Monday, September 29, 2008

The Women's Vote

The doctor admonished the men: 'Courage in women is often
mistaken for

This morning, I received an email from a friend that spoke of the importance of every women's right and need to vote in the upcoming elections both in Canada and the USA. In retrospect, we as women have not had the privilege of the vote for very long particularly when we look at how many presidents there were prior to the first election where women were allowed to vote. Now a days we seem to be taking that privilege for granted, the privilege which so many women fought for in hardship, pain and loss. This October (Canada) and November (US) every woman young or old should take to the polls in pride knowing that every single vote DOES count, and that it is not a frivolous action because the future is in our hands, more so now then ever before.

This is the story of our Mothers and Grandmothers who 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 defenceless, 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."

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?

So what are you going to do to encourage others to vote?

{photo source: memory government}

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