It’s Time to Pay Back Alice Paul

Ninety years ago today, women got the right to vote. Here’s the text of the 19th amendment, which was ratified on August 18, 1920, by the Tennessee General Assembly: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” Tennessee was the thirty-sixth state to ratify, giving the amendment the requisite approval of three-fourths of the states; the amendment passed because 24 year-old legislator Harry Burn changed his vote, at the insistence of his elderly mother.

Please buy, rent or borrow Iron Jawed Angels, watch it and get everyone you know especially young women and girls to watch it – get it to the schools.

By Page Gardner

Today, Equality Day, marks the 90th anniversary of the certification of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. A lot has changed in ninety years, but one fact remains more salient than most: women are a political force to be reckoned with in this country.

This is particularly true of unmarried women — single, divorced, widowed or separated – who make up one of the fastest growing demographics in the country and now comprise 25 percent of the eligible voting population–that’s almost 51 million women. While unmarried women turned out in record numbers in 2008, they are still underrepresented and under-registered. In 2008, of the nearly 51 million unmarried women who were eligible to register to vote, only 35 million did register. That means 16 million women who could have voted did not even register.

And those numbers are not expected to improve for the 2010 elections. In the past, on average only 40% of unmarried women voted in midterm elections, compared to almost 60% in the 2008 presidential election–this means that come November, more than 30 million unmarried women who could be voting might not.

90 years ago, women from all walks of life fought hard to give a voice to the voiceless and ensure that there was room for more views at the political table. Today, we need to fight to make sure everyone who has a voice is using it and that those who can pull up a chair to that table are doing so. The stakes are too high to let millions of American women stay silent and sit this election out.

Women paid dearly for the right to vote. Alice Paul was beaten, imprisoned and brutally forced-fed by her jailers for daring to demand American women should have the vote. But the courage and persistence of Paul and her fellow suffragettes paid off ninety years ago today with the certification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, giving women their political equality. Today, even though women turnout at equal or great numbers than men on election day, more than one in four American women is still not registered to vote. If you’re one of them, thank Alice Paul today by visiting Women’s Voices. Women’s Vote website and registering to vote.

If you are already registered, talk to five women you know about registering to vote. It’s quick, it’s free and it’s important.

A sobering history lesson

clip_image001This is the story of women who were ground-breakers. These brave women from the early 1900s made all the difference in the lives we live today. Remember, it was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote.The women were innocent and defenceless, but when, in North America, women picketed in front of the White House, carrying signs asking for the vote, they were jailed.And by the end of the first night in jail, those women 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 leftclip_image002 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.                                                                                                                                                   clip_image003 



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.All women who have ever voted, have ever owned property, have ever enjoyed equal rights need to remember that women’s rights had to be fought for in Canada as well.  Do our daughters and our sisters know the price that was paid to earn rights for women here, in North America ?   2009 is the 80th Anniversary of the Persons Case in Canada, which finally declared women in Canada to be Persons!
Please, if you are so inclined, pass this on to all the women you know, so that we remember to celebrate the rights we enjoy.“Factual Knowledge is Freedom: hide it, and it withers; share it, and it blooms” P. Hill. 

Tell NOW how you feel – we did!

Another Rant by: BettyJean Kling w/ comment by LindaA1

Tell NOW how you feel – tell them today we did!


RE: “Because he has asked for our advice as he shapes his administration, and we have leadership in both houses of Congress in support of women’s rights, we have the chance of a lifetime. Just think what we might accomplish for women”.
With all due respect, calling for passage of the ERA is what I would call ambitious, anything less is exactly as you called it just for starters and quite frankly that is just not good enough. If that is best you and the Obama team have come up with – it is far short of what is due American women. Moreover, it is insulting to suggest that this is our ‘chance in a time’ and yet have not even asked for their support for a Constitutional Amendment for Women’s Rights!

What were you thinking Kim? You stated “Just think what we might accomplish for women” I have- but have you? I am not willing to wait years while we loose more and more rights just to be equal to men- why are you willing to wait one more day? And how dare you sign this letter?

 “For equality,

Kim A. Gandy”

For whose equality? Certainly not women’s you haven’t even broached that subject!


Subject: The chance of a lifetime
Date: Thu, 15 Jan 2009 10:27:56 -0500


Dear Member,

You can help NOW implement an ambitious women’s rights agenda for this first   year of the Obama administration. Because he has asked for our advice as he shapes his administration, and we have leadership in both houses of Congress in support of women’s rights, we have the chance of a lifetime. Just think what we might accomplish for women. For starters:

  • Improving the Family and Medical Leave Act to include more workers and begin to implement paid leave.
  • Passing equal pay laws that have real teeth.
  • Strengthening and expanding the Violence Against Women Act.
  • Ensuring health care for all (universal, single-payer, of course!)


NOW has been actively engaged with President-elect Obama’s transition team on a variety of issues affecting the well-being of women and their families. Your contribution will help us craft new legislative strategies and expand the expertise and capacity of our policy and communications staff to ensure that your efforts and ours are carried forward to victory.
We all worked hard to help elect one of the most progressive governments in memory. I know that you’re committed to women’s equality, and you can help NOW be its strongest at this critical moment of opportunity and hope.


The time for hope is NOW.
The time for change is NOW.
And the time for equality is NOW.

I look forward to communicating with you throughout the year ahead about our successes, but we need your support to make that success possible. I’m excited about what we can accomplish together.

For equality,
Kim A. Gandy
NOW President

P.S. If you respond to this message with a contribution of $50 or more, I will send you a free copy of our popular 2009 Love Your Body wall calendar. It’s a great way to enjoy this new year for women’s rights.


Just think what we might accomplish for women?  If we women finally tell NOW to pound salt and start standing up for ourselves, we might actually accomplish much like let’s say demanding and getting an Equal Rights Amendment added to The Constitution . NOW is not a national organization for women- it is an organization for the organization. What have they done for the rest of us lately?


LindaA1 said it right: Thank you LindaA1

“Last week, I watched the film “Stone Jawed Angels” with HIllary Swank about Alice Paul, Lucy Burns and the other brave women who endured public beatings by men, prison and torture including forced feedings at the direct hands of the Woodrow Wilson administration – all to gain the right for women to vote in this country. The United States of America lagged behind many other countries in giving women this simple right.


As soon as the amendment passed, Alice Paul wrote the first Equal Rights for Women Amendment – ALMOST 90 YEARS AGO!


And here we sit. Still making 78 cents on the dollar compared to men. Still begging to be treated like equal human beings.


And we honor Rachel Maddow? A sell-out to women? And we do not call out Steinem, Jong, Gandy, Ensler and particularly Robin Morgan for their horrendous sexist attacks on other women? They have some explaining to do.


We need new leadership. We need a new “it’s ours, we’re taking it, get used to it” approach. We need Alice Paul and Lucy Burns.


Just think what we might accomplish for women if we start acting like those women who wrote the original amendment and fought for it instead of themselves and a seat at politician’s tables and in front of media cameras! Let’s go girls!



One of my subscribers wrote this piece just after Hillary suspended her campaign in June. I used it in several newsletters since, it will no doubt have a prominent place in my book and it seems its time to use it again. Thank you Jamie for a piece I hope will go down in History as our call to action- it is now up to us not Hillary to rise!



“We can’t worry about what Hillary might be thinking or what her strategy is.  18 million voters voted for her to be our nominee because she is the best candidate available and I know she would beat McCain in November if she was our nominee.  Her strategy may be to play along with the Party and withhold her donors and her delegates until they cry uncle and realize they can’t win (or survive for that matter) without her.  Who knows? 


All I know is that we had a stellar candidate, we voted for her in droves, and the DNC hi-jacked the voters intent.  My mission is to make sure that NEVER happens again and to avoid the November train wreck if possible by getting them to come to their senses before it’s too late.  If we fail, we fail.  That’s no reason to not try, or to give up before we have given it our best shot.


Alice Paul and those suffragettes before her worked for 50 years before their time came to achieve their goal that got us the vote.  We are carrying on the fight that was started by the women’s rights movement in the 70’s so we are at 38 years and counting.  Had the suffragettes given up at the 38 year mark, we might not even be having this conversation.


You can bet that Hillary will serve if we stand up and prove that we will not be denied our candidate.  She has led us for many months now.  It’s time to stand up and lead ourselves.  She is not our mother, or our “messiah”.  She is our candidate.  She may or may not still be seeking the position, but if drafted she will certainly run, and if elected she will unquestionably and brilliantly serve.


The problem that we face here is that the American people have become disimpassioned about politics.  We lack the political will to fight for what we believe in anymore.  Can you imagine where we’d be if the citizens of the 13 colonies had become comfortable and content in their plantation houses and waved away those crazy lunatics up in Philadelphia who were advocating rebellion against King George because they didn’t like that they were being taxed without representation? 


And you are one of the fighters.  You have been dedicated throughout this campaign.  You cannot give up this fight because you perceive that Hillary is not acting the way you think she should.  This is not her fight now, it is our fight and if she has not taught us that, then she has not truly inspired us and the light will go out when Hillary goes away.  That is not how progress is made. 


Hillary has rekindled a flame in the hearts of people across this nation.  She is stepping back to see if it is going to flicker and die, or grow brighter and ignite a fire.  Whichever it is….is up to YOU.