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Courage in Women is Often Mistaken for Insanity
Taking the right to vote for granted!
In this day and age I wonder how many women out there take their right to vote for granted, and I wonder if many of them know about some of the terrible things that women of the suffrage movement had to endure in order to get their right to vote. I know I have been guilty of not voting sometimes because it was inconvenient or raining, or had to work or whatever other excuse you can think of. And then I watched a movie about the women's movement and what some of these women had to go through in order to allow all women of the United States to have the right to vote. It amazed me that women were made to look "crazy" because they were sticking up for themselves just for the right not to be treated like a second class citizen. It also amazes me that it took until 1920 for the right for women to vote, and that places like Russia got the vote before we did. There are so many countries that have had women presidents many times and still our country has not entrusted this office to a woman yet. I guess because so many men have done such a fine job in office, a woman couldn't possibly do any better. But I say they certainly couldn't do any worse. Nonetheless a woman president would be another hub, this one is a tribute to all those brave women in 1917 and what they stood up for.
Protesting against the President
When Woodrow Wilson took office, many women protested in front of the White House asking for their right to vote. They took up signs demanding they be heard. They even had vigils around the clock taking turns and not backing down, holding up signs for hours at a time. Even though the war was raging, they would not be stopped and although at the time, women were pretty much silent with their political views and not taken seriously whenever they did have an opinion, these women of the suffrage movement were not going to give up until they were heard.
Women such as Lucy Burns and Alice Paul and women who were members of the National Women's Party took umbrage to the attitude from Woodrow Wilson and set out to expose his hypocrisy when he claimed that he was "making the world safe for democracy" and when it wasn't happening at home they picketed with signs that said, " Mr President, how long must women wait for liberty"? They even burned copies of Wilson's speeches in protest.
Many women were arrested for "obstructing traffic" and thrown in jail. Many were beaten, and 33 women were falsely convicted of a crime. Police went at them with clubs and before the night was over many of the women were barely alive, all for "obstructing sidewalk traffic".
Dora Lewis was thrown into a very dark cell and thrown up against an iron bed that knocked her out cold. Later affidavits mentioned that she had been, dragged, grabbed,beaten, choked,kicked and swung around by her hair. Why? Because she was picketing in front of the White House.
Night of Terror of 1917
Lucy Burns was beaten by several guards. She was handcuffed with her hands above her head and left there for the whole night as she gasped for breath and almost bled to death.
The Night of Terror began on November 15, 1917 when the guards at the Occoquan prison were given the order by the warden to teach a lesson to all the women that had been imprisoned there for picketing for their right to vote. For many weeks the only water that these women had was contaminated and the slop that was fed to them was infested with maggots.
More women of the movement
Alice Paul was the chairman of the Congressional Committee of the National American Women Suffrage Association in 1913. She was very active in the role for the women's movement. She was among the women that were arrested on the Night of Terror and on several other occasions. She embarked on a hunger strike and the prison guards tied her to a chair and forced a tube down her throat and poured tons of water into her stomache until she threw it up.She was tortured in this manner for weeks until word leaked out to the press. She underwent psychological evaluations because the warden wanted her to be declared insane for her actions. Fortunately, her evaluator would not declare her insane and added that it was a shame that women who had the convictions to speak up were often made to look "crazy" in order to silence them. Finally the judge declared that the women had been unjustly imprisoned and were just exercising their right to protest
For all that these women suffered, it would take 3 more years for them to win the vote, but what a triumph it must have been for these women, pioneers and the voices for all women of the United States. As women we should all be grateful for ourselves and for our daughters and their daughters after them and to never forget these women of 1917, for them we shall never forget.
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