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Sioux Falls Feminists endorse Iron Jawed Angels for showing
at least some of the abuse American women suffered
when trying to achieve voting rights.

Iron Jawed Angels
Votes for Women
Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way

Iron Jawed Angels (2004) - 124 minutes
Iron Jawed Angels at Amazon.com

Votes for Women. Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way

Taking a a fresh and contemporary look at a pivotal event in American history, Iron Jawed Angels tells the true story of how defiant and brilliant young activists Alice Paul, played by Hilary Swank (Boys Don't Cry, Insomnia), and Lucy Burns, played by Frances O'Connor (Windtalkers, Artificial Intelligence: AI), took the women's suffrage movement by storm, putting their lives at risk to help American women win the right to vote.

4-5-18 The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote
Though we all know that American women secured the right to vote only about a century ago, “most modern readers will be astonished to learn exactly how it all went down,” said Marjorie Kehe in CSMonitor.com. In the summer of 1920, the fate of the 19th Amendment hung in the balance when pro- and anti-suffrage forces converged on Tennessee for a crucial showdown. Just one more state was needed to ratify the constitutional amendment, but even suffragist leaders believed Tennessee might bury the cause, perhaps for years. Though the “Suffs” were out in force, the “Antis” were just as visible, led by Josephine Pearson, a professor determined to prevent her state from becoming the first in the South to endorse the measure. “There was scheming, double-dealing, and flip-flopping up to the last moment,” and in her new book, author Elaine Weiss has made the drama “an out-and-out nail-biter.” Weiss initially rewinds to 19th-century America, and “it is hard to believe how powerless women were,” said Mims Cushing in the Jacksonville, Fla., Times-Union. When the suffrage movement began, married women had no rights to property or to their children, and many accepted the notion that society benefited when women remained uncorrupted by engagement in the public sphere. In 1920, Carrie Chapman Catt and other suffragists were still battling that idea. But anxiety about maintaining woman’s purity wasn’t the only obstacle, said Zlati Meyer in USA Today. The Antis reminded white Tennesseans that extending suffrage to women would increase the total number of African-American voters. And because Tennessee depended on its liquor industry, the Antis plied lawmakers with free whiskey and warned that women voters would push for the passage of Prohibition. In a book that “could have easily become snooze-worthy,” such color is welcome. But because so much information is packed in, “much of the drama seeps out.”

1-28-18 The suffragettes of the circus
In 1912, female acrobats, equestrians, and weightlifters took on a new high-wire act: fighting for their right to vote. a Sunday afternoon in March 1912, a group of female performers from the Barnum & Bailey Circus gathered in the animal menagerie at Madison Square Garden. Watched over by lions, a Bengalese tiger, "a two-horned rhinoceros, ostriches, yaks, pigs, seals, cassowaries, flamingos, monkeys," and a hippopotamus named Babe, they began to talk about suffrage. Among them was petite May Wirth, whose equestrian act included a running leap onto the back of a galloping horse; Victoria Codona, whose beauty was nearly as famous as her skill on the high wire; bareback rider Victoria Davenport; the "female Hercules" Katie Sandwina and many others. Barnum & Bailey billed itself as the greatest show on Earth, and these were its female stars. They'd been brought together by acrobat Zella Florence and Josephine DeMott Robinson, a retired circus bareback rider. The turnout was impressive, but notably absent were the top representatives from the Women's Political Union, a suffrage organization known for its focus on working women. Inez Millholland, a rising star in the women's suffrage movement, had planned to come. She had been quoted in the New York Press saying that "circus women exemplify one phase of the ability of women to earn their own living," and that she was interested in helping them join the fight for suffrage. But at the last minute, Millholland backed out, perhaps out of concern that the meeting was nothing but a circus publicity ploy. To replace her, Florence and Robinson crashed a tea being given by the Women's Political Union and tried to get a group of the suffragists to attend the circus meeting. According to The New York Times, these "strong and earnest women" impressed the suffragists, who sent over Miss Beatrice Jones, "as a committee of one." Back in the Madison Square Garden menagerie, "[Jones] planted herself in the center of a group of 25 or more women and girls, modishly and sedately gowned, so that you would never dream it was their daily lot to bound about, blithe and bespangled," and asked assurances from the women that their intentions were sincere. Once they had convinced her, she helped them elect officers and told them how they could contribute to the cause. To celebrate, they named a baby giraffe Miss Suffrage. For the women of Barnum & Bailey, it was the first step towards becoming suffragists. For Josephine DeMott Robinson, it was just another scrap in a long battle to find her place outside of the ring, in a world that she had always found bewildering and stifling.

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Iron Jawed Angels
Votes for Women
Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way

Sioux Falls Feminists endorse Iron Jawed Angels for showing
at least some of the abuse American women suffered
when trying to achieve voting rights.