So, tomorrow marks an election in which women’s issues are at the forefront (lets’ not forget that they are also economic issues, and issues about the voice and the safety of half of our democracy). No matter who you vote for, make sure you vote. Women in other places in the world would die for that right and women in our own history have suffered for that right. Get out the vote! (By the way, we also have a woman running for president on the Green Party ticket: Jill Stein)
So, here are some women’s suffrage stories to share with the girls in your life:
On this day in herstory, in 1872, Susan B. Anthony was arrested for voting. She was fined $100, which she refused to pay. And she never did. You can read her remarks here: Elizabeth Cady Stanton Susan B Anthony Papers Project. It’s awesome. The judge keeps telling her to sit down and she just keeps speaking super-intelligent awesome reasoning about why the whole situation is a violation of her human dignity and rights.
35 years later, Alice Paul was arrested after a January 1917 NWP picket of the White House. She was imprisoned for holding up traffic. After two weeks she fell ill and was sent to the prison hospital, where she went on hunger strike. She was then moved to the psych ward and force fed raw eggs (photo, right). Her actions, and her colleagues’, put a lot of pressure on the Wilson Administration, accelerating the process of making Women’s Suffrage a priority on Congress’s agenda. Pretty scary. I think it’s important to note, too, that women in America are in some way indebted to the suffragettes in England. They used similar tactics, but the conflict between the women and law enforcement got far worse before the government decided to listen. They set an example for what not to do, which in some part assisted the movement in America.
For more inspiration, check out the National Women’s History Museum’s Votes for Women Board on Pinterest. You can also head over the the Missouri History Museum page for some of the weak, dumbass reasons given to oppose a women’s suffrage amendment. Personally, I’m looking forward to digging into Selling Suffrage: Consumer Culture and Votes for Women this week.
Plus, there is a freakin’ awesome version of Bad Romance: Women’s Suffrage. Watch it!
Also, sing this on the way to vote:
“Though we adore men individually / We agree that as a group they’re rather stupid!”