Reliving History

The Register Guard (Eugene, OR), March 8, 2009 | Go to article overview

Reliving History


Byline: Randi Bjornstad The Register-Guard

With her flower-bedecked hat and severe gray dress held stiff by the steel-boned corset underneath, Tames Alan easily could have been one of the fiery suffragettes she portrayed Saturday during the "world premier" of her newest one-woman show, "Soldiers in Petticoats."

Her appearance was perfectly timed to commemorate International Women's Day, marked on March 8 for nearly a century to celebrate the struggles and progress of women throughout the world.

Although women throughout the United States officially won the right to vote in 1920, when the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, it was a right they'd had and lost before waging a 70-year battle to regain it, Alan told her surprised audience at the Eugene Public Library on Saturday afternoon.

"After the American Revolution, all could vote, men and women alike," she said. "Voting became a male `privilege' in 1787, when the Constitutional Convention made voting (laws) the right of the individual states. At that time, in every state except New Jersey, women lost their right to vote, and eventually it was taken away from them in New Jersey, too."

The reasons might seem laughable now - "One belief was that if a woman had too much education, she would get brain fever, which would lead to hysteria and eventually affect her reproductive organs," Alan said - but it took well over a century for women in this country to overcome the political and social barriers that held them hostage in their second-class citizen status.

In those early years, "once a woman was married, her husband owned everything she had - she literally became the property of her husband," Alan said. "Women couldn't borrow money, start their own business, or in some places even spend money without their husbands' permission. They bore their children, but they had no legal rights regarding them."

The leaders of the early women's movement - Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton - rose out of what they saw in their own lives.

"Susan B. Anthony was raised in a Quaker family, and Quakers then were the only (religion) who allowed women to speak freely in public," Alan said. "But when her father declared bankruptcy, even though his wealth had come through her mother's family, they lost everything; her mother had no claim to what had been her property."

Stanton, the daughter of a wealthy lawyer, became aware of the inequalities facing women by hearing about the plight of those who came to ask his legal advice, only to be told they had no rights of their own because the laws didn't protect them, recounted Alan, who lives in Washington state with her husband on a working farm and has been a living-history performer for more than 20 years.

"As a child, Elizabeth thought you could just rip those laws out of the books and make everything right," she said. After Stanton grew up and studied Greek, Latin and law, and her father's response was, "If only you had been a boy," the die of her activism was cast.

Fighting for the right to vote was a complicated affair, intertwined with definitions of citizenship for both women and black people and the parallel push by women for temperance in the use of alcohol.

The 13th Amendment to the Constitution abolished slavery, but it did not guarantee citizenship for former slaves. The 14th amendment guaranteed that all men born or naturalized in the United States were guaranteed citizenship, which effectively made women not citizens. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Reliving History
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.