EQUAL MEANS EQUAL TAKES ACTION OUTSIDE THE WHITE HOUSE
On January 22, 2018, EQUAL MEANS EQUAL held a performance art protest event in front of the White House in support of the ERA. The event was an homage to the Women’s Suffrage Parade of 1913.
Participants in the event dressed as Silent Sentinels and some wore Handmaid costumes referencing Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. EME VP Natalie White embodied suffragist Inez Milholland, dressed all in white on a white horse and said this in her blog post about the action:
“One hundred and five years later, we returned to the White House, after our threemonth long daily Silent Sentinel Vigil concluded, and delivered a declaration to the White House and this administration that enough is enough!
Kamala and Rachel Donlan dressed as Handmaids from the dystopian future that Margaret Atwood predicted in 1985, warning us about what could happen to women without equal rights protections; Seven Silent Sentinels (Tupelo Miller, Erica Madrid, Elizabeth Croyden, Alison Wren, Rosina Memolo, Cindy Nicolaou, Ruby Chen) stood watch with sashes and signs, ghosts of our suffrage sisters, and I [Natalie White] channeled feminist heroine, Inez Milholland, atop a white horse!”
We delivered a theatrical and urgent message to this government and our beloved nation:
Ratify the EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT immediately!
The participants in the protest read opening lines of the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution, followed by a declaration concerning how the Constitution has excluded women. The names of the states that had not ratified the ERA were read aloud, following by a closing statement in support of ratifying the ERA.
“Because, we the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, MUST INCLUDE WOMEN AS EQUAL!
Written in 1787, when women had no rights at all, women were deliberately left out of the U.S. Constitution. But we are here to change that. As we said in front of the White House: there are 14 states holding up equality for all American Women and that needs to end now.”
Thanks to Cheryl Crim & Julie Eagle who stepped up and stayed up all night, shooting, editing and helping make this video.
Inez Milholland led the Woman Suffrage Procession on March 3, 1913. The Woman Suffrage
Procession, co-planned by Alice Paul, was the very first parade in Washington D.C. that was held for the cause of granting women the right to vote. The parade took place the day before Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration and featured many notable women such as future Congresswoman Jeannette Rankin (the first woman to hold federal office). The final event in the parade was the rally at Continental Hall featuring speakers such as Carrie Chapman Catt and Helen Keller.
This non-violent demonstration in support of women’s suffrage was complicated with violence from a hostile crowd, and the failure of a police escort to sufficiently protect the marchers. The coverage of the event further drew attention to the issue of suffrage to the American public, leading to the eventual success of the ratification of the 19th Amendment.