Blogging about books, writing,and established and emerging authors... also about women, their lives, their interests, their issues
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Women's history month...............the right to vote
The History of Women's Suffrage:
In the early 19th century, women were considered second class citizens, whose existence was limited to the interior life of the home and care of the children. Women were considered sub-sets of their husbands, and after marriage they did not have the right to own property, maintain their wages, or sign a contract, much less vote. It was expected that women be obedient wives, never to hold a thought or opinion independent of their husbands. It was considered improper for women to travel alone or to speak in public.With the belief that intense physical or intellectual activity would be injurious to the delicate female biology and reproductive system, women were taught to refrain from pursuing any serious education. Silently perched in their birdcages, women were considered merely objects of beauty, and were looked upon as intellectually and physically inferior to men. This belief in women's inferiority to men was further reinforced by organized religion which preached strict and well-defined sex roles.
With the side-stepping of women's rights, women activists became enraged, and the American Equal Rights Association was established by Stanton and her colleagues in 1866 in effort to organize in the fight for women's rights. In 1868, the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment proved an affront to the women's movement, as it defined "citizenship" and "voters" as "male", and raised the question as to whether women were considered citizens of the United States at all. The exclusion of women was further reinforced with the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment in 1870, which enfranchised black men.
In a disagreement over these Amendments, the women's movement split into two factions. In New York, Stanton and Anthony established the radical National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA). Lucy Stone, Julia Ward Howe, and Henry Blackwell organized the more conservative American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA) in Boston. These two groups later merged in 1890 to form the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) under the leadership of Elizabeth Stanton.
Winning the vote:
Susan B. Anthony was arrested for attempting to vote for Ulysses S. Grant in the 1872 presidential election. Six years later, in 1878, a Woman's Suffrage Amendment was introduced to U.S. Congress. With the formation of numerous groups, such as the Women's Christian Temperence Union (WCTU), the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) ,the National Association of Colored Women (NACW) and, the Women's Trade Union League, the women's movement gained a full head of steam during the 1890's and early 1900's. The U.S. involvement in World War I in 1918 slowed down the suffrage campaign as women pitched in for the war effort. However, in 1919, after years of petitioning, picketing, and protest parades, the Nineteenth Amendment was passed by both houses of Congress and in 1920 it became ratified under the presidency of Woodrow Wilson.
Equal rights amendment:
Upon this victory of the vote, the NAWSA disbanded as an organization, giving birth to the League of Women Voters. The vote was not enough to secure women's equal rights according to Alice Paul, founder of the National Woman's Party (NWP), who moved to take women's rights one step further by proposing the Equal Rights Amendment (E.R.A.) to Congress in 1923. This demand to eliminate discrimination on the basis of gender failed to pass.
I am a writer, educator, musician, and ex-small business owner, living and writing in Vermont I am passionate about writing, women's issues, the arts, and life in general. I love to blog.
When I first picked up this book for review, I thought that I would be getting an inspirational romance. How wrong I was. And, I am in no way, disappointed. Romance is my preferred genre, but I do dabble in others. I’m glad I got this one. I was also a little put off by the title, but once I read the book I understood and think it was a great choice for her to use it.
Courage of Fear is a hauntingly powerful inspirational fiction novel that will toy with your emotions in ways you cannot fathom. Cleverly written and deftly portrayed, Barbara Boyer creates unforgettable characters with an intense plot-line. Her extensive vocabulary and understanding of the human condition makes for a great read.
The main character in the book, Angela, at one time was an author. At the beginning of each chapter was a segment from her book the character supposedly wrote. I thought this to be an excellent choice. It made the book stand apart from the rest and only added to the potency of the story. The ending, (don’t worry- I won’t spoil it), was phenomenal. I wasn’t expecting that at all. If you’re in the mood for a good laugh, cry, or intellectually stimulating read, I suggest you pick up Courage of Fear.
Reviewer: Kelly Moran, Author
Wonderful book...can't put it down. I'm writing a memoir and reading as many memoirs as I can. This one is great...she's such a good writer. This book has been very helpful to me as a memoir writer, especially in that it is a wonderful example of a writer infusing their memoir with their honest and authentic voice. That has been a challenge for me, but with thought and time and also with lots of blogging I have opened up and have been able to fill the written page with my true voice...not always...but I'm working on it.
So far I find the book wildly imaginative, entertaining and somewhat laborious to read. It's not the kind of book you can skim through or completely relax with, while reading. You have to be alert and ready for twists and turns and an extremely creative story line. Neither is it the kind of book you read in bed at night to make you sleepy. It's like very contemporary modern art...intriguing and original. Henehan plays around with and has great fun with the language, which at times becomes somewhat tedious.