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Why aren’t woman standing up against war in Afghanistan?

Zelda Bronstein
Wednesday November 21, 2001


Last Sunday I attended the forum on women activists past and present held at the Berkeley Art Center in connection with its photo exhibit on the sixties. As your reporter noted, the theme of invisibility ran throughout the panel discussion. In my view, it did not run far enough.  

Moderator Ruth Rosen began by noting the invisibility of women under the Taliban and of impoverished single mothers in the United States. But neither she nor any of the three panelists marked the current invisibility of American women activists themselves.  

Why aren't women massively protesting the post-September 11 militarization of our economy, our politics and our culture, and the plunder of our common life by big business? Where are the voices of women who, like myself, came of political age in the protest movements of the sixties? 

When I raised these points during the question and answer period, panelist Susan Griffin, a contemporary of mine, retorted that “there is a women's movement alive and well in this country” but the media won't cover it. “I have made myself available as a spokesperson,” she said, “but I haven't been invited by any national TV program.” Ditto, she said, for Gloria Steinem and Robin Morgan.  

At the Art Center, Griffin, Rosen and many others paid tribute to lifelong Berkeley activist Alice Hamburg, who died last week at the age of 95. Veterans of the sixties – women now only in midlife – ought to be following Hamburg's example.  

Instead of sitting by the phone and fantasizing a vital women's movement, we ought to be calling on women to stand together and resist the tide of greed and repression.  

Why aren't we? 


Zelda Bronstein