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when women vote…

2 Nov

When women vote, we effect change.  We honor the sacrifices of our foremothers who paved the way for us and we pass along to our daughters and granddaughters the need, privilege and responsibility to do the same.

This fabulous graphic was designed by one of my favorite people for the 51% Club.

Now add your own finish to the sentence, “When Women vote…”  and leave it in the comments.

And then vote.

Women voter stereotype

31 Oct

I came across this opinion article where the author talks about women taking backward steps in using their ability to vote. She points out that women are often too busy to read the newspaper or watch the nightly news, let alone a debate, to learn what the candidates really stand for and are instead voting with their “heart instead of their head”. She calls this the woman voter stereotype. The author is upset that women have worked so hard to get the vote years ago and aren’t even taking the time to get informed about who they want to vote for, or even voting. Do we take that right for granted?


Sister Suffragette

30 Sep

One of my favorite movies as a kid! Enjoy 😀

Iron Jawed Angels

25 Sep


Would you have sacrificed all that Alice Paul and the other women did? Is there any cause that you feel strongly
about? How far would you go to further that cause?

How would you feel if you did not have the right to vote today?

What has the right to vote brought to the lives of women? To the lives of men?

How would things be different today if women did not have the right to vote?

A Petition to End Women’s Suffrage

14 Sep

This video made me laugh so hard but it was sad a the same time. A young man went around asking for women on a college campus to sign a petition to end women’s suffrage. Almost every woman signed the petition. They obviously did not know what “women’s suffrage” meant. I can only assume that they thought he meant women’s suffering. I thought it was ironic that the only person to recognize that he was getting them to sign a petition to take away their voting rights was a man! It was shocking to me that they did not realize this! Do you think that women are uneducated in general about the history of suffrage? What are your reactions to this video?
here’s the link! It’s too funny to pass up!


12 Sep



27 Aug



27 Aug

Abby Scott Baker, of Washington, D.C., came from a multi-generational military family. She was one of Alice Paul’s earliest associates and helped Paul and Burns plan their first major event–the March 3, 1913, national suffrage parade on the eve of Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration. She served as treasurer of the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage (CU) in 1914 and quickly became one of the most effective lobbyists for both the CU and its successor, the National Woman’s Party (NWP).

Baker traveled the country as part of the CU’s “Suffrage Special” train tour of western states in April-May 1916. The envoys set off with fanfare from Union Station in Washington, D.C., and Baker was in charge of handling the press for the tour. The support that she helped raise from women in states that had already granted women’s suffrage culminated in a June 1916 meeting in Chicago to form what was at first called the Woman’s Party of Western Voters, or Woman’s Party, for short (later, the NWP). When the NWP was more formally organized in relation to the CU in March 1917, Baker was elected to the NWP executive committee and served as its press chairman (1917-18) and political chairman (1917; 1919-21).

Baker was among the first demonstrators to picket the White House; she was arrested in September 1917 and sentenced to 60 days in the Occoquan Workhouse. In February-March 1919, she served as publicity manager and speaker for the “Prison Special,” a three-week lecture tour by NWP activists who spoke to packed audiences about their jail experiences in an effort to generate support for the suffrage cause.

Baker was an important lobbyist during the key years (1917-20) that the NWP pressured for passage of what became the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Known as the diplomat of the NWP, Baker was a significant presence in the organization’s ongoing tactic of asserting personal influence upon leading authorities in public and private life. When the NWP’s patriotism was challenged, she reminded critics that her three sons were fighting in World War I. In the midst of the ratification process for the 19th Amendment, Baker was among the NWP members who attended the Democratic National Convention of 1920 in San Francisco and successfully brokered a pro-suffrage plank as part of the party platform. She subsequently lobbied the presidential candidates from both political parties, James M. Cox and Warren G. Harding, to support the women’s rights cause.

After suffrage was achieved, Baker became a member of the NWP’s Committee on International Relations and the Women’s Consultative Committee of the League of Nations. She also represented the NWP at the League’s 1935 international conferences in Geneva where the issue of equal rights was discussed.

A woman sitting at a desk, reading a paper.


27 Aug


 “Woman must have her freedom, the fundamental freedom of choosing whether or not she will be a mother and how many children she will have. Regardless of what man’s attitude may be, that problem is hers — and before it can be his, it is hers alone. She goes through the vale of death alone, each time a babe is born. As it is the right neither of man nor the state to coerce her into this ordeal, so it is her right to decide whether she will endure it.” —Margaret Sanger

Margaret Sanger, born in 1879, was the founder of the birth control movement in the United States, as well as the organization Planned Parenthood. Her efforts led to landmark Supreme Court legislation legalizing birth control in the United States.

The sixth of eleven children, Margaret spent much of her youth helping raise her younger siblings. With financial help from her sisters, Margaret went to nursing training at White Plains Hospital and the Manhattan Ear and Eye Clinic. At the request of her father, she returned home to nurse her mother who died three years later, at age 50, of cervical cancer and tuberculosis. Her mother, Anne Higgins, went through 18 pregnancies in 22 years with 11 live births.

As a nurse, Margaret viewed more devastation that came with unwanted pregnancy. She saw the relation between poverty, uncontrolled fertility, high rates of maternal and infant mortality, and deaths from illegal, botched abortions. This, along with her mothers death, made Sanger an ardent feminist who believed in every woman’s right to avoid an unwanted pregnancy. Her life became dedicated to the cause of contraception access and education, working tirelessly to end laws against them.

In 1911, Margaret began to write frank articles on sex in the socialist magazine, The New York Call. The reviews were mixed with outrage and praise. She published her own magazine, for a short time, called The Woman Rebel. She was indicted for mailing materials advocating birth control, but the charges were eventually dropped in 1916. The next year, she opened the United States first birth control clinic in Brooklyn. She was arrested and charged as a ‘public nuisance’, spending 30 days in jail. She appealed to reinterpret the Comstock Act of 1873, a federal law which deemed all contraception education and devices obscene. Her efforts allowed doctors to begin prescribing contraception.

In 1921, she founded the American Birth Control League, the parent organization of what became Planned Parenthood. She died at age 86, in Tuscon, Arizona from congestive heart failure. It was a year after the greatest accomplishment in her 50 year career, the Supreme Court case Griswold vs. Connecticut which legalized birth control on grounds of ‘marital privacy.’

A Profile in Courage: Matilda Joslyn Gage

27 Aug

Matilda Joslyn Gage was born on March 25, 1826. She grew up in a abolitionist household that was part of the Underground Railroad. He parents were both supporters of liberal social reforms. Her father was a doctor and educated her at home for the first part of her childhood. She also learned from exposure to scientists and philosophers that were friends of her parents. When she was a little older, her parents decided that she need a more formal education so they sent her to the Clinton New York Liberal Institute.

Her schooling ended at 18 when she married businessman Henry Gage. They had four children and eventually settled in Fayetteville, New York. She and her husband were both liberal social reformers and allowed their home to be used as part of the Underground Railroad. Gage continued her own education. For example, she wanted to be able to read the original version of the Bible so she taught herself Hebrew. She also worked to further other social reforms such as temperance.

She began her fight for women’s suffrage in 1852 when she delivered a speech at the Third National Women’s Rights Convention in Syracuse. The speech focused on the accomplishments of women throughout history. It also talked about the need for women to escape the economic and legal restrictions put on women by society. She stressed this by using a parallel between women’s oppression and slavery. She helped found the National Woman Suffrage Association in 1869. She helped Susan B. Anthony in 1873, who had been arrested for trying to vote in New York, try to convince the jury of the worthiness of their cause. She even went before Congress in 1875 to testify in favor of a suffrage bill that was under consideration. When the bill did not pass, she wrote a protest. It was distributed at the next NWSA convention in 1876 and encouraged women to not participate in the upcoming continental celebrations because she claimed that the US was not a democracy but an unequal power-system controlled by men. This angered government officials and the sent police to shut down the convention, calling it an illegal assembly. Gage refused to stop the convention and said she would continue it from jail if necessary. In May of that year she decided to hand her post to Elizabeth Cady Stanton because she was the most well known suffragist and the time. She believed this would help the cause.

After this, she focused on furthering the cause of suffrage through writing. She became the editor of the NWSA newspaper National Citizen and Ballot Box. She wrote about suffrage, the treatment of female prisoners, prostitution, the plight of Native Americans, and the role of Christianity in the oppression of women. These writings became the basis of many NWSA policies. She began writing a in 1881. She also helped write a revised version of the Bible called The Women’s Bible. She also wrote a book called Woman, Church, and State that discussed the oppression of women by the Christian Church.

In 1889, the NWSA merged with the AWSS to created the National-American Woman Suffrage Association. She thought the NWSA was making too many ideological compromises in this merger. She launched her own organization called the Women’s National Liberal Union. They supported things like the abolition of prayer in public schools, prison reform, and the creation of labor unions.

Many other member of the suffrage movement did not approve of her actions and felt they hurt the cause. They publically condemned her efforts and even removed all references of to her from the fourth volume of the History of Woman Suffrage. This caused her to be ignored by many later historians.

She was forced to retire from reform activities in her later years because of her declining health. She moved to Chicago to live with her daughter. She died on March 18, 1898 of a brain embolism. She was a significant leader in the fight for not only women’s rights but other social reforms her whole life.