The Heart of Marie Antoinette

Much has been written about Marie Antoinette’s head, for she lost it by guillotine during the French Revolution in 1793. But what of her heart? We know that women have been excluded from history, and that the ignorance engendered by our exclusion has profound consequences, chief among them the abject state imposed by apparent lack of tradition. This is, ultimately, one of the two major reasons women’s history is so important to the progress of women. The other reason is that what is already written is often false, the story shaped to fit the narrative of powerful men who sought to maintain that power. Not only must we write down our histories, we must also inspect what is already available and correct the record where it is wrong.

Few cases explicate this dynamic better than the story of Marie Antoinette, and the story of 7,000 more women you’ve most likely never heard of. This is the story of women in petticoats and aprons, mothers, workers, anguished French women who marched to appeal to the only feminine authority they had in the corporeal world, the Queen of France. This is the story of their appeal and the limits of her authority, and of a great document that you’ve also most likely never heard of, a document which calls us across time to examine exactly how far we’ve come as women.

The Women’s March on Versailles

Picture it, if you will: a sea of long skirts, of pitchforks and pikes, of muskets scattered in the arms of scarfed women. These women were on their way to the vast country palace of the King, to demand bread and to return the royal family to Paris, where it must confront the plight of its people. As they walked, the women sang, and more women joined. That’s what the scene looked like on the Women’s March to Versailles, also known as the Women’s Bread March, an event important to the French Revolution. Continue reading

Ironic Quote(s) of the Day

Kids get caught in fight between Democrats and their Sponsors

Compliments of Democrat Henry Waxman:

“The concept that insurance companies would even seek to deny children coverage exemplifies why we fought for this reform,” said Representative Henry A. Waxman, Democrat of California and chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee.

Translation:

We might feign outrage, and while Insurance Companies are heartless bastards, we thought it’d be a great idea to force you to buy their product, even if it kills your kids.

Welcome to the Authoritarian Theater of the Absurd (Left Edition), where not only are you forced by your government to buy a private product, the people offering you the private product are hauled into Congress to explain why they are following the laws on financial reporting when Democrats don’t want them to: Continue reading

WHM Cameo: Dorothy Irene Height

I want to be remembered as someone who used herself and anything she could touch to work for justice and freedom…. I want to be remembered as one who tried. ~Dorothy Height

The Godmother of the Civil Rights movement, as Dorothy Irene Height is known, turned 98 this last week. She spent her birthday in the hospital, in critical but stable condition. News of her condition has traveled around the web, resulting in her name trending to number 1 in the United States on Twitter today as fans expressed condolences in the wake of a rumor that she had died. No official word has been released of her death at the time of publication.

Dorothy Height dedicated her life to civil rights causes for African Americans and women. She was born in 1912 in Richmond, VA, but spent most of her childhood near Pittsburgh, PA. She attended university in New York, receiving a Bachelor and a Master Degree in four years. In 1933 she became involved with and made a name for herself in the United Christian Youth Movement (UCYM), working to end lynching, integrate the Armed Services, and reform the criminal justice system. She also began to work during this time with the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), a relationship she would foster for the rest of her working life. Continue reading

The Alternative Would Have Been Worse

This has been the refrain I’ve been hearing for months now as progressives and liberals desperately attempt to cling to the image of Obama that they want to believe in, instead of the one they got. So let’s take a look at this claim, shall we?

The subtext of “the alternative would have been worse” is that Republican policies would be furthered if McCain had won. Sometimes it means that we’d be worse off with Hillary Clinton, but only media-manipulated 20- & 30-somethings of the professional class believe that anymore, and that’s only because they can’t let go of the little black seeds Republicans & the media planted in their hearts during their childhoods.

No, what they really mean is that Republicans are the alternative that would’ve been worse. But how so? Here are some talking points to push back against the pro-Obama chorus, and to add a little amplification to the voices of opposition. Feel free to copy and paste this list anywhere on the web (but please try to redirect readers here when you can). Continue reading

Obama & the Evolution of Abortion Politics

About that change you can believe in. Here’s a short list that demonstrates the evolution of Obama’s politics on choice. Apparently it only matters if he’s up for election. You might consider promoting these reminders if you’re engaged in rhetorical pushback, which is important.

  1. 2007: In a speech given to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund on July 17: The first thing I’d do, as president, is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That’s the first thing that I’d do. (video)
  2. 2008: On the 35th Anniversary of Roe v Wade: “Last year, the Supreme Court decided by a vote of 5-4 to uphold the Federal Abortion Ban, and in doing so undermined an important principle of Roe v. Wade: that we must always protect women’s health.” … “”But we also know that Roe v. Wade is about more than a woman’s right to choose; it’s about equality. It’s about whether our daughters are going to have the same opportunities as our sons.”
  3. 2009: During his 100-days prime-time press conference, April 30: Now, the Freedom of Choice Act is not my highest legislative priority. Continue reading

What the Executive Order Means (Updated)

President Barack Obama agreed today to sign an Executive Order ensuring that no federal dollars will be spent on abortion, or anything else any uptight, fanatically religious, or just plain asshole of a person might object to when it comes to women’s reproductive health. In doing so, President Obama became the first Democratic President to openly attack a woman’s right to choose, and to take support for women’s reproductive health out of the platform.

After floating the idea this morning to see how harsh the pushback would be (predictably there was none), the language of the order, complete with a Conscious Clause that puts birth control and other basic reproductive health services at risk, was released by the White House this afternoon.

In light of this catastrophic change we can believe in, a careful consideration of just what this means for pro-choice voters and the Democratic Party is in order. To wit:

The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or  undermine that right.

First and foremost, Continue reading

We Interrupt this Women’s History Month

To bring you this report of the continued complete collapse of support among Democrats for women.

Normally we wouldn’t even bother. The Health Insurance Behind-the-Scenes-Deal-Reform Bailout is all you’ve heard about for months now, and the haka has grown intense in the last week. We’re sick and tired of it too, and wish the jokers in Congress would just vote on it already. We were just about to write up a nice article on Viola Luizzo, but stopped short when we saw the news. You won’t believe the crazy idea (and we thought they couldn’t GET any crazier) the Democrats are cooking up now.

They want an executive order. Yes, they want President Obama to sign off on an order verifying that federal money won’t be used for icky women’s issues.

Here’s how much the base, a woman no less, cares about it. (warning: orange cheeto link)

Can you freakin’ believe that shit? No Democratic president since Roe v Wade would ever dare to even float this idea. Not one. But hey, it’s at least change you can believe in.