Iron Jawed Angels

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Alesha K. McCarty

Title: Summary, Reaction, and Analysis Paper #1: Iron-Jawed Angels

Iron-Jawed Angels is a film which portrays the 1920’s women’s suffrage movement. They led the struggle for the passage of the 19th amendment to the constitution which gave women the right to vote. Alice Paul and Lucy Burns along with other strong women 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 two characters take precedent in being organizational leaders in the women’s movement Alice Paul and Lucy Burns. Paul, (January 11, 1885 to July 9, 1977), was an American suffragist leader and 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, another major character in the movie, 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. 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...
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