Sunday, August 26, 2007

A Little Herstory: 'When Will the Republican Party Stop Blocking Suffrage?'

Goddess, I love the women from the National Woman's Party. It's true that the Democratic Party was also unwilling to share citizenship rights with women, but considering the times we live in, or the nature of today's GOP, this photo is nothing if not timely. But as Bush would say, oh, well, give it another thousand years or so, and then somebody will love the Republicans. Unless they blow up the planet in the meantime.

National Woman's Party members picketing the Republican convention, Chicago, June 1920. L-R Abby Scott Baker, Florence Taylor Marsh, Sue White, Elsie Hill, Betty Gram.

Photograph of women holding banners outside in front of stores. Banners read "Tennessee," "Connecticut," and "We protest against the continued disfranchisement of women for which the Republican party is now responsible. The Republican party defeated ratification in Delaware. The Republican party is blocking ratification in Vermont. The Republican party is blocking ratification in Connecticut.

When will the Republican party stop blocking suffrage?"

Abby Scott Baker, Betty Gram, Elsie M. Hill, and Sue Shelton White all spent time in jail for their participation in NWP activism. White, of Jackson, Tenn., was state chairman of the NWP and one of the editors of The Suffragist. She was a court and convention reporter for ten years and in 1918 was appointed by the Governor of Tennessee to the State Commission for the Blind. She was active with the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Daughters of the American Revolution, as well as the Federation of Women's Clubs and the Parent Teachers' Association. She was arrested Feb. 9, 1919, and served five days in District Jail for participating in watchfire demonstration. She soon after participated in the NWP's "Prison Special" tour of the United States. Doris Stevens, Jailed for Freedom (New York: Boni and Liveright, 1920), 370.