Saturday, September 20

For All Women: It's Your Right!

Women didn't have the right to vote in the US until 1920. Our grandmothers and great-grandmothers fought for that right in both the US and Canada. In the US, women like Lucy Burns and Doris Lewis were determined that women should have equal say in elections. This lead to the Night of Terror - November 15, 1917.

On that night long ago, 33 women were thrown into the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia on a trumped-up charge of obstructing sidewalk traffic. The warden looked the other way while four guards wielding clubs beat the women; some so badly that they almost died.
Alice Paul, pictured above, was one of the leaders who marched on the White House. She decided once she was arrested that she would go on a hunger strike in order to stand-up for what she believed in. The guards tied her to a chair, inserted a tube into her throat and poured liquid down it. They did this every day for weeks.
Dora Lewis was tossed into a dark cell. Her head hit an iron bed and knocked her unconscious. The woman sharing the cell with her was Alice Cosu. She thought Doris had been killed and had a heart attack.

The guards tied Lucy Burns to the bars of the cell with her hands above her head. She was left hanging there all night. She could barely breathe and was bleeding.

President Woodrow Wilson and his cronies attempted to have Alice Paul declared insane and wanted her to be placed in an insane asylum. The psychiatrist would have no part of it. He told the men that brave, strong women were often looked upon as being insane.

US women won the right to vote in 1920 with the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Warren G. Harding was President.

In Canada, the suffrage movement was lead by women like Dr. Emily Stowe and Nellie McClung. Dr. Emily Stowe lead the movement in Ontario, while Nellie McClung lead it in the West. In 1917, women who were related to men actively fighting overseas during WWI were allowed to vote by the War Time Election Act. A hue and cry went up for equality.

Nellie McClung

Nellie McClung actively fought for the right for women to vote in 1916. Women who lived in Manitoba were granted the right to vote that year and Alberta and Saskatchewan also granted their women the right to vote. However, women in other provinces didn't get the same consideration.

In 1918, the ability to vote in a federal election was granted to all Canadian women over 21 years of age. Still, some provinces didn't allow women to vote in provincial elections. By 1922, all provinces allowed women to vote, except Quebec. It wasn't until 1940 that Canadian women across the nation were granted the right to vote in both federal and provincial elections.

If you are a women of voting age, please practice your right to vote. It doesn't matter who you vote for. Thank God we are free to vote for whom we choose. However, to honor these brave women who fought for the right for us to cast a ballot, be sure to do so. This year the US will elect a new President and there is a federal election in Canada on October 14th. Honor those women who lead and participated in the suffrage movement. It's your right!


  1. Amen Sister!! What an honor to be able to vote!! Thanks to those ladies who fought for us. .Lets honor them by voting yes? Thanks Mary:)

  2. Mary,

    Excellent article. Not enough recognition is given to those brave women who fought for the right to vote. The least we can do to honor them is to vote! Thank you!!


  3. wow the abuse they suffered for equal rights was so bad! Thank goodness for them that we can now vote!

  4. What a history lesson....... Great information..... I always love your history lessons.. Yes we have quit a list of wonderful women that paid the price for us to Vote....... there is such an important election coming in just a few weeks......... Let us pray, and let us vote!

    AND........... have you heard anything about Denise over at Shortybears! She is not around, wonder if anyone has her phone number? Let me know

  5. Mary, Thank you for posting all you did here. Tomorrow I am going to the library to see if I can find more.

    People say they are weary of the election hype, and the ugly backbiting commercials, and I agree they should not stoop to that. But that doesn't excuse us from being responsible enough to care who will get laws passed these next years that may or may not be good for women, and for my country, and yours.

    I've been governed by men since Frankln D. Roosevelt was our American president, and in the throes of the Great depression, he did do some great things for our country. but I think some current laws that affect women need improving or changing, and it is women like you who don't hesitate to bring up the subject that got it done then, and will get it done now. I appreciate you.

  6. It never ceases to amaze me how many people -men AND women alike -don't exercise their right to vote. Such a travesty to have this right, privilege and then to discard it as a meaningless entity or some such! Great reminder Mary of the importance of voting. Over the centuries, so many have put their lives on the line for the rest of us to keep this freedom and then, today so many just ignore this as if it meant nothing at all! Great post!

  7. I'm sorry....but I have to use this...
    "You're dam* straight, I'll vote!!!"

    Here, here Mary!!!!!

    Your blog today just made me want to stand up and cheer. We women MUST vote to be our ancestors. They fought for us just as the soldiers fight to keep our countries free. It's a right that we all should keep and go out and VOTE!!

    Someone in history once said, "Our country deserves who we have running our country" other words if you don't like who it 'em out!!!! Or visa versa.

    But VOTE.

    [I love all the history and photos you dug up for us today...super, just super]

  8. Yes, I wrote about that a week or two ago. I remember the names too. I thought it was good to post something like this now. We need to VOTE AS WOMEN!! Sandy

  9. This was awesome!
    I am sure we learned about this in school but I can not imagine that they shared these details.
    It is sad that what they fought so hard for....we take for granted.
    Thank you for sharing this bit of History.
    I certainly enjoyed it...think I'll share it with Julia.

  10. What a wonderful historical reminder of the sacrifices others made to lay the groundwork for women’s voting rights! Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed your Show & Tell decorations too.
    Hugs and blessings,

  11. Great post. Thanks Mary. I have been one of those on the fence kind of gals but I think I know which lever I am leaning towards now. All you have to do is READ certain nominee's books and HIS OWN WORDS will scare ya into voting for the other guy. Peace
    It is our right so go out and vote for your canidate. I plan too.

  12. Great post, Mary, and a great reminder of what these women went through on behalf of not only their own generation, but all those that would follow!
    As much as I love my country, it always amazes me that we didn't even have the right to vote until so recently!
    So important that we don't take this right and freedom for granted.
    Thanks for this, Mary!

  13. It is an honor for us to be able to vote. You went to a lot of work on this post and I appreciate your effort. These ladies were made of stern stuff for sure! Blessings, Grams