Women, regardless of the fact that they refuse to think of themselves as feminists, owe so much to the feminists of old. To those women who were willing to stand up and risk life and limb, literally, to secure the rights that we women of today take for granted, the right to vote, to hold property in our own names, the right to have a pay check, to have a banking account, to live on our own. The women of the l
ate nineteenth and early twentieth century who fought for those rights, and secured those rights and helped to shape the Nineteenth Amendment are forever burned into our memories as the “Iron Jawed Angels”.
The suffragette Movement didn’t start out to get women the vote. It started in the Temperance and Abolitionist Movements. What got women like Susan B Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton working toward women’s rights was not being allowed to be seated as delegates in temperance and abolitionist conventions. At the Women’s Conventions in Seneca Falls, in 1848, women and men gathered together to draft the first real declaration of feminist grievances.
Women like Susan B Anthony, Lucretia Coffin Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Amelia Bloomer stood in the front lines in the beginning to birth this new movement, which saw, in its infancy a change in property laws, whereby women could inherit, control their own property and control their own money.
There was a split in the movement, however, between proponents who thought that giving the black man the vote was enough, and those that thought that it should be an all or nothing proposition – blacks, men and ALL women should have the right to vote. The 15th Amendment was not the sought after compromise. Women like Lucy Stone and Julia Ward Howe thought that once the black man had the vote that they would be more inclined to help women get the vote. This was not necessarily the case.
ghters”, Alice Paul and Lucy Burns saw the passage of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote, after President Wilson’s White House was picketed, repeatedly (among other things. The bad publicity surrounding Lucy Burns’ incarceration didn’t help either…)
These women stood up, misbehaved. Made noise. Some were married, had families, and came from money. Some did not and were not. They all did something incredible, though. They gave us something to believe in. Ourselves. They were the feminists that we can learn from and emulate. And strive to be.
Not bad for MisBehaving…