I was checking out the Google Doodle today and realized that today was the 131st birthday of Alice Paul. There have been instances where I have seen these doodles and forgotten about it in a matter of few seconds. But something in the doodle caught my eye today – Alice Paul was a feminist, she fought for equality and women’s right to vote. I was initially quite embarrassed about the fact that up until today, I had no idea who Alice Paul was and I proclaimed to be a feminist. Anyways, here is a small summary I put together of who she was and what she did for women.
Alice Paul was a very well-read woman. With a PhD in sociology and a Doctorate in Civil Laws, she was a radical reformist with a staunch belief in women’s right to vote and equality of women. Despite being imprisoned and subjected to severe brutality several times during her tenure as the co-founder of the National Woman’s Party (NWP), she tirelessly worked towards realizing her goals. A story that touched me deeply were the events that unfolded during the Night of Terror. Despite facing severe brutality by the authorities – and this included being force fed raw eggs with a tube pushed down her throat – Alice Paul continued to remain strong and fight for her cause. The part that makes me proud to be a woman is that after the court’s ruling on the Night of Terror –
The decision declared that every one of the women suffragists who picketed the White House was illegally arrested, illegally convicted, and illegally imprisoned. The women could have filed suits for damages, false arrest and imprisonment at once, however they did not.
And all this happened in the early 1900’s. More often than not, I end up wondering what we kind of progress we have had as women. A lot of times I end up sensing a gut-wrenching despair – I don’t see many women in engineering disciplines in higher degrees, not so many women back at work and not as many women in politics either (Here, I am proud to be an Indian, at lease we had a Prime Minister and some very strong female political figures). But then, the feeling passes. We are stronger than we ever were and we are only going up from here. Take a moment and be proud women and men all over the world!