The Women's Suffrage Movement

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The role of women in American society was to be the nurturer and caretaker, women were also expected to be poised and calm even through injustices. However, one is able to see how the radical, aggressive and unorthodox women's organizations such as the National Women's Party, during the Suffrage Movement, and Militant Housewives, during the Great Depression; were able to grab the attention of the government and pressure them into changing policies such as women not having the right to vote and forcing them to regulate food prices and housing. The National Women's Party, militant and bold protests helped propel the Women's Suffrage Movement until finally women won the right to vote in 1920. The National Women's Party, formally known as the…show more content…
Without the National Women's Party the Women's Suffrage Movement would not have gained as much publicity and sympathy. The main reasons why the National Women's Party gained a great deal of publicity for the movement are that the party would picket the White House, go on hunger strikes in prison if members were arrested, they would document their actions by taking pictures and then proceed to use news outlets to inform the public about their movement and the treatment they received. (402). Newspapers often ignored the suffrage activities, however, when the National Women's Party began to picket outside of the White House, the newspapers could not resist but to publicize the events because picketing in itself was often unheard so when a group of women start to picket outside of the White House; it was considered outrageous and radical (Dubois 283). Since newspapers were publicizing these events the people could not ignore the Suffrage movement and the government could not overlook these women's demands (Abbott 427-431). The women who picketed outside of the White House were known as the Silent Sentinels and these…show more content…
These housewives were able to come together and pressure the government to the point that the government was forced "to play a regulatory role in food and housing costs" (Orleck 412). Examples of housewives' radical behavior as a form of protest were the Jewish housewives in New York, the African American housewives in Cleveland and the Polish housewives in Chicago. The Jewish housewives resisted eviction from their homes by "wield[ing] kettles of boiling water, and threaten[ing] to scald anyone who attempted to move furniture [onto] the street" (402). When the electricity was shut off in African American homes, the housewives protested by hanging "wet laundry over every utility line in [their] neighborhood" and angry Polish housewives burned "thousands of pounds of meat" (402), to demonstrate their discontentment with high meat prices. This form of radical protest showed the government that these housewives meant business when it came to protecting their homes and that if the government wanted these women to stop, they would have to adhere to their demands. The housewives were so passionate about keeping all food and housing costs a reasonable price that they set their political differences aside to protest together and began organizing boycotts. Housewives in larger cities defied eviction by fighting with

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