Celebrating the Suffragette Centennial
With the recent passing of the Notorious RBG, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, this year’s election was incredibly heated with a spotlight on women’s’ rights in America. It also happens to be the 100 year anniversary of women’s right to vote with the Suffragette movement coming to a successful conclusion in 1920 for American women. Inspired by this crusade towards female empowerment, Actress and model Kelly Pantaleoni produced and starred in this stunning shoot alongside award-winning producer Joda Pyle, who coordinated a 16mm film capturing behind the scenes footage to accompany this Suffragette inspired fashion photoshoot, featuring British model Alessandra Ward.
Starting in Britain, the Suffragettes had to play dirty – they heckled politicians, were attacked and sexually assaulted during battles with the police, chained themselves to railings, smashed windows, set fire to postboxes and empty buildings, set bombs in order to damage churches and property, and faced anger and ridicule in the media. When imprisoned they went on hunger strike, to which the government responded by force-feeding them. The death of one Suffragette, Emily Davison, occured when she ran in front of the king’s horse in 1913.
Luckily we don’t have to go to such extremes these days to create change, as these brave women paved the way for us to have the power to vote. In 1869, a group called the National Woman Suffrage Association was founded by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony and they began to fight for a universal-suffrage amendment to the U.S. Constitution. On August 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was finally ratified, enfranchising all American women and declaring for the first time that they, like men, deserve all the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
We often forget that it is a hard-earned privilege to have the ability to vote. It’s time to honor and celebrate what those women warriors fought so hard for us to gain. We cannot let this anniversary go unannounced, and these women’s memories die with their sacrifice towards our freedom. So let’s rejoice in our power and privilege, and take a moment to appreciate how far we have come, so we can be inspired to see how much further we can go in our fight for women’s rights.
Kelly Pantaleoni is an Australian actress, filmmaker and philanthropist now living in Los Angeles, known for producing purpose-driven projects and most recently initiating a sustainable sewing program with women in Uganda as part of her international organization Give Backpackers.
You can find her on social @kellypantaleoni or the following websites: