Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Dance on Kate Bush with your crazy self

This is the shit that makes me sad.

"A sobering reminder. . .the right to vote was not easily won.

The women were innocent and defenseless. And by the end of the Night, they were barely alive. Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing went on a rampage against the 33 helpless women wrongly convicted of "obstructing sidewalk traffic." They beat Lucy Burn, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air. They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women. Thus unfolded the "Night of Terror" on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia (USA) ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote. For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their food--all of it colorless slop--was infested with worms. When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press."

The 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920, allowing women the right to vote. My grandmother was born in 1926. The United States was unionized July 4th 1776.

My great Grandmother is Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Recently a reporter in the New Yorker smugly reported why people disliked Hillary Clinton saying, "most people just cant make the connection between death and women's rights. I mean, no one died for women's rights like say, Martin Luther King". I was so incensed with anger. I would like to see him walk up to Benazir Bhutto's 19 year old son and say that to his face. Because women dying has never been what the powers that be are waiting for. They die ever day in the streets and in their homes. By people ho love them and strangers, simply for being women. I would like to see him walk into an illegal sex ring in Eastern Europe or Thailand and say that to the women and children of the world. Women's rights and the suffering of women is not an "American" problem. It's a human dilemma. Women's rights are human rights.

Working on this book has been awesome. Today I learned that in 1978 Kate Bush became the first women to make the charts in England with a song that was SELF written. It was Wuthering Heights. Wonderful, and yet, somehow still melancholy. Sexism doesn't see race, it doesn't see class. It effects everyone on this great big green earth. Maybe do one thing today differently. Don't make that stupid tasteless joke, even if you think it's funny, look at the larger picture, our actions have consequences. Lets all be a little kinder and responsible, even if you don't see how it makes the difference to someone suffering so far away, believe me, it does.