Monday, November 3, 2008

A Woman's Right to 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.

Some were abused horribly for trying to gain that right.

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

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.

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 ( pictured in prison above), chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging! All through the night, bleeding and gasping for air.

They hurled Dora Lewis (above) 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.

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 (above), 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?

The above was in an email that my sister sent me. Women have had the right to vote for less than 100 years! I can't imagine not being able to speak my opinion about something, or being told that I am not important becasue I am a woman. Sure, I have encountered the occasional chauvinist, but to endure that on a daily basis, wow. I am grateful that those women had the courage to stand for what they believed in.

A movie by HBO Films, Iron Jawed Jewels

A wiki entry on Women's Right to Vote

The Nineteenth ammendment to the Constitution of the United States of America:

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Have you tuned in for the last 2 years? The election is tomorrow......Vote. We have the right, it would be such a waste to not use it.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

That is awesome...

And I have to apologize for Gus's stepcousin's comments on Facebook. She's a 14 year old who is rebelling majorly because her parents don't let her attend public school. I promise his family is not like that! lol Love how you can't choose your relatives!