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Thread: How Women Got To Vote

  1. #1
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    How Women Got To Vote

    This is ia e-mail I got and plan to watch in October

    A little history that many of us don't know: How Women Got To Vote

    The women were innocent and defenseless. 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 Burn, 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.

    All these years later, voter registration is still my passion. But the actual act of voting had
    become less personal for me, more rote. Frankly, voting often felt more like an obligation
    than a privilege. Sometimes it was inconvenient.

    My friend Wendy, who is my age and studied women's history, saw the HBO movie, too.
    When she stopped by my desk 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 will run the movie periodically before releasing it on video and DVD. I wish all history,
    social studies and government teachers would include the movie in their curriculum. I want
    it shown on Bunko night, too, and 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 use this right that was fought so hard for by these very
    courageous women.

  2. #2
    On Edge Piel's Avatar
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    HBO had a movie about this starringAngelika Houstan, Juliette Binoche, and Hillary Swank as Alice. When she refused to eat she was force fed raw eggs with a feeding tube. The show was very effective in showing how much more power men had at the time. But in the end showed how strong women are especially when they work together.

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    yes that's the movie. I went to the HBO site.

  4. #4
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    Not to demean this very graphic description, but in "Mary Poppins" the musical, there is a song that mentions the Suffragetes - "Sister Suffragette" sung by Mrs. Banks.

    Artist: Lyrics
    Song: Sister Suffragette Lyrics

    Music: Richard M. + Robert B. Sherman
    Lyrics: Richard M. + Robert B. Sherman
    Premiere: 1964

    Mrs. Banks:
    We're clearly soldiers in petticoats
    And dauntless crusaders for woman's votes
    Though we adore men individually
    We agree that as a group they're rather stupid!

    Cast off the shackles of yesterday!
    Shoulder to shoulder into the fray!
    Our daughters' daughters will adore us
    And they'll sign in grateful chorus
    "Well done, Sister Suffragette!"

    From Kensington to Billingsgate
    One hears the restless cries!
    From ev'ry corner of the land:
    "Womankind, arise!"
    Political equality and equal rights with men!
    Take heart! For Missus Pankhurst has been clapped in irons again!

    No more the meek and mild subservients we!
    We're fighting for our rights, militantly!
    Never you fear!

    So, cast off the shackles of yesterday!
    Shoulder to shoulder into the fray!
    Our daughters' daughters will adore us
    And they'll sign in grateful chorus
    "Well done! Well done!
    Well done Sister Suffragette!"

  5. #5
    Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult
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    Not to make light of what people went through to give me the right to vote but I also reserve the right not to vote or to spoil my vote if I feel there is not a candidate that I want in power.

    I vote at a local level so that I can do my part to get those that I want into power. If it gets to national level and they are not there - then forgive me but I am not going to give my support to some-one whose policies and ideals I don't believe in simply because it is my duty to vote.

    It is not my duty - it's my right.

  6. #6
    Extinction is Forever 4dogknight's Avatar
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    It would have been nice if HBO had gotten behind this film and pushed for an Emmy nomination or two. I thought this topic was just as an important topic as AIDS.

    Many women have no idea what went on during the long push to allow, yes I said allow, women to vote. This topic is often glossed over in history classes or is presented as the comic characterization of dumpy women in large hats carrying picket signs.

    Women's rights are as important now as they were then (early part of the 20th Century); of course the focus is now on retaining those rights.

    4dk - who has a mind of her own and refuses to walk two paces behind anyone! (not to mention having a large hat and several left over 60's pickets signs if needed.)

  7. #7
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4dogknight
    It would have been nice if HBO had gotten behind this film and pushed for an Emmy nomination or two. I thought this topic was just as an important topic as AIDS.

    Many women have no idea what went on during the long push to allow, yes I said allow, women to vote. This topic is often glossed over in history classes or is presented as the comic characterization of dumpy women in large hats carrying picket signs.

    Women's rights are as important now as they were then (early part of the 20th Century); of course the focus is now on retaining those rights.

    4dk - who has a mind of her own and refuses to walk two paces behind anyone! (not to mention having a large hat and several left over 60's pickets signs if needed.)
    4dogknight:

    Right on!!! The right to vote was not the only issue of the day that these brave women fought. They also fought for women to be treated with respect, not like servants and to have the same opporunities as men. We gals have a lot to thank this brave army of women for in our day to day lives. Sometimes we take things for granted!!!!

    Three cheers for Amelia Pankhurst!!!!
    Last edited by Ladskater; 09-28-2004 at 08:49 PM.

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