Tuesday, November 4, 2008

VOTE!

Especially if you are a woman you HAVE to vote today. I do not care who you vote for...JUST VOTE! Today I am going to get up on my soap box. I get so aggravated at people, especially women, who do not vote. They always use excuses like, 'it doesn't really matter and they are all crooks so who cares'. It does matter and if we sit home on the couch while others make decisions for us then what kind of example are we setting for our own daughters?

We are so lucky to be born in this time. Less than 100 years ago (LESS THAN 100 YEARS AGO!) American women were not allowed to vote. Personally I find this absurd and if American women continue to sit and let others make decisions for us where will we be in the next 100 years?


In the winter of 1917, Alice Paul and her followers in the National Women's Party picketed the White House. They stood silently at the gates, holding signs that said "Mr. president, how long must women wait for liberty?" The picketers were suffragists and they wanted President Woodrow Wilson to support a Constitutional amendment giving all American women suffrage, or the right to vote.
At first, the suffragists were politely ignored. But on April 6, 1917, the United States entered World War I. The suffragists' signs became more pointed. They taunted Wilson, accusing him of being a hypocrite. How could he send American men to die in a war for democracy when he denied voting rights to women at home? The suffragists became an embarrassment to President Wilson. It was decided the picketing in front of the White House must stop.

Spectators assaulted the picketers, both verbally and physically while the police did nothing to protect the women. The women were arrested and jailed for speaking out.

The picketers were placed in solitary confinement. They were given nothing to eat except bread and water. Using the only power they had the suffragist went on a hunger strike. Afraid the women might die, doctors force fed them. Three times a day for three weeks, they forced a tube down their throats and poured liquids into their stomach. Despite the pain and illness the force feeding caused, Alice Paul and many others refused to end the hunger strike--or their fight for the vote.

After 5 weeks in prison, Alice Paul was set free. The attempts to stop the picketers had backfired. Newspapers carried stories about the jail terms and forced feedings of the suffragists. The stories angered many Americans and created more support than ever for the suffrage amendment.

Finally, on January 9, 1918, Wilson announced his support for suffrage. The next day, the House of Representatives narrowly passed the Susan. B. Anthony Amendment, which would give suffrage to all women citizens. On June 4, 1919, the Senate passed the Amendment by one vote. And a little more than a year later, on August 26, 1920, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the amendment. That made it officially the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution.

We owe it to our great-grandmothers who did not have the right to vote, own land, or express their opinion. We owe it to our daughters who DO have these rights.

We owe them!

3 comments:

The Johnson 5 said...

I have already voted but thank you what you wrote. Women need to understand that EVERY VOTE COUNTS. It is so important to practice your right! You go girl!

Meagan said...

We voted too! Great post Lynn!

Dawn said...

right on!