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    Emma Goldman’s Ideas Described from the First-person Perspective: Justice for Workers and Women

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    My name is Emma Goldman and I am a Jewish, immigrant anarchist. My general fight is to preserve the justice of people working in our labor party and for women to gain the right to birth control and their bodies like the bohemian party. I was born in the Russian Empire in 1869 and attended school for three years before I experienced the dearly life of a factory worker. I moved to the United States with my sister to run away from a possible arranged marriage and soon met my husband Jacob Kershner and became a US citizen by 1887 in New York.

    My love for my political stance developed into a vociferous opinion when I started to attend rallies and events on anarchism. I witnessed Johann Most speak at the Germania Hall in Rochester and soon was inspired to become one of the most well known anarchist lecturer of my time. I believe that anarchism is a “philosophy of the new social order unrestricted by man made law” (Greenwich Village Role Sheet) and that men and women should “demand liberty of the mind’ from religion and ‘liberty of the body’ from the dominion of property”. (Greenwich Village Role Sheet)

    I don’t believe in a government; I witnessed one strike in particular in Haymarket Square in Chicago in 1885 that resulted a peaceful protest for the 8-hour workday into a violent outburst between protesters and police after a homemade bomb was thrown, killing several police. In response, many of the protesters were found guilty of inciting a riot and were sentenced to death.

    This event made me realize that these judicial killings were the law biding on the side of power rather than the side of justice. After I met one of my many lovers named Alexander Berkman, we watched as protesters at the Homestead Steel Works were killed by police open fire, and decided to send a message to the capitalist Andrew Carnegie and attempt to assassinate his business partner, Henry C. Frick. Although there was no evidence to convict me of the crime, the law kept tabs on me and my radical operations.

    After working as a nurse and midwife for poor immigrant workers on the Lower East Side, I was convicted that birth control was essential to women’s social and economic freedom. The subject must be viewed in the context of the world wide social, economic, and political forces that contributed to our suppression as women.

    I strongly believe in the woman’s right to her body, frequently speaking about birth control at my lectures alongside my mentee and famous birth control activist, Margaret Sanger. Her magazine The Woman Rebel sold well at my lectures as we spoke freely about the “right of the child not to be born and that women’s bodies be freed from the coercion from the government”. (University of California Berkeley Library)

    I am so passionate about anarchism that one of my many goals is to teach others about its benefits in relation to their fight for women’s suffrage. Because of many laws passed by President Theodore Roosevelt such as the Anti-Anarchist Immigration Act of 1903, I must spread this anarchist information secretly.

    Most of my information will then be passed by notes and secret essays from my written work Mother Earth rather than speeches in fear that police or informers overhear me and silence me for my philosophical terrorism. By the end of this endeavor, I must write a speech that entails the strengths and weaknesses of each faction and explain which faction I entrust after hearing their debates. These anarchist critiques will be happening frequently through my written essays but a full overview will be provided after the vote between the labor party and the suffrage party.

    I have become such an influential party of society with my radical lectures and opposition of the government that I do not need a one person to succeed in my endeavors. Everyone that listens to my speeches must understand my message in order for my victory to be upheld. I stand to educate these women in the anarchist movement. The rest of my objectives do not need a strong relationship to withstand due to the fact that it is the distribution of my critiquing opinions that rely solely on me alone.

    My texts that I will use in educating and obtaining my victories are works produced by myself. “What Is There in Anarchy for Woman?” is one of my works that plainly describes my anarchist views in the form of an interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Sunday Magazine.

    Goldman, Emma. “What Is There in Anarchy for Woman?” The Emma Goldman Papers.

    University of California Berkeley Library, n.d. Web. 26 Sept. 2016.

    My piece “Woman Suffrage: Anarchism and Other Essays” provides another outlet when describing how my political stance is opposing from the stance of others in the suffrage party. I speak about how the suffrage movement itself oppresses the human freedom and I question how we can support a political system that is methodically flawed.

    Goldman, Emma. Anarchism and Other Essays. New York: Mother Earth Publ., 1911. Print. Woman Suffrage

    My texts included help to form important fundamental links between these women’s lives and what anarchism can bring. What better way to depict those images of their possible future than to use my own words?

    While I keep an open mind when hearing these debates, I do not believe that suffrage is the solution to women’s impoverished condition in society. The labor party and I stand in increasing the rights of women in the workplace- a personal passion of mine because of my history of working in Russian factories at such a young age.

    However, some of the members of the labor party may vote to promote increasing government control over the economy and industry, which is the opposite of what I and anarchist believe. My decision upon choosing a party to side with will be based on what members of the party will bring to Polly’s.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    Emma Goldman’s Ideas Described from the First-person Perspective: Justice for Workers and Women. (2022, Dec 10). Retrieved from https://artscolumbia.org/emma-goldmans-ideas-described-from-the-first-person-perspective-justice-for-workers-and-women/

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