“If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair,” embodies the uncompromising, independent leadership necessary for what the suffragist movement aspired: a vote, a voice and a vocation. The road to achieving votes for women was grueling, filled with biases and complexities. It’s an important history to understand, not only for the tactics women used to prevail against the status quo of their day, but for the belief that women have an important role to play in the future. The reformers and activists of the past have given us a legacy to build on as we keep the conversation alive and continue to strive for equality in America.
Mary Jane Bradbury is an historic interpreter and scholar who brings history to life for audiences of all ages. She is an artist in residence for the CM Russell Museum in Great Falls and the Montana Historical Society in Helena.