Friday, August 13, 2010

Women Suffrage - 90 years old. I should look so good

For almost a hundred years women tried to achieve the right to vote in the United States. From 1820 to 1920 fearless, tireless, and organized women took on stereotypes, humiliation and in some cases incarceration (500 were illegally arrested and 168 were jailed) on their quest to have their wants taken into account.

Unfortunately, there are people in the United States that don't know the term women suffrage. In fact, when asked (by The Man Show of all people), many people (men and women) were willing to sign a petition to end womens suffrage. Basically to repeal the 19th amendment which guarantees women the right to vote. These people unknowingly were ready to sign away our right to vote. Most had never heard of the term womens suffrage. Sad.

The first convention in support for a woman's right to vote was held in 1848 at Seneca Falls, New York. It took 72 more years before women were allowed to vote nationwide. Women like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth and Carrie Chapman Catt worked tirelessly for the right to make their wants and needs known by Congress through the vote.

There were states that gave women the right to vote before 1920. Wyoming (1869), Utah (1870, repeals it in 1887, regains it in 1895) , and Idaho (1896) lead the way. Many states followed but not enough to ratify it.

Our rights seem so fragile at times. Sometimes I believe that we should all be reminded that there was a time when as women we would not have been afforded the same rights and citizenship as men.

August 26th is the 90th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment. I'd like to sincerely thank all those women of conviction for their hard work. Because of them I have a place and a voice at the polls.


PS: the postcards above were collected by the leading suffragette in Texas; Minnie Fisher Cunningham.


  1. I remember reading about the suffragettes when I was at school. The way they were treated when in custody - force fed when on hunger strikes etc was appaling!

    Like you, I am also grateful for their efforts. There are still some countries in the world where women are treated as possessions, and I am so glad I don't live in one of those places.

    Did you know some Australian women (in the state of SA) were granted the right to vote as early as 1861? Nationwide, women gained the vote in 1902 and, in the state of TAS, the right to run for office as early as 1902 too.

  2. When women got the right to vote America began its slow downhill descent into obscurity and chaos. Cheers Michele!!

  3. Matt-Man's comment is so disgustingly misogynistic that I forgot what I was going to say.

  4. And what has been the end result of women having the right to vote? Sarah Palin. How that work out for us?

    LOL .. I'm kidding, I'm kidding. I kid because I care.

    Anyway, our rights are fragile. In fact, right now there are people, elected officials even, who are questioning whether or not Muslims are covered under the 1st amendment.

  5. Jan, I was just kidding. Oy. Chers!!

  6. I agreee with you! The right to vote is a very important right.


  7. I never really thought about the fact there would be people who don't know the term. Part of me is very sad, the other part is happy that it's far enough in our past that women expect nothing less than the rights we now enjoy.

  8. Where I work, the museum has an amazing exhibit called Liberty and Justice for All. It has a wonderful section about women's suffrage. I really think you need to come visit me. Or I need to visit you. Or something. You come here. You can visit the Benson Ford Research Center.

  9. Best suffrage quote ever, from Mary Poppins song "Sister Suffragette":

    Tho' we adore men
    We agree that as a group
    They're rawther stoo-pid.

  10. Having grown up basically being able to do any damn thing a man can do, I find it hard to even imagine what these poor women had to endure. I am the first one to butt heads with asshole sexists men (like my late FIL) who still don't get it.

  11. I love this! Oo, maybe I'll be inspired to write a suffrage salute too. Would you mind? I'd give you credit. And Unmitigated's MAry Poppins line would have to be included!

  12. Love love love love this.

    Well done.

    I wrote a sufferagette-based post recently as well, though I hadn't realised that the movement was 90 years old.

    I think they just spoke to me through my fingers...

    Which is odd, and a little bit creepy if you think about it.

    Anyway, great post.

    - B x