March is National Women’s History Month, so I thought we’d go back to school and learn all about the fight for women’s suffrage. When Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were barred from attending the World Anti-Slavery Convention held in London in 1840, they decide to hold a Women’s Convention in the US. The 1948 Seneca Falls Convention brought together women from all over the country who were ready to stand up and shout “We’re as mad as hell and we’re not going to take this anymore!” (NETWORK (1976))
A great resource for good information about women’s history is The National Women’s History Museum website – they are working hard to get a museum built on the Mall in Washington, DC completely devoted to celebrating the women of America’s past. This month, I encourage you to join their cause, first by following them on social media, and second by educating yourself about the remarkable women who fought for the rights we hold today.
Let us take this month to remember how far we have already come as we continue to fight for equal rights for women.
These are the books I have selected for March. Please vote for your choice or provide a suggestion of your own in the poll at the bottom of this page.
“Jailed for Freedom: American Women Win the Vote”
“A firsthand account of the National Woman’s Party, which organized and fought a fierce battle for passage of the 19th Amendment. The suffragists endured hunger strikes, forced feedings, and jail terms. First written in 1920 by Doris Stevens, this version was edited by Carol O’Hare. Includes an introduction by Smithsonian curator Edith Mayo, along with appendices, an index, historic photos, and illustrations.”
“A Time For Courage: The Suffragette Diary Of Kathleen Bowen, Washington, D.C. 1917”
(Dear America Series)
“As the fight for women’s suffrage heats up, Kathleen “Kat” Bowen gets to participate as her mother, her sister, and many others close to her organize and act to win the right to vote.”
“In the years before World War I, New York City’s Greenwich Village was a place of great artistic and political ferment. Political causes attracted throngs of supporters. Artistic movements filled cafes and restaurants with boisterous conversation. And for the first time, women began to seize power and shape the landscape of the time: Margaret Sanger began her crusade for birth control; Mabel Dodge hosted salons for the avant-garde; Dorothy Day founded the Catholic Workers Movement; Elizabeth Gurley Flynn helped to organize the Workers of the World. The list of women who played integral roles in American life and letters then is endless, and Sandra Adickes captures them all while evoking the now-lost paradise that New York offered to women at the turn of the century.”
“Alice Paul and the National Woman’s Party: Suffrage As the First Civil Rights Struggle of the 20th Century”
“When women picketed the White House demanding the vote on January 17, 1917, they broke new ground in political activism. They petitioned the President and Congress and marched in the streets in the nation’s first ever coast to coast campaign for political rights. Women were imprisoned for peaceful protest, went on hunger strikes and were beaten and tortured by authorities. But they won the 19th Amendment, ensuring that the right to vote cannot be denied because of gender. Their successful nonviolent civil rights campaign established a precedent for those that followed, giving them the tools–including the vote–needed to advance their goals. This book chronicles the work of Alice Paul and the National Woman’s Party and their influence on American political activism.”
“In the Spring of 1851 two women met on a street corner in Seneca Falls, New York—Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a thirty-five year old mother of four boys, and Susan B. Anthony, a thirty-one year old, unmarried, former school teacher. Immediately drawn to each other, they formed an everlasting and legendary friendship. Together they challenged entrenched beliefs, customs, and laws that oppressed women and spearheaded the fight to gain legal rights, including the right to vote despite fierce opposition, daunting conditions, scandalous entanglements and betrayal by their friends and allies. Weaving events, quotations, personalities, and commentary into a page-turning narrative, Penny Colman tells this compelling story and vividly portrays the friendship between Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, a friendship that changed history.