June 17, 2010

Women’s courage

I have been encouraged to respond from a woman’s perspective to the letter in the June 14 Independent Mail regarding lasting change and how it is brought about. Change comes about when individual courage is evidenced and radical action ensues.
Little was being done about changing the status of women in our society until the early years of the 20th century when a fragile young woman who was a Quaker realized her sex would never achieve equality until they could vote. Alice Paul screwed up her courage and left the comfort of her home in New Jersey for the tumultuous life of a suffragist in Washington, D.C. Radical behavior — riots, parades, demonstrations and picketing of the White House — were all unheard of before the city was besieged by quiet, courageous Alice Paul.
The only woman to equal — maybe even excel — the courage and tenacity of Alice Paul might be Margaret Sanger, a public-health nurse who fought the United States Post Office, the Catholic Church and much of the male population in this country to establish family limitation through Planned Parenthood. Were it not for Margaret Sanger and the birth-control movement, our worldwide over-population problem would be far greater than it is.
My hope in writing is to encourage qualified women to run for office and to congratulate courageous women like our own Jane Dyer.
Thelma Spencer, Anderson

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