Moritz von Schwind: Sabina of Steinbach, painted 1844. The existence of Sabina von Steinbach may be a myth, but women chipping away at the patriarchy is not.
Last week was a painful and potent reminder that the forces of patriarchy are still strong and that there will always be men and
women who embrace the image and role of the subservient woman; to paraphrase the title of Gail Collins’ book, women as “dolls, drudges, helpmates, and [only occasionally] heroines.” But for every moment of rage and despair last week, there was a moment of hope: Dr. Blasey Ford’s personal bravery; Sen. Klobuchar’s quiet but firm questioning; Ana Maria Archila and Maria Gallagher sharing their pain and outrage with Sen. Flake. Our hope comes not just from the sisters of today; it comes from knowing that our sisters from the past helped us to get this far. There’s still a long way to go. We won’t create the sculpture of equality overnight, but we have the chisel; we have the hammer, and we will not quit chipping away.
There’s a state inhabited by all women and not a few men. It’s called the State of Fear.