“News of the English and American women’s actions, declare [Jeanne] Deroin and [Pauline] Roland, ‘has resounded even to our prison, and has filled our souls with inexpressible joy”
Jeanne Deroin and Pauline Roland
Writing from Saint Lazare Prison in 1850
Quoted in Joyous Greetings by Bonnie S. Anderson
Thus, in the mid-nineteenth century, two women sitting in jail in France, incarcerated for their feminist actions, wrote of their hope and good wishes to American women who were about to very publicly proclaim their right to full personhood. Certainly since at least the nineteenth century, society’s rebels have been connecting. It may have taken months, sometimes years, but they found each other, shared their victories and their defeats, small and large. They sent letters, wrote books, created publications, made long, dangerous voyages, took great political risks, to find each other, to share ideas, dreams and fears. In those interactions they found support, succor and sometimes even survival when help in getting out of danger was needed.
Now, our interactions are easier, although sometimes still dangerous and always still necessary if we truly want forward motion for our dreams for human society. In Egypt interconnectivity brought down a tyrannical regime, although with questionable outcomes for Egyptians. In the US, there is no doubt informal communication helped Bernie Sanders, but also Donald Trump. Using the internet brings us easily together with immediacy unimaginable for those French feminists. We connect instantly with hundreds, perhaps thousands, or even millions of like-minded people, whatever our political leaning, not to mention an equal number who tell us where to get off in no uncertain and sometimes very disconcerting language.
This blog, like most, is an egocentric exercise. It is my outlet to talk about the causes in which I feel I have a stake as a member of our species living in our tumultuous time. Because of my interests, my ruminations are likely to be rooted in history. Because of my social and political beliefs, they are likely to sit squarely on the foundation of my view of the shared common good. Always, I will talk about how those of us interested in social justice are getting together to move our agenda, how we are connecting or where we should be connecting to further our cause. I will provide links to websites, documents, conferences and other events whenever possible or appropriate and will throw in the occasional book review.
I am also happy to publish other peoples’ articles or blog posts on issues of the day, interesting historical notes about social movements and the occasional book review. So, if you are desperate to make a statement about social justice or post a document or article or to bring a book to people’s attention and are looking for a place to do that, please send it along. However, I have final say on editorial content. (It felt really good to be able to say that.)
I will be posting about once a week. So, if you are one of the few people likely to find this blog, come back and let’s start a dialogue. It could be fun and might even be stimulating.