It might be hard to believe it but it’s been less than 100 years since women have had the right to vote in the United States and England.
The battle for women’s suffrage took over 70 years. The first meeting to organize in the U.S. occurred in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York. The goal was to educate the public about women’s rights with the right to vote being at the top of the list. Without this, women were second class citizens.
As you might expect, those who opposed women’s rights portrayed those who wanted them as childish, selfish, ugly, and unlovable.
Their poor husbands and children! Why would they worry their silly little heads about wanting equality?
The long suffering husbands would be martyrs!
Comfortable people everywhere opposed equality.
You can imagine what side of the fence racists were on.
But the Suffragettes kept it classy.
Despite this ridicule, Suffragettes persisted. Many of the most strident were older women who had nothing to lose. Some were wealthy. Some were not. For the well off, jewelry in the colors of white, green, and purple signaled their devotion to the cause.
And yes, they were thrown in jail just for protesting and picketing.
Nevertheless, once freedom took root, it couldn’t be stopped.
Women got the vote in England in 1918 and in the U.S. in 1920. (This is a little bit of a simplification so if you are curious, read more on this topic.)
And now the challenge is to make sure that we don’t have to go through this all over again!