I wish I could take credit for this but it is from a friend of a friend on mine that actually brought this to my attention. It is so relevant that I decided to pass it on to anyone out there, men and women.
This was so moving....I want everyone to think about it and what relevance it has today.
Why Women Should Vote.
This is the story of our Grandmothers and Great Grandmothers: they lived only 90 or so years ago. Remember it wasn't 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 nontheless for picketing the White House, carring signs asking for the vote. By the end of that night, they were barely alive. Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women who were wrongly convicted of 'obstructing sidewalk traffic.'
They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding ad 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 November 15th, 1917, when the warden at 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.
HBO held a screening of their move, "Iron Jawed Angels" a week or so ago. It was sparcely attended but it was a graphic depiction of the battle these women waged so that we could pull the curtain at the polling booth and have a say. HBO has released this movie on video and DVD. It should be shown in every history class, every government class so that everyone sees why we have the right to vote and why it is important to all of us.
Woodrow Wilson and his political side-kicks tried to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permenantly institutionalized. The doctor stood his ground and refused them. He told them that Alice Paul was strong and brave, but that doesn't make her crazy.
The doctor admonished the men," Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity."
PLEASE forward this to all your contacts, men and women. We need a reminder about our right to vote and the responsibility we owe ourselves and each other. Additionally, men and women have died protecting this right that we enjoy today. Don't allow their sacrifice to have been for nothing.