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This is my first diary and I apologize up front for whatever errors occur with it. I appreciate your taking the time to read the diary of a newbie.

Today, I had a moment where the varied threads of my life came together for moment and gave me an idea. I wanted to pass that idea along and see if others could help to enhance the idea. I think we will now go below the squiggle for more thoughts?

I have been angered on the past few years by the many attacks on the rights of women. As a mom of very young children I haven't felt comfortable yet taking them to protests. I have tried to post information to my Facebook friends in an effort to make women aware of these attack, I have been frustrated by a general apathy on the part of women. My anger has turned into pure fury as those attacks have escalated in recent weeks. My frustration though has lessened as I see women beginning to organize more and become aware of the need to fight for our rights. I found this FB group where women are planning nationwide marches on April 28, 2012.

Then, today, I was in Philadelphia and got to see the Liberty Bell. As much as I love American Revolution history I had never seen it. Standing by the Bell moved me in unexpected ways, much as standing in Independence Hall had done last fall. There is a connection to history with the Bell that is almost palpable. It's strength and fragility somehow seem to represent everything about that time in our young republic.

While at the Liberty Bell Center I also learned about the Women's Liberty Bell or Justice Bell. This bell, nearly a duplicate of the Liberty Bell, was cast in 1915 by suffragists and carried by special truck on a whistle-stop tour of Pennsylvania. The clapper was chained to the side so that it would only be rung when women gained the right to vote.


As it became evident to the suffragists that state legislatures were not going to pass voting rights for women, the strategy was changed to work for introduction of an Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Justice Bell was used to support the cause of women's suffrage at national political party conventions as far away as Chicago and at rallies in Washington, D.C. The 19th Amendment was proposed on June 5, 1919 and ratified on August 26, 1920.
In September 1920, in Independence Square in Philadelphia, the clapper for the Justice Bell was unchained and "the Justice Bell announced to the world the passage of the 19th Amendment and the granting of Justice for women." Now the Justice Bell is kept on the grounds of the The Washington Memorial Chapel at Valley Forge National Park.

Today, as I learned of the Justice Bell I was struck by the idea that perhaps women can take hold of this image again as we fight against people trying to send us back to the 19th century. Let us grab hold of the spirit of Katharine Wentworth Ruschenberger, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Alice Paul, Lucy Burns, and the many other women who fought for women's rights. Let us hold up the Justice Bell as a symbol to all of the unending connection we hold with those women. All fights need a symbol and I think this could be a very strong unifying image for women today.

So action ideas if you like this idea: can you create a graphic related to this idea? Can you pass the idea along to other sites, forums, etc? Can you create a motto that connects today's struggles to those of 100 years ago?

Update: I think I fixed the second link. Thank you all for your kind words.

Originally posted to HomeschoolingMom on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 07:07 PM PST.

Also republished by Feminism, Pro-Feminism, Womanism: Feminist Issues, Ideas, & Activism and Community Spotlight.

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