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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Suffrage Today

I vote because of the women before me. I vote because I would never have been able to without women like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Because of the suffragists and those willing to take a hit, I am able to walk down the street, into my local elementary school, fill out a ballot, turn it in, and make a change.
Anthony and Stanton are just two of the many women who sacrificed so much for the Nineteenth Amendment (also known as the Anthony Amendment in honor of Susan B. Anthony). From the first Woman’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848 to when congress ratified the amendment on August 26, 1920—it was a taxing, but worthy, effort. 
Another leader of the woman’s rights movement, Alice Paul, got a lot of ideas from Britain’s own equal-voting campaign. The Britannica website about the National Woman’s Party (NWP) states: “Both a new name and new tactics were adopted in 1916. The reorganized and radicalized National Woman’s Party opted for confrontation and direct action instead of questionnaires and lobbying. Consequently, the NWP became the first group to picket the White House and frequently conducted marches and acts of civil disobedience. Hundreds of women were arrested and jailed for their protests, and, following the example of their British counterparts, many went on hunger strikes.” Paul suggested those put in jail go on hunger strikes. When the guards at the jail caught on, the women endured forced feedings; they also weren’t granted the same rights as other prisoners. Speaking on the matter, Paul stated, “At the end of two weeks of solitary confinement . . . without any exercise, without going outside of our cells, some of the prisoners were released, having finished their terms . . . With our number thus diminished to seven . . . the doors were unlocked and we were permitted to take exercise. Rose Winslow fainted as soon as she got into the yard . . . I was too weak to move from my bed. Rose and I were taken on stretchers that night to the hospital . . . Here we decided upon . . . the ultimate form of protest left us—the strongest weapon left with which to continue . . . our battle . . .”
Knowing and researching their fight to not only help the future women of the United States, but for abolition and temperance as well, I realized that the fight for equality spanned decades with support coming from all over. Even Frederick Douglass was at Seneca Falls and believed that “Right is of no sex, truth is of no color.” Douglass urged an immediate end to slavery and supported Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and other women’s rights activists in their crusade for woman suffrage (1). 
If the people before you had to fight for the right to vote, you need to get out there and vote next election. It is a dishonor to their memory and the suffering they went through to get this right that the founding fathers so easily handed out to every landowning, white male.
(1) https://www.nps.gov/wori/learn/historyculture/frederick-douglass.htm​l