A Bit 'o Random Musings on Politics, Religion, and Anything Else That Passes Through My Crazy Head

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Ain't I A Woman?

How can you not like someone who picks a name like "Sojourner Truth"? This was the self-chosen name of a northern slave who became a vociferous opponent of slavery and adept campaigner for Abolition in the years leading up the the civil war. Her most famous speech (which she may or may not have given in the form we most recognize -read the two versions here) has the following lines:

"I want to say a few words about this matter. I am a woman's rights. I have as much muscle as any man, and can do as much work as any man. I have plowed and reaped and husked and chopped and mowed, and can any man do more than that? I have heard much about the sexes being equal. I can carry as much as any man, and can eat as much too, if I can get it. I am as strong as any man that is now."

Feminism doesn't have to mean that men and women are physically equally strong, but I admire Soujourner Truth - because she was truly a man's equal. In a time where women were second class citizens, and African Americans weren't even citizens, she stood up for her rights as a proud Black Woman!

1 comment:

  1. There was a really good Bill Moyers podcast I listened to with Howard Zinn (done just a month or two before he died, I believe) and they had a clip of a woman reading an excerpt of this speech which I think Zinn included in his People's History. Once I find it I'll send you the link.