Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Lilly, the Construction Worker

Who was the first and/or most influential feminist in American history?

Was it Roe vs. Wade pioneer-turned Born-again Christian Norma Leah McCorvey?

Was it Hippy Chick and former WAA Director Gloria Steinem?

Was it former Goldwater groupie-turned-First Lady-turned-Senator Hilary Rodham Clinton?

Perhaps we need to travel back in time a bit further; was it the venerable socialite Elizabeth Stanton and her Declaration of Sentiment?

I offer you a resounding “no”…to all of the above.

The first and most influential feminist in American history furthered women’s rights while she dared to call two of the most brilliant male minds of her time “best friends” as well. How pertinent was she? By the time Elizabeth Stanton’s Declaration of Sentiment was published and signed, America’s first and most important feminist had already lived 95% of her life, and she’d already loved, worked, spoke her piece, and changed the American woman’s destiny for the better—forever.

She wrote with uncanny eloquence, as well as anyone on American soil. She spoke with clarity and conviction, in a time when women simply weren’t permitted to do such. She thought in concise and intelligent manner, alongside the greatest American male minds of the day. She furthered the cause of all women on U.S. soil less hostility and armed with relentless tact.

So who was she? Well, those two aforementioned “best friends” just happen to be Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau…

And that extraordinary woman—America’s first and most influential feminist—happens to be…

Transcendentalist and Editor of The Dial Margaret Fuller.

Till next time...

NP

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