Happy International (Working) Women's Day!
Celebrated since 1910, now an official holiday of the UN & a public
holiday in China, Cuba, Mauritania, Mongolia, (& erstwhile USSR.) It
commorates the New York City women garment workers march of 3/8/1857. This
was a momentous and landmark event and should be so celebrated. Perhaps
because of the following economic & political turmoil of the era, however,
it seems totally ignored in song and also by Americans in general. In
fact, the women's struggle seems largely ignored by the songwriters of the
unions & the movement.
Look, I stand ready to be flamed, but I had a (non-exhaustive) look
through Silber, Seeger, Lomax (Hard-Hit) Foner (Amer. Labor Songs of
the 19th Cent.). I found nothing about the March and damn little about
women at all. Sure, there's "Union Maid," but there she's just a
sexist-drawn cartoon: at best a "pretty little Union queen" or worse,
merely advised to "Get you a man who's a union man, And join the Ladies'
No song today. Sorry.
© Abby Sale - all rights reserved