Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Abigail Adams: Feminist of the Day?

Abigail Smith Adams
Political advisor, writer, diplomat
"If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation."

I'm really not sure about First Ladies in general, and American First Ladies in particular. I own New Internationalist's Little Book of Great Women and it has some really lovely quotes, but three of them are from First Ladies, which is at least two too many. More than most women the role of a First Lady, both in her life and in historical memory, is tied to that of a husband. Which doesn't preclude her being a feminist, but it certainly isn't a starting point for one.

Abigail Adams's, oft quoted, letter to her husband, appears to have been the high point of her feminism. To me feminism is meaningless if all you do is write about it.

Conclusion: Cool quote, but she's on the long list of First Ladies who are not my sort of feminists.

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