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...................

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Political, but Non-Partisan

This is a non-partisan post, but politically important.

From an email I received this morning, one I've seen before, and I'm guessing you have, too. But a good reminder for us about the importance of each of our votes. Of course, you all know I want you to vote as I do, but the important thing is that Every Woman Should Exercise Her Right To Vote. Our right to vote was not easily won.



This is the story of our Grandmothers and Great-grandmothers; 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 picketing the White House, carrying signs asking for the vote.

(Lucy Burns)

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 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 cell mate, 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?

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 and Bingo 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 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 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.

Read more:


  1. Amen sister!!!!!!!!!! We cant get change if we dont vote. I think its sad that citizens in America dont vote or listen to the politicans to make an informed decision so they can vote.What is worse is a naturalized citizen (one from another country granted citizenship) not to vote either. Thank you for reminding me that women were not always allowed to vote.

  2. Redfrog, the most startling fact is that it was such a short time ago. It takes my breath away at what these women went through, and for us to squander that out of laziness or indecision or (fill in the blank) is shameful.

  3. This particular election is CONSUMING ME. I absolutely cannot wait to place my vote. But thank you for gettin' the word out. We all need to remember how lucky we are for the privilege.

  4. Oh wow, i've always voted and encouraged others to do so but I did not think of it from the angle of those who sufferes so for our freedom. God Bless Them!!!!

  5. Cathy, me, too. NM has early voting, and I think I may take advantage of it.

    I have to say I don't know that I would have been so strong. I think of myself as a "doer," but what those women went through .... I just don't know. And I'm ashamed of that.

    Queenie, it is sobering, isn't it? I greatly admire those women. More than I can say.

    To everyone: This is why I harp and harp on the issues. It is SO important.

  6. I saw Iron Jawed Angels and it really left an impression on me, too. As long as I live and breathe, I will ALWAYS find a way to the booth on election day!!

  7. Sandra, for the life of me, I don't understand why a person would not vote. I realize people are frustrated and feel loss of power, but the only thing that will return the power to the people is the people taking it in their hands at the voting booth.

  8. Hi Lynilu!

    Let’s Hear It for the Ladies Who Brought Us the 19th Amendment and the Women’s Vote!

    Senator Clinton and Governor Palin are proof that women can and do diverge on important issues.

    Even on the question of whether women should vote!

    Most people are totally in the dark about HOW the suffragettes won votes for women, and what life was REALLY like for women before they did.

    Suffragettes were opposed by many women who were what was known as ‘anti.’ The most influential ‘anti’ lived in the White House — First Lady Edith Wilson!

    I’d like to share a women’s history learning opportunity…

    “The Privilege of Voting” is an exciting new FREE e-mail series that follows eight great women from 1912 - 1920 to reveal ALL that happened to set the stage for women to finally win the vote.

    It’s a real-life soap opera about the suffragettes! And it’s ALL true!

    Powerful suffragettes Alice Paul and Emmeline Pankhurst are featured, along with TWO gorgeous presidential mistresses, First Lady Edith Wilson, Edith Wharton, Isadora Duncan and Alice Roosevelt.

    There are tons of heartache on the rocky road to the ballot box, but in the end, women WIN!

    Exciting, sequential episodes with lots of historical photos are great to read on coffeebreaks, or anytime.

    Thanks to the success of the suffragettes, women have voices and choices!

    I hope you will subscribe, and share this opportunity with others.

    It’s free at

  9. Virginia, welcome, and thank you for the information. I've subscribed for the email series, and I'm eager to get for first one. I appreciate your support!

  10. Thank you so much for posting this, and reminding us of how much we have. I know I rarely consider the history behind the right. Don't use it and it just might be taken away...

  11. Dakota, you're welcome. It takes all of us to get the word out on this and many more things, as you know. We must all pass on everything which comes our way to get people up to date and informed! Keep up your good work!

  12. redfrog27 took the words right out of my mouth - Amen, sister!

    This is a little strange, but I am looking forward to this election for myriad reasons... one being that if this baby growing in my guts is a girl I want to be able to impress upon her that I was thinking about my role as her mother and as a woman in this society and how important it is that I set a good political example from even before day 1. It's a bit weird to think that way, but I feel as if I have extra responsibility in this election than I have in the past 3 since part of the future of this country currently resides in me.

  13. Melissa, wow, that is a beautiful way of saying it. You rock, girl! Yes, that baby and her/his contemporaries are our future. :) Teach well, Melissa.


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!!!