Alice Paul is described as a feminist, suffragist and political strategist. She did so much in her life for women’s rights.
As I scoured the internet for images of this important historical figure, I came across a photograph of her as a young woman and I had to draw it!
Her youth in the photograph is evident. But there was more. In part, it was the brightness, clarity, and intelligence in her eyes. It was the way she held her jaw. Perhaps a picture is worth a thousand words, but in this case, I couldn’t express them all.
I was staring into the eyes of a young woman that looked like she had the wisdom of a much older one. She’s wearing a graduation cap and gown. My own association with those items is one of celebration, but she looked so serious. As if to say: there’s so much more to do.
Perhaps it is little more than my artistic imagination, looking back through time with clarity. Knowing that the young woman in the photograph would be jailed, but would persist in the plight. Knowing that young woman would be the one to write what is now referred to as the Equal Rights Amendment. Knowing that she would not see the E.R.A. ratified in her lifetime. Knowing that almost 100 years after she’d written the first version, the amendment was still not ratified. My imagination carries me to this conclusion: Oh, that’s why she looks so serious.
Equal Rights Amendment:
“Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”