Found – I Am a Free Lover
Poetry – perhaps more so than other records – reminds us that the struggles of humanity are often profound. As I searched a woman to highlight for Women’s History Month, Victoria Woodhull’s name popped into view. Why she isn’t better known is a mystery to me as she was, among many other things, the first woman to run for President of the United States. No, in case you are thinking as I was, it was not Hillary.
One speech she gave caught my attention because of the freshness of the content. The speech was given over 150 years ago and yet it spoke of truths needed today. I have watched with dismay as several states have passed draconian laws against women regarding birth control and the right to decide what is best for their lives in the area of child-bearing.
I became a feminist because of the Delaware laws in effect back in the seventies a husband needed to approve various procedures. As a woman, the state felt I could not make my own decisions. Poetry did not come to mind decades ago. But now, reading Victoria’s speech, everything about women’s rights became focused. This struggle isn’t over. It is up to each of us to remain viligent.
I found the poem in her speech. I visualized her reading it and the poem evolved from the impact of that image which I included in my collage. I close the poem with the following:
” sister, I, too, am a free lover.
I take your mantel lest I forget
they will try yet again and again and again
and again and again to interfere..