I stood in front of the gym at Lamar State College in 1970 and saw three women remove their bras and take a Zippo cigarette lighter and set them afire and throw them in the trash can. I laughed wondering what they were doing. Then, some student shouted, “They’re nothing more than a bunch of braless, brainless, broads!’, the same words a congressman used in the Senate in Washington, D.C. a month earlier. My newest released scheduled for publication on August 18, 2020 celebrates a woman’s right to vote, a fitting date for this release. This is a historical fiction novel based on actual events in history.
There are four young women which all graduate from Hampton’s College for Women in Virginia in 1860. Throughout the novel, these four main characters face love head on in a world dominated by men who make the laws. It begins with Susan B. Anthony and her speech at Seneca Falls in 1848, and later, in 1860, follows these women, Dianne Jenkins, Bonzo Hager, Debbie Keiner, and Frances Meyer for four years during the Civil War.
Only part of the Magna cum Laude graduate’s speech is shown below:
Dianne Jenkins Gives Speech at Hampton
Women’s College in Virginia, June 13, 1860
“I stand before you today, a woman who, at this moment, protests against a form of our government that exists without the full consent of the governed. As a woman, I pronounce our privilege to be just as free as man is free… to be represented in the government from which we are taxed to support. To have such disgraceful laws which give a man the power to censure and imprison his wife, to take the wages she earns, the property of which she inherits from her family or relative, to beat her if he so wishes, and, may I add, take the children of her love and affection away from her. The laws set forth by Congress allow this to be.
Such laws need to be forever erased from our statute books, deeming them a shame and a disgrace to a Christian nation in the middle of the nineteenth century. Taking my words even further, we demand our right to vote according to the declaration of our government under which we live. This right, no one pretends to deny. We needn’t prove we are equal to Daniel Webster to enjoy this privilege. A great congressman who reached the height of his eloquence in his reply to the nullificationist Robert Y. Hayne, a response that concluded with the words ‘Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!’
I am now standing right here in front of you today to say that we have no objection to discussing the question of equality. We feel that the weight of the argument lies wholly with we the women of this country. I firmly believe that this question of equality be kept distinct from the question of woman’s rights, for the proof of one doesn’t determine the truthfulness of the other one. All white men in our country have the same rights. However, they differ much in mind, body, or estate.
All women here today take note. This same right is ours! The question now is, how shall we ALL get possession of what rightfully belongs to us? But to have idiots, poker-playing rapists, whiskey-selling rowdies, ignorant foreigners, and immature boys fully recognized as equals, we women are thrust out from the rights that belong to citizens, it’s too grossly insulting to the self-respect of women to be quietly submitted to.
Preorders Available August 12th!