Inspiring People: Suffragettes

Five Lessons Modern Day Women Can Learn From Suffragettes

In this modern day and age, it’s hard to fathom a time that women didn’t have the right to vote in America. However, it was only a mere century ago that our female predecessors were risking their lives and their reputations for gender equality. (Not so far off from the SCOTUS ruling in June regarding marriage equality!) Though we all know how the story ends – women win the right to vote, yay! – that isn’t truly the end of the story at all. The Suffragettes’ successful equality campaign introduced strategy, publicity and implementation tactics that continue to influence policy, business and marketing campaigns to this day. So, in the spirit of Independence this month, what can modern women of the 21st Century learn from the brave women of centuries past? Here’s what we think…

1. Stand Up for What You Believe In

There will probably be hundreds of times in your life that you will have to make a choice to do what you know is right. Take it from us; doing the right thing is always the right choice. When you stand up for what you believe in, as the Suffragettes did, you build your self-confidence, integrity and a strong sense of self.

2. Ignore the Haters…Or, Better Yet, Use Them To Your Advantage

When Alice Paul and other Suffragettes were arrested for picketing the White House, they went on a hunger strike. Faced with being force-fed through tubes or committed to insane asylums, the women utilized their dreadful circumstances as a publicity tool, exposing their unfair treatment to the press and ultimately pressuring Woodrow Wilson and his administration to support the growing movement.

3. Never Underestimate the Power of PR

The Suffragettes where some of the first women to use the power of the press to their advantage. Staging numerous different “PR stunts” (as we would call them today), the Suffragettes staged parades, marched outside the White House, chained themselves to statues and waved banners using the President’s own speeches on freedom and equality to support their movement. The press ate up the high-profile campaign and the Suffragettes were continuously in the newspaper, and their message in front of the American public.

4. Fortune Favors the Brave

This Latin proverb is perfectly applicable to the Suffragette movement…and to women today facing any type of challenge. Succeeding is not just a matter of luck; it takes bold action. And those who strive hard against all odds are more likely to succeed.

5. Never.Give.Up.

One of our favorite quotes is, “You can never fail as long as you keep showing up.” Everything you need to reach your goal is already inside of you, and the Suffragettes realized this. Through incredible odds and years of horrible treatment, the Suffragettes marched on. And it is through their determination and willingness to never give up that they ultimately won the vote in 1920. So, we here at Stemology want to say a heartfelt thank you to the women who walked before us for not only securing our equal right to vote, but for teaching us so much more about how to be successful, ethical and brave!