Votes for women!

I have so much to say on this subject, not least because I just voted for the first time (aged 50!) in the recent US Presidential election. Of course I voted in the UK for years, but having filled out our citizenship paperwork while watching the Trump inauguration, it has given me a great deal of satisfaction to know my husband and our oldest kid have participated in the democratic process this time around.

It’s easy to take this right for granted and not having it during the 2016 campaign (as we had not been in the country long enough by then) was salutary. It put the fact that 2020 marks one hundred years since (most) women got the vote in America into context for me. One hundred years is not so a long of a time period as one gets older (did I mention I turned 50 this year??) and I know how it feels to want to vote but not be able to. Happily, we are all legal now, and I’ve enjoyed learning a lot about the American Suffrage Movement due to my Nellie Bly research and a wonderful exhibition I was able to attend locally at the Brandywine Art Museum.

Last week I was busy again with all things suffrage, working on a blog article about Nellie Bly and the Suffrage Parade of 1913. I’ll come back and post a link to that here when it is published. But for now, I thought I’d share a link to a new page I’ve set up with Nellie Bly’s report for the New York Evening Post on the day of the parade, March 3rd 1913. Just click HERE and you can read my transcription of the whole thing. It’s typical Nellie! Here’s her opening line…

“I have stunning riding togs. Everyone said so and I believe them. “

Nellie Bly, New York Post, March 3rd 1913

In a time of protests and counter-protests it’s fascinating to read about the Suffrage Parade. Things did not go smoothly. For a quick read that covers all the main points, I’d recommend this Library of Congress Essay “Marching for the Vote” as well as this Atlantic piece which has some great photographs. Here are some highlights from the exhibition I saw in September:

Of course I have my own Women’s March experience, having taken part in the one in Washington D.C. in January 2017. I can’t imagine that it bore much resemblance to the 1913 event. There was no trouble that I saw and the crush was unbelievable. In fact, I didn’t see very much at all! Here’s a glimpse of what it looked like.

For those interested in suffrage and women’s history in general, please consider giving me a follow on Instragram – @katembraithwaite. I’m working on a series of posts about #interestingwomen I come across in my reading and research. There are so many! If only I had time to write books about them all!!

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