YouTango, a popular website focused on women’s issues and interests, solicited and published my article on Ashli Babbitt and the history of women’s protest movements. Here is an excerpt, with the full article available here.

The images of Ashli Babbitt’s violent death shocked the nation. Owner of a San Diego pool supply company, she led a crowd of rioters to the Speaker’s Lobby of the United States Capitol on January 6, in snow boots, sporting a Trump flag as a cape. She was shot dead by a Capitol police officer as she tried to intervene in the congressional validation of the 2020 presidential election. 

The crowd of protesters, invited to D.C. and directed to the Capitol by the President of the United States, was heavily male, adding a poignant, unsettling dimension to the scene. A suburban businesswoman, traveling from California to the people’s House, shot by a government agent during an act of political expression. 

What to make of Ms. Babbitt? Women have been in the vanguard of social and political change since the country’s founding. Was Babbitt a model of political protest, laying her body on the line for truth, justice, and the American Way? And how, after all, do we choose our battles, ensure that we achieve what we pursue, and evaluate success?  

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