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Charlotte Fedders
Date: ca. 1988
Artist and Related People:
Dimensions: Image: 12 15/16 x 19 3/16 in. (32.9 x 48.7 cm) Paper: 15 15/16 x 19 15/16 in. (40.5 x 50.6 cm) Mount (with mat): 28 3/4 x 24 1/2 in. (73 x 62.2 cm)
Medium: Gelatin silver print
Credit Line: Gift of the Gang Family Fund, 2003
Description: Charlotte Fedders, the author of "Shattered Dreams," was beaten and terrorized by her husband for fifteen years. In 1985, in the Wall Street Journal, her story was published as a letter to President Ronald Reagan, telling him about the abuse by her husband, John Fedders, the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the Securities and Exchange Commission in the Reagan Administration. John Fedders admitted he had "hit her, demeaned her, and did a lot of stupid thing." A devout Catholic, Charlotte had been convinced that bad things only came as punishment from some fault in herself. Consequently, every time she got hit, she felt confusion and shame more than pain. After going public, Charlotte became an outspoken woman fighting for every woman's right to life without fear. In a letter to her husband, asking for a divorce, she wrote, "As much as I love you, and I do, I have finally learned to love myself. No woman deserves to be beaten by her husband, not ever." Charlotte Fedders punctured the myth that only poor women get battered.
Accession Number: 470.2003