Home > Email on womens vote

Email on womens vote

September 17th, 2008 at 01:41 pm

I received this in my email and thought it worth sharing. I too am one of those apathetic voters.

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.

Text is memory and Link is
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.
'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.'

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.'

4 Responses to “Email on womens vote”

  1. pretty cheap jewelry Says:

    I wish I had some statistics and historical data on the 'media' 90 years ago. Or the typical day of an immigrant in NYC (my great grandparents hit Ellis Island about that time).

    Not intending to take importance away from the above entry. It leaves me with a sad feeling, not empowered at all.

    Participation in the political process is ingrained in my personality, but less and less comes of it. And that is also discouraging. Someone convince me again that one person's vote counts. Why did Al Gore lose? Remind me. Who gets to be a delegate anyway. And the electoral college, phffft.

    Wrap your mind around the last 2 days financial market antics. Things just are too complicated and global to compare to 90 years ago. Sorry.

  2. nanamom Says:

    Bravo women of prior generations. We have many reasons to be grateful to them. Not only did they win us the right to vote, we now choose what we wear, can speak our mind in public, hold down jobs, own property and choose whom we marry. What are we doing to make life better for the generations to follow us? While we are at it any one of African American descent also has reason to hold in awe those of their ancestry.

  3. monkeymama Says:

    What's actually interesting is I have not been exposed to much older women in my family (we moved away from family so I do not really know a lot of my elder relatives well at all).

    Anyway, at work, there are a lot of woman in their 60s-70s. It is amazing to me what a different world they grew up in as far as women's rights. One is a computer professional in her 60s and the rest are accountants/CPAs. IT was an uphill battle for them, for sure. The computer woman has crazy stories - she was the first woman hired at one of her first jobs.

    Dh has his fair share of local family but most of them were teachers and nurses. They don't have the same stories to share that my coworkers do. They just don't talk about it as much, but is a topic that has come up a lot here. The women I think want to make sure we young 'uns know it was them that broke ground for us.

    We actually have an admin person who wanted to be an accountant but her father told her, "Women aren't accountants," and that was that. She is also in her 60s. That whole thing is just mind boggling to me.

  4. sillyoleme Says:

    I think we owe alot to women of prior generations, too. Whether or not our vote is counted the way we want or our voice is heard in the intensity we wish, they at least paved the way for us to have the right to complain about all those things!

    They did a wonderful job improving the rights of future generations... maybe it's OUR job to make sure our voices are heard in this process. The electoral college was in place long before the Bush/Gore election, I think we should fix the rules before we get so upset about the outcome they produce! (I don't really get the point of the electoral college either.)

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