100 Years Ago

Hello Everyone! It seems time is flying by, yet some days it seems to stand still as we anticipate when our lives will be back to normal as we catch glimpses of hope navigating through this pandemic.  Hope everyone is safe and well!

Some of you may know that I started writing and posting to my blog when I participated in Blogbattle.  Through the Blogbattle community I was introduced to different genres from the other writers.  I would leave comments like I could NEVER write a historical fiction, or a western.  Well that prompted a challenge from our host Rachael, she challenged me to write a western.  I didn’t do it right away, but I eventually did it, and actually enjoyed it.  Though I still stood on the belief that I couldn’t do a historical or period piece.  Well low and behold, the Blogbattle guidelines were revamped and a not only was a word prompt provided, but a genre as well. So, the day arrived when the genre was Historical Fiction, and I gave it a shot. I said all this to say. . .

I would like to share with you my one and only Historical Fiction story.

I am reposting this story because on August 26th Women’s Equality Day is celebrated in the US to commemorate the 1920 adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment, which guarantees women the right to vote, and this year marks the 100th Anniversary. This story was originally written in February 2017, as we settled in after a memorable election year with our first Woman Nominated for President and on the ballot.  So, at that time I thought it fitting to do a historical fiction about the Suffrage Movement. And here we stand on the edge of history again, as our first woman of color has been nominated for Vice President. We’ve come a long way! #girlpower

When I did a search for my research for this story, a woman named Carrie Chapman Catt came up. She was a suffragist, peace activist and feminist leader who led the women’s rights movement for more than 25 years culminating in the adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920. That is the point in history I decided to write about.  Carrie Chapman Catt married a wealthy engineer named George Catt, which allowed her to spend a good part of each year on the road campaigning for women’s suffrage.  At this point in history, Carrie was much older than I depicted in the story, so that is what makes it historical fiction 😉. I hope you enjoy my fictional story, about a real historical figure. The word prompt given for this Story/Blogbattle was “Adore.”

1920’s Lingo:

Bushwa:  bullshit

Bearcat: a lively, spirited woman, possibly with a fiery streak

 

For Suffrage’s Sake

Henry walks into George’s office early Monday morning like he has done for the past ten years.  Being longtime friends and then business partners, they discuss business first and then catch up as friends do.

“We’ve missed you down at the club.” Henry takes a seat in front of George’s desk.

“I’ll get back there soon, been busy.”

“Been busy throwing good money after bad, helping your wife fight the good fight?” Henry not holding back on the sarcasm.

George glares over the top rims of his glasses. “Be careful Henry.”

“Well the talk is, that if that bearcat of a wife of yours had children to take care of she wouldn’t have time to stir up trouble.” Henry leans forward and rests his elbows on his knees.

George removes his glasses and sits back. “Frankly, it is no one’s business what my wife and I decide to do or not do.”

Pointing with his glasses still in hand. “Henry, it is that kind of thinking that will not move this country forward.  Look what the women have done for our business, while our men were out fighting the war.  Where would we be, if it weren’t for them?  I’ll tell you where we wouldn’t be, we wouldn’t be sitting in a lush country club spouting off bushwa.”

Henry leans back in his chair, hands raised in surrender, “I’m just letting you know what’s been said.  Can’t say that I agree with it all, can’t say I disagree on some.  I personally feel a woman’s place is in the home, where she can care for the children, and take care of the little things I don’t have to be bothered with.  Leave the important things to the men, like working and voting.  What does a woman know about government, or politics?  My wife has no interest in that sort of thing, how could she possibly make an educated choice when voting?”

George raises his voice slightly. “She can’t, Henry! Because you won’t let her.”

He sets his glasses down and folds his hands in front of him calming himself.  “I admire what my wife is doing, she is bright, resilient and she speaks up for those women who can’t.  Yes, women are great keepers of the home, and it’s that expertise in maintaining the home and nurturing the family that would improve politics and our society.  When the good Lord created Eve, he used the rib for a reason.  She was not taken from his feet to be under him, but from his side to stand beside him and support him, just as we are to support them.”

Henry mumbles under his breath. “Yes and look how well that turned out.”

Just then the whistle blows as a sign of the changing of the shift on the factory floor.  Henry’s cue to get to his own office to start his day.  George puts the conversation out of his mind and doesn’t give it another thought as the demands of his day are upon him.  He doesn’t fault Henry his opinions, he knows some people will never change.

~ ♥~

George arrives home and is greeted by his wife.  Carrie has had a busy day herself, but looks forward to the time they spend talking about their day. Even after all these years when he sees his wife he is awestruck at her beauty.  It’s like he is looking at her for the first time.  “How was your day Mr. Catt?” Looking at him with a playful grin.

Before he answers he walks up to her, holds her face in his hands, and kisses her like they have been away from each other for days.

“Hello my love. Well, it seems that it is a public scandal the way I adore you.”

“Whatever do you mean Georgie?” Laughing and using the pet name she has given him.

He takes her by the hand and leads her to the parlor to sit comfortably on the sofa.  He sits first, and as she is about to take the seat next to him; he pulls her towards him so that she sits on his lap.  With a giggle of delight, she settles in to hear what he has to say.  Oh, how she loves this part of the day.

He recounts the conversation he had with Henry that morning.  She listens to every word he says, nodding occasionally, as he subconsciously laces his fingers with hers, or plays with the lace on her collar.

“It’s such a shame there are small minded people such as Henry, still, to this day, even after all we have accomplished thus far.”

“Well my dear, it is hard for some people to change their minds even when the change is happening right before their eyes.”

“Oh Georgie, we are so close to gaining the voting rights for all women in this country.  The sacrifices some of the women have made is truly extraordinary.  It has been an honor to be a part of something so momentous.”

He pushes a loose strand of hair behind her ear, “You, my darling, are extraordinary, and all that you have sacrificed and accomplished makes me adore you even more.  This Women’s Right Movement will propel this country to greatness.”

Carrie listens yet in her mind she visualizes what things will be like in 10 or 20 years. When she thinks even further in the future, her eyes widen, and she sits up straight.  “Oh George, dare I dream that one day there may be a Woman President?”

He rubs his thumb along her cheek. “My love, the American dream belongs to all of us.”

Her eyes sparkling, she gives him a kiss.  “Can you imagine what this country will be like in 100 years?”

“My dearest Carrie, I am certain it will be a sight to behold.”

 

© 2017 – Revised 2020  Carrie Ann Alexis

“It is a public scandal the way I adore you” – Oscar Wilde

“The American dream belongs to all of us” – Kamala Harris

 

 

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