Saturday, November 1, 2008

Why women should vote & Today in History

This post is not meant to start a political discussion because I won’t go there. If you live in the United States of America then you know that this election on Tuesday, November 4th is very important (as are all elections). I received this in an email today and thought that it is a great reminder of why we should all get out there and vote!

I love history! See what you get when I am unable to walk around much.... I planted myself in front of the pc! LOL

Why woman should vote! How quickly we forget!

This is the story of our Grandmothers and Great-grandmothers; they lived only 90 years ago.

Women Picketing - circa 1920s

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.

Women Picketing - circa 1920s

And by the end of the night, they were barely alive. Forty prison guards wielding clubs and with their warden's blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of 'obstructing sidewalk traffic.'

* Lucy Burns *

Lucy Burns

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.

* Dora Lewis *

Dora Lewis

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.

* Alice Paul *

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?

Have you seen 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. One thought kept coming back to me as I watched that movie, '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.'

HBO released the movie on video and DVD. All history, social studies and government teachers should include the movie in their curriculum. 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.'

Please, if you are so inclined, pass this on to all the women you know. Encourage them to vote!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.


Speaking of History... How about a tid bit of Today in History?

November 01, 1765
Britain’s Stamp Act Is the Colonies’ Riot Act

The Stamp Act goes into effect in the American Colonies November 1, 1765. Passed in March by Britain to tax documents, almanacs, newspapers, cards and dice in order to pay debts from the French and Indian War, the act incenses Colonists, who protest the "taxation without representation" by petitioning, boycotting and even stringing up the odd tax agent. Parliament rescinds the act in 1766, but can’t retract the spirit of revolution it unleashes.


Angela said...

I'm not American, so I won't be voting tomorrow. But I remember my parents teaching me about the women's fight for the right to vote here in the UK. We have a firework named after one of our Martyr's - The Catherine Wheel. I will be voting at our next elections as usual.

ShariScraps2 said...

Hi Kimmi!

Just wanted to wish you a belated Happy Birthday!


GrannyNKy said...

I made my vote be counted this year, and am so thrilled to have seen this day in history! God Bless America!