Today is the 131st anniversary of the birth of Alice Paul, the main activist who saw the struggle for the right to vote for American Women to its victorious conclusion in the 19th Amendment ratified on August 18th 1920.
Ken Burns did a wonderful documentary on this struggle: Not for Ourselves Alone, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, who fought the long battle until Alice Paul, younger and just as determined could take up the standard and see it through.
It is astonishing to me, a modern woman, to watch programs like the pubs series, Women and Power, which is the same battle fought in England for suffrage, and to read and hear claims by allegedly intelligent men that woman are 1. Not rational 2.too weak and would be debilitated by education and political thought (while some women worked 14 hours a day in the "Satanic Mills" that were making them rich. Of course, none of these arguments were based on any true belief, they were merely useful cliche's to build a wall to keep women out of power and subjugated to the economic and political control of men. Maybe they did believe it, I don't know, but I do know that no one gives up territory without a struggle and I am grateful to those women who fought that struggle so that I could vote, get a college education, support myself and my daughter, and find equal protection under the law.
Happy Birthday Alice Paul and that you from my heart!