Wednesday, September 3, 2008

2008 Day Two Hundred Forty Six


I read this email today and it made me cry and also made me rise up and become the someone that can convince every woman that they need to excercise their right to vote.

Here is the email:

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 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.'


(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)
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)
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.
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/suffrage/nwp/prisoners.pdf

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 curriculum I want it shown on Bunco night, too, and anywhere
else women gather. I realize this isn't our usual idea of socializing,
but 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.

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.

3 Good Things that happened today:

1. Betty, my team lead, called off today. So no barrage of emails about AHT!
2. Talked to Lorna, and made a plan to meet after I escape on Friday.
3. My exit interview has been scheduled for Friday.

3 comments:

peppylady said...

Soon as I turn 18 I start to vote and vote in every election and even if there is a bond issue.
I cast my vote, with great pride!!!!

I get a little tick at people who won't vote.
The two reason I here.
Is it bible base and it form of idol worshiping. I'm surly not a bible expert or expert on anything.
Then I hear people are anti government and to protest the way things are ran.
Well if I thinking the person is a bum I try to vote them out of office and if I think the person going to do a good job they get my vote.

I think it was Lucy Burn want to not use her husband surname and took it all the way to supreme court.
Did you know when woman was trying to get the right to vote.
The Christen was against them using the bible text just like they do the homosexual rights or people who want to have same sex marriage.

Virginia Harris said...

Read this for your daughters!

Senator Clinton and Governor Palin are proof that women can and do diverge on important issues.

Even on the question of whether women should vote!

Most people are totally in the dark about HOW the suffragettes won votes for women, and what life was REALLY like for women before they did.

Suffragettes were opposed by many women who were what was known as 'anti.'

The most influential 'anti' lived in the White House. First Lady Edith Wilson was a wealthy Washington widow who married President Wilson in 1915.

Her role in Wilson's decision to jail and torture Alice Paul and hundreds of other suffragettes will never be fully known, but she was outraged that these women picketed her husband's White House.

I'd like to share a unique women's history learning opportunity...

"The Privilege of Voting" is a new, free, e-mail series that follows eight great women from 1912 - 1920 to reveal ALL that happened to set the stage for women to win the vote.

It's a real-life soap opera! And it's ALL true!

Powerful suffragettes Alice Paul and Emmeline Pankhurst are featured, along with TWO gorgeous presidential mistresses, First Lady Edith Wilson, Edith Wharton, Isadora Duncan and Alice Roosevelt.

There are tons of heartache on the rocky road to the ballot box, but in the end, women WIN!

Thanks to the suffragettes, women now have voices and choices! We can support causes and/or become candidates on the left, right and in-between.

Find out how women won! Exciting, sequential episodes are perfect to read on coffeebreaks, or anytime.

Subscribe free at

www.CoffeebreakReaders.com/subscribe.html

pidomon said...

i was listening to one of local talk radio shows today and a woman came on to discuss an earlier caller who I didnt hear but who was female and said she wasn't voting.

She made many of these points and I learned alot from her and you today.

thanks for that

here's to a good weekend