by Marguerite Kearns

Recently I wasn’t expecting the attitude from a friend who lectured me about how the past was “bad” and the present day was “good.” I was puzzled until I read on the internet that this is a contemporary movement to downplay differences and potential disasters.

While I agree that the passage of time has a tendency to heal old wounds, I found “negativity” a potentially disturbing perspective. “Good” and “bad” tend to be negative labels. To me, it represents a move away from antiquity and a support of the contemporary tendency to eliminate attempts to support women’s history. We live in a time where “happiness” is more important than practical measures.


“I’ve never been happier now than at any other time in my life.” While this admission of a former ally deserves a deep dive and an intense conversation, it has become not an opportunity to dig deep into the past to discover warts and accomplishments, but a statement with shallow implications.

It justifies ignoring the past altogether and dismissing it as irrelevant.

Ridiculous. I support the efforts of numerous women and their efforts to transform the ballot into a block of history we can build on. We live in a top-down social system. This means that certain folks are on top and they are justified as belonging there. Those at the bottom are either lazy or they deserve to be there, say many who support the past as “bad” and the present is “good.”


Racism wasn’t pretty. Sadly, we still live in a racist and unjust society. This isn’t preferable to freedom. Neither are attacks on points of view favoring the problems of minorities and so on. The protestors of a different era may not think in the same ways that we do today.

But this doesn’t boil down to good versus bad. It’s a diversion or an ending to the effort to continue making progress. We won’t always agree as we debate these and other issues. It’s yet another matter to dismiss the past as if it didn’t exist.

Suffrage Wagon News Channel has been publishing since 2009.