Courageous women suffered to gain suffrage
Suffrage, writes Sol Steinmetz in Semantic Antics, started out as a religious term around 1380 that meant “prayers on behalf on another, intercessory prayers.”
The term’s meaning gradually broadened to mean a “vote of assent or support” in 1532, Steinmetz writes. The term continued to evolve over the centuries to its 1789 meaning of “the right of voting as a member of a body, state, etc.” The U.S. Constitution states, “no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.”
What I didn’t realize until a coworker sent out an e-mail a few days ago was that many women suffered greatly to gain the right to vote, especially during the “Night of Terror” in 1917. Not pretty.
Snopes.com has verified this disturbing incident in history. For more details, go to http://www.snopes.com/politics/ballot/womenvote.asp.
And be sure to vote whenever the opportunity arises. Women—and men—have suffered for our right to do so.
Women picketing in front of the White House in 1917
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia