Gage isn't featured in this photo, but it's a classic and I love it.

Gage isn't featured in this photo, but it's a classic and I love it.

In honor of women’s history month last March I wrote a couple of blog posts for Jerk and about Matilda Joslyn Gage, an unknown suffragist who greatly contributed to securing women’s right to vote but ended up getting screwed over by her “friends” and left out of history books.

I still haven’t forgotten about this kick-ass lady, and in order to honor her this year I wrote Ms. Gage a letter explaining why I think she rocks.

Dear Matilda,

I have now spent over one year of my life studying you and being aware of your awesome existence. I had the opportunity to be taught all about your life’s work from Sally Roesch Wagner, another amazing woman who has dedicated her life to restoring your name in history.

I think one of the coolest aspects of popular culture you have influenced that not many people know about is Dorothy’s character in “The Wizard of Oz.” Frank Baum, your son-in-law, basically based Dorothy’s character after you—and it makes complete sense after having read the books and seen the film. Dorothy acts like such a feminist, and institutes lots of change into good old Oz, just like you tried to do with the United States.

I also want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to vote in the historical 2008 Presidential election. If it weren’t for your hard work and never ending devotion to the cause, I wouldn’t have been able to participate in electing the candidate of my choice.

Lastly, it is in part because of you that I feel like I can think for myself. You once said, “Do not allow the Church or State to govern your thought or dictate your judgment.” This is very profound and sends a strong message that individuals should use the freedoms given to them to make up their own minds and not be followers of thought.

Happy Women’s History Month!

Krystie Yandoli

  1. Great work Krystie! Thank you for your fine work to bring Gage to people’s attention!

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