Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Why Women Should Vote


This is the story of our grandmother's and great-grandmothers;  they lived only 90 years ago.

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 right to vote.

(Lucy Burns)

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 Barns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air.

(Dora Lewis)

They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out.  Her cell mate, Alice Cosu, thought she 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 November 15, 1917.  When the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered 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, colorless slop, was infested with worms.

(Alice Paul)

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....

I copied this information straight from an email and don't know where it originated but it was a good reminder to me of another valuable liberty I sometimes take for granted.

10 comments:

partii said...

You go Girl,
Girl Power!!

Ann Marie said...

I love all of the beautiful old historic pictures! If this e-mail is true, then I am grateful for each of these Women that sacrificed so much for the cause.

I admit, that I never voted until I got married.. Not til the age of 25! Crazy...
This year, I wasn't sure I wanted to. I wasn't very happy with the choices that I was given, but now I feel confident and happy going to the polls!
Thanks for the reminder!

Sara and Brad said...

Since I am married to a political junkie.. I would be in big trouble if I did not vote. I think it is our duty as woman to vote!!! Even if Mitt Romney is not one of the choices :( Sad, he was one of my favorites

Jayne Layne said...

Okay that is a bit depressing...It would be a shame for all of that to be in vain. I will (and was) for sure going to vote

The Pagleys said...

Jen, Thanks for the reminder of what some sacrificed for our right to vote. I have been told that the last congressman to vote was a young one and as he went to make his vote, pulled out a note his mom had written to him expressing her conviction that he would do the right thing. His name was John....I think. Anyway, I only wish that I felt my vote was FOR somebody rather a vote than against the other one. Regardless, I will be at the polls on November 4th to express my voice.

Jek said...

That was good. Okay actually I haven't read all of it. I have been gone all day and have to go paint a bed while a certain someone sleeps. I will finish it later.

The Bobos said...

Wow. I had no idea. Thanks for sharing!! You got a fire started in me from reading this post. I want to go out and stand on a soap box now. If I hadn't already requested my absentee ballot, I would be right now!

Elisa said...

I have never heard this part of the story! We didn't get that history lesson in school so, I guess I thought suffragettes were more like Mrs. Banks on Mary Poppins.

I do love this line by Mrs. Banks:
"Though we adore men individually, as a group we all agree they're rather stupid"
it just makes me giggle.

Robert said...

That just warms the cockles of my heart. Now if you'll allow me to be the devil's advocate for a moment, Ann Coulter once had this to say about women voting (keep in mind, Ann Coulter is herself a women, as far as we know):

“If we took away women’s right to vote, we’d never have to worry about another Democrat president. It’s kind of a pipe dream, it’s a personal fantasy of mine, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. And it is a good way of making the point that women are voting so stupidly, at least single women.
“It also makes the point, it is kind of embarrassing, the Democratic Party ought to be hanging its head in shame, that it has so much difficulty getting men to vote for it. I mean, you do see it’s the party of women and ‘We’ll pay for health care and tuition and day care — and here, what else can we give you, soccer moms?’”
OR:
I think [women] should be armed but should not [be allowed to] vote. No, they all have to give up their vote, not just, you know, the lady clapping and me. The problem with women voting — and your Communists will back me up on this — is that, you know, women have no capacity to understand how money is earned. They have a lot of ideas on how to spend it. And when they take these polls, it’s always more money on education, more money on child care, more money on day care.”
– Ann Coulter, Politically Incorrect, Feb. 26, 2001

Of course I jest, but it was a funny quote nonetheless.

jill said...

I'm not going to read the rest, I HATE reading about torture!!! I am grateful to them.