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Women have been fighting for full human status in society for a very long time.  You’d think a rational society could do more in a hundred years plus, but we’re still not there yet.

 

” And yet I find in American newspapers there is a great deal of misunderstanding of the fact that one of the chief minds engaged in conducting the women’s revolution is, for purposes of convenience, located in Paris. It is quite easy for you to understand – it would not be necessary for me to enter into explanations at all – the desirability of revolution if I were a man, in any of these countries, even in a part of the British Empire known to you as Ireland. If an Irish revolutionary had addressed this meeting, and many have addressed meetings all over the United States during the last twenty or thirty years, it would not be necessary for that revolutionary to explain the need of revolution beyond saying that the people of his country were denied – and by people, meaning men – were denied the right of self-government. That would explain the whole situation. If I were a man and I said to you, “I come from a country which professes to have representative institutions and yet denies me, a taxpayer, an inhabitant of the country, representative rights,” you would at once understand that that human being, being a man, was justified in the adoption of revolutionary methods to get representative institutions. But since I am a woman it is necessary in the twentieth century to explain why women have adopted revolutionary methods in order to win the rights of citizenship.

You see, in spite of a good deal that we hear about revolutionary methods not being necessary for American women, because American women are so well off, most of the men of the United States quite calmly acquiesce in the fact that half of the community are deprived absolutely of citizen rights, and we women, in trying to make our case clear, always have to make as part of our argument, and urge upon men in our audience the fact – a very simple fact – that women are human beings. It is quite evident you do not all realize we are human beings or it would not be necessary to argue with you that women may, suffering from intolerable injustice, be driven to adopt revolutionary methods. We have, first of all to convince you we are human beings, and I hope to be able to do that in the course of the evening before I sit down, but before doing that, I want to put a few political arguments before you – not arguments for the suffrage, because I said when I opened, I didn’t mean to do that – but arguments for the adoption of militant methods in order to win political rights.”

-Emmeline Pankhurst in Hartford Connecticut, on November 13, 1913

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