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The Female Perspective: August 26, 1920

Welcome! This is a twice-weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


I wanted to chat today about Women’s Equality Day, which was actually yesterday,  August 26th. Women’s Equality Day is the anniversary of the 19th Amendment going into effect.

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Some of you may be asking, what is the 19th Amendment and why is Jessica talking about it? As a feminist, the 26th of August is a rather important date, the 19th Amendment is what granted women the right to vote. Ninety-Five years ago women were finally allowed to vote, to make their voices heard. It’s important because had those women not fought for this amendment, we ladies wouldn’t be able to voice our opinions at the voter booths! Let’s take a moment to think about what kind of world that  would be … Scary isn’t it?

In July 1848, 200 woman suffragists, organized by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, met in Seneca Falls, New York, to discuss women’s rights. After approving measures asserting the right of women to educational and employment opportunities, they passed a resolution that declared “it is the duty of the women of this country to secure to themselves their sacred right to the elective franchise.” For proclaiming a women’s right to vote, the Seneca Falls Convention was subjected to public ridicule, and some backers of women’s rights withdrew their support. However, the resolution marked the beginning of the woman suffrage movement in America. ~History. com

I have written before about women today making a big deal about saying that they don’t need feminism because they are this or they are that. It makes me angry because they seem to be purposely forgetting about this huge part of the history of women. That before August 26th, 1920, women couldn’t cast a vote in an election, it was all men deciding what was best for the country. The country that women also happen to live in.

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The current state of Feminism has it’s pocket of man-hating, extremists, as any social movement has it’s share of extremists. That does not mean that all feminism is bad. There are women (and men) like me who see feminism as a fight for equality, a way for all creatures on Earth to be equal to one another. A place where women can breast-feed in public if they want to without fear of being shamed or judged. A place where a woman who is raped isn’t called a slut or shamed because she was clearly “Asking for it.” If you’re wondering how such issues connect to feminism might I remind you of this;

Feminism (as defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

  • the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities

  • organized activity in support of women’s rights and interests

Men aren’t shamed into thinking they “asked” to be raped or beaten. Men aren’t asked to keep their shirts on in public because their breasts are seen as “indecent”. At this moment in time, the fact is that women are not treated equally and it saddens me. We have taken such strides and yet, this imbalance remains. To the point that even when I post this blog I get comments about how I am some kind of angry feminist or I get trolls that want to talk about breasts or how naughty they (the commentator) is, in the hopes of getting me to either yell at them or flirt back.  Now, some of that is the weird society that is the internet but some of that is about a lack of respect for my ideas because I am female.

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I sometimes wonder, with all that is going on in the country, if the equality fight is the most important issue and the answer to that, if I am being honest with myself, is an uncertain no. Other movements require attention right away, what with the onslaught of gun violence in our country and the deaths of too many at the hands of the police. Our country is in a state of turmoil and feminism often gets kicked to the bottom of the pile, but that’s also exactly what makes it so important. Feminists cannot become complacent or our rights can easily be stripped away from us (especially if Donald Trump wins election, or even the nomination is too close for comfort for me). The fight for equality, for all of us humans to become the united, is a fight that, while subtle in may respects, deserves as much attention as we can give to it.

What do you think? Did you celebrate Women’s Equality Day yesterday? Tell me your thoughts in the comments!

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The Female Perspective: Women Baring It All For a Reason…But Is The Message Lost?

Welcome! This is a Tri-weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


Yesterday, a group of women decided to bare their breasts for a cause. They wanted to protest the lack of coverage over deaths of women at the hands of police. Their argument being that ALL lives matter, not just male lives.

About a dozen topless protesters stopped traffic on Market Street this morning, as part of a National Day of Action for Black Women and Girls. Using the hashtag #SayHerName, protesters sought to draw attention to black women victims of police violence, such as Rekia Boyd and Kayla Moore. ~SFWeekly 

If you read this and thought, who is Rekia Boyd or Kayla Moore, you wouldn’t be alone. I only recently heard of the Rekia Boyd shooting and it broke my heart to realize for the first time that these shootings are happening at a rapid rate and I sadly know very little about them. It’s a sign of nothing more than a willingness to put blinders on. I don’t watch the news because it’s “too depressing” and while I see some stories in my Facebook newsfeed, I never saw anything about Boyd or Moore. This article was, to me, a sign that I need to get my head out of the sand and really pay attention.

#SayHerName protest group on May 25th.
#SayHerName protest group on May 25th.

The fact is, not all police officers are bad and I want that said right up front so anyone reading this understands that I am in no way railing against the police. There are good officers out there, good men and women doing their best in a corrupt system. There are also quite a few bad ones and sadly, the bad ones make the news.

Rekia Boyd was killed accidentally by a police officer who was then let go because the "wrong" charges were brought against him. #Blacklivesmatter
Rekia Boyd was killed accidentally by a police officer who was then let go because the “wrong” charges were brought against him. #Blacklivesmatter

I digress though, this post is about the women who decided to take a stand, bare it all and say “enough is enough.” My question is this, by baring your breasts you get attention, it’s true, but is your point lost in the shock of seeing half naked women marching? Is your message lost amidst the sensationalism of the act? All I know is what I see and what I see is people not responding to what the women are trying to say but what the women look like or I see juvenile men getting all weirded out by the breasts in front of them.

Firstly, grow up.

Secondly, please listen to the message. Realize that what these women want people to know is that there are more victims of police violence than Freddie Gray or Michael Brown or Trevon Martin. There are countless other nameless faces being killed for no reason and we as a people need to see it and realize that something needs to be done.

Recently, a clothing company called PacSun was under fire for selling a t-shirt that had an upside down American flag on it. The upside down flag represents an America in distress and is deeply insulting to Veterans, active military and other patriotic people. The thing is, when I read the article and learned exactly what an upside down flag meant I wondered to myself- but isn’t America IN distress right now? Aren’t we fighting a quiet “war” with the police force? Aren’t we troubled by racism, homophobia and sexism every day? Maybe this t-shirt is more relevant than what PacSun thought it would be. I don’t mean to be disrespectful of any America-loving (being an America lover myself) person but the truth is, America is in distress.

PacSun recently removed this shirt from their stores due to protests.
PacSun recently removed this shirt from their stores due to protests.

But who will save us if the problem IS us?

Many will tell you that an upside down American flag means “the country is in distress.” The US Flag Code allows this use of the flag in situations of “dire distress,” but the intention was distress as in immediate danger to life and limb, such as your ship is sinking at sea, an SoS signal.

I write in this blog a lot about feminism in terms of pop culture, movies and comics. I am a proud feminist and I get very tired of the subtle and not-so-subtle sexism that is prevalent in the world today. I get excited when I see progress, such as Ireland allowing for same-sex marriages. I get angry when I see people being hurt or brutalized by others. Not only am I a feminist but I am also a humanist. I want equality for everyone, not just women or homosexuals or various ethnicities.

So you might be asking yourself, what point is she trying to make today? I suppose my point is this, women baring their breasts to try and raise awareness around the female deaths at the hands of police; a clothing company selling an insulting t-shirt but accidentally also making a valid point about the state of America today; the need to realize that we are all one people and should act like it, are all part of what makes America such a beautiful and wonderful place. All of these arguments, protests and discord are part of what makes humans human.

But that doesn’t make it right.

The #SayHerName protest should be treated with respect, not jokes and breast humor or ogling. It’s sad to me that PacSun had to remove the t-shirt from their stores because of the uproar it caused (what happened to #FreeSpeech?) but I also understand it, it is disrespectful and the upside down flag should not be used to sell clothing. The fact is, the truth is hard for many to face but face it we must. The truth is, America is hurting, we are all making mistakes and I am fearful of the boiling point, the point where it all falls apart. What will we do then?

Let’s hope that before that happens, we find our way towards peace and equality.

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What do you think about the state of America today? Are you fearful or confidence we will fix it? Sound off in the comments.