Woman’s Suffrage; Why Women Should Vote…

Ok. So I lied. Since having opened the political door for myself (only two of you, out of the forty or so lurkers that hang with me silently on this blog, who actually commented on…wink, wink!) I must add to my adolescent political agenda.

I received ONE OF THOSE chain emails today. I didn’t check facts…so anyone who wants to go on Snopes (Snipes? Snoops? Good Lord, I’m so out of touch!) and confirm some of this stuff, please feel free. But, if even a tenth of the following is factual, I hope it will encourage all of us women of the current voting generation to get out there and cast our ballots…

Below, is the text from the email:


This is the story of our Grandmothers and Great-grandmothers; they lived only 90 years ago.

Remember, it was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote.

The women were innocent and defenseless, but they were jailed nonetheless for picketing the White House, carrying signs asking for the vote.

And by the end of the night, they were barely alive. Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden’s blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of
‘obstructing sidewalk traffic.’ They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above

her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air.

They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.

Thus unfolded the

‘Night of Terror’ on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson‘s White House for the right
to vote. For weeks, the women’s only water came from an open pail. Their
food–all of it colorless slop–was infested with worms.

When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.

So, refresh my memory. Some women won’t vote this year because- -why, exactly? We have carpool duties? We have to get to work? Our vote doesn’t matter? It’s raining?

Last week, I went to a sparsely attended screening of HBO’s new movie ‘Iron Jawed Angels.’ It is a graphic depiction of the battle these women waged so that I could pull the curtain at the polling

booth and have my say. I am ashamed to say I needed the reminder..

My friend Wendy, who studied women’s history, saw the HBO movie, too. When she stopped to talk

about it, she looked angry. She was–with herself. ‘One thought kept coming back to me as I watched that movie,’ she said. ‘What would those women think of the way I use, or don’t use,
my right to vote? All of us take it for granted now, not just younger women, but those of us who did seek to learn.’ The right to vote, she said, had become valuable to her ‘all over again.’

HBO released the movie on video and DVD . I wish all history, social studies and government teachers would include the movie in their curriculum I want it shown anywhere else women gather. I realize this isn’t our usual idea of socializing, but we are not voting in the numbers that we should be, and I think a little shock therapy is in order.

It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn’t make her crazy.

The doctor admonished the men: ‘Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.’

We need to get out and vote and use this right that was fought so hard for by these very courageous women. Whether you vote democratic, republican or independent party – remember to vote.

Read more:
Those women who were die-hard Hillary supporters who say they refuse to vote in protest of her loosing the nomination…I hope this urges you otherwise!



Filed under politics

9 responses to “Woman’s Suffrage; Why Women Should Vote…

  1. Giving up a fundamental right as a protest strikes me as absurd. Write a letter, make a phone call, organize a march or a sit-in or a lie-in or a boycott or DO something, but don’t just sit silently as though anyone is going to come beg you to be heard. Ya know?

    I guess as a kid I tried the silent, pouty-face form of protest to no avail too many times, and now I am in favor of a more active approach.

    Thanks for mentioning this important issue.

  2. Cheryl Peterson

    Everyone who can vote, should vote. The email should have said “Why EVERYONE Should Vote”

  3. Yes, everyone who can–should vote. No argument there. I just passed along the email as it came to me.

  4. That’s the movie i saw years ago!

    I’ve always been passionate about voting, cause well it means you’ve had a say in the way things turn out! Even if you don’t agree with any of the candidates, go and spoil your ballot! People have taken for grantid all the struggles we had not even 100 years ago to vote.

    with the Canadian election coming up in October, i’m trying to get out to all of the people i’m in regular contact with to get them off their duffs and vote gosh darn it! I mean it was less then 40 years ago that women couldn’t go to any college they wanted to.. could you imagine if they brough back schools that “preped” women to become housewives and thats it?…opinions were not welcome back then… is that what we want to revert back too?

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