Saturday, May 26, 2007

Any Rhode Islanders out there?
This looks like it could get interesting.

Fight over R.I. bridge starts Statehouse gender feud
By Ray Henry, Associated Press Writer | May 26, 2007

PROVIDENCE, R.I. --A female lawmaker in Rhode Island is demanding her colleagues name a bridge for an outspoken woman who helped found the state, a gesture resisted in a House chamber so dominated by men it lacked a women's bathroom until last month.

Lawmakers here routinely crank out honorifics with little fanfare, let alone debate. Not this time.

Critics of Rep. Amy Rice have rewritten her bill and attempted to scuttle it over a plan to name a new bridge spanning the Sakonnet River for Anne Hutchinson, a religious dissident who led hundreds of followers to Rhode Island in 1638 after Puritan zealots banished her from Boston.

"This bill would have passed if it weren't for gender politics," fumes Rice, one of 15 women in the House of Representatives. "For women, we've come a long way, ... but apparently not far enough."


Rice, a Democrat, thinks on this as she walks the corridors of the Statehouse, where marble walls are decorated with portraits of Rhode Island's leading men.

"You walk around the Statehouse, I don't think there's any portrait of a woman," said Rice, a Democrat. "They're all men!"

Hutchinson feuded with the leading Puritan men of her day. She believed that outward signs of piety like church attendance, Bible reading and prayer didn't reliably predict whether a person merited salvation. Only the human heart mattered, and Hutchinson claimed to be a uniquely good judge.**

Neat read in that you infrequently hear about "Founding Mothers" and their impact on our country. This woman sounded like a real corker that deserves a bridge. I hope Ms. Rice is getting support from her constituents.

**pretty much my view


At 12:53 PM, Blogger Paddy said...

Indiana & Rhode Island are like totally the same shape!! How weird.

At 2:37 PM, Blogger Mary Ellen said...

Wow...I didn't know R.I. was so "boys club". Anne Hutchinson was my kind of gal, lots of spit and vinegar, bless her heart. I hope she gets her bridge and Rep. Rice deserves a medal for not backing down to!


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