While You're at


vote for the bible!

God bless all the

"Esther's" rising up!


A Message:

 for all women     

This is the story  of our Grandmothers and

Great-grandmothers; they lived only 90 years  ago.

Remember, it was not  until 1920  that women  were

granted the right to go to the polls and vote.

The women were innocent  and defenseless, but they

were jailed nonetheless for picketing the White House,

 carrying signs asking for the vote.

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.'

(Lucy Burns)
They beat Lucy  Burns, chained her hands to the

cell bars above her head and left her  hanging for

the night, bleeding and gasping for air.

(Dora Lewis)
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.

(Alice Paul)
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 say.  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 again.'

HBO  released the movie on video and DVD .

I wish all history, social studies and  government

teachers would include the movie in their curriculum

I want  it shown on Bunco 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 refuse. 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  insanity.'

Please, if you are so inclined, pass this on to  

all the women you know.
We need to get out and vote and use this  right that

 was fought so hard for by these very  courageous

women. Whether you vote democratic, republican or

independent party - remember to vote.
History is being made.