A Film By Kevin Friend
Borderland: The Life & Times of Blanche Ames Ames chronicles the remarkable life of a society woman who was determined to change American society. Blanche Ames wrote, marched, and organized. A talented artist and birth control maverick, she drew political cartoons in support of women’s suffrage that both inspired and enraged. Her fiercest supporter was her husband Oakes, renowned Harvard botanist and president of the Men’s League for Women’s Suffrage. Together, the couple worked side-by-side from the home they called Borderland to advance the rights of American women so a new society could be born.
We look at the battles of yesterday and the continued struggle today and celebrate the life of this unsung hero who accomplished so much. And yet, when Blanche Ames died in 1969, the headline of her obituary identified her as “Mrs. Oakes Ames, Botanist’s Widow,” as if her life’s work as an artist and activist were an afterthought—or worse, a wasted effort.
Blanche Ames knew differently, of course. Now, so do we.