Women’s Suffrage

I just got through watching Iron Jawed Angels, a movie about Alice Paul (primarily) and Lucy Burns, and their fight for the right for women to vote.  The Netflix guide gives the following summary about the film:

From 1912 to 1920, a group of fiery young suffragettes led by Alice Paul (Hilary Swank) and Lucy Burns (Frances O’Connor) band together to wheedle the United States into adapting a Constitutional amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote. Along the way, they incur the wrath of President Woodrow Wilson (Bob Gunton) and anger other suffragette leaders (Anjelica Huston and Lois Smith). Directed by Katja von Garnier.

The movie was excellent.  It provided an opportunity to see the struggles that women had to endure to obtain a basic right.  The movie also explored the tragedy that surrounded this fight, along with the blatant hostility that was used by men (and in some cases, women) against women citizens.  The music in the film was incredibly well placed, and mixed modern music into the film, without detracting from the time period of the film.  I was thrilled to see Ida B. Wells-Barnett featured in the movie, as I recently did a project on her contribution to feminism, and in particular the extension of rights to women (of all color).

The movie has some intense moments (mainly in the women’s prison), but you learn later in the film that this was a critical part of the story line.

Of course, given the apathy that is shown by many women and men today, perhaps it would do some good for everyone to see this film to remind them of the struggles that were had to obtain simple rights, like voting.  It is also comforting to know that if pursued long enough, change is inevitable.

Highly recommended!