Why We Oppose Votes for Men
1. Because man’s place is the armory.
2. Because no really manly man wants to settle any question otherwise than by fighting about it.
3. Because if men should adopt peaceable methods women will no longer look up to them.
4. Because men will lose their charm if they step out of their natural sphere and interest themselves in other matters than feats of arms, uniforms and drums.
5. Because men are too emotional to vote. Their conduct at baseball games and political conventions shows this, while their innate tendency to appeal to force renders them peculiarly unfit for the task of government.
from Are Women People? by Alice Duer Miller
~ The Mystery of Love, Courtship and Marriage Explained, by Henry J. Wehman, originally published 1890
“It was on purpose that I started looking miserable, humiliated, hounded, and haunted, bedeviled, bewildered, and at my wit’s end. Some other comedians can get away with laughing at their own gags. Not me. The public just will not stand for it. And that is all right with me. All of my life I have been happiest when the folks watching me said to each other, ‘Look at the poor dope, wilya?’
Because of the way I looked on the stage and screen the public naturally assumed that I felt hopeless and unloved in my personal life. Nothing could be farther from the fact. As long back as I can remember I have considered myself a fabulously lucky man. From the beginning I was surrounded by interesting people who loved fun and knew how to create it. I’ve had few dull moments and not too many sad and defeated ones.”
-Buster Keaton, in his autobiography My Wonderful World of Slapstick (1960)
When legendary civil rights activist Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth died today, many Americans had no idea who he was or what he’d accomplished in his 89 years on earth. It’s an unfortunate reality that people often think Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X were the beginning and end of black activism in the Civil Rights era. In fact, nothing could be more wrong. From the 1950s onward, Shuttlesworth was a major factor in ending Jim Crow laws in the South, and many other oppressive forces throughout the United States. Here are the top five things you should know about him.
1. From the start of his career, Shuttlesworth, who was raised poor in Alabama, was fiery and obstinate. After Alabama officially banned the NAACP from operating within the state in 1956, Shuttlesworth, then a pastor, founded the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights. The ACMHR’s first major order of business was a Birmingham bus sit-in, during which Shuttlesworth and others boarded city buses and sat in the “whites only” sections. The ACMHR would eventually become charter member organization in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
2. He lived nearly nine decades, but many people tried to kill Shuttlesworth much earlier for his outspokenness. He was the target of two bomb attacks, one on his home and one on his church. And when Shuttlesworth tried to enroll his daughters in an all-white Birmingham school in 1957, an armed mob attacked him, beating him unconscious and stabbing his wife. The couple survived, and when a doctor remarked that Shuttlesworth was lucky to have avoided a concussion,Shuttlesworth said, “Doctor, the Lord knew I lived in a hard town, so he gave me a hard head.”
3. Though he worked closely with King, Shuttlesworth’s style was decidedly different. “Among the youthful ‘elders’ of the movement,” historian Diane McWhorter told The New York Times, “he was Martin Luther King’s most effective and insistent foil: blunt where King was soothing, driven where King was leisurely, and most important, confrontational where King was conciliatory—meaning, critically, that he was more upsetting than King in the eyes of the white public.” Despite their differences, King once called Shuttlesworth ”the most courageous civil rights fighter in the South.”
4. Shuttlesworth’s fiercest enemy in Birmingham was infamous public safety commissioner Bull Connor. Connor’s violent responses—attack dogs, fire hoses, billy clubs—to Shuttlesworth’s peaceful demonstrations were integral in changing America’s attitude about Jim Crow. “The televised images of Connor directing handlers of police dogs to attack unarmed demonstrators and firefighters’ using hoses to knock down children had a profound effect on American citizens’ view of the civil rights struggle,” says the Shuttlesworth Foundation’s website.
5. After his actions helped spawn the passage of the federal Civil Rights Act in 1964, Shuttlesworth continued fighting for justice in realms both racial and economic. In 1988 he founded the Shuttlesworth Housing Foundation to help low-income families own their own homes, and in 2004 he became president of the SCLC. A firebrand to the end, he resigned from the SCLC within months, saying “deceit, mistrust and a lack of spiritual discipline and truth have eaten at the core of this once-hallowed organization.” Three years ago, the city of Birmingham named its airport after Shuttlesworth. There are still no monuments named after Bull Connor.
Good information. I’m quite disgusted about how little I was actually taught about the Civil Rights Movement in school. I mean we seriously only learned about Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. Malcolm X was a barely a footnote, and then we were only told that he was violent (“bad”), and nothing was ever mentioned about Shuttlesworth or any other Civil Rights leader.