I received an e-mail the other day that contained a detailed account of Nov. 15, 1917. Do you know what happened on that night, dubbed the "Night of Terror"? I didn't either. I was clueless as it isn't a lesson I remember being taught in school. Let me enlighten you a little bit (or reiterate the facts if you already are ahead of me and know what I am talking about)...
Women were picketing the White House for the right to cast a vote in the election process and innocent and defenseless as they were, they were tossed in jail. It seems that men didn't want to change and allow women the right to their own opinions. On the night of November 15, 1917, the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists and by the end of the night forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing went on a rampage and the women were barely alive the next morning.
These woman suffered greatly in and effort to get their voices heard in the government. Their picket lines, their nights in jail, their sacrifices...it all added up to women being allowed the right to vote. To ME being allowed to vote. For MY voice to be heard.
Confession time: I wasn't going to vote this year. I don't believe in voting if I am not informed and I have had no interest at all in watching debates or reading about the issues. But this e-mail changed my tune. Who am I to tell those women that their suffering was for nothing? Who am I to cast aside the right that they fought so hard for me to have? I am nobody. But I am a nobody with a voice that can be heard through my vote. And so, I am catching up, my dear readers. Catching up on the issues. Catching up on the research. I am formulating my own opinion based upon what I know to be the facts of this election. I am standing on my own two feet and declaring my right to be heard in this country.
As I have said before, I usually don't figure out exactly what my heart's desire is or what my deep down opinion is until I start talking (or in this case writing) so in the coming weeks, as I try to sort through the issues, my posts may become political in nature at times. I promise to follow them up by light anecdotes and meaningless lists like you are already accustomed to but I need an outlet to figure out where my belief systems run...and I am afraid that if I start talking politics at home all the time, the family might mutiny!!!
So, here is me getting an inkling and acting upon it...and teaching my daughter a lesson in the process. I will be taking her to the polls with me on November 4th so that she can see that she has the power to make a difference, too. And maybe one day it will be her that I am out there voting for!!!
(Conferring over ratification [of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution] at [National Woman's Party] headquarters, Jackson Pl [ace] [ Washington , D.C. ]. L-R Mrs. Lawrence Lewis, Mrs. Abby Scott Baker, Anita Pollitzer, Alice Paul, Florence Boeckel, Mabel Vernon (standing, right))