By Ken Stone
Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to vote we go. Our work is done, it’s time for fun, hi ho.Judy Forman led the chants and a march Saturday in Balboa Park on Women’s Equality Day.
Forman, the 70-year-old owner of the Big Kitchen Cafe in Golden Hill, also channeled Elizabeth Cady Stanton during a pre-march teach-in, where others took the roles of Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul, Dr. Mary Ritter, Eleanor Roosevelt and Ellen Browning Scripps.
Real democracy is our goal, equal rights is its soul.
Forman, aka “Judy the Beauty on Duty,” told the small seated audience how she had met the son of Stanton’s great granddaughter, “who is still working on a project — getting statues erected” to Anthony and Stanton in New York’s Central Park.
She said a Disney character — Cinderella — is the only woman represented in Central Park.
“I just had to relate that to you because we’re going to do something about that,” Forman said. “Now I transform into Elizabeth Cady Stanton.”
“Born in western New York state…. Became involved in the abolitionist movement,” she said in a five-minute recitation. “In wedding vows, deleted the word ‘obey.’ Egalitarian marriage. … Lucretia Mott and I resolved to have a convention in Seneca Falls, eight years later in 1848.
“My voice was the very first to be heard in support of the women’s right to vote — the most controversial issue at the convention.”Roses are red, violets are blue, we are registered to vote, are you?
Diane Peabody Straw of Mission Hills, director of the Women’s Museum of California since January 2016, said it was the 12th annual re-creation of the March 1913 “Woman Suffrage Parade” in Washington on the eve of Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration.
Any special meaning this year?
“The political aspect is always there,” Peabody Straw said on the 97th anniversary of the 19th Amendment being made part of the Constitution. “Even in the 1960s, the feminists said the personal is political. As women, that’s just how it goes.”
We’re late, we’re late, for a very important date. Equal opportunity is our nation’s fate.
Susan Ferrill of the Older Women’s League told how her character — Susan B. Anthony — came to California during its own 1896 vote (men only) on giving women the vote. (California women wouldn’t get that right until 1911.)
After 50 minutes learning about the legends of women’s rights, about 80 people — many in all-white period garb — began a 14-minute march through Balboa Park.
They must have been in heaven, in 1911, when California women, finally got the vote!
From a grassy patch just west of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, they followed Forman and her chants north past the Mingei International Museum to El Prado, where they proceeded east to Casa del Prado, made a U-Turn, and threaded their way through curious crowds. A few people joined the march.
Then they took Pan American Road East back to the Organ Pavilion, finally ending where they began for snacks, drinks and visits with groups helping at the event, streamed live on Facebook.
Look out, world. Here we come. Women’s work is never done. March with us, have some fun. Civil rights for everyone!
>> Subscribe to Times of San Diego’s free daily email newsletter! Click hereFollow Us: