• Lea Bishop

Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Women's Right to Vote:The 'Undesirable Militants' B


Women's right to vote - what a long, hard-won fight! On June 4, 2019, we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment which guarantees women the right to vote.

During the spring of 1917, President Wilson tried to ignore the women marching outside the White House clamoring for the right to vote. His view was that women didn't even want to vote, but he was so wrong! Women continued to march and even went on a railroad tour of the United States heralding the message of 'we just want to vote. Please help us. How long must women wait for liberty?

As the movement spread, hundreds of women were arrested, and many sent to prison. They were beaten, dragged down stairs, thrown across rooms, kicked, manacled, and forced to share dirty quarters and eat bug-infested food. But still they persisted in advancing their cause. They did not listen to popular opinion at the time that 'Girls aren't smart enough to make a big decision like this' or 'All you'll do is cancel out your husband's vote' or 'It's just too expensive to have this many voters'. Labelled a 'petticoat coup, they were described as 'undesirable militants' who were destorying the family unit.

On June 4, 1919 the U.S. Senate gallery was crowded with women and their supporters to watch the final vote on the Nineteenth Amendment. A 2-minute roaring applause ensured. After ratification by 36 states, women voted for the first time in the 1920 election.

The hard-won right to vote for women, but there were still many citizens that did not have the right to vote. It was not until 1965 with the Voting Rights Act that people of color were given the right to vote.

You can read more about this struggle to earn the right to vote by going to https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/06/most-dangerous-women-american-politics/590959/


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