It's so important to vote tomorrow, these pictures are a preview from our summer 13 campaign! I wanted to reach out to all of you and remind you that women have come a long way in history and voting is a way to stand up for yourself and your rights!! XOXO
Voting is totally cool and totally sexy!!
Photos: Kimberley Gordon
Model: Valerie Van Der Graaf
Make up: Carlene K
Hair: Tyron Dupre
Styling: Kimberley Gordon, Meredith Leyerzaph, Emily Siegal
Pam Platt | Remember, the suffrage fight led to our right
"When I sat down to write this week’s column, I pulled the purple and white one from the mini-display. It shows the old photograph of a woman in profile, hair pulled back and a white-collared dress framing her neck and shoulders. Three words are stamped beneath this portrait of resolve: “Failure is impossible.”
A story I read in preparation for writing reminded me that this was the rallying cry of suffragist Susan B. Anthony one month before she died in 1906. At age 86, after fighting for women’s enfranchisement for half a century, she traveled from New York to Baltimore to tell women one more time, and one last time, that “failure is impossible” in their quest to win the right to vote. Fourteen years later, long after “Aunt Susan” had passed, it was finally true for women throughout America when the 19th Amendment was ratified. As Abigail Adams had urged at the birth of our country, the “ladies” were forgotten no more.
But maybe, in fact, they have been — by those of us who have benefited from their heroic struggle. Do we really know what had to happen in order for women to be guaranteed the right to vote?
Several pieces in this edition of the Sunday Forum look at important issues involving voting.
Bobby Simpson, president of the Louisville Bar Association, writes about the range of laws being enacted that could thwart the ability of millions of people to vote in several states.
Raoul Cunningham, president of the Louisville branch of the NAACP, details a voter empowerment plan being undertaken by his group to register voters and to get voters to the polls Nov. 6.
I want to add my voice to their chorus of voter awareness in reminding women of the long road that was blazed and traveled in order to deliver greater freedom for us. For those who came before us, that greater freedom meant the right to vote.
Do we know about the women who were beaten, who were jailed, who went on hunger strikes, who were force-fed, who sacrificed their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor so that we could go to school, that we could own property, that we could work, that we could be paid, that we could have the same right to self-determination with our votes?
I don’t think so.
I’ve done a fair amount of reading about this in my life, and still I learned a lot when I found a piece put together by the University of Louisville Women’s Center (louisville.edu/womenscenter/suffrage-history). Just a sampling from the beginning of the alphabet:
• Inez Milholland Boissevain, lawyer and World War I correspondent, led a 1913 suffrage parade in Washington on a white horse. She died while on a lecture tour about women’s rights in the West. Her last words were about liberty for women.
• Olympia Brown, ordained minister and editor who spoke almost 300 times in 1867 for Kansas suffrage. She was older than 80 when she burned President Woodrow Wilson’s speeches during a protest.
• Lucy Burns, teacher, political prisoner and Yale grad, who was arrested six times for protesting (she also picketed the White House). She and other suffragists — including Alice Paul — organized and went on a 19-day hunger strike while in Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia in 1917. She was beaten and force-fed during her incarceration.
• Anna Elizabeth Dickinson, orator, champion of equal rights for blacks and women, actress, playwright, the first woman to speak before Congress. Her sister had her committed to a hospital for the insane, but Dickinson fought for her freedom and won damages when she was released.
• Abigail Scott Duniway, pioneer, mother of six, shopkeeper, newspaper publisher and indefatigable organizer and traveler for women’s rights, “barraged by rotten eggs” in one city and ultimately honored as Oregon’s first woman voter.
• Addie D. Waites Hunton, who worked in World War I with black troops in France and “challenged the National Woman’s Party to support black women: ‘No women are free until all women are free.’ ”
• Sara Bard Field, missionary, poet and pacifist, drove cross-country from Oregon to deliver a women’s suffrage petition to President Wilson, an audacious undertaking in the days before highways.
• Abigail Kelley Foster, publisher, lecturer, abolitionist of the 19th century, who would not pay taxes on her farm, arguing it was “taxation without representation.”
The list goes on for 20 pages. And that’s just one list.
It’s easy not to value something — such as the right to vote — if you don’t know how it came to be.
But if you’re reading this, you don’t have that as an excuse anymore. You know a few names now and a little of the stories of some of our founding mothers who taught us that failure is impossible.
Voting is their legacy, and, thanks to them, our birthright. Don’t squander their precious gift."
Pam Platt is the editorial director of The Courier-Journal. Her columns appear in the Sunday Forum.