Last week, news spread that Amazon Studios is set to produce a biopic starring Brie Larson as Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to officially run for U.S. president.
But before the marketing push goes into full swing on this one, it’s worth hitting the pause button: Woodhull’s legacy is many things, but a hero for contemporary feminists should not be one of them. We cannot overlook her harmful work as an eugenics advocate just because we’re desperate for vintage female mascots.
Kicking off the blog with a shout-out to a relevant Kickstarter campaign. Here’s the gist: Some folks are trying to raise cash to make a documentary about Dorothy Thompson, an American journalist who was one of the leading media voices against the rise of the Nazis. She was the first Western journalist to interview Adolf Hitler — and the first reporter expelled from Germany by his personal order.
After the war, Thompson faced enormous criticism for speaking out against the formation of Israel at the expense of the Palestinian people. Whatever your opinion about Israel, Thompson offered an early warning about the the instability of the region based on her extensive knowledge of European politics. And compared to today’s inflammatory media discourse, Thompson’s comments were pretty tame.
Thompson’s career encompassed much than a single political statement. She published eighteen books and article collections, many of which were rooted deeply in her American patriotism and in her Christian faith.
Anyway. Watch the video. And in the name of freedom, support the Kickstarter. Because as Dorothy once said: “It is not the fact of liberty but the way in which liberty is exercised that ultimately determines whether liberty itself survives.”