Friday, October 27, 2006

A Must Read

With Elections a week from Tuesday, this is a must read.

I am going to take a liberty that I hope is not illegal.
I have included all the names and etc. that I have,
that is connected to this article that I recieved about
a year ago. It was sent out as an email to tell women
about a HBO show that was coming on. It is long,
but should be read by every woman.

Here it is: Iron Jawed Angels
by Kathryn Edwards, Professor of Biology,
Kenyon College
The women were innocent and defenseless. And by
the end of the night, they were barely alive. Forty
prison guards wielding clubs and with 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 November 15, 1917 (a mere 89 years
ago), 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, AlicePaul, 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?

This year, I went to a sparsely attended screening
of HBO's new movie.
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. 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
will be releasing the movie on video and DVD.

I wish all history, social studies and government
teachers would include the movie in their curriculum.
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 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.

_____________________________________________________________________Karen Karen Bertroch, Community Resource Director
at the Wahkiakum County
Community Foundation in Cathlamet,
Washington and Senior Consultant at Faith
Leadership Consulting at Phones: Cathlamet
office is (360)795-8805 and cell phone
is (206) 510-6632.

For the love of your country...VOTE!!
go here for more...


LucilleNT said...

Thank you, great article and I do VOTE, a pleasure to pass this on to others too.

Anonymous said...

I KNOW when your first time was...

God's Helper said...

To my way of thinking there is no excuse NOT to vote. Bill and I both voted tonight. We will mail in our ballets tomorrow. Now how simple is that?? I agree, we need to scream VOTE from the rooftops. Everyone should excerice that right!

Thailand Gal said...

Answer to your question.. over my way. :)


Thailand Gal

tumblewords said...

It surprises me that today's people assume women gained automatic rights with the Independence. I often wonder why countries who want democracy and freedom can't get it on their own. We had to work for every step of ours and if we're not more observant, we'll be moving backward.

kismet said...

Mailed my ballot this am. thanks for getting the word out to others tho. I will be referring your website to my daughters :)