Former president Jimmy Carter, a longtime Baptist deacon and Bible teacher, recently spotlighted women’s issues when he said: “Women and girls have been discriminated against for too long in a twisted interpretation of the word of God.”
Charitable entrepreneur and “guy feminist” Neal Katz hope’s Carter’s words leave a lasting impression.
“Feminism goes beyond gender equality, it has the potential to achieve humility, compassion, humanity, and love,” he says. “Too many people are 150 years behind the times. So much of the rhetoric in the current presidential election cycle has been a denigrating and violent assault on women, trying to reverse the march of progress. Major candidates competing to be more retroactive, by proposing reversing marriage equality for the LGBT community, banning immigration for an entire religion and severely compromising hard-fought reproductive and social rights for women.”
Katz, author of the new historical novel “Outrageous: The Victoria Woodhull Saga, Volume One: Rise to Riches” (thevictoriawoodhullsaga.com), says Woodhull is one of history’s great heroines who has been largely forgotten, despite her ground breaking efforts to progress civil society.
Victoria Claflin Woodhull (1838–1927) became the first woman invited to speak to the United State Congress, and then the first female to run for president. She was nominated in May 1872 by the Equal Rights Party, and her running mate was the African-American social reformer and abolitionist Frederick Douglass.
“Many political types openly wonder what our founding fathers would think about certain constitutional issues; I tend to wonder what Woodhull would think. Luckily we can look to her newspaper, the first owned and published by women, to find answers,” he says.
“Undoubtedly, she would have been very pleased on a number of issues that have progressed to open hearts and minds in service of both genders, which have resulted in much deeper and wide-spread humanity.”
Katz reviews how Woodhull’s example is still relevant to us today.
• Free love as a means for fairness in marriage: An important message in her belief in free love was giving women equal legal rights in marriage. In her time the law did not recognize women as persons, corporations yes, women no Women were chattel – the legal property of husbands. Victoria once wrote, “Let women issue a declaration of independence sexually, and absolutely refuse to cohabit with men until they are acknowledged as equals in everything, and the victory would be won in a single week.”
• Free love as a means for equality: Woodhull wanted two things, men to own up to their own behaviors and women to have equal rights under the law. She once wrote: “Yes, I am a free lover. I have an inalienable constitutional and natural right to love whom I may, to change that love every day if I please, and neither you nor any law you can frame have any right to interfere.”
Katz says, “In one sense, what Victoria meant by ‘free love’ was the legal freedom to marry, divorce, bear children and even pick lover(s) without government interference. But she also meant freedom from the mental tyranny and constricting morality of the Victorian era.”
• Feminism as humanism: A salient feminist point of morality is a collective one – not only do women suffer infantile injustice in a system of misogyny, but so do men and boys.
“Feminism not only calls for the ability for women and girls to flourish, it also gives boys and men the ability to mature as conscious and loving human beings,” Katz says. “Today, more of us want authentic relationships as equals. We – most of us – abhor the concept of women as property. Proudly, I call myself the ‘guy feminist’ because I support my sisters and supporting the rights of half the population helps the whole population.”
“Just as former president Carter was able to call out his own religious tradition at age 91 in the interest of feminism and humanity, we should call upon others to honor a movement that seeks celebrate all of humanity,” Katz says.
About Neal Katz
Neal Katz is a serial entrepreneur. He harbors a passion for women’s rights and his lifestyle is centered on self-awareness and love. His novel “Outrageous: The Victoria Woodhull Saga, Volume One: Rise to Riches” (thevictoriawoodhullsaga.com) spotlights gender prejudice, exposes early manipulation of “free markets” and reveals how political power structures used prison and seizure of assets to prevent innovation and social change. Katz promotes a new financial paradigm to monetize charities through Credit Funding, which will provide sustainable and renewable funding for diverse charitable endeavors, such as micro-finance, low-income housing, education, vocational training, and infrastructure renewal, without a single dollar donated.