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Today, in honor of International Women’s Day, we’ve given over the bulk of our homepage to some of the women who’ve help transform the Village Voice into a platform for progress over the past six decades.
To say that the Voice provided a venue for women to express themselves socially, culturally, politically, and sexually always feels somehow condescending. Because it is. It’s also patently untrue. As is the case with many revolutionary narratives, the women who have brought the most groundbreaking new ideas to the Voice and electrified new generations of readers were never really given much of anything. They had to fight for everything, wresting control of stories, issues, ideas, narratives, and column inches. In the process, they helped transform the Voice into a place where women could challenge established thinking, each other, and themselves, along with the very notion of what it means to be a woman in a time when the old, antiquated constructs of gender have all but collapsed. Without them, the Voice would have rung hollow.
The stories and images that we’ve surfaced were in many cases not considered classically monumental when they were first published; they are, perhaps more appropriately, examples of the kind of day-to-day, occasionally unglamorous but extraordinarily powerful incremental work that actually changes the world. For the most part, nothing big really happens on International Women’s Day. It’s what leads up to it and grows out of it that matters.