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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Women's right mark special anniversary in Auguust

Ninety years ago, American women earned the right to vote after waging a decades-long fight. The names of the heroes of that campaign rightly still resonate today, among them: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Lucy Burns, Dora Lewis and the immortal Alice Paul.

President Woodrow Wilson was not an immediate fan of women having the right to vote. However, through what amounted to sheer bravery on the part of women from the Suffrage Movement, most notably women like Burns, Lewis and Paul, he did come around. Consequently, in 1920, a movement that was waged for the better part of a century came full circle and realized victory in passage of the 19th Amendment.

These women were not sunshine warriors in this struggle, as they dealt with public ridicule, in some quarters, harassment, beatings, even physical torture by the U.S. Government to achieve this win.

There are religious implications to the Suffrage Movement because, in the United States (as opposed to some other countries at the time), women waged a campaign of non-violence to win these rights. And, theirs is a fight directly tied to the human spirit and dignity.

Not only should every woman pause to remember, this month, about the work of these suffragettes, but every American. Theirs was a cause that transformed American history and, indeed, America.

Captions: 1. Suffragettes protest, 2. Alice Paul, and 3. Lucy Burns

Editor's Note: The Alice Paul Institute is truly a wonderful institution, and I heartily suggest readers bookmark that site.

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