This is the story of our Grandmothers and Great-grandmothers; they lived only 90 years ago.
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.’
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.
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?
Personally, I strongly suggest we all take a moment to watch HBO’ s new movie ‘Iron Jawed Angels.’ It is a graphic depiction of the battle these women waged so that We women could pull the curtain at the polling booth and have my say.
All these years later, voter registration is one of the things that I have been doing this election. But the actual act of voting had become less personal for many. Frankly, I’ve been told by many who never took advantage, that voting often felt more like an obligation than a privilege.
Sometimes it was inconvenient – or didn’t really Matter.
And so, now comes the question I pose to you.
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 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.