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October 15, 2008 > League of Women Voters extends invitation to 'Iron Jawed Angels'

League of Women Voters extends invitation to 'Iron Jawed Angels'

Submitted By Syeda Reshma Yunus

The movie, Iron Jawed Angels, is set in the period from 1912 to 1920 and is a spellbinding film of the fight to win the right to vote for women. Hilary Swank and Frances O'Conner star as young fiery suffragettes (Alice Paul and Lucy Barns) who band together with other suffragettes in the struggle to obtain the right to a voice in the United States of America.

These women faced seemingly insurmountable obstacles and incurred the wrath of no less a person than the President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson when they picketed the White House. He even tried to have Alice Paul declared insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized! The psychiatrist apparently refused and stated that, "Courage is often mistaken for insanity in women." The suffragettes remained unwavering in their focus and stood firm in their resolve to obtain the right to vote, despite being beaten, jailed and held in contempt by society.

While in jail, prison guards wielding clubs and with their warden's complicity went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of 'obstructing sidewalk traffic. They were fed slop with worms; affidavits describe the guards beating, chocking, slamming and pinching these brave souls. They persevered and on August 26, 1920, the nineteenth amendment, guaranteeing women the right to vote was ratified!

It was because of the struggle and sacrifice of brave women such as the ones portrayed in the film "Iron Jawed Angels" and those who fought before them that we women today have the right to vote. In the next election, more than ever, we need to exercise this right. Our nation is in serious crisis and we have many issues to address. And we need to go beyond voting to continue to engage with government because, ultimately, the responsibility lies with us; in a democratic society, we the people can not afford to relinquish our sovereignty no matter how insignificant our individual voices may seem.

There are many resources available to assist us in making a thoughtful decision at the polls on November 4th or via absentee ballot. One excellent resource on the internet is; this website is sponsored by the League of Women Voters of California. The League of Women Voters ("LWV"), which now also includes men, is a direct descendant of the struggle for women's suffrage and is organized at the national, state and local levels, mirroring the structure in our governmental system.

Iron-Jawed Angels film showing
Saturday, Oct 18
2 p.m.
St. James Episcopal Church
37051 Cabrillo Terrace, Fremont
(510) 794-5783

Last minute voter registration available at the showing

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