Wednesday, July 24, 2013

''free-love'' for all!

Today I'm going to conclude chapter four of A Queer History of the United States. In my last post I talked about the influences that American and European writers and thinkers had on each other from they're respective sides of the pond. It appears as though the American side, with the writings of Whitman and the transcendentalist and American Utopian ideals, spearheaded the European side, mostly in Germany, to take more concrete action toward changing actual laws through the courts. But the English were playing their part, too. English thinkers such as Edward Carpenter and John Addington Symonds were cranking out pamphlets, essays and even whole books on the question of same-sex desire. They're work is still available today and is said to be at the foundation of the modern LGBT rights movement.
    American, English and German males were not the only ones calling for freedom to love whomever they chose for as long or short a period of time as they chose. Victoria Woodhull was leading another movement in America called the ''free-love'' movement. Her movement was not LGBT specific but Whitman had been a major influence on her. Now, don't think that Victorian era Women were jumping on Victoria's bandwagon in droves because she had a lot of male and female detractors. Nonetheless she ran for President of the United States in 1872, one-hundred years before Shirley Chisholm and one-hundred and thirty-six years before Hillary Clinton. I suspect she wanted a national platform for her crusade. The life of Victoria Woodhull is a Study of it's own but she is a vital piece to the puzzle because LGBT rights boil down to ''free-love'' anyhow. Racial equality plays a major role in this as well because miscegenation laws, laws forbidding interracial marriage, infringe on free-love, too. So, the rights of women, LGBT's and people of color are interconnected. This is not only Because freedom for one means freedom for all but because LGBT's are also Women and people of color!

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