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I received the following in my e-mail this morning.  My mother sent it to me.  I love my mother, but I'm not usually the "Get Out The Vote" Crusader type.  Just ask my husband.  Then I read this.  It came from one of the members of my church back in my home ward.  I'll warn you ahead of time, much of it is disturbing to read.  It came with pictures, but they wouldn't transfer over.  Please, read this and, when you're done, think about voting.  Think about what our ancestors and ancestresses went through so that we would have that sacred right.  The title comes from one of the signs these courageous ladies were carrying during their struggle.












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This is the true story of  our
Mothers and Grandmothers who lived only 90  years ago.





Remember, it  was not until
1920











that women were
 granted the right to go to the polls and vote.





The women were  innocent and
defenseless, but they were jailed nonetheless for picketing the  White House,
carrying signs asking for the  vote.





And by the end  of the night, they were
barely alive. Forty prison guards wielding clubs and  their warden's blessing
went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly  convicted of 'obstructing
sidewalk traffic.' 





They 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.





They hurled  Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her
head against an iron bed and knocked  her out cold. Her cell mate, Alice Cosu,
thought Lewis was dead and suffered a  heart attack. Additional affidavits
describe the guards grabbing, dragging,  beating, choking, slamming, pinching,
twisting and kicking the  women.










Thus unfolded
the



'Night of
 Terror' on Nov. 15, 1917



, when the  warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia
ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the
 suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's
 White House for the right to vote.






For weeks, the  women's only water came from an open
pail. Their food–all of it colorless  slop–was infested with worms.



When one of the  leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a
hunger strike, they tied her to a chair,  forced a tube down her throat and
poured liquid into her until she vomited.  She was tortured like this for weeks
until word was smuggled out to the  press. 












So,  refresh MY memory. Some women won't vote this
year because






Why, exactly?  We have carpool duties? We have to get
to work? Our vote doesn't matter? It's  raining?





Last  week, I went to a sparsely
attended screening of HBO's new movie 'Iron Jawed  Angels.' It is a graphic
depiction of the battle these women waged so that I  could pull the curtain at
the polling booth and have my say. I am ashamed to  say I needed the
reminder.





All  these years later, voter registration is still
my passion. But  the actual act of  voting had become
less personal for me, more rote. Frankly, voting often felt  more like an
obligation than a privilege. Sometimes it was  inconvenient. 



My friend  Wendy, who is my age and studied women's
history, saw the HBO movie, too. When  she stopped by my desk to talk about
it, she looked angry. She  was–with herself. 'One thought kept coming back to
me as I watched that  movie,' she said.'What would those women think of the way
I use, or don't  use,






my right to  vote? All of us take it for granted now,
not just younger women, but those of  us who did seek to learn.' The right to
vote, she said, had become valuable to  her 'all over again.'
 
 HBO
released the movie on video and  DVD . I wish all history, social studies and
government teachers would include  the movie in their curriculum I want it shown
on Bunco/Bingo night, too, and  anywhere else women gather. I realize this isn't
our usual idea of  socializing, but  we are not
voting in the numbers that we should be, and I think a little shock  therapy is
in order.









It is jarring  to watch Woodrow Wilson and his
cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to  declare Alice Paul insane so that she
could be permanently institutionalized.  And it is inspiring to watch the doctor
refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he  said, and brave. That didn't make her
crazy. 

The doctor  admonished the men: 'Courage in women is often
mistaken for  insanity.' 

Please, if you are so inclined, pass this  on
to all the women you know.  We need to get out and vote and use this  right that
was fought so hard for by these very courageous women. Whether you  vote
democratic, republican or independent party – remember to  vote.

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