Tag Archives: “Iron Jawed Angels”

Marguerite Kearns is fuming over “Suffragette” film!

“Marguerite’s Musings” with Marguerite Kearns is a regular column! on Vimeo.

"Marguerite's Musings" by Marguerite Kearnsby Marguerite Kearns

This posting is more appropriately called “Marguerite’s Fumings.” For those of you who have been following Suffrage Wagon News Channel during 2015, you’re well aware of the preview coverage I’ve given to the “Suffragette” film from the UK.

Sure, there are aspects of the film I would have done differently. But I’m not focusing on me as a back-seat driver. I’m referring to the broader significance of this production and why so many people have been waiting for the opportunity to move this important part of history out of the closet.

The long and short of it is that the “Suffragette” film didn’t open in the city where I live, even though there’s a large and sophisticated movie-going population. It’s a diverse city with people for whom this film has been anticipated since the start of 2015. The previews played in a local movie chain here. But then we were only treated to choices of action films and standard Hollywood fare after “Suffragette” opened on October 23rd in other “selected” parts of the United States.


The “Suffragette” film was written, directed, and produced by women; the primary performers are women. It’s a period film illustrating the long and difficult struggle to win women’s voting rights in England. Considerable pre-publicity makes the connection between women’s rights struggles of today (pay gaps, under representation on boards, and in elected positions, etc.) and the past.

Many of us have been following how this all-woman production team has gone up against the film industry. The only course open to concerned people is to vote with our tickets that may translate into box office receipts. But that won’t happen if the film has been wiped off the map where we live. If the opening box office receipts don’t provide the anticipated profits, the movie will be pulled from theaters. And the movement to break through the sandbags Hollywood has stacked against women performers, directors, and support personnel will be undermined again.


Jane Barker of Turning Point Suffragist Memorial is pulling out all stops in terms of getting the word out to her networks. Watch the trailer: http://www.focusfeatures.com/suffragette Pass on the word that the distribution in the U.S. is already limited. Jane has been circulating the list of theaters in the Washington, DC area, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Franciso and Phoenix where people can actually buy tickets to see “Suffragette.”

Meanwhile, I’m fuming. Recently I spoke before a local group urging people to see “Suffragette.” I sent out an appeal last week to my email network making the connection between the “Suffragette” film and our own suffrage history here in the United States. My expectations were raised by the previews in a local movie theater. But Hollywood and its distributers didn’t deliver. I can only assume it’s business as usual. Vote with your theater tickets in places where the “Suffragette” film will be shown. And get behind those organizations and constituencies that support the idea that history belongs to the people, not just those salivating over profits!

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SuffrageCentennials.com for trends, news and views about upcoming suffrage centennials. “Choose it and Use it” is a video reminding us of how the past is linked to what we do today and its impact on the future. We’re celebrating voting rights and women’s freedom to vote! Join us.

Prepare yourself for “Suffragette” film from the UK with video of “Shoulder to Shoulder” BBC miniseries

Marguerite Kearns at Suffrage Wagon News ChannelIf you do a little homework before the release of the major motion picture, “Suffragette” in October 2015, you’ll be glad you did. Episode 1 is called “The Pankhursts” 

This BBC special introduced the Pankhurst family of English suffrage activists. And subsequent programs developed the story of the English women’s suffrage movement. Meryl Streep is in a perfect position to bring this period of history to the public as she’s starring as Emmeline Pankhurst in the “Suffragette” film from the U.K. Hopefully she’ll use the opportunity to steer the public’s attention in the direction of the U.S. suffrage movement. Although a great deal is made about the differences between the American and English movements, suffrage movement activists on both sides of the Atlantic had close ties because they both faced tough resistance to the radical idea of women voting.


Forty years have passed since the “Shoulder to Shoulder” series. That’s why this YouTube video, Episode #1 of the 1974 BBC miniseries, “Shoulder to Shoulder,” is such a treasure. Sadly, the series hasn’t been rerun on BBC. And no DVD has been released although anyone interested in this time in history still has an opportunity to dredge it out of the archives. See key article in British Politics and Policy.

On this side of the Atlantic, the HBO special from the 2004 “Iron Jawed Angels” about Alice Paul and the National Woman’s Party continues to inspire grassroots and community organizations who use the production for fundraisers and special events. “Iron Jawed Angels” isn’t as obscure as “Shoulder to Shoulder,” however. Throughout the U.S., “Iron Jawed Angels” continues to be a favorite during March, Women’s History Month, for private and public gatherings.


The 30th anniversary of the Alice Paul Institute in 2015 is a reminder of how women’s history advocates have been plugging along in the wings of the mainstream culture. There are more blogs and related media about this time in our history, especially as the 2016 U.S. presidential election draws near. In March of 2015, the National Women’s History Project celebrated its 35th year, another example of a loyal and persistent constituency that’s keeping women’s history alive.

Plan to see the “Suffragette” film from the UK when it opens in September 2015, but keep in mind some advance preparation will be necessary. But it’s enjoyable homework! All this effort and enjoyment is training for the 2017 suffrage centennial in New York State and the 2020 Votes for Women national centennial in the U.S.

IN OTHER NEWS: Video about suffrage history and 2016 election. Recently-published book about English suffragette, Princess Sophia continues to get good reviews. October 2015 set for release of “Suffragette” film from the UK.

FacebookFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos. Celebrate suffrage centennials and women’s freedom to vote. And follow SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming suffrage centennials. 

Day #2: Video homework assignment for the “Night of Terror”- Marguerite’s Musings

Marguerite's Musingsby Marguerite Kearns

It’s November 2nd. Day #2 of the two-week “Night of Terror” observance. This is a heavy-duty excursion into the history of the American suffrage movement. The folks planning for a suffragist memorial outside of Washington, DC in Lorton, Virginia are reaching out for help. So buckle your seat belt if you plan to move forward. In Day #1 of our postings, the music video about the White House picketing produced in 2012 by Soomo Publishing was a great place to start.

Today, there’s the selection from the film, “Iron Jawed Angels” about the women sent to the Occoquan Workhouse in 1917. The first video covered outside in the streets, at the gates of the White House. The second video goes inside the Occoquan Workhouse. Here’s the video selection from YouTube.

These two videos are in the service of supporting the proposed suffragist memorial in Lorton, Virginia. Suffrage Wagon is partnering with Turning Point Suffragist Memorial in the campaign to build a memorial to the women who cooled their heels behind bars so we can vote today. If all goes well, the memorial will open before or in time for the votes for women centennial in 2020 when American women will have been voting for 100 years.

Turning Point Suffragist Memorial has a web site and blog. You can also follow on Twitter and Facebook.

FacebookFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel with email twice a week, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Join the conversation by commenting on the Suffrage Wagon blog. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote.

Audio podcast #1: “Playing Politics with the President”

Doris StevensWe’re jumping forward to 1913 and following along with Doris Stevens in the audio podcast series, “Playing Politics with the President.” Stevens was an eyewitness to the suffrage movement and we’re fortunate to have the Librivox recording of “Jailed for Freedom” to slice into digestible audio bits of two minutes or less.

Podcast #1 starts with the story about U.S. President Woodrow Wilson arriving at the train station in Washington, DC in March of 1913 and asking “Where are the people?” after noticing that the station is virtually empty. The answer: ” On the avenue watching the suffragists parade” came the answer from an aide. Did it really happen this way? Suffrage activist Doris Stevens certainly wasn’t in the train station in the loop with Woodrow Wilson, but she was around long enough to fill an entire book about the suffrage movement and her perspective on it. “Jailed for Freedom” is a terrific basic text when discovering the suffrage movement. It’s also a quick and easy homework assignment for students.

So test the first podcast of the series. Just two minutes as you settle down with the audio and mark on your calendar that “Playing Politics with the President” is a nine-part series. It features access to the series of events that led up to the eventual decision by the National Woman’s Party to picket the White House to make the point of American women were determined to vote. YouTube has video selections from “Iron Jawed Angels” that features this same time period leading up to an increasing confrontation with President Woodrow Wilson. The YouTube selections will also be featured on Suffrage Wagon in the future. You’ll find these small audio chunks enjoyable and very informative. Photo of suffragist Doris Stevens, above.

New Podcast: “Playing Politics with the President.”

IN OTHER NEWS: There’s a tea house in Castle Rock, Colorado –the Regency Tea Room– that has a great article worth taking a look.  This posting makes the connection between the suffrage movement and tea houses, a subject we’ve given plenty of attention to over the past few years. Castle Rock is 28 miles from downtown Denver and 37 miles north of Colorado Springs.  It’s by reservation only. I haven’t been there, but it’s on my list.

Follow the Suffrage Wagon for news and views of the suffrage movement.


America’s Joan of Arc and two videos: Special for Joan’s birthday!

Inez Milholland as Joan of ArcKathleen Kelly, long-time friend of Suffrage Wagon, takes Joan of Arc on the road on her birthday with a special feature in “New York History.” See the special article for Joan’s birthday that spreads the word about the U.S. having its own Joan of Arc.

VIDEOS: A clip from “Iron Jawed Angels,” that shows Inez Milholland leading the 1913 suffrage parade in the nation’s Capitol. It’s a great clip. And Kathleen’s article nails down the details of how we have our own Joan of Arc on this side of the Atlantic. My grandmother Edna and grandfather Wilmer marched in the 1913 suffrage parade in Washington, DC at the time of Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration. Can’t help the tears that well up every time I watch the clip. If you haven’t seen “Iron Jawed Angels,” it’s available online, including YouTube. Treat yourself during Hot Tea Month in January! And serve hot tea.

Here’s the launch video for Suffrage Wagon during Hot Tea Month. Link and I’ll embed it , though I’m not sure it’s going to hold on all platforms.

Have a party in honor of Joan of Arc, Inez Milholland, Alice Paul, Carrie Chapman Catt, Lucretia Mott, Anna Vaughn Hyatt and others from our history and feature hot tea at your gathering during Hot Tea Month in January.

Follow the Suffrage Wagon. Postings twice a week and a quarterly newsletter. Vimeo and YouTube channels. Suffrage Wagon News Channel celebrates women’s freedom to vote.

New curriculum materials for “Iron Jawed Angels” film

Grandmother Edna Kearns wouldn’t have had a starring role in “Iron Jawed Angels,” a classic introduction for many about the woman’s suffrage movement. However, she would have been in the office of the National Woman’s Party during the scenes when the suffs picketed the White House. And as such, she would have represented the many grassroots activists it took to win Votes for Women. Check out the mention of Edna in the online magazine, New York History.

Now there’s a curriculum guide available that uses “Iron Jawed Angels” to make history come alive. I haven’t seen the materials myself, but I’m passing them on because they stress the angle of nonviolent social change and its importance in the suffrage movement. Check out the press release. Plus additional information.

Suffrage Wagon News Channel is now on a new platform.

She died so we can vote today: Inez Milholland

Inez Milholland was beautiful, smart, courageous. She gave her life for our voting rights today after collapsing while on the campaign trail. She died shortly thereafter. Chances are, most people never heard of Inez Milholland. However, they may have seen photos of the magnificent woman on a horse leading the enormous 1913 suffrage parade in Washington, DC at the time of President Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration.

Inez Milholland is briefly featured in the HBO movie “Iron Jawed Angels.” Inez is representative of the suffragists’ style of mixing drama and beauty with their idealism. Parades were carefully planned to provide evidence of strength and determination as well as artistic impact. Suffrage activism inspired pageantry, poetry, art and music.

To Inez Milholland
By Edna St. Vincent Millay

Read in Washington, November eighteenth, 1923, at the unveiling of a statue of three leaders in the cause of Equal Rights for Women

Upon this marble bust that is not I
Lay the round, formal wreath that is not fame;
But in the forum of my silenced cry
Root ye the living tree whose sap is flame.
I, that was proud and valiant, am no more;—
Save as a dream that wanders wide and late,
Save as a wind that rattles the stout door,
Troubling the ashes in the sheltered grate.
The stone will perish; I shall be twice dust.
Only my standard on a taken hill
Can cheat the mildew and the red-brown rust
And make immortal my adventurous will.
Even now the silk is tugging at the staff:
Take up the song; forget the epitaph.