Friday, September 14, 2007

Alice Paul vs. Carrie Chapman Catt

The film, Iron Jawed Angels, explains the difference in tactics between "The Radicals" (Alice Paul and Lucy Burns) and "The Conservatives" (Carrie Chapman Catt). In the case of women's suffrage, the more "militant" strategy of Alice Paul was the one that produced results. Are radical strategies always better than conservative strategies when trying to make social change? How do you know when it is better to work within the system (Carrie Chapman Catt) or against the system (Alice Paul)? CODEPINK, an activist group lobbying to end the war in Iraq, recently used a tactic that Alice Paul would probably have supported. Do you think it was right for them to protest in this way?

14 comments:

Emily S said...

Tactics that Alice Paul use, I believe are the only way to get through to people. When people don't believe in the same beliefs as some do, going to an extreme like the Radicals do is sometimes the only way people can listen. Alice Paul would be proud of the CODEPINK group against the war, she would be right along with them. She does wear that pink hat through out the whole movie!

Karlala said...

the question of how do you know when it is better to work within the system or against the system caught my eye. Fight for what you believe, if you believe the system is doing something wrong then fight it back, if you agree with the system then fight with it.

Nikki Layton said...

If you want something to change, you can't just sit around and say "Oh, please, can you change this?"

No!! You have to get up and actually do something about it.

I wonder what the 189 people were arrested for-- the article didn't say.

And I agree-- Alice Paul would have definitely been marching along right with them!

gale marie said...

Racical strategies are needed when the system defies human dignity and worth. At this point the system could become corrupt, working towards it's own agenda.

acr33 said...

I think the two ideas of thought used have their place.be nice or be loud both worked.it all depends on how you want to approach the enemy! I dont believe there is a right or wrong way when fighting for what you believe in!

Lisa said...

I never in my life realized how hard women fought for their rights. This movie has really made me open my eyes. I am thankful for what I have and all that I am able to do. I think all of the tactics Alice Paul used were justified. I don't agree with the way Carrie Catt took the passive route to her goals. Alice Paul showed that you have to fight for what you want. This movie also showed how crooked the government and law officials can be.

Jessica said...

Alice Paul is an american hero. She was sheer genious in my eyes. Carrie Chapman Catt's tactics are understandable. She obviously thought that maybe behaving in a classy, upsatnding manner would prove her intelect and her abily to maturely handle the responisbility of chooseing the next president. Alice Paul's methods were radical, but effective and thats exactly what these women needed to show. If anything they told President Wilson okay, so you think we aren't equivalent we'll show you exactly how tough we are. She resembled Ghandi to me throughoutt the film. Non-violently protesting relentlously even though she took a brunt of the force. She embodies the phrase, 'give me liberty or give me death". Codepink would surely be an organization that Alice Paul would be proud of. It's a group of mothers, daughters, sisters, etc. fighting for what is right. These women are living up to what Alice Paul wanted. To have a voice!

Alexandra said...

What a great movie this is. I had no idea how difficult time the women's suffrage period was. Altough, I don't think the radical strategies are always better than conservative but it's got to depend on the cause. Maybe at the beginning in the late 19th century it was all the old ladies could do - being conservative. Alice Paul and Lucy Burns came from England after the industrial revolution started and it was difficult time in Europe. It only makes sense now that both of these young women were "charged" for radical solutions.
One cannot know for sure when is it better to work with or against the system - one never knows the whole truth. It is up to the individuals to decide responsibly according to their beliefs.
I have not read the Codepink article...

Cassidy said...

I think that alice paulwould support codepink, but only if the consequences of their protest is non-violent. The anti-choice extremists are succeptable to violence, at least thats what the article stated, ALice paul would flood the meeting with people to stop an "injustice" but i dont think she would have any of her people hurt anyone. But code pink is great, they assemble peacefully, they oppose the war, and they should get a lot of supporters because men and women alike do not support the war.

M&M said...

I personally believe that to get your voice heard in this day and age unfortunately you have to be loud, have money to support your mission, and have an “insider” on your side ---just like the congressman that helped in the movie. It starts early in life from getting your child in a certain pre-school all the way to obtaining a prestige job. Never-ending!

Christie said...

Even though Alice Paul and Carrie Chapman Catt had two different ways of making the Feminist movement go about, I believe that if they both had not been around at the same time then there would not have been a good end for the women. Alice Paul helped Carrie Catt if you think about it. When she some how got the message out of the jail and into the newspaper it helped Carrie Catt prove to the president that it is time to do something about the women's problems.

rebecca said...

By the time the 19th amendment was past Cat was 61 years old and had spent 33 of those years working toward woman's suffrage. Paul is a blip on the screen as far as the woman suffrage movement is concerned and i honestly think the movie over glorifies her to a fault. it took both women's tactics to pass the 19th amendment. Paul may have been able to grab people's attention, but her work would not have been possible if it hadn't been for the work of Catt and the rest of the early suffragists. Catt was also responsible for organizing women across the entire United States, something Paul obviously did not try to do. the movie Iron Jawed Angels is well done, but only as an entertaining drama. as a historical narrative it presents a very story with a very biased point of view. it's made to entertain more than educate.

prettycarcrash. said...

it is quite ironic how easily people believe the fallacious lies of historical fiction. The movie portrayed women's suffrage to be easily obtainable once they were out of jail. however, the point is not only to get one's opinion across but to inspire others to back it. Alice Paul's strategies merely frustrated many. Carrie Chapman Catt was the one who worked for the cause. In fact, the war was over before congress passed the amendment: while both NAWSA and NWP aided in the amendment for women's suffrage, research past the face value of what one sees in a historical fiction movie shows that there is much more than was presented. Catt was also portrayed terribly in this movie, while she was not like that at all.

prettycarcrash. said...

and p.s., that congressman in the movie was a fictional character. he and his wife were not real people and took no part in the suffrage movement.