Happy Birthday to the 19th Amendment!
On August 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, granting women the right to vote for the first time
Victoria Woodhull never shied from the limelight, and spoke out to promote women’s rights whenever she had the chance. At first, she was supported by other women’s suffrage activists like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, but the more she spoke out, the more they distanced themselves from her.
You see, Woodhull was also in favor of very “scandalous” things, like free love, letting women be in control of their own bodies, and having the right to escape bad marriages if they wanted to.
Ironically, many women’s rights activists were not in favor of such ideas. Granted, she did tell crowds of people that she wanted “the love of you all, promiscuously,” in the late 19th-century. People didn’t take kindly to women giving speeches at all, let alone filling them with quotes like this:
“It makes no difference who or what you are, old or young, black or white, pagan, Jew, or Christian, I want to love you all and be loved by you all, and I mean to have your love.”
She also had no problem living the life she wanted for all women. At one point, she was sharing an apartment with her ex-husband, her husband, and her lover. But I have no doubts that she probably gave them all the long finger if they didn’t treat her with respect:
“Let women issue a declaration of independence sexually, and absolutely refuse to cohabit with men until they are acknowledged as equals in everything, and the victory would be won in a single week,” she wrote.
I wanted to share this with you, because I think she’s a fascinating human and an extremely notable piece of U.S. history that isn’t often talked about.
Happy women’s suffrage, ladies!
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