Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Failure Was Impossible

"Failure is impossible." So wrote Susan B. Anthony, but there had to have been days when it seemed pretty goddamned impossible: Woman Suffrage
It was in 1848 that Elizabeth Cady Stanton of Seneca Falls, NY, launched the Women's Rights Convention, this radical confab being the first of its kind. Not until the spring of 1851 later does Lizzie Stanton [short & round & curly-girly radical whose tough mind crackled with ideas and revolutionary opinions on nearly] meet tall, spare Susan B., known as "Aunt Susan" to the legions of suffragists. Fifty years the team would write, agitate, organize, petition the U.S. Congress, and otherwise plug away at trying to wrench the Vote out of the government's tight fist. "I forged the thunderbolts," said Mrs. Stanton of her writings, and Susan fired them, riding "the [railroad] cars" thousands of miles to speak, to state the cause, lay out the argument to audiences around the country. Countless women [and men] paraded in the streets. A few, including the valiant Alice Paul, endured arrest and cruel treatment behind bars for daring to stand silently with their banners outside the White House fence.
Of course neither Lizzie nor Susan B. lived to see the day, August 18, 1920, when the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was finally ratified, thanks to a narrow vote in the Tennessee state house. Almost 72 years after the Seneca Falls convention and 90 years ago today.

i"Come, come, my conservative friend, wipe the dew off your spectacles, and see that the world is moving." Elizabeth Cady Stanton

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