[saymaListserv] Fw: film
jewen at bellsouth.net
Tue Aug 24 10:04:54 JEST 2004
Some Friends are inclined to treat the Women's Equality Movement as "Civil
Rights Light". Read below, and if you have HBO tune in the movie, about what
women have suffered in this country alone in order to be treated as people
and not as property.
Women's Equalilty Day is August 26, the anniversary of the 1920 amendment to
the Constitution which gave women the right to vote in every state of the
United States of America. On November 2, 1920, women voted for the first
time. My grandmother was 33 years old when she cast her ballot that day, the
first woman in our family ever to do so. It was 1976 before various states
passed legislation to nullify some chattel laws that remained in force
despite the amendment. And since the ERA never passed, there are still some
laws affecting women's civil rights that never were overturned. This is not
ancient history, Friends, any more than racial discrimination became ancient
history with the passage of the 14th and 15th amendments. It is a start.
Let us take a moment on August 26 to hold in loving memory all the women who
have made our own rights possible and hold in the Light the millions of
women who are still without theirs.
Julia Parker Ewen
(There was also a series aired a number of years back on Masterpiece Theater
(PBS) called "Shoulder to Shoulder" about the Pankhurst sisters and the
Suffragette Movement in England, which secured civil rights for women 20
years before American women got theirs. We were/are not necessarily the
front runners in this international movement which continues worldwide
----- Original Message -----
From: "Nancy Whitt" <nmwhitt at samford.edu>
To: <AnnMarie.DeLathouder at target.com>
Sent: Tuesday, August 24, 2004 8:45 AM
> The film mentioned here, "Iron Jawed Angels," is scheduled to premier
> on HBO on Sunday, February 15, at 9:30 pm. The VHS and DVD of the film
> will be released on September 7, and will be available for purchase.
> This from my friend who said to me "why should I vote" until she saw a
> certain movie.....this is her story. Please share it. Linda
> A short history lesson on the privilege of voting...
> The women were innocent and defenseless. 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 Burn, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head
> and left 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. 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
> sa! y. 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
> HBO will run the movie periodically before releasing it on video and
> I wish all history; social studies and government teachers would
> include the movie in their curriculum. I w! ant it shown on Bunko 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 a 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
> 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
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