alice paul: quaker, jersey farm girl born in 1885.  her vision: ordinary men and women treated equal in society.  she came from a family who saw her deserving this equality and supported her higher education (b.a. in biology, m.a. in sociology) and venture to study social work in england. it was there that she traded in her status as peaceful suffragist to militant suffragist, when she met emmeline pankhurst,

a suffragist who believed that prayers, petitions and patience were not enough so she led a group of women (including her daughters) to set fires, break windows and go on hunger strikes in order to raise awareness that women needed an equal voice. and then alice returned to america, to work on her phd in economics

but she took her “training” from england and joined the National American Women’s Suffragist Association.  and by deeds not words, fought against the American government. with lucy burns and inez millholland. they held a parade during woodrow wilson’s inauguration in which the police stood by as they were assaulted, verbally and physically. but people took note.

inez milholland: the opening of the parade

refusing to see wilson and the democratic party as allies, paul broke away from NAWSA and formed the National Women’s Party.  and used the tactics up her sleeve.  beginning with picketing the white house. continuing in all-weather and refusing to back down when WWI began. she even dared to call the president

the final picket message

Kaiser Wilson. of course, this led to an arrest…

their charge: obstructing traffic

their penalty: occoquan workhouse prison

their tactic: hunger strike, which leaked to the press and demanded they be released.

and yes, people paid attention to the issue at hand. which went to congress and the amendment in which all women could vote passed because a senator, at the last-minute, received a telegram from his mother urging him to “be a good boy and do the right thing.”

“in oranges and women courage is often mistaken for insanity.” one of the best lines from the movie iron jawed angels.  i love showing it to the girls…its part of what i catergorize under “sheree skills.”  i show it because it is so inspiring. i show it because we need to be reminded of who has gone before us, who has paved the road we now walk, especially as women.  especially women who have had their voice trampled by domestic violence. they love it.

i never tire of it.

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