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.'
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.
They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cell mate Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits described the guards grabbing, dragging, beating , choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.
This unfolded the "Night of Terror" on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson tot he 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?
Here the author refers to a movie depicting the women suffrage movement and many of the above. Here is some of what she wrote:
It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies to 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."
Ok, so, are you motivated to pick up were these women left off? Luckily we don't have to, all we have to do is drive to the local school and pull back a dusty curtain in a tiny cubicle. I know that cubicle can be daunting (will my big butt fit in there? luckily for me, I get to vote via US Mail!), but the question is: is getting to that cubicle worth it? A question you can only answer for yourself.