Friday Videos: The Right to Vote Anniversary

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Two days ago marked exactly 89 years since women received the right to vote.  Considering that it took almost 150 years for women to get the same right that men had from the beginning (except for black men, that is), that isn’t all that long. But it’s far enough back in time that modern women have trouble conceiving of a time when women actually weren’t allowed to vote! I found a timeline on the National American Women Suffrage Association Collection page (of the Library of Congress) that paints an overview of the struggles women had to go through to get to August 26, 1920.

I can’t believe how hard it was to find a good video about the suffrage movement. Most of the hits I got were about some idiot going around trying to get petitions to end women’s right to vote. Funny, ha ha. I finally settled for this music video/trailer for the movie Iron Jawed Angels (starring Hilary Swank). My first reaction to the video was, Yeah, of course they try to make the movie look like it has a romance in it.  It doesn’t. But then I thought that mixing the images of suffragettes with a man and woman dancing wasn’t so off base after all. Because one of the things that women struggled with in those days was how to balance romance with feminism. Wait a minute! Don’t we still suffer from that problem?

Anyway, enjoy the video (I like the music anyway) and if you get a chance, watch the movie. It’s a rare representation of what our foremothers went through.

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Ellen Keim

Ellen is a freelance writer, essayist and copy editor, living with three cats and a husband in Columbus, OH.

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