In the Mood for Glass-Smashing
November 4, 2016 11:12 AM   Subscribe

What are your favorite primary source documents (historical speeches, essays, quotes, letters, etc) related to women making history and women's rights?

I like to get in the mood for history-making by reading primary source documents related to the topic. There is likely to be some history-making in the U.S. on Tuesday related to women's rights (I knocked on wood, I swear to you). Give me your best primary source documents to get me in the mood to smash some glass!

Things I already know about:
Abigail Adams's "remember the ladies" letter to John Adams
Sojournor Truth, "Ain't I a Woman"
the Declaration of Sentiments from the Seneca Falls Convention
everything in Sisterhood is Powerful
Barbara Jordan's 1976 DNC Keynote Address
Hillary Clinton's "women's rights are human rights" speech

The things I listed are all U.S. history just because that was my area of study, but I will take answers from any time or place.
posted by sallybrown to Law & Government (9 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Canadian example here: Nellie McClung's 1914 "Should Men Vote?" speech, delivered at a "mock Parliament."

A first-hand account of the speech from Beatrice Brigden - who was there - can be found here: 1916: Manitoba women win the right to vote.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:32 AM on November 4, 2016

Suffragettes slashing paintings in the National Portrait Gallery (London)- details of the Gallery's response here:
posted by threetwentytwo at 11:36 AM on November 4, 2016

Just today I ran across a pretty excellent essay by actress Mila Kunis about standing up to sexism in Hollywood.
posted by Dragonness at 11:39 AM on November 4, 2016

The Combahee River Collective Statement (1982)
Audre Lorde, An Open Letter to Mary Daly (1979)
Pat Mainardi, The Politics of Housework (1970)
Andrea Dworkin, I Want A Twenty-Four Hour Truce During Which There Is No Rape (1983)
Judy Brady, Why I Want A Wife (1972)
posted by amnesia and magnets at 11:47 AM on November 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

I loved: The Burning Times, a documentary on witch trials in Europe during the 14th century, done from a woman centered world view.

Also, Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic.

Both works treat the concept of patriarchy and Christianity subverting and narrowing and capitalizing as forming modern history, and the price women pay for it especially.
posted by effluvia at 12:05 PM on November 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

Shirley Chisholm on the campaign trail!

Fannie Lou Hammer speaking to the DNC in 1964 as a representative of The Freedom Democratic Party - "I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired." LBJ tried to shut this speech down by calling a bulls$%t press conference, but she was heard.

Barbara Jordan first African-American woman (and maybe lesbian) to speak before the DNC in 1976. "What is special? I am a keynote speaker."
posted by brookeb at 1:38 PM on November 4, 2016

Julia Gillard's famous speech calling out the misogyny she encountered as Australian prime minister.

posted by lollusc at 3:48 PM on November 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

Gloria Steinem, "If Men Could Menstruate" (Ms. Magazine, 1978)
posted by cadge at 3:45 PM on November 10, 2016

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