Sunday, March 18, 2012

Alice Paul

I just added a link to the Alice Paul Institute.

The quote below came in comments from an article on legislation working it's way through the Arizona legislature: giving bosses the power to monitor their female employees use of birth control products.

1920 women were granted the right to vote.
Woodrow Wilson and cronies tried to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. The doctor refused. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn't make her crazy.
The doctor said 'Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.'
The women were jailed for picketing the White House, asking for the vote.
By night, they were barely alive.
Forty prison guards wielding clubs with the warden's blessing,
went on a rampage against the 33 women convicted of
'obstructing sidewalk traffic.'
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.
Hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her
head against an iron bed and knocked her out. Cellmate,
Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack.
Affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging,
beating, choking, slamming, and kicking the women.
This 'Night of Terror' - Nov. 15, 1917
The warden ordered his guards to teach them a lesson because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right
to vote.
The women's only water came from an open pail. Their
food-- slop--wormy.
Alice Paul, on hunger strike, was tied to a chair, a tube down her throat pouring liquid in until she vomited. Tortured for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.

A reminder to women everywhere: we haven't had freedom [or our current level of freedom] for all that long. It may seem like a long time to you; many women seem to have forgotten just how hard it was, to be a women, less than 100 years ago [and still is in most of the world]
A woman who complained of her lot in life could be declared insane, and locked in an asylum for the rest of her life. As could any woman deemed immoral, or too eager for sex.
We can not rest, we must not take anything for granted. If we let the Republicans, the Tea Party, the readers of World Net Daily, Rush Limbaugh and his ilk,  continue on their way unchecked, our freedoms will be reversed. We will once more be only property, belonging first to our fathers, then to our husbands [or nearest male relative if we are 'unfortunate' enough to remain unmarried].
Don't let this happen.

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