Monday, October 25, 2010

Election Day – Anniversary of Persons

It's Election Day in Ontario.

I have voted in every election since I have turned 18. It is my right – and my duty – to learn what I can and vote with what my heart is telling me.

It angers me people don’t vote, although I have stopped voicing this opinion to those around me.

People have to do what they feel is important but the reasons for not voting – not knowing who is running and what they stand for – doesn’t fly particularly now we have the Internet and a quick search would give you everything you need to know.

Now there is another reason, particularly for women, to take the opportunity to vote.

I received this email from my aunt this morning. It’s a powerful message that shows why we need to exercise our right and vote.

As a note, I do not know the validity of this email. However, it's a fact women stood up and fought for our right to be a person and to vote. I think these women, and women like them, would be horrified to know people are choosing not to vote today due to laziness.

Anniversary As Persons (WOMEN) – forwarded email
This is the story of women who were ground-breakers. These brave women from the early 1900's made all the difference in the lives we live today.

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 when, in North America , women picketed in front of the White House, carrying signs asking for the vote, they were jailed.

And by the end of the first night in jail, those women 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.'

(Lucy Burns)
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.

(Dora Lewis)
They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her
head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate,
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.

(Alice Paul)
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.

All women who have ever voted, have ever owned property, have ever enjoyed equal rights need to remember that women's rights had to be fought for in Canada as well.

Do our daughters and our sisters know the price that was paid to earn rights for women here, in North America ?

2010 is the 81th Anniversary of the Persons Case in Canada ,
which finally declared women in Canada to be Persons!

Please, if you are so inclined, pass this on to all the women you know, so that we remember to celebrate the rights we enjoy.

"Knowledge is Freedom: hide it, and it withers; share it, and it blooms" (P. Hill)

Photo is of Alice Paul and was attached in the email. I do not know who to credit either the email or the photo. But thank you to that person.


Mundanemomma said...

Thank you to those wonderful women. And thank you for posting this and reminding us to be thankful and appreciate those who have fought for our rights.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reminder and the lessons. I tend to forget and it's important not to remember those who fought for our rights.

Betty said...

Thanks for reminding everyone Lisa.

So, for those that didn't vote, you have nothing to complain about.

Stephanie K said...

I did my civic duty. I took advantage of my rights and I voted yesterday. I held up my end of the bargain. Now I can freely moan and complain when the government doesn't hold up their end of the bargain.
Pessimist or realist?