Women Politicals in America: Jailed Dissenters from Mother Jones to Lynne Stewart

May 16, 2019 - 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

American women have been victims of governmental authorities who, through time, have defined women dissenters as political enemies. From the 19th century on, American women have protested against their government, a government which is undemocratic, militaristic, patriarchal, racist and mercenary. It is time to acknowledge, since America is now an openly corporate, police state, that it has and has always had, political prisoners.

Women have been automatically suspect and “unnatural’ for voicing and acting upon their beliefs. Women politicals have been jailed, beaten and sometimes tortured. The US has never been a nation with equality, democracy, human rights, or freedom. By following the history of its female dissenters, it becomes clear that America has not been tolerant of female rebels. American colonial authorities considered Mother Anne Lee’s Shaker pacifism treason, so she was called a witch, raped and jailed in the 1770s. Mother Mary Jones was constantly arrested for challenging the mine owners’ violence against workers in the 1890s. In the 1980s, anti-imperialist revolutionaries Susan Rosenberg and Alexandrina Torres were put in solitary in a high security unit designed to torture them into repenting—or perhaps committing suicide.

Syracuse’s Ann Tiffany, a longtime peace activist, served six months at Danbury for protesting against American imperialism in Central America in 1997. The US has always cracked down on dissent, notably against anti-capitalist, and anti-racist protests, and also to stop anti-imperialist activism which exposed its military empire. American women have held deep political convictions throughout our history, and when they ran counter to the established political culture, they have been punished for them.

Book Signing and Discussion – FREE to the Public.

Linda Ford has always been fascinated by stories about her female forebears. She’s from rural central New York—Madison—and grew up with feminist tendencies: as in resenting not being awarded a high school letter for Social Studies in 1967 because it was “not for girls.” She was in an early consciousness-raising group in NYC and started a NOW chapter in Saratoga Springs in the late 70s. She got her PhD from Syracuse University in 1984, where she petitioned for and got a women’s history minor. Ford was a history professor for 15 years, and then a bookseller in Massachusetts and New York. She has now written three books. Women Politicals in America: Jailed Dissenters from Mother Jones to Lynne Stewart is the latest; the first two were Iron-Jawed Angels: The Suffrage Militancy of the National Woman’s Party (1991) and Lady Hoopsters: A History of Women’s Basketball in America (2000). She has also written numerous print and online articles on women’s history/feminist subjects—the most recent was “Women Politicals of the American Empire”, Dissidentvoice.org.