Category Archives: Suffrage News Wrapup

Susan B. Anthony was proud of her crime!

Marguerite's Musings“I’VE GONE AND DONE IT”

This is what Susan B. Anthony told Elizabeth Cady Stanton in a letter after she voted illegally in Rochester, New York in November 1872. 

On Friday, I voted in a county election. When I got home, I thought about Susan’s comment (“I’ve gone and done it”). It’s the perfect time to reflect on this historic occasion as June 19th approaches. June 19th is the anniversary of Susan’s famous speech at the Ontario County courthouse on June 19, 1873. Check out the coverage of June 19th on LetsRockTheCradle. I’m involved in the planning of a party to launch the date of June 19th, the anniversary of Susan B. Anthony’s famous speech. Stay tuned for the details. And while you’re at it, what are you planning for June 19th? Watch the video and consult special links to get you started.

News notes: One hundred years ago Charlie Chaplin released the film “The Militant Suffragette.” Check it out by watching the film online. Women’s Equality Agenda in NYS is up for a second round. Legislation proposed to create a statewide history commission in NYS. Period dramas are being scrutinized by scholars and others on matters as basic as food manners and culture. Example: Jane Austin production on BBC. Fascinating. It may not be directly related to the suffrage movement, but it’s something worth noting.

The state of Montana continues with its excellent online suffrage centennial program, “Women’s History Matters.” A recent posting is about Montana’s first Native American legislator. It’s an excellent example of what Montana offers on a regular basis for its suffrage centennial throughout 2014. No word yet about planning for NYS’s 2017 suffrage centennial. Stay tuned for news and views about the 19th amendment, women’s suffrage, today and in the past!

“Ancestra” is a play running through June 7 in the Gordon Square by the Cleveland Public Theatre. The work was inspired by the 1853 National Women’s Rights Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Ancestra weaves a historical account with the intimate biography of a contemporary woman. Ancestra’s compelling story provides a forum for intellectual engagement with important issues of our time: gender equity, women’s health care and reproductive rights. Featuring a multi-generational, multicultural cast, this emotionally-charged performance celebrates those who came before and champions current efforts to achieve dignity and justice. I wish I lived closer.

SuffrageCentennials.com is celebrating its first birthday in June 2014.  Follow the Suffrage Wagon for updates. News and views of the suffrage movement that celebrate women’s freedom to vote.

Women Drivers: Marguerite’s Musings

Marguerite's Musings (Marguerite Kearns)When I was young, I was confused often when hearing  jokes about women drivers. I wasn’t exactly sure why so much attention was showered on women who drove, though subconsciously it must have made an impact because I didn’t learn to drive myself until my early 20s. Perhaps it had to do with a subconscious desire not to look foolish.

I haven’t heard any woman driver jokes for decades, though I’m certain they’re out there –like in Saudi Arabia, for example, where women aren’t allowed to drive. Saudi women drivers protesting the ban have caused a stir with petitions and women themselves posting their driving protests online. One cleric warned that women drivers could cause damage to their ovaries by operating a motor vehicle. Have you checked the health of your ovaries recently? Find out more. #1. #2.

There’s more information than ever coming down the pike about violence against women and girls, in particular the recent kidnapping of Nigerian students. In the United States suffrage leaders and women’s history is being politicized, no doubt a foreshadowing of what’s to come in the 2016 presidential election where a woman may run for the nation’s highest office. Who would have thought our marginalized suffrage history would come under attack? It’s all predictable. Tighten your seat belt for what’s to come!

Marguerite’s Musings (from Marguerite Kearns) are a regular feature of Suffrage Wagon News Channel. Visit our feature platform for new updates on videos and other special postings you might not see on the email platform. We also have Vimeo and YouTube channels.

National women’s museum in Washington, DC might actually happen! Plus Suffrage Wagon videos.

Suffrage Wagon News NotesA women’s history museum in the nation’s Capitol is closer than ever to reality, as the U.S. Congress moved closer to approving the planned institution on the National Mall. Earlier proposals relied on public funding, but the recent proposal involving private funding brought the idea out of the shadows and into the sunlight of possibility. The museum has been an online nonprofit organization for the past 17 years.

House Republicans just may get in line since it won’t cost the public anything. Considerable effort has been invested in giving women’s history a nod. It’s the same legislative body that’s been sitting on the eggs of other important women’s history proposals such as funding for the Harriet Tubman national park and the “Votes for Women” heritage trail in the “Cradle” of the U.S. women’s rights movement in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. The next phase of the project involves selecting a site for the museum and hiring a woman architect to move the proposed museum forward. All the other buildings on the mall have been designed by men.

Check in with the Suffrage Wagon News Channel video offerings. More than 30 videos have been posted over the past few years. For  suffrage movement news and views, follow the Suffrage Wagon on Twitter, Facebook, email subscription, and a quarterly newsletter. Check in with the LetsRockTheCradle calendar of  suffrage-related events.

A global conference for women? Not such a novel idea…

Jean BolenDid you know that the current U.S. administration isn’t in favor of a U.N. sponsored global conference for women?

The UN Secretary General and the President of the General Assembly in a Joint Statement (3/8/12) asked for a resolution from General Assembly to hold a Global Conference on Women, the first since Beijing in 1995. It had some strong support until the USA and the EU came out against it. It is time now, to take this up again. Once passed, 5WCW would likely be held in 2017.  Sign here on this digital petition.

Background:  4WCW was in Beijing, 1995. 5WCW would be a 21st century conference with the internet, smart phones, satellite technology, simultaneous conferences; feminist networks, ongoing women’s circles including virtual ones. This would energize a global women’s movement which creates political will, without which women and women’s issues are sidelined. Since 2009, Jean Bolen and others have been working toward this goal at the United Nations. Active support from the White House is needed for passage of a consensus resolution in the General Assembly. Preparation takes two to three years, with 2017 as a goal.

A silent non-religious hour meditation is held every second Wednesday of the month, 5  to 6 pm, at different United Nations missions, at the end of which each person may name a person, an event or an intention. Anele Heiges of IPPI, always speaks the intention to have a UN 5th World Conference on Women, 5WCW. You are invited to participate wherever you are. Follow Jean Shinoda Bolen who is featuring the conference on her web site.

Bolen says: “I continue to take my ‘assignment’ as a message carrier to heart. I believe that critical-mass, grassroots activism transforms consciousness which in turn, changes history. I believe that humanity is at a crossroads and that what women do in the next few decades will determine the fate of life on this beautiful, abundant planet.” 

Follow LetsRockTheCradle.com for news and views about the new suffragists of today who are rocking and rolling the suffrage movement into the 21st century. Suffrage Wagon News Channel features news and views of the suffrage movement.

Big media jumping on the suffrage bandwagon during Women’s History Month

FollowSuffrageWagonWhat do Google and the New York Times have in common? The increasing recognition of and coverage of the suffrage movement. The Times blog ran an article during Women’s History Month about the women’s rights historic sites in the Finger Lakes region of New York. #1. #2. And Google is featuring a terrific presentation by Ken Florey, whose columns about suffrage memorabilia have been published in Suffrage Wagon News Channel in the past few years.

Ken Florey’s  “Women’s Suffrage Memorabilia” is included with twenty-three other exhibits in the “Women in Culture” section of Google’s Cultural Institute. Memorabilia produced by suffrage organizations and other sources from 1890-1917 include suffrage-related china, pennants, buttons, photography, ribbons, sashes, sheet music, journals, and other related material all designed to promote or oppose the franchise for women.

In other news, the exhibit “Records of Rights” continues at the National Archives. A column in the Washington Post gives an overview of the display and its significance, including the special section on women’s rights. While “Records of Rights” is a permanent exhibit, certain documents are changed periodically. The National Archives is at 700 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC. Admission is free.  #1. #2

Who was in the very front line of the suffrage movement? Margaret Brent from Maryland played an important role in 1648 when she marched into the Maryland Assembly and demanded the right to vote. #1. #2. A new book called Voices of Cherokee Women by Carolyn Ross Johnston features 52 accounts by Cherokee women. While it doesn’t deal specifically with the suffrage movement, it’s exciting to note breakthroughs in the coverage of womens’ history. #1. #2. 

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Meryl Streep will be headliner in new “Suffragette” film in UK

Suffrage Wagon News ChannelNext week the cast and crew for the UK film Suffragette will be busy as the cameras roll. Meryl Streep will play suffrage activist Emmeline Pankhurst in the Ruby Films drama. In February, the national League of Women Voters celebrates its 94th birthday since its founding following the passage and ratification of the 19th Amendment.

Every time a posting arrives in my box from the Montana women celebrating their state suffrage centennial, I’m excited. What’s a recent story? The Montana web site, “Women’s History Matters,” highlights real people from Montana, people on the grassroots, our friends and neighbors, or they would have been if we’d lived in those times and places. It’s a tender and respectful, and let me say a “sweet” acknowledgment of those who might have been in our families and communities, and they certainly fit into the larger human family. Take the article, “Rose Gordon: Daughter of a Slave and Small-Town Activist,” for example. I love it!

In Rose Gordon, I can see myself and many others who persisted in spite of the odds throughout life. When I write about my suffrage activist grandmother Edna Kearns, I’m also writing about the tens of thousands of women across the nation who put themselves on the line and made a mark, even if they didn’t realize it in the moment. The Montana suffrage celebrants are doing a terrific job. We stand on the shoulders of women like Rose Gordon.

For news about suffrage centennials, check out suffragecentennials.com

Follow the Suffrage Wagon for news and views of the suffrage movement. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote.

Suffragette fashion highlighted at New York Fashion Week

KAREN WALKER LOOK 1-0Marguerite's MusingsYeah for suffrage history and the way in which it is penetrating the mass culture. Just when I’m thinking that it can’t be possible to marginalize suffrage history any more, I’m surprised. The word is getting out. Like, there’s a suffrage focus on the History Channel during the month of March, and how about a top New York fashion designer who unveiled what she’s calling a glamorous fashion inspired by our grandmother’s and great grandmother’s generations?

I don’t have the shape to show off wearing such outfits, but I’ll tip my hat to those who do. A woman designer from New Zealand, Karen Walker, isn’t the first designer to tap into our women’s suffrage past. And she won’t be the last. The awareness of our history is happening. Every week across the nation, in communities large and small, so many suffrage-rekated events are scheduled that I can’t list them all in terms of exhibits, plays, conferences, lectures, art exhibits, forums, and much more.

Other updates from Suffrage Wagon News Channel: Madison Kimrey, the 12 year old identifying herself as part of a new generation of “suffragettes,” confronted the NC governor about making voting difficult for young people, and then she set up a Facebook page.

NC Youth RocksThe Facebook page highlights past and current activities that respond to guidelines relative to rolling back voting rights for young people.

Australian currency

What country followed New Zealand in granting women the right to vote on Planet Earth? Australia. This doesn’t mean that suffrage history is taught better in Australia than in other places around the world. I stumbled on a great blog article that addresses this point. The blog commentator noted:

“Most people know in a vague way that Australia was the second country to grant all women (except Aboriginal women, in some states) the right to vote after New Zealand, and if you didn’t know that, we super did and go us. That’s pretty much everything you learn about Australian women’s suffrage at school, which makes it seem like women were just gifted the vote without having to do anything. That’s wrong, sister — the suffragettes worked their petticoated butts off, touring the country and collecting thousands of signatures on petitions…”

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