Monday, September 23, 2013

Happy 175th Birthday!

Victoria Woodhull- American Folk Heroine

For a woman to consider a financial question was shuddered over as a profanity.
Victoria Woodhull

Victoria Woodhull – an advocate of free love well before it was fashionable in the 1960’s - fought hard for women’s rights. The first female candidate (Equal Rights Party) for President of the United States, started a weekly newspaper, the Woodhull & Claflin's Weekly.  She was also the first woman to manage a brokerage firm on Wall Street.

Born on September 23, 1838 in Ohio, it was after moving to New York that she became a strong advocate of the idea that marriage does not exist and that people are free to love and be intimate with whoever they please for however long they please.  Before becoming aware of her free love philosophy, she held the respect of women suffragists such as Susan B. Anthony.  Unfortunately she lost the support of many women who did not endorse her views.   

 “The Bewitching Broker” was respected but Woodhull’s political career felt short of its goal when obscenity charges were filed against her for publishing an account of a prominent New York minister’s illicit affair.  She and the scandals she became involved with led to her becoming known as “The Wicked Woodull” after all the scandals she became involved in. 

Until she died in 1927, she promoted ideas of equality and civil rights for all. Her goal was to uplift the working class who struggled beneath the powerful controls of  the elite capitalist government of her day. It would take another hundred years or so for her reforms to be implemented.
Like those who come before and after her, this folk heroine risked a great deal to improve the lives of others. 

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