Hear Jo Freeman Discuss Her New Book

If you are in the Washington D.C. area on March 24, 2007, don't miss this one.

The Department of U.S. Studies at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. will host a book launch of Jo Freeman's We Will Be Heard: Women's Struggles for Political Power in the United States on Monday, March 24 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.

The discussion will be held at:

5th floor conference room
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20004-3027 

The event is open to the public but you must RSVP to usstudies@wilsoncenter.org. Directions are available here. Please allow extra time for security; a picture ID is required. Admission to the discussion and the reception are free but seating is limited.

Jo Freeman is one of our most perceptive scholars about the role of women in American political history. She will be joined at the discussion by Mary Ellen Curtin, Lecturer in American History, University of Essex, Colchester, United Kingdom, and Fellow, Woodrow Wilson Center; A. James Reichley, Author and former Visiting Senior Fellow, Public Policy Institute, Georgetown University.

“While it is commonly assumed that women went into politics after getting the right to vote,” Dr. Jo Freeman writes, in at least some parts of the United States “it was the other way around. Indeed, one could argue that it was regular experience with political women that eventually convinced men that women were capable of and entitled to exercise the franchise.” Moreover, “political women” have been “active participants in the political process and influencers of public policy” at least since the late 1800s, and they ran for public office long before they could vote.

We all know about Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton. Who, however, were the dozens of women who ran for president – and the others who ran for Congress – in the twentieth century? Is it true, as Freeman asserts, that Democratic women are “more likely to be elected from safe districts than Republican women”? and that women as a group might have less influence in Congress if their numbers increase to not much more than 30 percent?