A Jack and the Beanstalk Complex is a fear of never being able to overpower the giant at the top of the beanstalk and thus, missing out on the treasure. When down in the dumps, it feels better some days to just curl up in bed and pull the covers over your head after hearing yet another tale about the condition of the planet today.

In July of 1911, suffragist Carolyn Katzenstein identified the Jack and the Beanstalk Complex by name after setting off with colleagues Alice Paul and Lucy Burns for a Votes for Women street meeting in Philadelphia. Carolyn froze after confronting a police officer, and she later wrote: “I am frank to confess that I seemed to develop a sort of Jack and the Beanstalk Complex because the policeman on the beat near our corner appeared to grow taller and taller and bigger and bigger the closer we got to him. To me, he seemed to be not an arm of the law but the whole body of it!”

You can and will overcome a Jack and the Beanstalk Complex, by simply joining me and others on the trail of the suffrage campaign wagon.┬áThe U.S. suffrage movement has been called “a solid historical milestone” by scholar and historian Eleanor Flexner, as well as “the largest social transformation in American history” by filmmaker Ken Burns.

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2 Responses

  • Mildred Kramer

    I love this story. “Jack and the Beanstalk Complex.” Yeah, I know about that one.

  • Robert

    I was surfing the web for more information about this subject and read about Ken Burns, the filmmaker, who made the documentary about Susan B. Anthny and Elizabeth Cady Stanton because he wanted his daughters to know their history. Interesting. My daughter is old enough now for me to tell her. Before this, only the moms told about these famous leaders. Now, the dads are getting into the act too.

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