Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "Say Something for the Suffragettes"

This poem came out of the November 6, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by [personal profile] technoshaman. You can read more about the suffragettes online.

"Say Something for the Suffragettes"

If you're a woman and you vote,
these are the ones who gave you a voice --

Millicent Fawcett, who led
the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies,
and believed in constitutional campaigning,
issuing leaflets, organising meetings, and presenting petitions

Emmeline Pankhurst, who founded
the Women's Social and Political Union,
and believed that the movement would have
to become radical and militant
if it was going to be effective
(the voice of sweet reason having already failed)

Emily Davison, who died while trying
to throw a suffragette banner over the King's horse
at the Epsom Derby on June 5, 1913

Alice Paul and Lucy Burns, who led
a series of protests against the Wilson Administration
and compared the plight of the German people
with that of American women --

so speak of them and their sacrifices,
that they may never be forgotten.

They chained themselves to railings.
They set fire to the contents of mailboxes.

They got in people's faces.
They got in the way.

They refused to be silenced.
They refused to be set aside.

They made trouble.
They made history.

There are still misogynists in politics today,
but now women have a way to punch them out.
Tags: activism, cyberfunded creativity, fishbowl, gender studies, history, poem, poetry, reading, writing
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