March 10, 2008, - 1:41 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
. . . That the feminist movement in America started out as a racist, Whites-only group?
I’d heard that before, but now there’s more evidence in a new book, “Ida: A Sword Among Lions,” by Paula Giddings. The book, about late Black journalist Ida B. Wells, mentions how Wells–who reported on and spoke out against lynchings–was excluded by feminists in the last century. From a Wall Street Journal book review by Mark Bauerlein:
To some, she was a brave crusader for a variety of reform movements –Wells was a staunch suffragist, for instance — but to others she was just a quarrelsome agitator. Still, Ida Wells Clubs opened in cities across the country, and benefactors sent money to her causes. She also made enemies and never understood the internal jockeying of political organizations. Despite her support, the women’s suffrage movement generally avoided Wells because its leaders didn’t want to alienate Southern women.
Yup, the next time you hear bra-burners like Gloria Steinem and Martha Burk yelling and screaming about equality, ask them why their movement started out as hardly the paragon of virtue in that department.
Tags: America, Black journalist, Debbie Schlussel, Gloria Steinem, Ida B. Wells, Ida Wells Clubs, late Black journalist, Mark Bauerlein, Martha Burk, Paula Giddings, Wall Street Journal