Home > NewsRelease > Honoring 10,000 Miles For Womankind: Nell Richardson, Alice Burke and Saxon, the Kitty
Honoring 10,000 Miles For Womankind: Nell Richardson, Alice Burke and Saxon, the Kitty
Carolyn A. Cook -- United 4 Equality, LLC Carolyn A. Cook -- United 4 Equality, LLC
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Washington, DC
Wednesday, August 4, 2021



‘None of you men bother to think how you will vote. You do not ask the immigrant all these questions before permitting him to vote, after he is naturalized; you simply give him the right to vote and let it go at that, yet the immigrant often merely comes over here for a job and has no particularly vital interest in the welfare or the country. The women have a vital interest in the welfare of this country for it is our country as much as it is you men’s’.

Dear Elizabeth Herman,

I just came across your 11/01/20 opinion piece. I wanted to thank you for sharing a piece of EuroAmerican women’s history. This was an incredible story of bravery and sacrifice traveling alone in a car in those days. It would be dangerous today for these women to go on a speaking tour for women’s rights – that’s why no one does it. Women are content to accept the anger, hatred and violent threats online where they are safer.

My question for all historians of women’s history: Why are suffragists continually condemned as racists while ignoring bigotry and sexism of abolitionists like Frederick Douglass who is worshipped despite how he betrayed women for their vote? Would you call him a misogynist? Or a sexist? A chauvinist? It wouldn’t be p.c. for sure, but he definitely wasn’t innocent either. Yet his actions are skipped over and the profound impact it must have had on morale and focus.  Martin Luther King wasn’t innocent of infidelity. But he’s worshipped too.

When I grew up, actions spoke louder than words. “Hell hath no fury…” 

Female Historians seem to go to great lengths to interpret the feminist movement as inherently racist as if this was the primary motivation for middle class white women challenging the white male establishment! These same purveyors of our feminist past gleefully ignore the CONTEXT of misogyny and exclusion by ALL men in which words like those above were spoken.

How can you call Alice Burke a racist when immigrants were white too? We have a double-standard in American society where racism is condemned while sexism is condoned. Maybe you can’t relate to how a feminist feels to live under Patriarchy and that it can lead some women (all too few) to take action to improve women’s circumstances. I actually spent several years working on the ERA and I was criticized for being white and what did I know about women’s rights? My response, ‘Enough to give a damn and do something.”

In fact, women of all races could have cared less about our legislative achievement. They wished me luck and went on with their lives.  

So maybe because the majority of women can’t relate to the anger and passion that spurs feminist action, they only take Nell Richardson and Alice Burke’s words at face value without considering the underlying context. That is a disservice to history and to students.

Do you actually believe that these women had no right to be angry at how the Boys Club existed for male immigrants and male citizens but not for women who were born here? That these women had to fight for every right they had under law when immigrant males were protected?

Have you never experienced the Boys Club yourself or that being a woman made you inferior? And yes when women are betrayed by men (or women), in a moment of absolute red hot anger, they let their feelings flow.  Just like men who throw punches or worse.  Maybe you have never lost it? Good for you! You may be the exception.

In 2020, EuroAmerican women deserved to have their moment of glory in their 72-year fight for the vote like any other minority group that is given their kudos for their civil rights struggles. Instead, they were condemned as if racism was the major focal point of their actions which we know for a fact it was not.

When you and others analyze and paint EuroAmerican feminists with broad brush strokes as if the sum total of 10,000 miles for womenkind was a walk in the privilege park of white supremacy – you are doing an incredible disservice to these souls and future generations of women who identify with them.  Immigrants do come here for the American dream and yes, I’m sure their birth home elsewhere is still considered home for many living in America.  So was America – the suffragists’ home – however exclusionary and discriminatory it was and is.

EuroAmerican women weren’t born on this earth to be the saviors of all others or to make up for the sins of EuroAmerican men. They are entitled to be honored for fighting within their own race against men who held all the cards. Period. Their slights against other women indicates they weren’t saints. But they certainly weren’t sinners either.

These women fought the pinnacle of power and all women today whether they acknowledge it or not – owe them a debt of gratitude for benefitting from these feminists courage, sacrifice and idealism to bring about a better world than the times in which they lived.

I apologize that I am singling you out or your piece for evaluation. But the NYT would never print my perspective – it’s not p.c..  My perspective is more akin to those evil suffragists.  

One sure way of ensuring that white women don’t pick up the suffragists’ torch and use their position and power to advocate further for womenkind against Patriarchy (since they don’t have to fight racism) is to make them feel ashamed of our contributions in history. I’ve seen the faces of white women and it’s anything but inspired. Racism was a small blemish on an otherwise powerful feminist initiative against white men. And I would argue that Frederick Douglas and his white brethren did far more to harm women of color than any white woman ever did or could.

RIP, Ladies – you are the SHEROS of many women….may your trails from here on out by happy…

This entry was posted on August 3, 2021, 10:06 pm and is filed under Musings, Foremothers. You can follow any responses to this entry through RSS 2.0.You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

United 4 Equality, LLC is a women-owned public policy and work/life strategies company based in Washington, DC striving to implement a National Work/Life Agenda by establishing equality for women as the Law of the Land.

Declaring equal rights for women in society will serve as the catalyst for government, businesses and ngos to forge a National Work/Life Agenda that redesigns policies and practices to accomodate the myriad roles men and women fulfill as costewards of America's future. 

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