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  • Writer's picturelisaannettestanley

The Remarkable Parallels between Rep John Lewis & Women's Rights Legend Alice Paul

Alice Paul. Women's Suffrage Parade, Washington DC, March 3, 1913

His "Good Trouble" included: Sit-Ins & Marches & Peaceful Protests in acts of Civil Disobedience.

For his "Good Trouble" he was beaten, & arrested & almost died for Civil Rights.

Like Lewis, Alice Paul also sacrificed her life for Civil Service.

Paul, like Lewis, organized Pickets & Parades & Protests & Marches for Women's Rights.

Like Lewis, Alice Paul was beaten & arrested - she was force-fed in Prison when she went on Hunger-Strike in protest, for which she almost died.

Paul's ideas were considered Radical, but her methods were Peaceful.

The acts of violence were done to her, not by her.

Alice Paul, was one of the four main Women's Rights Activists that were of the Quaker Faith, along with Lucretia Mott, Susan B. Anthony & Carrie Chapman Catt.

I find the Quaker-participation angle of the Women's Rights story of particular interest due to their fundamental belief in Equality for all, in all areas of life including Equal Education for girls.

While I've been in Houston, Texas since 1974, I had my Elementary Education in the Heart of Pennsylvania-Dutch country in Allentown (1963- 1967) before attending Grades 3-5 in Hackettstown New Jersey (1967-1972) - very close to Alice Paul's Hometown of Morristown.

My family had one final move - to Aiken, South Carolina in 1972 before landing in Houston in 1974.

I only point this out as having lived in both Northern & Southern States, and I cannot recall having ever heard of any of this until now.

In fact, I've probably had more formal Education on Civil Rights than Women's Rights, until the last three years when I began looking into this late in life.

When we look at the National struggle for Civil Rights & Equal Rights, the differences between the Fully-Integrated Northern States & the Segregated Southern States reveal a stark contrast.

Living for the first 12 years of my life in North Eastern States, all school children were fully Integrated & I never knew that life was different in other places.

Much that I've read or watched online talks about some of the division in the early Women's Rights Movements at Seneca Falls, primarily with respect to the question of Voting Rights for Women.

All of these Activists were in agreement with the Equality provisions of the Declaration of Sentiments.

It was specially the question of Suffrage for Women that became the 19th Amendment that was under contention.

From what I've seen so far, the push back on Alice Paul is that her Methodology of Civil Disobedience was seen as too Radical.

In today's World, people regularly take to the streets to protest this, that or the other thing - some protests Peaceful & others not so much - like the 2020 Street Riots that happened all across the country but still continue in Portland, Oregon; Aurora, Colorado & Seattle, Washington today.

Either way, the Struggle is real.

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