Enraged Emma

“Ebullient, Enraged Emma” (Cable Shock Talk Show)

by

Brandy Anderson

If Emma Goldman were alive today she would be tune in with the trailblazing few who continue to barrel their way into forcing change and making people listen to their ideas of alternatives to the broken norm. It is easy to imagine her voice coming over the television, telling the masses that “human thought has always been falsified by tradition and custom, and perverted false education in the interests of those who held power” (Goldman qtd. Red Emma).

Emma Goldman’s passion and boldness would be applauded more so today than in her time. She would have her own television show, on cable so she could speak without censure, where she would have ample time to spout out off about women’s, men’s, and children’s rights, class struggles, “the one percent”, and rights for different sexual orientations. She would be on HBO shouting “It is a tragedy, I feel, that people of a different sexual type are caught in a world which shows so little understanding for homosexuals and is so crassly indifferent to the various gradations and variations of gender and their significance  in life” (Goldman qtd Sexuality & Impurity 168). Her brazen words would catch the eye of media guru Oprah who would invite her to be a guest on her show, but Goldman would decline saying she did not want to be counted amongst the elite few touted by the media messiah to be important. No, Goldman is a woman of the people who speaks for the many, not the few.

Goldman would be asked to lecture at more liberal universities, though she would be frowned upon by the conservatives, she would be demanded by the students, and she would lead rallies demanding reproductive rights. She would find herself in Canada and make a stop in Prince Edward Island. She would find the Premiere and stand directly in front of him, condemning him for his lackadaisical approach regarding women’s reproductive rights on the island. She would be hailed a great leader by the disenfranchised men and women who are tired of their government denying them their rights.

Evidence of Goldman’s long lasting impressions on modern culture is clear by the popular merchandising of her slogans. Goldman’s famous quote: “the most unpardonable sin in society is independence of thought” (Goldman qtd Red Emma) is seen on t-shirts, coffee mugs, bumper stickers, and posters. Unfortunately, the many injustices Goldman fought against are still prevalent today, which makes her activism still very much in line with modern sensibilities and ideologies. The modern world could use another Emma Goldman.

Works Cited:

Haaland, Bonnie. Emma Goldman: Sexuality and Impurity of the State. Montreal: Black Rose Books, 1993. Print.

Shulman, Alix Kates. Red Emma Speaks. New York: Humanity Books, 1998. Print.

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