It was a splendid morning, as the sun’s luminous rays radiated from behind my curtains. I was awaiting my mother’s arrival from her early morning activities, because we needed to catch the train to a suffragette protest. Although we strongly enjoyed talking about the subject, this was a topic we never discussed in public.
Most men have absolutely no tolerance for this outrageous behavior and women were acting radically to express their point of view. Despite the “cons” of women’s suffrage, there are so many “pros” to support the issue. Women rightfully deserve eligibility to vote in a country they play an integral role in growing and developing. Suffrage would mean bringing more justice to the American System.
My mother came home running towards me with her arms wide opened. She hugged me with great joy and then proceeded to ask how my morning went. This was our normal everyday routine of her arriving to the house, but today wasn’t any average day. “Are you excited for your first protest?” my mother questioned me with an excited manner. “I’m absolutely ecstatic”, I responded with the same level of enthusiasm. “ It gives me great joy to introduce my daughter to the dream of women’s suffrage. This nation will soon understand the intelligence and power of a woman!”, my mother said with her glowing brown eyes glaring into mine. She had always encouraged me and had given me so much empowerment.
We headed straight for the train station from our comforting home. The scene when we arrived left our eyes open in shock. There were masses of strangers that towered over me as they walked past us. Mother pushed me past the large quantities of people around us with a tight grip around my waist. The hustle and bustle of people’s movement jostled us all the way to train number twenty-four. It was a different environment for me, because I had never dealt with large overcrowding in our small town.
My mother and I stepped foot on the train and proceeded down the separate cars looking for our assigned seats. The moment we reached our chairs, we dropped down in relief and took in the sight of our surrounding passengers. Next to us were two men hysterically crying with laughter. “Pathetic women taking a vote”, the one man bursted out, “ What a hoax.” “They need to take their place in the kitchen”,the other gentleman continued, “where they belong.”
I looked over to see my mother. Her usually bold eyes were streaming out tears of sadness. These words couldn’t have been said with any more arrogance from the two uncivilized gentlemen. We rose from our seats and left with no comment. Our ability to vote was going to speak much louder than anything we could have said in that moment.
We progressed out of the train station into the blurred streets of the city. We looked around until my mother grasped my hand, then followed the crowd of suffragettes headed toward Lafayette Park, Washington, D.C.
We squeezed our way through the pack of women protesting along with us. All the participants conversed about the open-air meeting before it begin. I was relieved to see other women that weren’t afraid to fight for our cause, despite the overwhelming crowd. So with high confidence in our voices and a cluster of raised posters, we shouted at the speaker. The outcry was so strong; there must have been hundreds of voices shouting into the warm, humid air. This protest was going very well until we heard screams in the distance. We turned around to witness the mayhem occurring.
The police had invaded the protest and were beginning to arrest participants. My mother looked at me with panic in her eyes. “Listen to me carefully. We need to run for the station and hide in there. The chaos will help us escape the police.” She then grabbed my arm and yanked me across the busy road. We sprinted through groups of other mothers and daughters and bolted through the doors of the train station. We pushed our way closer to the tracks, knowing we needed to make the it onto the departing train. I can still remember the feeling of pressure in every direction as we push and plodded our way onto the train just as the doors were closing. We were finally safe and on the way home.
It’s August twenty-sixth, 1920 an exciting day of possibilities that lay ahead. It has been slightly over two years since my unexpectedly chaotic first protest. Women are still waiting to receive the right to vote here in Pennsylvania, but we are getting extremely close. My mother is out on her daily morning errands, and I am waiting for her typical arrival home.
My mother starts opening the door and then she heads inside to scoop me up in her arms; leaving the door ajar. She always does this when she arrives back home, but something is making her express an unknown passion. Weeping, she places her hands on my cherry red cheeks, as her forehead is leaning in toward mine. She is barely able to speak. The 19th amendment has been passed. The entire country is about to embark on a drastic change. This is making her feel so empowered; it is almost as if a new world of opportunities was in sight. The thought of women having the same and equal opportunity as men sent a spark through our veins.