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Monumental Women in the USA

Oct. 23, 2019

spotted in the i by Roving Reporter Anne French

This is, of course, a most welcomed statue, being the first of real women in New York's City Park, where until now there has only been the usual patriarchal offering of various angels and nymphs and some fictitious women; Alice in Wonderland, Mother Goose and  Juliet ( with Romeo), alongside 23 historical men. In the whole of New York city there are only five public statues of real women while there are 145 sculptures of men - the usual insulting gender imbalance.

photo.Central Park.NYC Design Commision

This statue has aroused controversy because it puts these 3 very different women together. Black Activist Sojourner Truth here sits with white Suffragettes Stanton and Anthony who are said to have belittled African Americans and made them stand in the back at rallies. But Stanton’s great, great-granddaughter Coline Jenkins said  “ What’s really interesting is as we advance the idea of E Pluribus Unum, out of many we are one, and that’s the beauty that there are many ideas, many methods, many backgrounds that have created a concept of a nation and what we are as people” .

photo Michael Bergmann

It might be said that this unlikely grouping could have been avoided if the Park Commission had had the vision to go for more than a single representation of accomplished women. The statue, by Meredith Bergmann, will be unvieled in August 2020 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote.