I don’t think I’ve ever talked about a movie on The Book Fetish Blog before, but tomorrow is Super Tuesday, March is Women’s History Month, and if you don’t know about this film, I think you should.

Iron Jawed Angels is an HBO Film released in 2004, an Official Premier Selection of the Sundance Film Festival. I had the pleasure of seeing it at the Carter Center when it first came out, and I’ve watched it numerous time since then.

Our school history books leave out all the good parts. Most of us have heard of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the mothers of the US Women’s Suffrage movement. But they died more than fifty years before the nineteenth amendment passed. The stories of Alice Paul and Lucy Burns aren’t really in the high school history books, but they are explored in this film.

These were the rebel girls. They parted ways with the National American Woman Suffrage Association to form the National Women’s Party.  Iron Jawed Angels shows the struggle of these incredibly brave women. Every time I watch the film, I’m shocked, again, that my own grandmother’s didn’t have the right to vote when they were born.

And I watch this film nearly in tears (OK, in complete tears the first time I saw it) seeing 218 suffragists arrested over bogus charges and imprisoned in work houses. They were denied the rights of political prisoners. When they went on a hunger strike, they were force fed. In fact, it took five people to hold down Lucy Burns  and place a feeding tube up her nose to force feed her.

This part of our history isn’t often told- or at least not enough. I shouldn’t have been an adult before I knew the suffering some of these women endured so that I can vote, have a voice in my own right.  So here’s to two more heroines of mine: Lucy Burns and Alice Paul. And the countless women whose names history have forgotten. I only hope that I have as much courage as they did to fight the good fight.