My God! They’re gonna take over the world!

Sunday, May 16th, 2010 · 14 Comments »

Plans for world domination appear to be proceeding apace over at the Secret Feminist Cabal. Now they’re talking about re-naming the streets in Washington D.C.

Actually, I think it’s a pretty cool idea:

street sign jeffersonCan you think of any streets that are named after women? I can’t. You might think street names and street signs are trivial, but I don’t. Every time I drive down FDR Drive or Martin Luther King Boulevard, my brain ingests a subtle but significant message: men create history. Well, to my way of thinking, women have created a lot of history too, even though much of this history is neither reported nor celebrated. It’s time to acknowledge some of this history and a great way to do it is via street signs.

Street signs are inexpensive, highly visible and long lasting. Street signs are a fantastic value in terms of activism. My hometown, the District of Columbia, has been home to many great American women for at least part of their lives. Renaming the blocks on which these women lived would create a lot of visibility for women and women’s history and give young girls the psychological boost they need to make a difference.

diego hair salonA portion of Q Street (between Connecticut Avenue and 19th Street NW) was just named after Diego, a barber who has owned a barbershop for decades on that specific block. I, personally, have nothing against Diego. I have never met the man, but I find it unconscionable that Diego gets a street named after him, yet the many great women who have lived in Washington and contributed much to our country have not been similarly acknowledged. There are no streets named after Dr. Dorothy Height, Eleanor Roosevelt, Jackie Kennedy, Sandra Day O’Connor, Geraldine Ferraro, Chita Rivera, Alice Paul, Sojourner Truth, Shirley Chisholm, Bella Abzug, Helen Hayes, or Abigail Adams, all of whom spent part of their lives in this city.

Go read the whole thing. And by all means, leave a comment, etc.

Also in world-domination news, check this out: Harriet Tubman in Statuary Hall Campaign.

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14 Responses to “My God! They’re gonna take over the world!”

  1. Grace says:

    Violet:

    This reminds me of Cesar Chavez’s Day and street, here in California. I have nothing against him as a human rights activist. But while he was alive, nobody talked about Dolores Huerta, the woman who was, in collaboration with Chavez, the co-founder of the United Farm Workers, and is still at 80, active in progressive causes. In fact, she was thought of by many as Chavez’s “helper” or “assistant.”

    My take is that, when women do their deeds alone, they have a much better chance at getting recognition and attention. But whenever they decide to associate with men in any way, the men take all the credit while doing only half of the work or less. It’s as if the women’s creativity and efforts end-up being subsumed or overshadowed by the men, who are often considered to be the “brains” of the whole operation.

  2. Violet Socks says:

    Speaking of Dolores Huerta, isn’t one of those insane people in Arizona carrying on about her right now? Referring to her as Cesar Chavez’s “girlfriend”?

    Arizona needs to take its thorazine.

  3. Kiuku says:

    Yea they will derivate you, make you a derivative of some man. In fact, a lot of men refuse to recognize women outside of derivatives of other men, so women that do not derivate themselves, often are invisible. Sometimes if a woman makes sure to do everything by herself, she does stand a greater chance of visibility by 50 percent of the population on default (men), and then another 35% of the population by psychological coercion/brainwashing (women).

    I like the equal visibility movement. What the fuck is wrong with males?

  4. Grace says:

    And that’s all because Huerta is taking the cause of the undocumented immigrants in Arizona. I didn’t know about the reference to her as being Chavez’s “girlfriend,” but thank you for confirming what I said previously. Obviously it’s the way of demeaning and discrediting her as just being a Chavez’s acolyte, and not an activist with her own record and accomplishments. I think they are afraid of her and her potential influence against the right-wingers’ bigotry and political agenda. Otherwise, they wouldn’t bother to attack her.

  5. paul says:

    Most things get named after rich guys.

  6. Violet Socks says:

    This is true.

  7. willyjsimmons says:

    We have a Rosa Parks Way, all the way out in Lincoln, NE.

    1.) It wasn’t built until 2006?(maybe)

    2.) It’s basically an overpass.

    We don’t have an MLK though.

  8. KatherineSpins says:

    Amazingly, when the Chicago Medical School decided to rename itself, it chose Rosalind Franklin for its namesake. Makes me happy every time I see it – both for being named for a woman, and also to ever-so-slightly correct the massive historical oversight of her work.

  9. purplefinn says:

    Great news – esp. the Harriet Tubman Statue. Thanks, Violet.

  10. naomi dagen bloom says:

    Thanks for linking to the secret cabal. Oregon will be celebrating the 100th of woman suffrage in 1912. Woman’s street name is idea for planners to consider adding to their project.

  11. naomi dagen bloom says:

    Of course I meant 2012…hard to stay current!

  12. slythwolf says:

    My town has a Sojourner Truth highway. (It has a longer and more complicated name than that–Sojourner Truth Memorial Highway? Something.) I’m surprised that I’ve never thought about it before, but it’s the only street I’ve ever seen named after a woman.

  13. Gabriel says:

    In Portland, OR, we have a Rosa Parks Way, a Cesar Chavez Blvd, and an MLK jr. Blvd…

    Funny how they are all in the part of town that is predominantly black, though.

  14. Laura Mello says:

    OMG. I feel so stupid. Why didn’t I ever notice that streets are not named after famous women? We do have a Senior Center named after Barbara Lee (a local politico, not the one in Washington DC) here in Milpitas CA but aside from that we have only streets named after the developers significant other, daughter or whatever and always only the first name. Time for a change! Thanks for the eye opening post.