I stumbled on this great article while going through my grandmother Edna’s archives the other day. “Challenge Antis to Bake Bread” shows how far suffrage activists went in order to make their point. During the time my grandmother hit the streets for the cause, activists felt compelled to prove their skills in the kitchen.
This may seem quaint today, but it certainly represented one of the many complex layers that went into organizing for the cause. Grandmother Edna Kearns, for example, canned for suffrage, not only to raise funds to keep the movement alive, and also teach women the basics of canning.
Who’s making bread from scratch these days? Even though terrific breads can be purchased commercially, there’s nothing like freshly-baked bread spread with butter. Yum!
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The filming’s continuing for “Suffragette,” the UK film and already there’s speculation about whether or not Merly Streep will win an Oscar for her role as Mrs. Pankhurst in the production. Not only that, but there’s a powerful media machine handing the film’s photos and press releases. More than 30 photos have been released to whet the public’s appetite for what’s to come. And don’t you just love those period costumes?
This is good for the suffrage movement and the public’s awareness of it as an important time in our history, though I suspect it will take some time for these influences to manifest. Ask people on the street about what they know about the suffrage movement. They’re either never heard of it, or their eyes glaze over. What? They’ll probably tell you that women’s history wasn’t covered back in their school days of old. The times, they are a’changing with an increasing number of suffrage history fans. The growing interest hasn’t yet reached the awareness of the mainstream of women voters.
Some politicians realize they need women voters to win elections, but they may not be so enthusiastic about women voters becoming excited by learning about their history. If so, they might be more inclined to vote for women political candidates and not for the men who claim to be standing up for women. This would be a switch, wouldn’t it? So meanwhile there’s plenty of lip service about women’s issues, but God forbid that women voters start getting the point that it took 72 years from 1848 to 1920 for American women to win the vote, including the fact that the U.S. had one woman, a New Yorker, (Inez Milholland) die for the right to cast one’s vote.
More events and articles are posted on the internet about the suffrage movement than there’s time to read and stay current. So, the “Suffragette” film from the UK is expected to place suffrage subject matter square in the faces of the American public starting in January 2015 when the film’s scheduled for release. Try a few links, including an interview with Carey Mulligan. And another piece featuring Carey Mulligan and her role in suff film. The media machine has been sending out great photos of the period production.
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A 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.
What started out as a blogging tour of the U.S. women’s rights movement in September 2013 has developed into an online platform featuring suffrage events, historic sites, and action campaigns. If you didn’t go along for the ride. the articles about the “Cradle” are available online.
LetsRockTheCradle will be stirring up activity this summer with the Inez Milholland Festival 2014. Sign up for updates on the festival program and more.
Mark your calendar for the Inez Milholland Festival 2014:
August 16-17, 2014, Events in the Town of Lewis, New York (12950). Champlain Valley in the Adirondacks of New York State. Subscribe to email updates or follow “The Foremothers” on Twitter.
And the Harriet Tubman historic site located in the “Cradle” of the U.S. women’s rights movement is the featured historic site for LetsRockTheCradle. A related action campaign addresses the fact that Congressional funding for the proposed Harriet Tubman national park has been stalled for ages. Give the campaign a boost with your support.
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The rocking of the “Cradle” of the women’s rights movement moves forward, whether or not New York State has this important centennial on its “to do” list. Mark your calendar for August 16-17 for the Inez Milholland Festival 2014 that will be held in the Champlain Valley in the Adirondacks. LetsRockTheCradle.com is the “go to” place for upcoming announcements of the two-day program.
“Male suffragist dresses as a woman” is a headline that’s certainly to get some attention. Great musical video of the Corrs sisters singing “The Long and Winding Road” demonstrates the power of combining women’s issues with music and bringing attention to African women. Online link. Another cool story about a suffrage quilt. Huffington Post has article about the lessons learned from suffragist Anna Howard Shaw. Many new New York History blog contributors wrote about women’s history during March, Women’s History Month. New York women and their contributions to the Adirondacks. Ken Florey’s book on suffrage memorabilia reviewed. The Missouri Women’s Network Education Fund launched its 1,000 Strong Campaign to raise $10,000 for the bust of St. Louis suffragist Virginia Minor to join the collection of bronze memorialized Missourians.
Follow Suffrage Wagon News Channel for news and views of the suffrage movement. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote.
Did 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.”
Some people swear by Downton Abbey. Others are yawning and wondering if the series will take on more life than reruns of the same themes, issues and personalities. Like the novelty of the chauffeur marrying into the family has worn off, and the family is adjusting, though slowly, to the end of a way of life. That’s why I found the following article refreshing and worth sharing, even if the link has been sitting on my desk since January.
What happens after Downtown Abbey, the article asks. Writer Alyssa Rosenberg isn’t interested in breathing life into the Downtown Abbey cast. She’s suggesting that the family be replaced with some real-life characters, and I love her suggestions. How about the Pankhurst family of suffragettes in England or the Mitfords? Rosenberg lists the reasons why.
What did one cherub say to the other one in this thumbnail image? They’re whispering, so it’s not easy to listen. But let’s try anyway. One cherub’s asking the other: “What do we have to do to shake a substantial commitment out of New York State for the state suffrage centennial in 2017 that gets the same attention and excitement as the funding of ads for wineries and white water rafting?” The other cherub responds: “How about a sloop called the Susan B. Anthony that sails down the Hudson River and visits every port and school classroom? Would that get attention or what? If there are Clearwater and Woody Guthrie boats, how about Susan or Elizabeth or Alice or Carrie or Harriot or any one of a long list of candidates to represent the state’s rich women’s history?”
Where’s Pete Seeger when we need him? Toshi and Pete Seeger would say they modeled grassroots organizing for decades in New York’s Hudson Valley, so it’s our turn to get busy. Is voting important anyway? Many would say it’s an essential expression of our rights as citizens. Perhaps that’s what’s behind the numerous attempts to suppress voting nationwide. In any event, the suffrage movement represents the largest nonviolent social revolution in the U.S. Whenever I wrap my head around that fact, it shifts my awareness of the significance of keeping democracy alive, whatever’s left of it after big money dumped into political campaigns clears the stage.
So if you’re suspecting I’m growing anxious about the passage of precious time when New York should be busy planning its 2017 suffrage centennial, you’re right. There’s plenty of lip service spread around for women’s issues. And as the suffragists used to say, “deeds, not words” carry the day. Send us an email with your thoughts about how to get New York off of Ground Zero and busy planning its centennial. Send me your thoughts: suffragewagon at gmail.com
Looking forward to hearing from you as the Suffrage Wagon rolls on. Follow the wagon by way of email, Twitter and Facebook. And while you’re at it, visualize the State of New York putting the “Spirit of 1776″ suffrage campaign wagon on permanent exhibit. It’s not doing any good gathering dust at a state museum warehouse near Albany, NY.