Moyers on Democracy

‘She Votes!’ Is the Definitive Podcast on the Women’s Suffrage Movement

One hundred years ago this month, the 19th Amendment was ratified. But American women’s battle for the ballot and representation in government began long before that day in August — and continues, even to this day.

She Votes! Is the Definitive Podcast on the Women's Suffrage Movement
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

— 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

We are pleased to present a new weekly podcast, She Votes! from award-winning journalists Ellen Goodman and Lynn Sherr. (produced by  Wonder Media Network.) Having lived through — and covered — feminism’s second-wave, Goodman and Sherr tell the definitive story of suffrage, from the first demands to speak on public matters by antislavery activists in 1837, through the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention for Women’s Rights, to the drama of the final passage in 1920 and beyond.

One hundred years ago this month, the 19th Amendment was ratified. But American women’s battle for the ballot and representation in government began long before that day in August — and continues, even to this day.

Despite the historic wins for women in the 2018 midterm elections, women still make up only 23 percent of Congress. She Votes! digs into the complex history of the women’s suffrage movement, its enduring significance and its resonance today.

Episode 1: Convicted!
Rochester, New York. 1872. Susan B. Anthony is arrested for the crime of “voting while female.” What happens next — an arrest, a trial, a verdict and a conviction — sets the stage for the next half a century of battling for the ballot.


Episode 2 Title: Are women people?
From the Cult of True Womanhood in the 1860s to Lynn and Ellen’s own experiences
as young journalists in the 1970s, we’re investigating why we just can’t seem to escape the question: are women people?


Episode 3 Title: Rooted in Outrage
Click moments” have powered some of this country’s biggest social upheavals. From second wave feminism’s emergence during the Civil Rights movement to the creation of the suffrage movement amidst abolitionist organizing, Lynn and Ellen track down the ingredients for those moments of realization, when you finally see something that’s been in front of you all along.


Episode 4: Split
Heroes. They’re never perfect, no matter how much we admire them. When Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton found themselves on the opposite side of the 15th Amendment from their friend, Frederick Douglass, the ensuing debates shed light on anger, on biases and on the depth of relationships. How do we remember our heroes, flaws and all? Ellen and Lynn investigate.


Episode 5: Sisterhood is not always powerful
Description: Throughout the battle for the ballot, suffragists often faced unlikely — but powerful — opponents: anti-suffragists, women who fought to keep other women from the polls. But this was hardly the only gender-based rift the suffrage movement faced. Lynn and Ellen explore what happens when sisterhood fails.


Episode 6: the Women’s Pages
Description: Think that mastering the media machine is tough today? Hear what the suffragists endured at the hands of a nearly all-male press, turning ridicule into respect. Ellen and Lynn share their own experiences as women covering women, and go back to the years when suffragists created their own newspapers, took to the “soapboxes,” and engineered the parades, spectacles and protests that caught the attention of the press — and the country.


Episode 7: Mother Knows Best
Description: August 18, 1920. Nashville, Tennessee. Men and women on both sides of the suffrage fight have been battling for weeks over the final state needed to ratify the 19th amendment, employing every weapon in their arsenals, from door-knocking to smuggling whiskey. But it’s one rookie senator, and a letter from his mother, who ultimately turns the tide. Ellen and Lynn take us back.


Episode 8: Great Expectations
100 years ago, the 19th amendment was ratified – but women’s fight for the right to vote began long before then, and continues even today. In our final episode, Ellen and Lynn look at what happened after August 26th, 1920. Who voted, who didn’t, who couldn’t — and why, this November, it’s so important to cast your hard-fought ballot.

Produced by Wonder Media Network

Lynn Sherr

Lynn Sherr is an award-winning journalist and has been covering politics and women’s issues for more than 40 years, mostly at ABC News, where she was a correspondent for World News Tonight and 20/20. Her best-selling books include Swim: Why We Love the Water; Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space and Failure is Impossible: Susan B. Anthony in Her Own Words. Sherr currently freelances on a variety of platforms. Follow her on Twitter: @LynnSherr.

Ellen Goodman

Ellen Goodman is the Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for the Boston Globe and the Washington Post Writers Group. She is the author of seven books and co founder of The Conversation Project.