Iron Jawed Angels

Essay by ginagookUniversity, Bachelor'sA, May 2007

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"Iron Jawed Angels" starts in Philadelphia in 1912 with the arrival of Alice Paul and Lucy Burns. Other women, who also wanted women to achieve the right to vote, thought the goals of Paul and Burns were "unrealistic," and they were far too radical. Then in 1912, Alice Paul arranges and had a women's suffrage parade on the day of Wilson's inauguration. Ida B. Wells also played a small role in the movie bringing about the racial fact that they wanted the black women to stand at the back of the parade. She makes the profound quote, "Dress up prejudice and call it politics." Alice Paul realized she was wrong. There was a point in the movie when someone asks Alice Paul, "What is a vote going to buy you?" and she replies, "self respect." Paul also goes on to say, "We [women] don't make the laws, but we have to abide by them."

In 1916, they found the National Women's Party." Wilson is reelected, and the NWP continues their work. They stand outside the White House daily and continue to picket as the US goes into World War I. Finally, the women standing outside the White House are arrested; they are accused of obstructing traffic. All the women accept their sentences instead of paying fines that would admit their guilt for doing nothing illegal. In one scene a woman says, "In or out of prison, women are not free…" Alice Paul soon joins them in jail and is treated unlawfully. Soon, the word is out, and the women now have leverage over President Wilson. Congress votes on the 19th Amendment, and it is passed.

This movie has given me an insightful look at what it really took to pass the 19th Amendment. I feel most people are...