Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Courage

I'm not procrastinating today, honest. I've been quite the productive one ... since sometime around 9:00PM on Monday night, I just kicked it back into gear. I even woke up at 5:15AM this morning to run my 4 miles so that Doug could get to the voting polls by 7:00AM (which didn't actually happen because he turned off the alarm when he realized I wasn't in bed - but that's another story).

I did, however, make it to the polls early this morning (and Doug went around 11:30). I managed to get some things knocked off my list and even went to the eye doctor. I'm actually getting to the point now ... by the time my vision cleared (I'm always a bit concerned to drive after having my pupils dilated - but I'm digressing again), I was checking my email and came across an interesting ad for a movie about the challenges woman faced obtaining the right to vote. I do take the privilege of voting for granted and often forget that as a woman in the late 19th and early 20th century, my opinions wouldn't count in an election.

The following excerpt is from the email from Doug's aunt Carolyn -

[The movie, "Iron Jawed Angels,"] is a graphic depiction of the battle these women waged so that I could pull the curtain at the polling booth and have my say. I am ashamed to say I needed the reminder.

All these years later, voter registration is still my passion. But the actual act of voting had become less personal for me, more rote. Frankly, voting often felt more like an obligation than a privilege. Sometimes it was inconvenient.

My friend Wendy, who is my age and studied women's history, saw the HBO movie, too. When she stopped by my desk to talk about it, she looked angry. She was--with herself. "One thought kept coming back to me as I watched that movie," she said. "What would those women think of the way I use--or don't use--my right to vote? All of us take it for granted now, not just younger women, but those of us who did seek to learn." The right to vote, she said, had become valuable to her "all over again." HBO will run the movie periodically before releasing it on video and DVD. I wish all history, social studies and government teachers would include the movie in their curriculum. I want it shown o n Bunko night, too, and anywhere else women gather. I realize this isn't our usual idea of socializing, but we are not voting in the numbers that we should be, and I think a little shock therapy is in order.

It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn't make her crazy. The doctor admonished the men: "Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity."


---> Ahhhh, now I get the link to the post title ... "Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity." - I thought that might apply a little to my marathon training. Looking back at a few posts, I seriously considered I was insane to try a marathon, especially after not exercising for five+ years - but now I'm considering it was a demonstration of courage!!!! (Coincidently, I'm sure I'll try to work courage vs. insanity into my current passion for legos - although, the lego obsession parallels my 5 year old's interest in those dear little plastic pieces).

I also came across this post from artist, Christine Kane - 66 ways to build your courage. I'm fairly certain that participating in an endurance event should be included ...

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