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Where will you be Nov. 4,2008? Sort by:
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Brittany2012
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Posted on Thu, Aug 28, 2008 13:57

I just received this email from a friend and thought it was worth sharing. This is the story of our Grandmothers and Great-grandmothers, as 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 picketting 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.' They beat Lucy Burn, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air. 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. 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? 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 institutional- ized. 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.


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Posted on Sat, Aug 30, 2008 17:49

yes, they fought for the right for us to vote... but i can't it but to think that they also fought for the right for us to have the option to vote or not. options are always nice. personally, i rather some people don't vote. there are too many of us who are ignorance. if they think their vote didn't matter, then what does that say about them? if they think that politic is another boring subject one has to go through for that high school diploma rather than an obligation as a citizen of a proud nation or their own rights well, they just don't care. people who are stupid and not caring maybe shouldn't vote. maybe it's a good thing that they don't vote.... but again, it's their choice... their right to that choice. i will try to make them understand and enlighten them but my patients is running dry. you know, Hitler was voted into power... he didn't crown himself. why did that happened? well, a number of reasons. but it comes down to this, in my opinion, because too many ignorance easily convinced people voted... and they out number the smart people. would you drag someone who has no politically knowledge and didn't give a damn either way to the poll or would you just leave them alone? i take the leaving alone part... i'll try to make them understand but... there is limit to how much a person care enough to understand.


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Posted on Sat, Aug 30, 2008 15:03

There are very few things that will bring me back to address a blog. Awareness of ignorance is one of them: This is a very good story; and I will look for the "Iron Jawed Angels" DVD. I hope it can be found on Netflix. The same negative argument are used by younger people when they are asked to join a union or vote to strike a company that is not equivalently sharing the wealth they have helped to create. There are several HBO specials about the men AND WOMEN who sacrificed so you could not only vote, but work an 8 hour day, have weekends off with you families, vacations, health care and wages that would allow you to not be indebted to the company store for your entire life. 'Nough Said, Puck p.s: I will remove this response in a few weeks.


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wwww12345
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Posted on Sat, Aug 30, 2008 08:48

Search for Alice Paul. Very interesting reading, especially her bio.


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shazbot82
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Posted on Fri, Aug 29, 2008 08:38

it is far too easy to forget the sacfrices those before us made so that we enjoy our freedoms today. Having been on the front line for womens rights a time or two myself, I take very little for granted. I DO vote and I proudly display my sticker that says " I voted today" In the world today, women in many countries are little more than chattel. We here in the west owe it to women everywhere to exercise our hard won rights.


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READY4UNOW
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Posted on Fri, Aug 29, 2008 06:27

Hey Britt! This is a very profound and moving blog! Although Canadian, I think many forget or were never aware of, what those before us went through for us to have our freedoms today. I too will keep an eye out for this.


What is love? Love is feeling comfortable and safe with someone but still getting weak knees when they walk into a room and smile at you. :)

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Queenofyourdreams
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Posted on Thu, Aug 28, 2008 17:36

This is one of the most amazing facts I have ever read on the blogs. I never knew about this and will look for that HBO special. Thank you for sharing this information Britt.


People may not remember what you say or do, but they will remember how you made them feel.

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