How the Fight was Won
The US women’s suffrage movement can be understood using a few different sociological perspectives. In Iron Jawed Angels, a movie about the US women’s suffrage movement, the main characters Alice Paul and Lucy Burns had the ability to use political opportunities and mobilize resources available to them in order to excel. Some of the political opportunities presented to the women’s suffrage movement include elite allies, weaknesses in the state and access to authorities. They also had access to funding, people power, personnel with experience, and ability to reframe how the public perceived them. With opportunities like these the suffrage movement was bound to succeed.
To being with, Alice Paul and Lucy Burns have Carrie Catt, the head of NAWSA, the National American Woman Suffrage Association, as a political elite. Although Carrie Catt gives them the opportunity to have their own office to help expand the suffrage movement, she also tries to repress them. Carrie Catt implies that the women are spending funds irresponsibly and have nothing to show for their spending and forces them to give up funding they receive. Alice refuses to take the back seat and splits away from NAWSA and begins the NWP, National Woman’s Party. Alice and Lucy also meet and befriend a cartoonist who works for the Washington Post, a newspaper that was very democratic at the time. They use him as a political ally due to his ties to the Washington Post newspaper. He is able to post cartoons of both a woman heroine on horse as well as the National Woman’s Party logo in the newspaper. With the cartoonist in their social network, the women’s suffrage movement was able to use the media to let the nation know of the oppression of women and their fight for their rights to vote.
In order to receive enough attention and make the women’s suffrage movement known, Alice and Lucy had to come up with new and different repertoire of protest and tactics. The women...