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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

They suffered that we might have the right: Go! Vote!

Miss [Lucy] Burns in
Occoquan Workhouse, Washington, Nov. 1917Women of Protest:
Photographs from the Records of the National Woman's Party
They endured disdain, derision, jail, force-feedings and beatings in their struggle to get the right to enter a voting booth on election day, our foremothers.It's easy to take that right for granted, especially when we don't like the choices on the ballot. Even moreso when we're disenchanted with corruption, lies, dirty tricks and abuses of power.

But that's not new. There was corruption, there were lies, and there were outrageous attempts to manipulate the populace throughout the 144 years US women sacrificed to win the opportunity to vote. Honor the women who suffered for us--their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Vote! It's one way we live consciously.

For a quick synopsis of the long struggle to achieve woman suffrage, go to How Women Won the Right to Vote.


Hayden said...

such a powerful reminder of something we tend to take for granted.

yet most of the worlds population - most of the world's women - still don't have the right. we forget that our western world is an anomoly......

kario said...

AMEN! Not only do we honor our predecessors when we exercise our right to vote, we honor our children as well.

jarvenpa said...

You are so right. Because of the struggles of my grandmothers and great grandmothers I never fail to vote.
I love, by the way, your Village of Ordinary.

Kathryn Grace said...

Hayden, you are so right. In many parts of the world, the right to vote is yet to be won for women, and for men as well. It is interesting, too, that the US was well behind a number of other countries in franchising women.

Kario, thank you for the reminder that when we vote, we honor our children. Our involvement--or disinterest--shapes their future.

Jarvenpa, thank you for remembering what they sacrificed for us. Thank you, too, for your kind words about my beloved, never forgotten, and seldom updated Village.

Deb Shucka said...

I just read last week for the first time about what happened at the Occoquan Workhouse. I've always felt that voting is a privilege not to be wasted, but now I feel it even more strongly.

Kathryn Grace said...

Deb, yes, the abuses women suffered around the world in working to win the right to full citizenship were appalling. Even today, as Hayden points out, women in some countries are disenfranchised and thought of as chattel. Just getting an education, or being a teacher at a girls' school, is illegal in some countries, and where it is no longer illegal, violent factions continue to impede, threaten and sometimes kill. A few weeks ago in Afghanistan and in Pakistan, there were reports again of girls' schools being bombed and poisoned.

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