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The Need for Change By Zach Newcome


WORKS CITED ď ś Joint Resolution of Congress proposing a constitutional amendment extending the right of suffrage to women, approved June 4, 1919.; Ratified Amendments, 1795-1992; General Records of the United States Government; Record Group 11; National Archives.

ď ś Suffragette parade Mar. 3, 1913; Wash., D.C. 1913. Library of Congress, Washington D.C. Electronic.


Dear Sister, I am writing to you in great despair. Since the death of our father three months ago I have had nothing but foul luck. Our greedy bother took all of the inheritance and ran off to Paris, leaving me in a sticky predicament. I have nowhere to turn. The lack of a husband to support me is hard and my upper class label has kept me from getting even a menial job. The worst of these inhibitors is the fact that I am a woman. Being less “strong� than a man I am in no position to do any physical labor. Even if I were to find a job, in spite of my unfortunate circumstances, the wage would be little. In fact, I would get 58 cents for every dollar that would be paid to a man in the same position. Additionally, I have no way to put a roof over my head without a male co-signer. The strict societal roles that imprison women are unsustainable; the pain of staying with these bonds is getting to be greater than that of changing. I know how active you are in the suffragette movement and I rejoice because it is time that we, you and I, do something about it. The people are ready and all they need are more fearless leaders. The optimism of our youth, when I believed in my dreams, has slowly been replaced with the harsh realities of the roles into which we are forced. My dear sister, I long to join you in this fight so that other women in my position do not suffer as I am suffering now. So, I am writing to you in sheer desperation, as I need a place to stay until I can get a job and a place of my own. I am ready to fight for a better life for unmarried women like myself. Oh please, pity a broken down woman like me and open your doors. I know that you are busy right now but I can repay you later. Love, Your desperate sister Margret White


Dear Diary, Guess what I got in the mail today? I received a letter from my desperate sister in New York who is alone and frustrated, yet is unaware of the shackles of marriage. She needs a place to stay for a while and hopefully I’ll be able to convince my husband to let her stay with us. If only she knew the other half of the injustice of our role in society, forcing women to accept a role of someone else’s choosing. I snuck out and attended our weekly suffragette meeting. We are making great progress in our fight for a constitutional amendment instead of a state by state battle. Next month we plan to march at the inauguration of President Woodrow Wilson. When the world sees the extent of our organization at this event it will be clear that women are as capable as men and will no longer be held back. I shared my sister’s letter with the women at the meeting and they all agree that if she is this distraught and angry, so is the entire women’s workforce. It’s time that we speak out and try to get those women to join our march. Jane Adams said that she’ll tell women who visited her Hull House to spread the word. My big concern is that my husband is beginning to notice my strange habits and it won’t be long until he discovers the truth about my whereabouts. He will be angry that I have been attending the National Suffragette Association. I know he will have concern only for the impact this will have on his status as a prominent banker and pay no attention to my struggles. He takes good care of me, but he doesn’t realize that I am a human just like


the National Suffragette Association. I know he will have concern only for the impact this will have on his status as a prominent banker and pay no attention to my struggles. He takes good care of me, but he doesn’t realize that I am a human just like him and yearn for the opportunity to have a say in my life and government. It is all coming together and pretty soon I feel confident that we will have the right to vote. From there we will work on gaining other rights. We cannot give up the fight now. We are on the verge of great change as we now have the means to spread the word and have developed a substantial following.


Violence erupts in Washington over women’s suffrage march.

Women march in Washington D.C

Instead of being greeted by an enthusiastic crowd, the soon to be inaugurated president, Woodrow Wilson, was greeted by a shroud of violence sweeping Pennsylvania Avenue and

directed towards women’s suffrage marchers. Angry anti-suffrage men harassed the gathering of marchers and in some cases actually brutally beat the peaceful protesters. This group of

protesters was comprised of approximately 10,000 women who joined together to shed light on the need for change. More on E3 March 3rd 1913


No longer a fight of only the middle class, the movement has grown to include many working class women are getting involved with the ideal of a better future. Their rationale is that they can work for a wage and there are laws that directly affect them so why can’t they vote? Approximately 200 marchers were injured during the protest, including the wife of the prominent banker, John P Chase and her sister, who was beaten and harassed. Federal troops

were sent in to quell the violence due to the resistance of the police force to provide protection. Officials say that they are investigating the unresponsiveness of the police chief despite the protesters acquisition of a police permit to protest. According to spokespeople from the National Suffragette movement, the violence towards the suffragettes may help turn the tide toward women’s rights activists hoping to pass an amendment.


Dear Diary,

I have been planning protests for 7 years now. In the process I have lost my husband to divorce because he thinks I’m too radical. Since the divorce my sister and I have been living and working at the United Women's Association headquarters. On top of all that I have been arrested three times for causing clear and imminent danger to society and also hospitalized for hysteria. However, all my suffering is about to pay off. Tomorrow the Nineteenth Amendment will be added to The U.S. Constitution giving women the right to vote. Change comes with a price, but tomorrow it will all be worth it. While there will still be inequality for women this is a good start.



A Need for Change