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Women Were't Given the Vote. They Fought For It!

September 2, 2020

Last week the long-anticipated statue of American Suffragists Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Sojourner Truth was unveiled on the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment being signed into the U.S. Constitution on August 26, 1920. It was the first-ever statue in New York's Central Park depicting real women!

I've been interested for a long time in the Suffragists -- both the Americans and the more radical English reformers -- who fought with single-minded tenaciousness for decades for women's right to vote.

My favorite movie is Iron-Jawed Angels with Hillary Swank playing Alice Paul, the fierce, second-generation Suffragist who led the final battles for passage years after Susan B. Anthony, the amendment's "mother," was in her grave. 

So I thought I knew a lot -- about the history, the decades of leaders who took up the fight, the mockery and violence that thousands of women endured, and the complexities of racism entwined in the fight that split white and black women. But my understanding was just the tip of the iceberg.

I had no idea about the powers that fought so long and so bitterly to keep half of the population of an alleged Democracy disenfranchised. The real story, the WHOLE story is one of the most important stories in American history.  It is as essential to understanding who we are as is the American Civil War. And the bitter lessons that the struggle taught about political power are as relevant today as 100 years ago. 

I hope you will take the time to watch the outstanding, two-part PBS documentary, THE VOTE, which is worth every minute of your time and FREE onlline. 

 If you are an American citizen, it will deepen your understanding of the powerful forces and divisions that shape our country and will challenge you to think deeply about who "We the People" really are.

If you are a citizen of a another country, wondering what the heck is going on with the USA, it will help you understand why I believe the upcoming U.S. presidential election is the most important of my lifetime.

In a democracy, there is nothing more important than safe and fair elections that truly represent the will of ALL THE PEOPLE. 

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