Iron Jawed Angels

Iron Jawed Angels (2004) Poster

*Image from

Iron Jawed Angels is an HBO film starting Hilary Swank, Margo Martindale, and Anjelica Huston. Hilary Swank plays the main character Alice Paul who leads women’s right activists in an attempt to change the Constitution and get women the right to vote. The movie takes place during the 1917 Suffrage movement.

Alice Paul’s work made huge strides for American women. It is amazing what Alice Paul was able to pull together during war time and when it seemed as though everyone was against her. She coordinated rallies, picketed the White House, and never took no for an answer. Alice Paul stood by what she believed in no matter what the consequences. She truly believed in her cause and her dedication and passion got others to believe in it too.

I think that one of the contributors to the movement happening during this time in history was that there were so many changes going on in our country. The 14th and 15th Amendments had recently been passed and women realized that it was their turn.

What Alice Paul did was very brave and courageous; she took charge of her own freedom. Today there are many groups pushing for change, such as the groups who want to become more environmentally friendly and those who want changes concerning gun laws. These groups could learn a lot from Alice Paul, by sticking by what they stand for, through thick and thin, they could see some of their ideas translated to reality. I think the most important thing today is standing together. People need to make their major issues a priority and not let them just be pushed aside. If a group can hold strong then they will have a much louder voice and a bigger political presence.

In different segments of the film there was a big change in dynamic. In some parts it was only females and together they held strong in their fight, but then there were other times when they would switch to a scene where it wasn’t as formal and women realized that they didn’t want to be alone or they wanted to protect their family life. I can only imagine how much of an inner struggle that would have caused. It would make it very hard to choose what you were going to do, because those women wanted to protect their kids and husbands, but they also wanted that equality for their daughters.  I think this conflict made the movement that much stronger because the women realized that this needed to be taken care of now, instead of leaving it for the future generations and their children to fight.

This movie showed the real struggles these activists went through to make changes that many of us take for granted today. Their arguments for equality still hold true today. Even though these women brought huge changes and have made the lives of women better today, there are still changes that need to be addressed to give women complete equality.

It goes to show that when you really put your mind to something anything is possible.

*Friedes, J. (2004, February 15). Retrieved from


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