Tag Archives: Marguerite Kearns

Honor the grandmothers in the kitchen!

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Honor the grandmothers in the kitchen! on Vimeo.

The year 2016 is an election year –more reason than ever to remember the grandmothers and great grandmothers who spent more than 72 years working to win voting rights for women.

When you visit Suffrage Wagon Cooking School you’ll see a representative sampling of the cooking demonstrations during 2015, plus an archive. Chef Marguerite is your host.

Chef MargueriteFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Suffrage Wagon News Channel has a video platform on Vimeo.

Suffrage Wagon Cafe is closed during January 2016. Programming resumes in February. Your host: Marguerite Kearns.

SuffrageCentennials.com for trends, news and views about upcoming suffrage centennials. Suffrage Wagon is a partner in the Inez Milholland Centennial observance in 2016. Inez Milholland is America’s suffrage martyr.

Episode #10 of Suffrage Storytelling: Bess cautions Edna about falling in love!

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Episode #10 of “Spirit of 1776” Suffrage Storytelling! on Vimeo.

Over 100 years ago young women questioned marriage and whether or not it was in their best interest. Back then, women were property, not individuals with the rights of citizenship. Women were expected to pay taxes and accept their second-class citizenship. “No way,” said Bess, Edna’s best friend. Bess decided that she didn’t want to get married if it meant giving up the freedom to realize her potential rather than be evaluated on how well she cooked and cared for children.

100 YEARS AGO YOUNG WOMEN LOOKED FOR WAYS TO COMBINE FAMILY AND FREEDOM TOO!

Edna May Buckman wanted freedom and family too. She believed that partnership could be linked to equality, but she had to find the right man who would be committed to this vision. When Edna started seeing Wilmer Kearns, Bess stepped in. Episode #10 of the “Spirit of 1776” suffrage storytelling highlights Edna’s search to find the right partner.

COMING NEXT ON EPISODE #11 OF SUFFRAGE STORYTELLING

In Episode #11, Edna invites Wilmer to meet her family. But will Wilmer make a good impression? Already we’ve discovered that Edna loves Wilmer’s storytelling, but she hates his pipe and cigar. Wilmer is figuring out whether or not Edna is worth changing his lifestyle. But he needs advice. In New York City where Wilmer is working at his first job, he meets Aunt Sarah. She isn’t his biological aunt. But Aunt Sarah loves young people and giving advice. Enjoy Episode #10, and stay tuned for Episode #11 in this first season of Suffrage Storytelling.

Meet Bess at Suffrage Wagon CafeFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Suffrage Wagon News Channel has video platform on VimeoIn your free time, meet friends at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe.

SuffrageCentennials.com for trends, news and views about upcoming suffrage centennials. 

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.

AN OUTRAGEOUS DEVELOPMENT

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.

WATCH THE TRAILER AND SEE “SUFFRAGETTE” IF YOU CAN

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!

Vote graphic on Suffrage Wagon Nes ChannelFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Suffrage Wagon News Channel has video platform on VimeoIn your free time, meet friends at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe.

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.

Episode #7: Edna responds to Wilmer’s love of writings by Henry David Thoreau!

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Episode #7: Wilmer Kearns courts Edna Buckman with his storytelling on Vimeo.

We’re moving toward the day when Edna, Wilmer and Bess (Edna’s best friend) are active in the women’s suffrage movement. But long before that, we meet them in 1903 when they’re young. Their direction in life is still in formation.

MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT INTERESTED THE YOUNG WOMEN

In previous posts, Bess got in trouble after her parents discovered copies of Mary Wollstonecraft’s books hidden in her bedroom. Edna also read Mary Wollstonecraft. Then Wilmer entered the scene and he loved talking about his favorite author, Henry David Thoreau. The writer understood the art of walking and how he considered every walk a “crusade.” Edna listened carefully.

HENRY DAVID THOREAU INTERESTED WILMER KEARNS!

Wilmer agreed with how Henry David Thoreau needed leisure, freedom, and independence. For Thoreau, walking represented more than exercise. It turned into an adventure, an occasion that brought air and sunshine to his thoughts.

Thoreau loved climbing a tree, studying the landscape, and discovering new horizons during his walks. He listened to the quiet that wasn’t really soundless at all. While walking he contemplated the known and the unknowable. He studied the moon and buildings in varying shades of light and darkness. Thoreau said he ventured out into the world for a walk with no idea of direction. But he found a new way of traveling and being. Then he added: “In short, all good things are wild and free.”

Wilmer’s in the process of wearing down Edna’s reservations about relationships. But will he be successful in winning Edna’s heart? Stay tuned!

Wilmer KearnsRelax this fall by following Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Suffrage Wagon News Channel has video platform on VimeoIn your free time, meet friends at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe.

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.

The book that got Bess in trouble: Women’s suffrage storytelling special!

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Suffrage Storytelling is how we reach women voters, young voters, teachers, students & American history fans! on Vimeo.

SUFFRAGE WAGON CAFE PROGRAM on Suffrage Storytelling by Marguerite Kearns, your cafe host.

On the street where Edna grew up in Philadelphia, her best friend Bess became an outsider compared to most of the other young women interested in marriage and starting a family at the turn of the 20th century. Bess insisted on remaining single because of the limited rights for married women. This caused considerable distress for Bess because she loved men and romance and fashionable dresses. But Bess drew the line in terms of what she’d have to sacrifice in terms of her freedom. And so in her mid teens Bess announced to family and friends that although she invited love and romance into her life, she drew the line at marriage.

MR. WEISS WANTED HIS DAUGHTER BESS TO CHOOSE MARRIAGE, NOT FREEDOM

In the larger world, Bess wasn’t alone. Many young women like Bess longed for choices and opportunities. Increasing numbers of them, like Bess, were in a position to receive an education paid for by their fathers. Mr. Weiss wanted his daughter to be the best possible wife for a man. This included becoming a clever conversationalist, someone skilled in household management, music and art –all of the skills and opportunities that could be acquired with a proper education. And so at home, Mr. Weiss caved into pressure from his wife and daughter for Bess to attend high school, an opportunity denied to most young women of that generation.

BESS RAIDED THE PUBLIC LIBRARY SHELVES FOR BOOKS BY WOMEN WRITERS

Suffrage Storytelling features tale about how Bess got in trouble with her parents! on Vimeo.

When Bess attended high school with her best friend Edna, Bess raided the public library shelves and borrowed books from teachers. She read radical women writers such as Mary Wollstonecraft, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Margaret Fuller. Bess also heard stories about Lucretia Mott who turned the heads of old Philadelphia fogies with her radical abolitionist organizing. Many men quaked in their boots when hearing about the ways in which Lucretia Mott and her husband James Mott practiced equality in their marriage relationship. The word got around about how James played an essential role at the 1848 women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York.

YOUNG WOMEN LIKE BESS WANTED TO LIVE A FULL LIFE & THIS GOT BESS IN TROUBLE

Young women like Bess traveled to New York City to witness for themselves the outrageous bells of Greenwich Village who strutted and pranced and showed off their liberated views about women’s equality and freedom. To her father’s dismay and regret, Bess turned out to be exactly what her father despised: an independent thinker, someone committed to remaining single and spending all her free time looking for cracks in the family’s armored existence. All of this came to a head when Mrs. Weiss found the book, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft under Bess’ mattress in her bedroom.

WHAT HAPPENED WHEN WILMER KEARNS ENTERED THE PICTURE . . .

Young Edna Buckman followed in the footsteps of her best friend Bess and announced her intention not to marry. But this resolve was eroded when she met Wilmer Kearns at an art exhibit in Philadelphia. We’ll find out about how this disagreement about marriage impacted the friendship of Bess and Edna on “Suffrage Storytelling.” The ideas of Mary Wollstonecraft and other women writers weren’t taught in school during my youth. Today I find it fascinating to discover the impact they had on my grandmother Edna and other young women like Bess, as well as the previous generation of Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and many others.

COMING SOON: THE BOOK THAT GOT BESS IN DEEP TROUBLE WITH HER PARENTS. You’ll be able to experience the book yourself on audio.
SuffrageWagonCafeMeet your friends at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe. Follow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Suffrage Wagon News Channel has video platforms on Vimeo and YouTube

Follow SuffrageCentennials.com for 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.

A women’s suffrage myth & a great free book with the inside story! Marguerite’s Musings.

“Jailed for Freedom” by Doris Stevens is featured book on Suffrage Bookshelf on Vimeo.

You can listen to the “Jailed for Freedom” book read free on Librivox.
Suffrage Movement Myth

by Marguerite Kearns

Have you heard the perspective referred to above that has been getting spread around lately? It compares the English and American suffrage movements and concludes that the English suffragette movement was exciting and creative while the American suffrage activists were boring and trite. So sad that these sister movements are being pitted against each other. If there’s anything positive about this old myth being trotted out into public, it’s to give these faulty assumptions an airing.

THE MYTH COMPARING ENGISH AND AMERICAN ACTIVISTS

The myth of exciting versus boring relies on the assumption that the English suffragists’ use of property damage, that is, a degree of violence, placed the English suffrage movement in a position of being considered more interesting than the American women who were “polite.” Translate that to “nonviolent.”

Sweeping generalizations underlie this myth. In fact, the women’s rights movements in England and the United States were committed to nonviolence. And later on, the English tactics that included property damage were controversial in their time and did not represent the sentiments of all English women engaged in the movement. Suffrage activists on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean argued vehemently about the best tactics and strategies necessary to reach their goals. And while they disagreed about tactics, they remained committed to the goal of freedom.

"Marguerite's Musings" on Suffrage Wagon News ChannelTHROWING ROCKS AND BLOWING UP MAILBOXES

Sadly, the perspective comparing the Americans and the English relies on a misunderstanding. Nonviolent tactics and strategies are considerably more difficult and challenging to implement than a decision to resort to violence. Throwing rocks definitely has more juice for the purpose of a mainstream film. A commitment to nonviolent social change isn’t as visual and tension producing as deciding to blow up a mailbox.

In fact, the ties between American and English activists were close. And both movements, for all their differences, can be plotted on the same path of working within a rigid political and social structure to accomplish similar goals while facing considerable resistance from government to win voting rights. While the American suffrage activists remained committed to nonviolent strategies, there’s no doubt that violence was used against them, especially those who picketed the White House in 1917 and were imprisoned and assaulted by authorities.

THE SIMILARITIES ARE IMPORTANT TO APPRECIATE

Both the suffrage activists in England and the U.S. went up against hard-core resistance. The picketing of the White House in 1917 heightened awareness of the women’s suffrage movement in the U.S. And if these activists hadn’t been successful in impacting national policy, it’s difficult to predict now, in retrospect, if U.S. women would have won the right to vote at all in 1920.

This old tired myth comparing the two movements will hopefully lose its power once the public is better informed about the spirit and determination and dedication that kept American suffrage activists with their eye on the prize. Check out Doris Stevens’ work, “Jailed for Freedom.” These free audio files from Librivox fill in more of what it took for American women to win voting rights.

As more research on the women’s suffrage movement is completed, books are published, and the constituency interested in this part of history grows stronger, we’ll join hands across the Atlantic. I envision a grand parade or awards banquet where English and American women honor our suffrage activist ancestors and properly celebrate this extraordinary accomplishment of winning voting rights together.

Onward to the 2020 suffrage centennial celebration!

WATCH THE VIDEO ON SUFFRAGE WAGON

Follow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Suffrage Wagon News Channel has video platforms on Vimeo and YouTube.

Comment on the Suffrage Wagon blog. Meet your friends at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe. Follow SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming women’s suffrage centennial events and celebrations. 

“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. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote.

 

VIDEO: Make a great cup of coffee at Suffrage Wagon Cooking School!

Make a mean cup of coffee at Suffrage Wagon Cooking School on Vimeo.

WATCH THE VIDEO ON SUFFRAGE WAGON

Now’s your chance to become a hit with coffee lovers. The Suffrage Wagon chef, Ted Cutting, walks us through making the same type of coffee you’ve come to expect at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe. The next cafe program on June 8, 2015 highlights a trip to Seneca Falls, NY, whether actual or virtual. Convention Days are coming up in July and Seneca Falls is expected to be a hot spot during the 2017 New York suffrage centennial celebration. Marguerite Kearns is your host on Suffrage Wagon Cafe.

Suffrage Wagon CafeFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Suffrage Wagon News Channel has video platforms on Vimeo and YouTube.

Comment on the Suffrage Wagon blogMeet your friends at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe. Follow SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming women’s suffrage centennial events and celebrations. 

“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. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote.