The Alice Paul Institute is proud to announce the 2014 Alice Paul Essay Contest winner, Carlotta Carrington Redden, an 8th grade student at Friends School Mullica Hill.
Our essay question was:
Think about the resources and tactics that were used by Alice Paul when she fought for women’s rights. Now think about the tools and methods that are available today. What might Alice Paul have done the same or differently if she had access to today’s tactics, methods, and resources?
Here is Carlotta’s essay:
Alice Paul is known as a leader of the woman suffrage movement in the early twentieth century. Along with Lucy Burns, she attempted to obtain equal rights for women by attempting to create change on a federal level. Paul is known for her tactics that included picketing the White House and conducting hunger strikes after being arrested. Her efforts along with others led to women getting closer to gaining equality. Although her tactics were effective and led to change, if Alice Paul had access to today’s resources her efforts may have been less daunting and more efficient.
One resource that would have been extremely helpful to the woman suffrage movement is social networking. There are so many ways to communicate to the masses in today’s society that include Facebook, twitter and Instagram to name a few. An effective met6hod for change is to publicize the protest. It would have worked to Alice Paul’s advantage in sending the message that women were not equal in several forms on various media outlets. Imagine posting a simple picture illustrating how women suffered with a simple short message underneath driving home the point. Think of how many “likes” it would get. On Facebook, videos of the march on the White House could be shared and viewed repeatedly until the message was reached to the masses. Twitter messages would have been exchanged daily and followers would have joined in huge numbers. The most effective way of publicizing a message is through social networking.
In today’s world, it probably is no longer necessary to conduct hunger strikes. Alice Paul was such an important figure in the movement to gain equality for women, it would not be wise for her today to jeopardize her health and well-being. We have so many other means to show support for a cause, a hunger strike is probably not the most effective tactic. In today’s world, we may decide to wear a certain color to show support or use our spending power in order to influence others to join a cause or at least recognize injustice.
Alice Paul was right in seeking change on a Congressional level. One thing that Paul and her activists could do today is to elect leaders who supported their agenda. This is probably the most effective way to create change. In order to make a difference in a cause for equality for women, laws should be implemented to make certain that women are treated fair in our society. Now that women are able to vote, the power of that privilege would be beneficial in electing leaders that would support equality for women.
Alice Paul grew up in an environment that led her to pursue the life she lived. She used the resources necessary in order to attain a goal that was near to her heart. If she were able to utilize the tools we have in today’s society, her efforts would have been less stressful but just as effective.
Congratulations Carlotta! Alice Paul would be proud. Look for the next Alice Paul Essay Contest in fall 2015.