Sarra Hilburn

Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy | Denver, CO | 11th Grade

Inspirational Family Member
My Grandmother

In the course of history, many women weren't allowed to vote and many women were “imprisoned” by hateful remarks or in stereotypes mainly maintained by men until women rose up and took over and started up the Suffrage Movement in 1848. Now women have gained more rights and privileges than they did in the past and they all gained a voice such as my grandmother Lucille. My grandmother has many surprising beliefs and she has a very interesting story on what her journey was like. She informed me on many issues that I didn’t realize were going on and she made me open my eyes to what she and her parents went through. 

When I was interviewing my grandmother, she shared many interesting details about her life. My grandmother was born in 1946, and at the time she was able to vote, Truman was still in office. At this time in history, things were calm politically, but there were still acts of segregation, which she wasn't very fond of. Overtime when my grandma was becoming an adult, many things were often changing and improving so no one in our family was ever denied the right to vote including her. On the other side, Lucille's mother struggled with voting and her mother suffered from being stereotyped by men and she felt trapped; she didn't agree with the separation of powers between genders because she felt that everyone should be treated equal. She felt belittled by it and so, she was grateful that this issue was mostly resolved overtime. Women began to resolve this issue by standing up and taking action by starting up the Suffrage Movement. According to my grandmother she thinks that gender inequality will destroy the world.

Secondly, my grandma believes that voting is very important for anyone because everyone should have a voice in the democratic or social processes. People should have a chance to speak up and have an opinion on how we should grow as a community. Furthermore, women should have the same rights as men and things shouldn't be so dependent on gender. My grandmother also believes that women came a long way and people take it for granted. She believes this because women don't have to fight as hard anymore so they don't appreciate the importance of voting. According to my grandmother women came a long way in the voting process because back in the day women were stereotyped and belittled and now women can be treated as equal which she is truly grateful for. 

This shows that my grandmother went through tough times and this made me realize how much time has changed and how many privileges women have now.

Historical Figure I Admire
Inez Milholland Boissevain

Throughout history, women all around the world were denied the right to vote. This denial limited their ability to have a voice in politics; however, through the Temperance and Abolition Movements, women found their voice, and began their struggle, known as the Suffrage Movement, to gain their right to vote.

One person who took a major role in this process was Inez Milholland. Inez was a public speaker that greatly influenced the Women's Movement in America and her belief was that women should have the right to vote because of the unique traits that they displayed. Furthermore, she argued that women would metaphorically become, ¨The house cleaners of the nation,” by taking their traditional role of housekeeping to the level of government. Another one of her beliefs was that if women were given the right to vote they would address many social issues such as child labor, housing, prostitution, and poverty. Mrs. Milholland' ́s dedication, with the support of her family, revolves around the Women's Rights, most importantly, the Suffrage Movement. 

Inez Milholland was born August 6, 1886 in Brooklyn, and she died on November 25, 1916 from pernicious anemia. Many significant events occurred during the span of her life. Possibly of greatest significance was the fact that she was the daughter of John Elmer Milholland who supported many social reforms including world peace, civil rights, and women's suffrage. Obviously, her father was a great influence on Ms. Milholland's future life. Additionally, her mother exposed her and her siblings to different cultures and education, as well as important information they all needed to learn.

In July of 1913 in London, after a shipboard romance, Inez proposed to Eugene Jan Boissevain, who was an inspirational poet and coffee importer. Eugene influenced her life because he was her support and he was a freethinker so it helped Inez go through with her journey. Inez was surrounded by such forward thinkers as her father, mother, and husband that it almost seemed inevitable for Mrs. Milholland to become a key contributor to the Suffrage Movement. Furthermore, her supportive family and her husband impacted inez’s decisions and movements throughout her life. 

People looked up to her for guidance and after she passed away, people around the world including her family showed their appreciation and their love for Inez and for all that she stood for by supporting the Suffrage Movement. For instance, Inez’s sister, Vida Milholland, devoted her time to suffrage work including going to prison for three days in 1917. Another way they showed their appreciation was by naming ̈The Inez Milholland Professorship of Civil Liberties at New York University School of Law. People also wrote poems and dedicated things to her, which shows that Inez was a very important person in the Suffrage Movement. 

What the Project Means to Me

Researching and studying the Suffrage Movement and focusing on these extraordinary women I learned of the many historical and influential events that enhanced the Women's Rights Movement and what women had to go through during that period.  Additionally, I also learned that many women had to fight and rise up together to fight for what they wanted and that voting is very important. I now believe that voting is a privilege that many shouldn't take for granted because it gives all of us a voice.

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