Celebrating Women’s History Month: March 3

3 Mar

Honoring Alice Paul

Today I would like to honor and pay tribute to Alice Paul and all of those women that fought for the right to vote for women, the passing of the 19th amendment.  On February 3, 1913, Woodrow Wilson was inaugurated  as the President of the United States, yet the country’s attention was turned to the Suffragist Parade organized by Alice Paul and Lucy Burns.  The parade of suffragists were met with angry protesters that yelled epithets and threw cigars and other objects at the suffragists.  Of course, the police did nothing to protect the women in the parade.  Of course, the irony is that when Wilson had his stroke in 1919, it was his wife, Edith Bolling Galt Wilson, who was running the country.

Alice Paul focused all of her energies and dedicated her life to fighting for equal rights for women. Paul had organized several non-violent protests against President Wilson and picketed the White House. Paul and others were convicted and incarcerated at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia and the District of Columbia Jail. In a protest of the conditions in Occoquan, Paul went on a hunger strike, which led to her being moved to the prison’s psychiatric ward and force-fed raw eggs through a feeding tube. For those of you that have not seen it, I would recommend seeing Iron Jawed Angles. While the movie is not perfect, it does show what these women like Alice Paul had to endure.  It should also be noted that Alice Paul was the original author of a proposed Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which is now undergoing a revival. One can only hope it will finally pass. Today, I salute Alice Paul.

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