“On April 22, 1920 in Arizona: Prominent society and club women started a boycott on potatoes to protest the price. Housewives in Phoenix were called and asked to support the boycott and tell five friends to do the same”. The potatoes sat in shops and began to rot. They spread the word of their boycott quickly. Their boycott succeeded. Businesses ultimately had to change their prices.
NEVER underestimate your power. As always, the ways we as women move through our communities and accomplish things is through establishing consensus, building a network, and caring. We stand on the shoulders of those who came before. I am not trying to start an argument of housewife vs non-housewife. I am trying to recognize the impact of those housewives who started this boycott. There is no denying they had an impact. This occurred in the same year that the states ratified the 19th amendment (1920). [For those who do not remember, that is the amendment that gave women the right to vote].
From the work of the suffragettes helping us get the right to vote, to the women over the years that brought about change, to the loving and creative women I know, we serve and lead best when we do so with love, compassion, and kindness. It seems that the seeds of social media and blogging go way, way, way back. Isn’t it reassuring to know that we walk in the footprints of fabulous ancestors whether we knew them or not?
My mom and her friends formed a similar boycott in the early 1970s in Chicago. The price of beef had gone sky high. This was back when beef was the mainstay of the dinner table. Mom and her friends decided, as they said “at those prices, let it rot”. And so they did. they converted their dinner tables to mainly chicken and fish, and lots more veggies and fruits. It took time, but the prices came down. At the time, I thought they were VERY cool.
Especially since my friends and I thought activism and peaceful protest were TOTALLY cool! Ultimately the beef prices came back down. An interesting thing had happened in the interim. The homes never again went back to being so strongly beef dependent.
Never underestimate yourself. Never-never-never-never. the ripples and impact of my beliefs and words will echo through the years, too. People may wildly disagree with my views, beliefs, and words. But I continue to believe, no matter how small my voice, that I will make a difference. I already make a difference~I will sail on.