Iron Jawed Angels

2 February 2017

After not eating the prisoners had to be force fed, here they earned the nickname “iron-jawed angels. ” This became a headline in the news and ultimately forced Woodrow Wilson, the president, to give in to their demand of the 19th amendment. There are many characters that support the role of promoting and achieving women’s rights throughout this movie; however two characters take precedent in being organizational leaders in the women’s movement Alice Paul and Lucy Burns.

Paul, (January 11, 1885 to July 9, 1977), was an American suffragist leader and feminist who risked her life to fight for women’s citizenship and the right to vote.Alice Paul joined the National American Woman Suffrage Association and was appointed Chairwoman of their Congressional Committee in Washington, DC after she graduated from Pennsylvania. Paul worked with Lucy Burns, another major character in the movie, against conservative forces in order to pass the 19th amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Paul also organized a parade on President Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration day, while encountering opposition from the old guard of the National American Women’s Suffrage Association. In January 1917, the NWP staged the first political protest to picket the White House.Paul was arrested for “interfering with traffic” and placed in jail at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia; there she went on a hunger strike, and had to be force-fed. In January 1918, Wilson announced that women’s suffrage was urgently needed as a “war measure”, and strongly urged Congress to pass legislation (Iron Jawed Angels).

Iron Jawed Angels Essay Example

Finally in 1920 she achieved the passing of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution allowing women to vote. Lucy Burns (July 28, 1879 to December 22, 1966) an American Suffragist and woman’s rights advocate.In 1915 Burns became the editor of the Congressional Union’s newspaper The Suffragist, and Paul’s dedicated sidekick in whatever she needed throughout this journey of trials and triumph. Iron Jawed Angels, is an inspirational story that withholds perhaps one of the most important movements in time. Until I viewed this movie I did not fully comprehend the depths of the struggles of the woman’s suffrage movement. This movie contains a powerful message about what women can do using their rights and skills in organizational leadership. Determination which one woman carried, and many supported allowed a national change to take place.

Before watching this movie I had heard of Susan B. Anthony, but never of Alice Paul or the other suffragists. I also never realized how hard it was for a woman to get ready; we take our pre-bought makeup for much granted. The parade that takes place is an extremely important event. It shows the many different types of women and how far they’ve come. It also shows how many people were interested in the topic that no one showed up to the see Woodrow Wilson, because everyone was at the parade. Not alone his lack of knowledge of the subject, since he himself did not attend.

It shows the intense anger that people felt against this issue, and how the government failed to offer protection during the parade; that men were not only willing to be mentally, but physically abusive in order to maintain precedence. With characters such as Catt, it shows how the some of the elderly women were not willing to reform or change, that they were uncomfortable with such situation. It is completely enraging to me that these women, who were respectable parts of the community, were not taken seriously when addressing a point. I still see this in the elderly in my town.Many times has my grandmother addressed how she was not allowed to talk to men unless spoken to, how she wasn’t allowed to have a real job and go to college. Still men do not feel that women can hold certain jobs, or do “manly” activities. I was recently fired from a job because I instructed a customer on how to change his breaks properly, the gentleman complained and said I was out of my place and I should be in the back doing paperwork.

Still almost a century later, sexism is still apparent and is a constant issue. I feel I would have acted similarly to Alice Paul, stay calm but witty, polite but determined.I feel that throughout the movie she leads by example and speaks with knowledge, and that is a true hero. I would in turn pursue pressing charges against the local law enforcement for inability to provide basic law protection. Another major part of the movie is the picketing. I feel like if people are not disturbing other people’s rights they should be able to express theirs. The silent picketing was not disrupting anyone, and certainly was not obstructing traffic.

In this situation there is not much you could do different. Finally the time spent at the woman’s work camp.It is hard to imagine this situation, because even now in this day and age women are not pushed into those extreme conditions. I would have done the exact same thing that Paul did, attract as much attention as possible so that the world could bare witness to the true reality of the situation. Iron Jawed Angels exemplifies many issues such as leadership, ethics, activism, diversity, and democracy. The leadership of Alice Paul is the forefront of the movie; not that she was a leader, but how she led. Leadership is the process of social influence, Paul led in the forefront.

Paul integrated everyone. Have a purpose, priorities, roles, decisions, conflict, personal traits, norms, effectiveness, success, and training (Paul Iron-Jawed Angels). She joined the women in the picket lines. In jail Alice started a hunger strike to remind them what they were fighting for; here she led with no words, only action. The issue of Ethics; sexism and discrimination of women in general is prominent throughout Iron-Jawed Angels. Women are not allowed to have their own ideas or values, they cannot make the laws, but they have to obey them, (Paul Iron-Jawed Angels).The police denied them protection to the throughout the film, allowing them to be assaulted by crowds of men, who believed that if the women do not agree with men’s ideals then they do not deserve to be treated as humans (Iron-Jawed Angels).

The government is so intimidated by the suffragist’s movement that they lie and incarcerate them on false arrests, unfair trials, imprisonment in harsh conditions, and overall torture. Is it right for the women to petition during war? Is their cause less important because there is a war? Along with constant ethical issue that men believe that they are above the women.Not only did this make me aware of the ethical issues that existed, but possibly how to deal with them. It is our duty to educate others. Iron-Jawed Angels boldly celebrates political activism. Alice Paul was one of the first to organize a picket line at the White House, establish a party separate from NAWSA to protest women’s rights, organize a parade which is the beginning of the battle to achieve awareness of women. She worked with women from different classes, areas, and political origins.

They have nothing in common except for the fact that they are women, and are being denied rights.This address’s the issue of diversity, and combines the diverse as one; provides a common goal to unite them. The working class with the upper class, and yet they are all in the same place, “no woman is free, in America” says an upper class house wife, while the lower class simply wants a fire escape in hard working conditions (Paul Iron-Jawed Angels). In the instance of Iron-Jawed Angels many may perceive that the fight was against democracy, the suffragist movement was not against democracy but for it; for a change in the current democracy and for a better democracy that would represent all people, not just the majority.We must show that majority needs and or wants a change in democracy then unite with others to make a change. Iron-Jawed Angels has taught me that hard work and determination pays off, that I have come from a strong legacy, and that we can change the future and achieve greatness. Works cited Iron Jawed Angels: Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way.

Dir. Katja von Garnier. HBO, 2004. DVD

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