These are random musings of my life journey, the people, animals, places, and events which have woven, and continue to weave, a tapestry that is me. We all know there is no real destination, only the ongoing experiences which blend together, creating the trail. Each step gives a glimpse of what is to come, without allowing me to see the end result. It is exciting. I have a home base that is mine, that gives me a place to rest. This is it. This is where my heart is, no matter where I journey...................

Monday, July 28, 2008

How Many Times .....????

Have you seen the ads on TV recently about the ranking of the US in scholastics? I don't remember the disciplines they mention, but I think it might have been math and science. We rate something like 24th and 28th. (If I'd realized I would post about this, I would have taken notes rather than just shaking my head sadly.) And frankly, why should kids try to excel? After all, in this country, you don't have to be smart to be important. Don't believe me? Here are two "leaders," busily leading our young people to believe education doesn't matter. How many times does this have to be said???? Let's be sure it is enough times to "help" children understand that education, grades, hard work don't matter.

This makes me furious!!

And thanks to Cameo for sending it to me.

And since most of my readers are women, please read on. I got this in an email from a friend who is as passionate about issues and I am. This is important!!!

"Iron Jawed Angels"

A piece of history we need to remember, or perhaps become aware of, told in a brief and moving way.

This is the story of our Grandmothers, and Great-grandmothers, as they lived only 90 years ago.

It was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote.

The women who made it so were innocent and defenseless. 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.

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.

I t 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 institutionalized. 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!


  1. oh, wow. thanks for reminding me how very much i despise that man.

    thanks for the post . . .

  2. WOW! That's very thought provoking. Trust me, I'll be at the polls. Being a black woman, I definitely need to make my voice heard as much as possible. And voting is one of those necessities.

    I honestly don't mean to make this sound like a black/white issue. Because, it by no means is one. It's an AMERICAN issue...simple as that. We ALL need to get out there an vote. Shoot, if I could, I'd vote twice. You know, sometimes women have to talk a little louder to be heard, LOL :-).

    Thanks again for this post.

  3. Our school has taken a lead we are the number 1 rural school district in Pa. Our grading system is a lot stricter then it was when I was in school an A doesnt start till 92 percent.This year my son has taken several leadership development classes although they gave him about 200 dollars in walmart cards he has learned something. And as much as I despised Hillary Clinton I was proud that she stood up and fought when men were telling her to drop out. Although the spirited female critter named Sarah Anne that lives in my house will be the first woman president Lord help us.

  4. Beans, you're welcome, and DO NOT FORGET TO VOTE!!!

    Dawn, I know not everyone feel this way, but trust me, this IS NOT a black and white issue. It is an issue of economics, an issue of educational excellence, an issue of preservation of the rights granted by our constitution, an issue of our ability to live our lives without persecution. Don't sound apologetic, my dear friend! You and I have to make our voices heard!

    Redfrog, good for your school. But nationally, it isn't getting done. We need to have leaders that make our kids proud to be smart, that are good examples for why being educated is important. We need leaders who don't make spoof of education. America is a country where it IS possible to be president or the CEO or become rich without education, but to encourage children to blow off education as he does just torques me royally. Good luck to your daughter! And tell her to get an education!!! :D

  5. Voting is a privledge and so important to do.

  6. Annie, absolutely, and so many don't understand the importance. We have to keep saying it until the voting rate is over 90%. We simply must.

  7. well, duh! of course i would vote. i am with dawn and wish i could vote for all the folks who don't or won't. as an aside, i saw a preview for the movie swing vote, and it looks cute!

  8. Beans, well, of course you would!! Yep, it would be great to be able to absorb those unused votes! that movie does look good, doesn't it? And it is a good message about how important it is to vote, if people just hear that message.

  9. I vote and soundly encourage everyone else to do so every chance I get. Those stories are horrifying.

  10. MQ, I can't understand why anyone doesn't vote, other than illness or some special circumstances. Just can't.


If you have something to say about it, just stick out your thumb, and I'll slow down so you can hop aboard! But hang on, 'cause I'm movin' on down the road!!! No time to waste!!!