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tv   The Suffrage Movement and the Media  CSPAN  June 15, 2019 10:35pm-12:01am EDT

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hers: american women in the vote. up next, three authors who have women -- who have written books about women's suffrage talk about the suffrage movement and the media, and the making of a movement. tonight's discussion is part of a series of programs related to our recently-opened exhibit, rightfully hers: american women in the vote. it tells the struggles for voting rights and critical steps toward equal citizenship. the exhibit explores how american women crossed the spectrum of race, ethnicity and class to advance the cause of suffrage and voting rights beyond 1920. the decade-long -- the decades-long fight for the vote in the 19th and early 20th century engaged large numbers of women in the process.
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a critical part of the campaign was getting their message out to the nation and shifting public opinion to support their cause. tonight we will learn about the severed -- the suffrage movement's communications shane and how it contributed to the success. i would like to welcome nancy tate of the stage. since 2015 she has served as 2020 women'se centennial initiative and is on the board of the women's suffrage memorial. she served as015 executive director of the league of women voters. previously she was chief operating officer for the national academy of public administration at also served in the department of energy, department of education and the office of economic opportunity. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome nancy tate. [applause] tate: thank you.
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it's wonderful to be here at the national archives, especially in light of the exhibit, rightfully hers. i encourage any of you who have not seen it to make a point of doing so. ofm nancy tate, i am cochair the 2020 women's vote centennial initiative and i am the former executive director of the league of women voters in the night it states. the league is one of the cofounders of the women's vote centennial initiative, which is an information sharing collaboration of women's organizations and scholars around the country. our goal is to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment in 2020 and to shed light on the powerful but little-known history of the 72-year struggle to win that constitutional right to vote. the league was founded in 1920
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by carrie chapman katz, the leader of the largest suffrage organization, the national women's suffrage association. 2020 is also the 100th anniversary of the leak and we will be celebrating that across the country, at our nearly 800 state and local leagues. but just a little more about wvci, which is our acronym. we do do sets of things -- we do two sets of things. one is to establish networks around the country of interested organizations and individuals who would like to learn more about the centennial because we want to promote efforts to learn more about this important aspect of american history and to commemorate the full story of that struggle. here in washington dc we struggle educational events like this one and we coordinate with exhibit that are starting to be held, as this is, at various
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museums and libraries around the city. so tonight this program is part voter women and the symposium series. this is the third we have done in collaboration with the national archives, and we aim to have several more here in 2019 and 2020. each of these will focus on different and probably not well-known aspects of the overall suffrage movement and its struggle, and will highlight points of relevance to contemporary issues. the 72-your fight for women's suffrage is a powerful historical story, and it can be used to enhance our understanding of our own world and how to navigate it. vci byn learn more about w following us on facebook, twitter and instagram using the 2020 sent daniel.
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our moderator tonight is tamera, a white house correspondent and part of the politics team on the pbs newshour. she will lead a conversation with betsy griffith, author of ."e book, "in her own right and rebecca boggs roberts, author of "suffragists in washington dc, the 1913 parade and the fight for the vote." i will turn it over to you. [applause]
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>> thank you everyone, for being here, and thank you to the panel for being here. we know how this story ends. the story ends with the 19th amendment to the constitution being ratified, and we'll all get to vote. the question i am hoping we can cover tonight is how we got here , and how we got to the end of that story in 1920, starting in the 1900s. it is a long story. linda, you have an overview you start atus and you can the very beginning or the early part of this century. linda: i will condense it because it is a long story. and thank you for having me.
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when you talk about the suffrage movement, so much is about communication and targeting and what was an impetus for women winning the vote, and the 72-year struggle in the 20th century when women took to the streets. says the emergence i would of public women in the united states. everybody is familiar with the famous 1913 parade down pennsylvania avenue, which was mobbed by men, but women first started assembling in the 19th century. that was a big deal. it was threatening for women to get together at conventions where they could share ideas and get a sense of community. from that they moved on in the ing. century to soap box this was a big deal because women would claim a little bit of public turf. additionally, the male territory was the public sphere and women were relegated to the domestic
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sphere, which basically cut them out of the political process. so women taking to the first soapbox was a big deal. started to petition, going back to the abolition movement. this was a big deal for a woman who was supposed to be happy just to be in her house. go out of that house and down the street and knock on somebody's door and asked them to sign a petition was also a political act, and raising their consciousness about their own oppression in their life. 1910, time we get to women take one more step and start to parade. the first suffrage parade i know in new york was in 19 eight -- was in 1908. malone,named maude who was influenced by british suffragettes, organized a group of six women to march down the streets. but thousands followed them.
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it was a big deal. it was so unusual for women to take to the streets, and think about all the negative associations that go with that. again, women are going to get bolder. there will be the annual fifth avenue parade in new york city that is going to become a huge event. the first national suffrage parade is going to become quite the spectacle. and the suffrage is going to create their own media. they have a bionic relationship with mainstream media, i would say creating their own press. it is going to be an impetus, it really helped women emerge in the public sphere, and that is going to change them both. it is going to change women's roles and it's going to change our concept of what the public sphere is. betsy: the petitions the women referred to are actually here in the public archives. no one would have known elizabeth cady stanton or lucretia mott and three other quaker women had the meeting in 1848 at seneca falls fa
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telegraph wire had not recently and strong along the erie canal. when word got out women and men had voted on 11 resolutions, one of which was the right to vote, across the telegraph lines people were outraged. beth had there not been a telegraph line, no one would have known but the seneca falls newspaper. these women were communicating by corresponding. elizabeth cady stanton is constantly writing to susan b anthony, who didn't it involved until 1852, i need to write a speech, i need to convene a convention, by correspondence. invented,riters are mimeograph machines are invented, and these relationships with the newspaper, or creating your own. elizabeth cady stanton and susan b anthony created the newspaper ," 1870 called "the revolution
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which failed almost immediately because they refused to take ads from kwak medicines. suffragistsion of published it until 1935. i want to challenge the premise andhe panel, power, media the movement. i think media made the movement, but power, the power of women voting made the amendment. and they are used in two different ways in the suffrage movement. the media is represented by alice paul, and the third, youngest generation of suffrage, represented bys carrie chapman katz, who could count votes and influence the president. the point about marching in the streets and taking little bits of the public sphere, bigger bits of the
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public sphere, that is what the women were counting on. the outrage work for them. all woreage, they great and it looked great -- they all wore white and it looked great in pictures. isn't that a great picture? this big, broad, marble plaza. it is still the cover of my book 100 years later. all the considerations about what they are doing is a little bit shocking and that is what makes it newsworthy. they knew that the public sphere was not there zone. that is remarkable about reading about this. period isout this that sometimes they at some time they decided they should picket outside the white house, which
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was really controversial. that people basically lived there. >> so the idea that this was this wassial, and yet a way that they got attention. >> alice paul was just expert in publicity. she really was. she was an expert in public relations before the term. these women helped create the whole field. and when they first started picketing the white house we weren't quite at war yet, and they were tolerated. it was very transgressive. when we declared war four months later in april, that is when it really raged the public. they were considered traders, scum of the earth, there were a lot of sailors roaming around washington dc and they would get drunk and attack them. were sent off to that created a whole other
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level. there was that debate, do we picket the white house during wartime, criticism of the president during wartime? people think it is treason. so not only did they keep the pickets up, they got much more pointed. you can't read this, but first of all, what with these women do with social media? this is a tweet. [laughter] it is very directly, a critical message directed to the russian envoy's, tell the president he is the biggest challenge to american liberty. is another one with the kaiser wilson banner, there we go, kaiser wilson takes the beam out of your own i. these women were not backing down because wartime was a time when they might lose sympathy.
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but they were not breaking any laws. they were arrested for something completely made up. they were arrested for obstructing traffic on the sidewalk. that was not a thing. >> talk about how they made the most out of being arrested. all, women volunteered in droves to picket, so the arrests began. black women and working women and mothers stopped picketing when the arrests got serious, because they could not interrupt their lives in that way. but from january until april, really january until inauguration was the first batch of picketing and 1917. march was the inauguration at that time. women so shocking that would hold picket signs no matter how well-dressed and matronly and college delegations
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or whatever it was, that alone was shocking. the president would walk out of the white house, tipped his hat, offer coffee. they ignored him. but then when they started ratcheting up and decided they would protest during the war, they get pushed off the headlines, out of the news until june when the russian picket goes up. then they decide they can picket every day, tensions of gotten too great, so they wait until the fourth of july and they carry not only the picket signs but an american flag, thinking, who is going to attack the american flag? alice is in the hospital at john hopkins and lucy burns, whom she met in a jail in london when they were most arrested for picketing -- both arrested for picketing, takes over and she's even bolder. she is the one who did the kaiser wilson pickett. but they are shrewd enough to begin to quote the president. so the judge cannot charge them with sedition. they can only be charged with obstructing traffic. and for that, because they are not caving, the judge has to
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keep adding to the sentence. the original sentence was three days in jail or $25 fine. patternwomen, and a civil rights marchers would follow, said, we will fill the jails. women were going to jail and people were shocked the government would put women in jail. then the government puts women to jail for one month, two months, and alice paul for seven months. alice paul and rose winslow were the only two to be force-fed. >> they go on a hunger strike. a hungerey go on strike because they are protesting their political prisoners. they are the first american to ask for political -prisoner status, which is amazing. betsy: nobody knew what was happening inside the jail, so part of the communication strategy was getting the news out. alice paul had to stop a hunger
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.trike the only thing she had to> read was her oxford book of english verse and somehow she scribbled a note and got it to her compatriots outside and said, use all this. it makes excellent domination. somehow she smuggled that outcome and they did. >> i am not sure that is true. i heard she had five daily newspapers delivered to the jail and a stenographer once a week to take her correspondence, before she got what in -- well she writes -- got put in -- well, she writes her mother that that is the plan, but maybe she is just try to reassure her mother. >> declaring themselves political prisoners, did that help the movement? england, taken from the was the strategy,
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radical wing of the british suffrage movement. coral --ent here were were called radical but they had nothing on the british movement, women were throwing rocks through windows and setting fires in britain. women were standing outside in america with signs. if you arerategy, arrested, demand political prisoner status, if they refuse, go on hunger strike, that was evelyn's. and i agree that she was a brilliant strategist and pr person entered amazing situations to her advantage, but she had a blind spot where she would follow tankers to's example and not think whether or not it transfer related it translated to an american system. in 1916 she did that party in power strategy where she
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campaigned against pro suffrage democrats to hold their feet to the fire, it was not a parliamentary system. i think the political prisoner thing was similar, that she, that it was a tactic that worked elsewhere and she didn't necessarily think through what the situation was. >> that puts our finger on the major weakness of elizabeth -- of alice paul. she imported not only these parliamentary tactics but a -- aamentary leap plan parliamentary plan. wilson won the presidency and democrats took over the house and senate, but there was bipartisan opposition and bipartisan support, so carrie chapman catt refers to the paul strategy is stupid. >> but the two of them i feel like they would have had to dream each other up if they didn't have each other. carrie chapman catt was this diligent lobbyist, organizer, if
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this state needed a referendum in that state needed it passed by two successive legislatures, she had all that down but she never would have been bold enough to pick at the white house. atshe didn't want to pick the white house because she was trying to woo wilson. , i willanted to be that meet with that unthreatening ms. catt. >> some historians have argued they were a perfect good cop-bad cop relationship. it was easier for wilson to do with carrie chapman cap because she was looking better in her larger organizations that were more patriotic in comparison to alice paul. >> three generations of suffrage, stanton and anthony and stone, and then you have lucy. it was sort of a mother-daughter competition.
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were dynamic speakers whose followers would have followed them off a cliff to the white house to tennessee for the ratification. was womenatt had getting the vote from all those referendums from all those state legislatures. we would not have gotten the vote if it had only been paul and the protest. you had to have catt and you couldn't have gotten the vote if you only had paul. states forwent to ratification, the fact that catt had all these state organizations was vital. tamara: i was hoping we could tease that out. in terms of the political structure, they were out in the states trying to build the movements in the states or trying to get state level things past, and there was also the national movement. a long, painful history.
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when the 15th amendment was passed that it enfranchised black men in black women, there was a huge rift in the suffrage movement. people like lucy stone and julia ward howe said, we are abolitionists, we will take this amendment does written and we will fight as abolitionists. and some people said if we accept the amendment without women it will be a whole generation until women get the vote and they split they not only split into rival group, but group pursued a state-by-state strategy because the reconstruction amendment was so threatening to southern states. the anthony and stanton group pursued a special amendment. so they were working at cross purposes and when they came back together and rejoined and the americans women -- the american women's suffrage association
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became the american women, they decided to do the state estate strategy. which isn't crazy, it sounds like a lot of work but the plan to, if you get enough states pass suffrage. one of the reasons the 19 teen march -- the 1913 march matter was that it was an announcement that the federal amendment was back. wagon thatas a big said, we >> it was a gutsy pr move all on her own. to get an amendment you need three quarters of the states. 36 states and two thirds vote in both houses.
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not entirelywas wrong. it eventually comes together. they all lost. there was very few federal hearings. states withix women's suffrage by the presidential election of 1912. alice paul really stirs up momentum at the state level. you have more states beginning to fall in line. vote, allow women to other states are allowing women to only vote for president. others are given the universal suffrage from congress, school board, president. had impactl voting on the parties. that is electoral college votes. that is whenbefore women started going public. to go back to media.
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there were years when there were only four states that had suffrage. nothing happened for 20 years. didn't get that momentum going on till women in new york started going out to the public in getting the word out and refocus attention. previously, they would have the conventions in church basements in the 19th century. media is really burgeoning at the beginning of the 20th century. public,oing out in the that was really how they got their message. i heard you all giggling about this headline. this is what going out in public was covered by the census pressed back in the day. women's beauty account. [laughter]
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they have no idea what to do with it. there is a whole paragraph about the badly behaving crowd. this is my favorite. with913 march coincides migration. this headline should be woodrow wilson inaugurated. editorial cartoon thinking he gets the headline, stealing the spotlight from him. want alice paul to have a parade. she fought with them until it was down pennsylvania avenue. she wanted the superintendent of police -- he thought lady should not march on pennsylvania avenue because there were bars and buildings lining the streets.
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suggested that they marched from dupont circle down to the white house, away from the public. alice said no. she wanted the drunken crowd. she wanted the conflict. i don't think she expected to be as rally as it was. young men from the university of maryland and boy scouts join hand to make a wall. they only started out four bodies apart. they could barely make it any farther. women were freezing in place because the parade had not shown up. inside and took three more hours before the suffragers showed up. playing on what linda was ofing, for women to take any these roles was so against the
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public image. how we learn our role, 19th-century women and early 20th century women were meant to be ladies. when she comes back from england and is invited to talk about the outdoor tactics, she and harriet offered to practice speaking on a soapbox. the older women were horrified. to be on the street was to be a er and this respectable. the idea of having outdoor tactics was a shock. arrestlice had to the women, the idea this could be their mothers, daughters, sisters, they didn't know how to handle throwing women in the paddy wagon. they had to possibly be reprimanded by the supervisors that your job is to arrest those women. >> how does this move from
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public awareness to public persuasion? they have a lot of methods and tried them all. [laughter] they have various degrees of success. i think like any public movement, there was a tipping point. these women worked really hard to convince men to vote for these laws. for women movement is until the final step. you couldn't introduce or vote for legislation. they had to depend on men for the last thing. they had these amending card -- amazing card files and research. of women's party gets a lot press for these conflicts. it also has this unbelievable database with 20 cards on every member of congress that not only talks about how he voted, whether he said anything, whatever.
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also, talk to his wife, she is a lot smarter. talk to himrinker, before 5:00 p.m. public,f them said in no one in my district in ohio wants suffrage, that was a show up400 letters to to his office. they were targeted for the objection anti-suffragists had. all the objections, they had strategies. media tose the organize too. open up a copy of women's journal or other regionals and they would tell you the status of the latest process.
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they would tell you where your congressman stood. they would ask you to sign the petition. they would ask you to pick it. they were information. besides the fact of giving women empowerment and giving them something larger than themselves. inspiring the collective identity. the media was very important in organizing. >> one of the questions i would have was what media markets were the marches being covered? the 1913 march was covered live with the inauguration. it got broad coverage. as they got scandalous and unpatriotic and the violence that followed the women after they were jailed. mind innge the public's 1918 was 22 states, millions of people were voting. it was the war. women participated in the war.
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they worked in factories, farms, they worked on the run as the telephone call girls for general jack persian. they worked as ambulance drivers. war in the strategy worked on wilson. he was so adamant against it as a southern gentleman. because he was relying on the southern senate to pass the reforms for which the wilson administration is known, he did not want to rock the legislative vote. it a war measure. say we are so respectful for women and the sacrifices they are making. until october, 1918 when the senate is voting and they turn him down. he makes his plea on behalf of women. when he is doing that, she is in jail. i think woodrow wilson
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opposed suffrage because he was a sexist. he didn't opposed suffrage because he didn't think it worked as a southern democrat. he could've been a lot more aggressive on the issue. he could have done a lot more for the issue. ultimately, what changed his 1917, he said if they have to vote, they might as well vote for me. the new york vote, again, paul is in jail, it was by 100,000 votes. democratic bosses opposed suffrage because they thought the ladies were going to get the vote in change politics. they tried but they were less successful in that. the largest congressional delegation, electoral votes, new york passes and then the house votes in january of 1918. >> i don't get is purely
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coincidence that the house comes out for suffrage a year to the day after the picketing started. cat and the the women were really crucial, there were contrasts in the civil war. they brought the women of suffrage to do war work. they were betrayed. they got nothing from the government as far as votes for women. after world war i, it does make a difference. cat is very that effective in saying women are .orthy you also have the national women's party. much smaller and more radical. it is interesting reframing militant notions. think they provided a nudge
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in pushing wilson to coming out for the vote. i think it would've been a lot easier for the u.s. government and congress to ignore these women who have been rolling bandages for the last three years. >> you shouldn't underestimate how they manipulated the press coverage. it is one thing to say the 1914 press -- parade out press coverage. you saw women's grace and beauty but will do the capital. that is not the coverage you want. alice paul hadea all of those women come from out of town, she had them right pacific -- specific accounts of how the mob treated them and send them home. the springfield, illinois paper smith, --s jorja missus jorja smith -- mrs.
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george smith, it was good pr. saying you will wear this and march in this order. she wanted to demonstrate that women voting would be graceful and harmonious and not disruptive as these underground. those were going to be very disruptive. everyone knew it. describing --ere minimizing the radicalism. can we rush on the racial dynamic of this movement. one question i have is whether this was a movement of privilege? pickets werehouse a bit isolated by their class and color. socialists, if they had been picketing they would have been
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in jail. race was not a strong suit of the suffrage movement. the parade is where you could see it. t and paul went out of their way, they didn't want the american -- african-american to march. wells wanted to march, when a sorority wanted to to be as their first act politically active in 1913, they were told to march in the back. >> paul originally said no blacks would march at all. there was pressure because there were women in the illinois suffrage group. they weren't very evident because it was a racist country at the time. the national association of colored women was almost as
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large as the general federation of women. there were activists that had their own reasons want to get the vote to stop lynching and improve their situations. paul first says not at all. no native americans. then she gets pressed and creates the section at the back. re. everybody marches the marches with the illinois delegation. we are not sure were some of the others march. with two white grandfathers, she was quite a light-skinned woman. we know she picketed. don't -- clearly class, race, angiography were issues to disrupt the movement. i go back to what i was saying at the beginning. the media makes the movement but the power makes the amendment.
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these women came together in a temporary coalition. a temporary sisterhood. they want the boat to a camp labor reform.lish they had lots of issues to hang together. to put up with each other, they were much stronger together than they would have been any separate way. the sisterhood splinters and they all start fighting and competing against each other again. i wouldn't say that it ends in 1920. not every group of women got to vote in 1920. the issue rises again. mary church terrel and her organization appeals to alice paul at the 1921 women's party, what will you do to help african women protect their vote? getsturns them aside and
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damned by her own friends and members for her racist attitude. native american women didn't get the vote until 1924. african-american women struggled until the voting rights act and civil rights act. they are still struggling with voter suppression. poor women were hurt. territories, it was drafted before america was imperialistic. if you were in hawaii, alaska, puerto rico, puerto rico's didn't give women suffrage until 1935. in the district of columbia, you didn't get it until 1961. neither woodrow wilson's widow nor mary church terrel, residents of d.c. got to vote in their lifetime. only did they put forth this image.
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they often used overtly racist arguments. state-by-state, there was an effort to go into southern states and say if you give white women the vote we will overwhelm the black male vote. it never works by the way. the southern states were systematically dismantling. it was an overt strategy. >> they said the same thing in the midwest about nativist women. i'm not excusing them. i agree with you about wilson. [laughter] these are women who are now in the third generation. the people they need to persuade to vote for them are white men
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from all over the country. which is why having women vote in every state and different legislative districts makes a difference. that was power they would respond to. who ever voted for suffrage was jeanette rankin . in january, 1918, she introduces suffrage in the house and votes for it. it passes. the first victory for suffrage since the amendment had been introduced in 1878. one woman. we could give credit to phoebe burns. inry burns changed his vote the tennessee legislature ratification. the vote of one man, harry gets the credit. and 27 million women were eligible to vote. even if state parties found a way to cut them out. why women being
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cut out, even though they have the right theory. how long did it take for the things?vote to change has it yet? it in -- you see did see it in the new deal in some ways. some who had been elected talked about issues of government get involved. think he carried over into the 1920's. he started seeing the government become a little more -- >> i feel there was a lot of legislation passed in fear of the women's vote and when it didn't materialize it was repealed. the health care bill, the antichild labor amendment made its way through congress.
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when women didn't vote substantially for the men in their lives -- or at all. this is the thing that makes you so mad. the way theirg husbands and fathers tell them to. the other democratic -- demographic parts of their lives, they are voting like the men who share their race or background. it is not that they are being told how to vote. there was not a women's vote. there was not a gender gap for 60 more years. >> the fear of women voting was very effective from 1921 until 1920 or. 4. the acts are repealed. vote.don't only illinois counted men and women to vote. you had to speculate what happened. there are not exit polls, national polls, not until 1964
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did they start counting the women's vote separately from the men's vote. you can see that the numbers are increasing. that not until the 1980's the gender gap of partisan difference arises. what linda says is right too. there were very few women serving. the men were annoying them or repealing their action. women like eleanor roosevelt and her social justice network really came out of the settlement. women like florence kelly and jane addams. appointed two new positions during the new deal. it is the new deal that says no married women hold -- married to a government employee will hold a job. act. is an equal pay .hen you have the baby boom white women go underground.
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women areerican active in the 20's in , increasingly active through the 40's through either marching again or the threat of marching. hires all ofrshall these women attorneys laying the groundwork for the cases that will change the laws in the 1950's. mary church terrel, she has been around since 1885 in memphis. she has two degrees, enormously althy. her husband is a harvard graduate. is doesn't ever quit, she active and organizes through the 30's. in 1950 she is photographed picketing washington restaurants
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with her cane in one hand and picket sign. these women were sensational. >> part of the promise of this panel was that we would also discuss what these women did in the early 1900s. does it have ripples today? how the movement back then has informed today's women's movements? or even maybe today's hashtag movements. the first women's margin 2017, you got to see it. it was interesting then to see in 2017 all of the pictures. i'm always surprised, too. picketsioned one of the could be a hashtag or tweet.
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mediasthese new social targeting you couldn't see a century ago. for instance, ok. cartoons and et cetera. this is an ongoing thing, i usually lose it. cartoons that the suffragists created in their newspapers and the beautiful banners. they use horror to make their points. you could see that in social media now. things like tumbler, et cetera. the communication networks, too. when you see hashtag women's march. these networks of women
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communicating together with suffrage newspapers. i see it imperial that way. >> the concentration on how things look. we think about it as contemporary that everybody is looking for the perfect selfie moment. these women were very aware of how they look. for the live audience and how it looked in pictures. banners when they picketed the white house were clear fonts with dark print on a light background that reproduced well in pictures. all this idea of getting the perfect image to represent you. people will look at the images more than they read the story. the power of suffrage. we know now that not everybody ore suffragee w
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white. there were probably fewer women wearing white, you were supposed to wear your professional outfit. by suffrage white is worn women in congress on the day of the state of the union. our archivist was in a white suit when the exhibition open. dress, purplehite sash, the symbols that people look at and know what they r epresent. >> the white dresses and serve the same purpose. they looked striking against the navy blue suits. it was a shortcut. i think isr piece important is that what happened after the 2017 march? an enormous outburst of energy and urge to activate and call your congress members and
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organize for women candidates. every march since then has been smaller. it is why she had to come up with the pick. she had a thing of new things that would not poor people. in march does not automatically generate power. generating votes is power. you have to figure out how to make the connection between the energy, andoverage, the fact that it will be a factor for change. >> we saw it in the 2018 midterm. every single one involved in the midterms had the pink hat somewhere. awarey, they had become existence.yonic
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they went to electoral politics for the organizing. in march is fine but you have to take it to the next step. in our democracy you can do that electoral politics. >> it is true and publicity, it only works if you have something to back it up. there have been lots of splashes. >> they don't last. it sounds like you are saying that the publicity was successful. the messaging was successful because there was a political undergirding. >> that is exactly right. when nancy was making reference to the league of women voters, whenever suffrage passes, wyoming and colorado past in the 1890's. she said when we get ready to ratified, i'm going to need
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representatives in every state legislative district in the country. every congressional district she wanted to have a member ready to go. that power, staying in connection in holding them ready to do the job at the state level was in normal sleeve important. alice paul never went to nashville. she sent a representative, she ran out of money and didn't have a national network of members that was very large. historians estimate that while she may have had 3000 members, by 19 21 she was down to 600. t had this enormous operation. people's interest diffuse. >> a somebody might pursue. cameeague of women voters
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basically a nonpolitical organization. it didn't take a political stance. the other way they created the national women's party that was so one issue focused and ignored so many issues it was kind of powerless. if there had been another alternative in retrospect to say perhaps once women got the vote they thought it automatically solved so many problems. there was women's trading and there were many other organizations. nancy probably knows this, it wasnews to me, i thought it chatman who was responsible for the do good to educate women for out to be good citizens. thats really jane addams influence the final convention. these women were iconic. they were probably the most
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respected women in the country in 1920. she said we need to be organizing and running people for office. we should have senators. before we know it, she is all for political organizing. jane addams says let's go back to organizing. you went into a neighborhood and you fix the problems of the neighborhood that didn't necessarily translate into legislative power. view won him some people were disappointed. cat went back to international peace. so people werege able to go to other things. is a there is a lot of logistics. it could be a little intimidating. the idea that the league of women voters would help women be
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responsible voters, not what issues will you pass but how are you going to use it in a way that makes you feel responsible. i will come back to my five either give it. culture might have been -- i want to factor this in, we the 20's wereng, kind of the jazz age. in the 1910s you have this idea of people working for change, once women got the vote they went off to the pursuit that reflected the 1920's. who's a symbol of the woman in the 1920's? it the flapper. individual pleasure,
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they went on to pursue individual careers. how much realizing power they were losing by going off on their own. >> how many times have we thought we won? [laughter] >> another good point. >> i'm encouraged by the 2018 elections. there is a long way to go. still not represented on par with the population. some of these younger women and men, certainly people who are -- i'm optimistic. i think it holds good things. >> the great thing about having an audience is i get to stop asking questions and you all get to ask questions. we have microphones on either side of the room. is thatne request which you ask a question.
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you could make it approximately 20 seconds long that would be awesome. we could get to as many people as possible that way. my name is jason. it hasn't really been mentioned movement thatllel is occurring amongst women is important for the temperance movement in the passage of prohibition. there is a lot of entanglement and the dual passage of those has something to do with the dissipation of energy for women. if you could speak to that i would appreciate it. i didn't put it? at the end. a lot of women came to the suffrage movement because of it. they figured they couldn't get
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it without the vote. the early days of the suffrage , the association was more useful. they got crash courses in field organizing. as you got into the 20th century , the associations became less mutual in part because they competed for funding and also was everywhere. it was reinforced. the 20th century suffrage little bit of a time distancing themselves around that image. intalked a little bit around the women's party.
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they created this calendar girl who was young, lovely, and stylish. there were some ways the connection was useful in ways it was destructive. taking away -- >> taking away beer was a big deal. it brought all of its enemies with it. brewers, saloon owners, and big-city boxes were not thrilled to have that association. recently, a scholar published a study analyzing the votes of congress for people who voted for suffrage and prohibition. they are not the same. people always supposed there would be overlap. the men who voted for suffrage who had women voting in
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their district. the men who voted for prohibition had different social outlooks. it is not the same group, which surprised a lot of people. is an exhibit here about how hard it is to amend the constitution. if you're only going to get one of them, you start to compete with each other. we set about -- we saw a big imbalance about which party was getting women involved. what do you see for the future trends, will this be a permanent imbalance? what are people's predictions? yes, there were significantly more democratic women e
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lected to congress in 2018. that is a long-standing trend. inwas particularly dramatic 2018. stefanik from upstate new york thinks this is a problem. she is now actively working to recruit more republican women to raise money for republican women. pactas attacked -- a she has formed so it is a bit more representative. some people laughed at her and wrote her off. she seems to be getting some traction. who knows how it will work out. you have to make it through a primary to get into a general election. aisle, thats of the is a challenge for female
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candidates. >> to make a few remarks which i sheld have emphasized when was founding the league she envisioned we were in there to continue the fight. the flight we have interpreted broadly. you do that with education and advocacy. part of education is not just for each individual to know what is on the ballot but for the public to understand that a lot of other education is for the public to understand the issues. why some of those arguments against the vote were not valid. the league also began accepting men as members in the early 1970's. we have been fighting for full voting rights and other equality for all americans. delete today's very active in fighting the voter disempowerment laws around the country.
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[applause] >> like a lot of organizations, the league did not admit black women immediately. there were some black women voters, some states that would insist on having black votes. ohio and illinois wanted to have black women members. that did not become commonplace until the civil rights movement. thank you for being here. toughlk a lot about the and smart stuff that got this through. also a tough and smart , what did they do wrong and what strategies did they imply that were more effective? antis almost won in tennessee. they weren't as media savvy. they showed up at a parade
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wearing scarlet letters. they were quite as adept with the media. they were pretty reactive i think. and i think that hurt them. women were very powerful. the two heads where the wife of the senator james wadsworth of new york. robert lansing's wife, the wife of the secretary of state. not a small, unknown group. they were filled with prominent women who because of their elite status. they did not need to vote. in tennessee, they were very affected with pr. wore yellow roses.
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antis tried everything. they threatened primary challenges, business boycotts, they said they would kidnap members to keep them from voting. at using tennessee women as her surrogates had people patrolling the railroad station so nobody could get whisked out of town and missed the boat. thatnk it is really lucky we won in tennessee. there was no other state that was going to pass that legislative session. had it gone past 1920, he might've had the same fate as the child labor movement. >> there were a lot of different groups that were anti-suffrage for different reason. women led byanized anti-suffrage. church, there were
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plenty of other anti-suffrage groups that didn't necessarily share an agenda with the women who were leading. it wasn't that clear of a movement. my question -- the first is, we talk about the history tonight, i admit i thought i knew a little bit about history. i didn't until rebecca was kind enough to give me her book. i don't know if in schools we do a good job of pointing out just how difficult it was. youirst question is do think we should or could do a better job? the moran court -- the more important question is --
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pick your favorite person. this has not been a great week or month for women. if they were alive today and they came back, would they be surprised at where we are now? do you think they would have expected we would be here? i know you can't speak for them, what do you think? i think margaret would be rolling over in her grave. margaret singer wanted birth so there there wouldn't be any abortions. heroine. a no doubt about it. i have been in school for much of my professional career. the entire country needs more civics education. i appreciate the kinds of things she does on the news hour to
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help constant conversations. cookie roberts and her npr coverage where she is telling us stories about how our government works. the week before every november election, every school needs to talk about the fight for women's suffrage, african-american suffrage, voter suppression, how these issues are still prudent. whether people have access to the ballot. why it is not a bad thing to let everybody know. let them show their id when they show up. it has grown into its democracy. only gave white men who didn't own property the right to vote. it gets so much more attention than the 15th amendment, 19th amendment, or the voter rights act. >> not only is civic education important, it occasionally gets
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a pat on the head. this girl is a role model. learnhe reason to women's history is there is no way women's have not been agents and if we do not learn that we are learning nothing. >> it is a shared history. we are all citizens, it is our history. it is american history. >> amen. >> i have to add and i don't know if you guys will have thoughts on this. this is your reality all the time. for me, thinking it has only been 100 years, it is mind-boggling. absolutely mind-boggling. my grandmother who was born in 1913, there is my mother.
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[laughter] before women had the right to vote, she went on to become a member of congress and an ambassador. she lived the change. to women.ll connected it is shocking and horrifying that hit as -- it has only been 100 years. we also have really good picture. [laughter] the was wondering with electric mobility we have seen around the 2018 election and also recent laws out of alabama, what would you say is the most important or one of the most important pieces of wisdom the suffragettes could teach us. >> never quit. >> don't give up. beenerything we have
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talking about. think about how things look. friends. count votes. do your homework. of these lessons they accomplish so well, we can learn from that too. there is this big headline, never give up. the slow and sometimes fascinating and tedious process of societal change is an amazing model. you could learn so much about how to be a good activist. >> it might teach you patience. 72 years is a little too long. i want things to go faster. the fact they didn't give us all that time and they finally succeeded and it has taken another 70 years before women became effective political
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actors. about whereimistic we are now. i think the power of the 2018 election, if they handle themselves effectively, i think we are blessed by leader pelosi in terms of demonstrating women's leadership roles. just to have a most powerful woman in the country in that position so close to a presidential position is very empowering. >> you had spoken quickly about the flapper movement. more of a question with the move towards urbanism. do you think the amendment could have been passed if it was 5-10 years later? >> could question. yes.
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1920 is the first time more americans are doing in cities. this changes congressional representation. it is also the first decade of the great black migration. blacks are moving into northern cities as well as california. for the first time they have political organizations and state and local representatives and newspapers. quitek you might have had a large voting base. when question is at a time it seems politicians involvements and advocacy for women's rights tend to be a partisan issue, how can we encourage more political
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participation from females across the board when you see the fight for basic rights really going towards one side? >> i would say not tearing each other down. more often than not one of the women's issues seem partisan is that women make it that way. think someone has a , you arent of view part of the problem. that doesn't mean you are not committed. it doesn't mean you aren't truly right. nessink the fractious comes from taking each other out. >> i wish they could think about where they could come together.
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childcare legislation, rules about adoption. there must be some common ground where they could be leading the way and bringing male allies in with them. -- the centerngs for the american women in politics is a wonderful think tank. it publishes charts and measures. if you want to know the number of women in the legislature in new hampshire in the 1970's, you could find it. any piece of data you want. thereound that when weren't near as many women in congress as there are now, those .omen came together they found common ground because there was so few of them that women in the country wrote to them with problems. they represented many women. they found ways to work across the line. i like to think that in those days we weren't quite as partisan.
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ground becauseon they saw themselves representing more than their districts. >> it is almost insulting he said this about an ethnic group or something. issue.aybe a male-female there are many men who are better feminists than women. agenda ofke to see an people who care about humanity and those values. the men on the banking committee were not writing about women getting equal credit. men in health and education services committee were not writing research for women's cancer. women in the room to
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make a difference. women on both sides of the aisle. it takes more than just women. i agree about the diversity. disagree.ect us to there is wonderful diversity among american women. >> thank you for the conversation. this has been great. i would like to now, can you tell us the status of the equal rights amendment today? i know virginia recently addressed it. where are we with this?
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>> it had a seven year deadline as almost every amendment had for a long time. they failed to ratify enough states. in that time they got the extension and failed by 1982. the equal rights amendment failed. for states that did not vote on it before or states that have since changed their vote were brought to a court challenge. whose amendment are they ratifying? there was a sense you had to have it. that is the equal rights amendment martha griffith pushed through. sides.supported on both it had huge bipartisan support. , the majoritymen of men who voted for it never expected to come to the floor. they did vote for it. it had huge bipartisan support.
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you can deal with the old one and there will be a court challenge. you also have to ask what happens to the states who rescinded it during the time period. it got the 35, 3 states rescinded. a new equal with rights amendment, it will not pass. the congresswoman from new york has been valiant. there wereces it, hearings just last week. i think it is right, there is a constitutional argument that has to happen. we do not have the power to pass it. new one would not be ratified in the current one would be challenged. >> it seems as though the microphones have disappeared except for hours. >> i think that's a sign. >> do any of you have closing
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thoughts? >> vote often. the weird off year school board elections. do it. vote, itought for the wasn't handed to them. the theyly do i hate were given the right to vote but i would argue they always had. it had to be recognized. >> thank you. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> you are watching american
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history tv, all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. next sunday we've marked the 50th anniversary of the stonewall riots, turning point in the fight for a rights. here is a program looking at the gay-rights rights movement in america. >> the stonewall inn today is still on christopher street. there is a short period in the 1990's where it was a store, now it is a bar again. it is a national landmark. it is right across the street from a tiny park that has a monument to gay and lesbian activists. it is a part that a lot of men used to use for meeting each other. now it is a park with flowers in it. christopher street is a very long street that extends all the way to the hudson river.
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1960's, 70's, and 80's, the entire street was lined with bars and stores and other kinds of establishments that only catered basically to gay people. it is really the heart of the gay community. the stonewall inn is the heart of the gay community. >> the night after the riots, what happened? >> another riot. it went on for several days and nights and police were unable to make people stop rioting. you learn things that is interesting about this moment. it is the first time in history of the city of new york that gay and lesbian people did not accept the authority of police. that --nerally accepted four paying a police officer to
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not put your name in the paper. it was something you had to endure and it was a part of being a gay or lesbian person in new york. tvwatch american history next sunday, june 23 as we mark the 50th anniversary of the stonewall inn riot. next, teaches a class about malcolm x's views on africa. he argues to the 1960's, africa had been associated with a lack of civilization and describes how malcolm x. advocated for african-americans to have a more positive view of africa in order to develop better self-esteem and combat racism. to beay we are going reviewing and discussing a section that talks about malcolm x's


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