Iron Jawed Angels

Topics: Women's suffrage, Suffragette, Suffrage Pages: 6 (2588 words) Published: June 12, 2011
Title: Summary, Reaction, and Analysis Paper #1: Iron-Jawed Angels Iron Jawed Angels is a story of two women fighting for women’s rights. They led the struggle for the passage of the 19th amendment to the constitution which gave women the right to vote. These two women along with others petitioned, campaigned, and picketed to publicize the issue. After being arrested for “traffic violations” a group of women spent time in Occoquan Workhouse. Here they went on a hunger strike to protest being imprisoned for demanding equal voting rights. After not eating the prisoners had to be force fed, here they earned the nickname “iron jawed angels.” This became a headline in the news and ultimately forced Woodrow Wilson, the president, to give in to their demand of the 19th amendment. There are many characters that support the role of promoting and achieving women’s rights throughout this movie; however three characters take precedent in being organizational leaders in the women’s movement. Alice Paul (January 11, 1885 to July 9, 1977), an American suffragist leader and an American feminist who risked her life to fight for women’s citizenship and the right to vote. Alice Paul joined the National American Woman Suffrage Association and was appointed Chairwoman of their Congressional Committee in Washington, DC after she graduated from Pennsylvania. Paul worked with Lucy Burns against conservative forces in order to pass the 19th amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Paul also organized a parade on President Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration day, while encountering opposition from the old guard of the National American Women’s Suffrage Association, Carrie Chapman Catt. In January 1917, the NWP staged the first political protest to picket the White House. Paul was arrested for “interfering with traffic” and placed in jail at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia; there she went on a hunger strike, and had to be force-fed. In January 1918, Wilson announced that women’s suffrage was urgently needed as a “war measure”, and strongly urged Congress to pass legislation. Finally in 1920 she achieved the passing of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution allowing women to vote. Alice Paul was the original author of a proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution in 1923. Alice Paul leaves behind not only a legacy, but a hope for women who are still suffering. Lucy Burns (July 28, 1879 to December 22, 1966) an American Suffragist and woman’s rights advocate. Burns was a close friend of Alice Paul, and together they ultimately formed the National Woman’s Party. Both joined the National American Women Suffrage Association as leaders of its Congressional Committee. Burns was also elected as an executive member of the Congressional Union of the National American Women Suffrage Association. She then went to San Francisco, California with suffragist Rose Winslow to organize women in the 9 different states where women had a right to vote. In 1915 Burns became the editor of the Congressional Union’s newspaper The Suffragist. Burns worked in virtually every aspect of the organization such as; chief organizer, newspaper editor, lobby head, suffrage educator, architect of the banner campaign, teacher, orator , rallying force, and symbol of the NWP. Burns was arrested while picketing the White House and was sent to Occoquan Workhouse. Here she exercised more demonstrations such as a hunger strike. Burns also helped organize and circulate one of the first documents that defined the status of political prisoners. Burns endured what is remembered as the “Night of Terror” after the women of the United States gained the right to vote. Carrie Chapman Catt was a women’s suffrage leader who campaigned for the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution which gave U.S. women the right to vote in 1920. Catt served as president of the National American Women Suffrage Association and...
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