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For all of us women who need a quick reminder of the history of how
women got the vote and why we should always take advantage of this hard
won right. Please get out and vote in November - no matter who you are
supporting. Good item to forward on to your women friends,
Got this from a friend today - well worth the read.....
THIS IS MOVING. HOW QUICKLY WE FORGET.....IF ....WE EVER KNEW......
WHY WOMEN SHOULD VOTE
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
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.
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 released the movie on video and DVD . I wish all history, social
studies and government teachers would include the movie in their
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
The doctor admonished the men: 'Courage in women is often mistaken for
Please share this message to all the women you know.
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.
History is being made.