Marie Equi: Radical Politics and Outlaw Passions (Paperback)

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Description


Marie Equi explores the fiercely independent life of an extraordinary woman. Born of Italian-Irish parents in 1872, Marie Equi endured childhood labor in a gritty Massachusetts textile mill before fleeing to an Oregon homestead with her first longtime woman companion, who described her as impulsive, earnest, and kind-hearted. These traits, along with courage, stubborn resolve, and a passion for justice, propelled Equi through an unparalleled life journey.  

Equi self-studied her way into a San Francisco medical school and then obtained her license in Portland to become one of the first practicing woman physicians in the Pacific Northwest. From Pendleton, Portland, Seattle and beyond to Boston and San Francisco, she leveraged her professional status to fight for woman suffrage, labor rights, and reproductive freedom. She mounted soapboxes, fought with police, and spent a night in jail with birth control advocate Margaret Sanger. Equi marched so often with unemployed men that the media referred to them as her army. She battled for economic justice at every turn and protested the U.S. entry into World War I, leading to a conviction for sedition and a three-year sentence in San Quentin. Breaking boundaries in all facets of life, she became the first well-known lesbian in Oregon, and her same-sex affairs figured prominently in two U.S. Supreme Court cases.

Marie Equi is a finely written, rigorously researched account of a woman of consequence, who one fellow-activist considered “the most interesting woman that ever lived in this state, certainly the most fascinating, colorful, and flamboyant.” This much anticipated biography will engage anyone interested in Pacific Northwest history, women’s studies, the history of lesbian and gay rights, and the personal demands of political activism. It is the inspiring story of a singular woman who was not afraid to take risks, who refused to compromise her principles in the face of enormous opposition and adversity, and who paid a steep personal price for living by her convictions.

About the Author


Michael Helquist is an historian, journalist, and editor and has written for several publications including the Oregon Historical Quarterly, the Journal of Homosexuality, the American Medical News, MS Magazine, The Advocate, and the San Francisco Bay Guardian. He has edited four volumes on health communication, social marketing, and behavior change. He directed a global AIDS and health communication program and worked on campaigns for safe streets and alternative transportation, development of GLBT history archives, and community resilience and sustainability. Helquist is a Portland native, now living in San Francisco.

Praise For…


"... It is only with the publication of Michael Helquist's new biography that a giant step has at last been taken towards remedying the neglect of this remarkable woman and fighter for socialism."
John Newsinger, International Socialism


"Author and historian Michael Helquist skillfully outlines the fierce tenacity and incredible courage Equi exemplifies throughout her life, giving equal attention to her passion for medicine, her lesbian lifestyle and her unwavering commitment to activism. Helquist's tribute to this historical figure is nothing short of brilliant."

Amy Schneider, Eugene Weekly



Product Details
ISBN: 9780870715952
ISBN-10: 087071595X
Publisher: Oregon State University Press
Publication Date: September 15th, 2015
Pages: 352
Language: English