling popularity. Barbara Bush, too, is having a book published later this year.

Of course the White House correspondent didn't use the term "being wheeled out," but that's what it amounts to (for both Bush and Davis), doesn't it? There's nothing makes a man look better than that his feisty little wife - a woman of integrity, good taste and judgement, intelligence and acumen - is sticking up for him. Who are we to question Her choice?

I don't mean "Her" in any divine sense; just that we are asked to say "In Her we trust" and vote accordingly. Heaven forbid that I would mock the Creator, who, according to the Declaration of Independence, has endowed me with certain inalienable rights - namely life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Oops, my mistake, that was men only. But most people do interpret "men" as meaning "humankind" these days. And some, it seems, interpret "Creator" as meaning one particular deity only, if this following statement from Rev. Robert Schenck of the Evangelical Church Alliance on the Jim Lehrer NewsHour in the middle of the week is anything to go by. He was asked by the news anchor, Gwen Ifill, why the battle over the display of the Ten Commandments at a courthouse in Alabama was a big issue. He replied:

"Well, first because the declaration of independence says that our rights, which are secured by the Constitution, come from our Creator, with a capital C - a personal Creator. And all the Ten Commandments do is simply explain who that Creator is and what the nature of that Creator is."

Would "God almighty!" be an appropriate expression of incredulity at this juncture? Talk about cultural arrogance! In my humble opinion, back in 1776 "Creator" was deliberately being used as an inclusive, *not* an exclusive, term. It's long past time in this country for a convention on the "Social, Civil, and Religious Condition of Common Sense", don't you think?

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>

ALSO:

Buildup:

Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>

ALSO:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news