Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A Matter of Perspective

Little Cuter was right this morning, when she said that my generation was used to taking to the streets to fight for what's right.  Her generation never had to do that, until very recently.  It's not what they saw on television growing up; those battles weren't being fought that way in the 1980's and '90's.  

In 1969 I left my Spring Formal dress in the closet in Ithaca as I rode to Washington, DC for the Mobilization Against the War. It was as close to being a Freedom Fighter, busing through the Deep South and registering voters, as my generation was able to get.  I'd seen it, I'd read it in the newspapers.  It was real and relevant and it inspired me to leave that fancy fraternity party behind in order to make a difference.

I don't remember my parents registering dismay or apprehension about the trip, either.  The country was in an uproar and a statement needed to be made and why shouldn't I make it?  I was prepared to be tear gassed, but the nearest we came to disaster was the officer on horseback encouraging us to get out of the pond surrounding the burbling fountains on Constitution Avenue before he had to take us to jail.

I wonder if these women set off with similar high hopes?
image:Library of Congress
They left New York City on February 12, 1912 and hiked to Washington, DC

There, they joined The Woman Suffrage Procession.

They came from all over the world, and all over the country, too.
image:Library of Congress
It looked like a lot of fun, 
image:Library of Congress
until the hostile crowds blocked their way.  
image:Library of Congress
One hundred women were hospitalized.  Women won the right to vote..... eight years later.

I don't know what kind of impact the Women's March on Washington will have, but I know where the heart and soul of it began.

(Thanks to Alex Q. Arbuckle for the photos and the history)

1 comment:

Talk back to me! Word Verification is gone!