by Linda G. Ford
Women Politicals is the story of American women have protested against their government, a government which is undemocratic, militaristic, patriarchal, racist and based on greed and profit.
Dissenting women politicals, already automatically suspect and "unnatural" for voicing and acting upon their beliefs, have been jailed, beaten and sometimes tortured.
By following the disposition of its dissenters, particularly its female dissenters, it becomes clear that America, ruled by a patriarchal, racist elite from its colonial days, was not tolerant of rebels. Massachusetts Bay would not forgive Anne Hutchinson's dissent from Governor Winthrop's religious elite rule; the American colonial authorities considered Mother Anne Lee's Shaker pacifism treason, so she was called a witch, raped and jailed. In the 1980s, anti-imperialists Susan Rosenberg and Alexandrina Torres were put in solitary in a high security unit designed to make them repent or kill themselves. Lynne Stewart, breast cancer or not, was given a long jail sentence for defending her "terrorist" Muslim client in 2010.
Since America has become an openly authoritarian, corporate state, it is time to acknowledge the US has and always has had political prisoners. By following the history of its female dissenters, it becomes clear that America, ruled by a patriarchal, racist elite from its beginnings, has never been tolerant of female rebels.
About the Author:
Linda Ford is a socialist historian of women, the author of numerous articles, and of Iron-Jawed Angels: The Suffrage Militancy of the National Women's Party (1991) and Lady Hipsters: A History of Women's Basketball in America (2000).