On Patriots’ Day, before marathoners take their marks and pancake breakfasts are served, re-enactors will stir in the morning haze as John Hancock’s nimble-footed secretary protects a trunkload of Patriot-activist papers from British Regulars descending on Lexington’s Battle Green.
When the Stamp Act crisis developed in 1765, signaling the revolutionary era, Patriot-activists were quick to respond. Patriot men and women, referring to themselves as “sons” and “daughters of liberty”, were spurred by the revolutionary cause and drawn to political action.
Back then, revolutionary women did what women did: accompanied soldiers to camp; served as spies; organized boycotts of British goods; and defended their homesteads alone.
It’s a *little* different, these days.
Last year, women turned out by the hundreds of thousands in solidarity across the country to protest misogyny, attacks on religion, LGBTQIA+ rights, racism, and hateful immigration policies. Scientists and climate change activists, women, men, children, and youth committed themselves to greater civic engagement.
This year, civic engagement means women running for elected office themselves. More women than ever have put themselves on the ballot for US Congress, State and District Offices, and on local school boards and city councils. It’s unprecedented. It’s revolutionary. And it’s vital.
From Abigail Adams to the Suffragists to Eleanor Roosevelt, Angela Davis, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Emma Gonzalez, women have elevated and strengthened the level of political thought throughout our democratic history. A renewed spirit of activism continues as women stand up and speak out, raise families, organize campaigns, rallies, and demonstrations, protesting and driving for change and making progress by seeking elected office.
Ignorance, arrogance, chaos, and uncivil discourse threatens to quash us all. So, on this Patriot’s Day, let’s commit ourselves to raising up our country by following the examples of our Founding Mothers, Daughters of Liberty, and the Women Who Run.
Photo credit: Mary Ann Stewart, 2012 Patriots’ Day re-enactment, Lexington Battle Green