Little Miss Saving-the-World

Changing the way we think in order to change the world


As Alice Paul September 29, 2009

Filed under: Passion — LittleMissSavingTheWorld @ 10:15 pm

Testimony: Women’s Convention

                For far too long women have been considered the runts of the litter; few know what went wrong between the matrilineal period of the Native Americans and that which the women of North America had to live through.  There are arguments that the Native Americans were considered lowly and thus, their culture was never appreciated by our own and this seems to be true. Thousands of stories about cowboys and Indians and yet, they all seem to be missing the crux of the problem; women. Since the country’s finding in 1706 by Columbus women have not appreciated equal rights, we adopted the British Culture through which women were subordinate. The men of our states were unhappy to be under the king’s rule and so they rebelled and women supported them as they were told to. Politics were not meant to be of any concern to women- they were granted certain inalienable rights but were held responsible for the family not the country. According to the Evolutionary theory a family is the main unit of government and in respect to this, Harvard graduate Francis Parkman says, “To give the suffrage to women would be to reject [this] principle that has thus far formed the basis of civilized government”

                However, being born and raised by a strong, independent woman I learned how untrue such tidings were. After attending a series of progressive private schools and earning a PH.D in social work I realized that both genders are more than capable of making their own decisions about families as well as politics. The right to vote is as fundamental now as it was then to making national changes but if women couldn’t vote then it wasn’t their country. With this in mind, I began my first job at NAWSA where I was considered too radical- many of my coworkers saw this as alienating. Yet, my goal was not to alienate but to empower and as I watched the presidential campaigns of Woodrow Wilson I became so outraged that I used my radical roots to pull together a large protest of “strong, capable women.” Our audience didn’t seem to understand our outrage at the lack of consideration womankind was given and they were even less understanding about the location and time period during which we protested. I suppose one would say that protesting on a president’s inauguration day during a World War is a little ill-mannered but when the country you’re protesting against is hardly yours; you gain a new perspective. People fought against us, men beat us and the police seldom stopped them but a little political drama never hurt the large picture; a few newspaper articles later and women had finally gained the right to vote.

                A large accomplishment for simply utilizing our first amendment rights and so far they haven’t been utilized enough. Both women and men of this country go about their lives as though the government is as flawless as the first snow flake on Christmas day- but refuse to see how far we have to go. Women in this country are still unequal in the eyes of society because the ERA has yet to pass. This small amendment could achieve respect for women as people rather than the sex objects, and dumb blondes their shown as on television.

But the right to speak up empowers more than women, it could help to stop the poverty that still lies, putrid in our streets, the drugs-rampant and the elderly, from being mistreated. As young people we may think that there’s nothing we can do until we have the right to vote but we are wrong.  Speaking up can do the same thing for our people as it did for Women’s Suffrage: it could empower.