Women's Rights

Women's RightsNashville - 1920   Woman's Rights re-enacts critical events in the development of the early women's movement, focusing on both the men and women who shaped its early days. 
     The program opens with the Tennessee legislature voting on whether or not to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  If Tennessee votes favorably, women will have won the right to vote.  The story then shifts to the beginning of the women's movement at the 1840 World Anti-Slavery Convention in London, England.  In attendance are leading suffragists Lucretia and James Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and William Lloyd Garrison. 
     Eight years later, at the first Women's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, NY we hear Fredrick Douglass famously say, "If women do not have the right to vote, they will never have the power to make the changes they need."  In 1850, Susan B. Anthony takes up the cause and serves as it's most prominent champion for the next fifty years.
     By the turn of the century, women's social and economic lives had changed dramaitically, and their autonomy is portrayed with a free-spirited dance in a 1919 dance hall.   They were still, however, far from their ultimate goal.   A poignant rendition of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire (the workplace of Siga Schoennwolf) depicts the continuing exploitation of women workers.
     The program concludes with the announcement of the legislative results--the passage of the "Susan B. Anthony Nineteenth Amendment".  Women, at last, have the right to vote.

Siga Schoennwolf  is a fictitious working-class woman, living in New York City.  She emigrated from Lithuania in 1905.  After witnessing first-hand the exploitation of women, she joined the couregeous minority who stood up for women's suffrage. 

 

 

 


Login