As we approach the election period infused with controversy, saturated by television commercials, as well as endless advertisements on the radio, Internet, and yes, even Facebook, we must remember the sacrifices made by our foremothers during the suffrage movement, which gave women the right to vote. While all elections are important, this one has targeted issues involving women in a way that could negatively impact our rights – to the point of rewinding the clock on progress made in women’s equality during the last 40+ years. This election needs the voice of all informed voters. However, it is imperative for all women to make their voices heard this year by casting a vote. To turn a blind eye to these issues diminishes the sacrifices our foremothers made for us. To not cast a vote takes away your voice, makes you a silent bystander – something that was tried by the government and patriarchal system during the suffrage movement.
To illustrate this, I would like to highlight Lucy Burns and the Night of Terror endured at the Occoquan Workhouse by her and many of her friends. Of all Suffragettes, Lucy Burns spent more time in jail then any other protesters. Born 1879 in Brooklyn, Lucy was raised in the Roman Catholic tradition by a father who believed that his sons and daughters should be educated equally. Burns gradated from Vassar College in 1902, then attended Yale Graduate School studying linguistics. She eventually went to Oxford University in England to resume her studies. It was at Oxford that she became involved with activism and the suffrage movement. Continue reading “Lucy Burns, A Look at a Catholic American Suffragette by Michele Stopera Freyhauf”