Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Election musings

No, this is NOT about the current candidates.

I am currently serving as President of my local League of Women Voters. We are struggling a bit to find ways to reach out to the community, to let them know we exist, and to get more people involved in the issues that the League focuses on -- mainly, getting more people involved in the governing of our nation. Educating individuals on issues in a completely non-biased, non-partisan way. Assisting people to register and vote. Championing fairness in the process.

So we got the idea of showing movies which would follow those themes, and inviting the world. The first movie we are going to show is Iron Jawed Angels, an HBO film made in 2004, starring Hillary Swank and Anjelica Huston. I previewed it yesterday, and WOW was it powerful.

I knew that it wasn't too many years ago that women got the vote. But I never really knew HOW the recognition of that right was brought about. I had never heard the name Alice Paul, and certainly had no idea what she went through and what the other women who worked with her went through, in order to ensure that I would be able to nonchalantly walk into a voting booth and cast my vote.

These women risked everything - up to and including their lives - to get the male political hierarchy to admit that women were human and had the ability to think about, and have an opinion about, anything governmental. They were beat up. They were ridiculed. They were arrested, imprisoned, and tortured. They were ostracized by their husbands, their children were taken away from them. Yet they persevered, and eventually, they won.

And today we just take it for granted, that every adult citizen in this nation gets a vote. And that's a grand thing, really, that's how it should be. But I think a reminder of the struggle is a good thing, too. Men have voted for president 52 times in the history of this country, women only 22.

Please give a word or thought or prayer of thanks to Alice Paul. To Lucy Burns. To Inez Milholland. To Ruza Wenclawska. To Emily Leighton. To all the other women who fought, suffered, and didn't give up. And then VOTE. Vote in every election your community, state, and country ever holds.

October 28, 7:00 at Northwestern Health Sciences University will be the showing of the film. I will be leading a discussion afterwards. If you would like to join us, let me know and I will send you all the details.

No comments:

Blog Archive