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Schiff ’82 on Susan B. Anthony

You know, you move out of the Berkshires for one second, and the next thing you know, Feminists for Life up and buy Susan B. Anthony’s birthplace in Adams. What are the odds?

Aside from being somewhat beside the point, the anti-abortion bonafides of Anthony have always been more imagined than real, as Pulitzer Prize-winning Eph Stacy Schiff ’82 pointed out on the New York Times op-ed page last week.

Like all healthy grudges, this one is entirely personal. Every morning the school bus carried me past Anthony’s birthplace in Adams, Mass.; it was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The green house at the bend in the road loomed as an official halfway point, the demarcation line between Captain Crunch and algebra. Nor did it help that Anthony’s portrait, firm-jawed and ferocious, hung in the catalog room of the town library. She may well have stood for emancipation, but from the child’s perspective, hers was the pinched, angular face of repression.

Appropriately, a decently-balanced treatment of the facts can be found on Anthony’s Wikipedia page.