, 5 tweets, 1 min read Read on Twitter
I’m just gonna say this before the feel-good optics hit their peak.

House Dem women wearing white to honor suffragettes is a pretty fraught gesture.

The suffragettes weren’t activists for women’s rights. They were activists for WHITE women’s rights.

The suffragettes were primarily middle- and upper-class. Their movement was exclusionary by design. These were white feminists fighting sexism while indifferent to, or solidly in favor of, structural racism.

The suffragettes’ legacy is complicated. It shouldn’t be airbrushed.
The class of women elected to this congress is pioneering in its own right.

The attendees tonight include many ‘firsts’. The first Native American women. The first openly bi woman. The first Vietnamese- and Ethiopian-American women.

It is a celebration of diversity.

Some are going to see the honoring of the suffragettes as somewhere between awkward and galling.

It is quite literally the enlistment of women whose ancestors were left out to celebrate a movement that would have excluded them.

When people say “suffragettes fought for women’s rights” they’re erasing the women excluded back then and ignoring how problematic that narrative is today.

Instead of celebrating tonight’s history-making diversity, we’re honoring a legacy of exclusion.

Bear that in mind.

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