Soldiers in Petticoats: The Struggles of the Suffragettes

Tames Alan is an actress, historian, and instructor who has combined her skills to create an educational program for people of all ages. In this lecture, she appears in the authentic clothing of a suffragette and talks about the struggle of American women to gain the right to vote. In 1867, the passing of the 14th Amendment defined “citizen” as “male,” thus denying women the right to vote. Tames focuses on the turbulent time when many states granted women the right to vote only to have the privilege taken away by decisions made in Washington, DC. Learn how American women adopted the militant tactics of their English sister suffragettes to not only earn the right to vote but to be considered citizens of the country of which they were the founding mothers.

With her wide knowledge of women’s history, Tames brings to life the suffragettes, their struggles, and their influence on the major issues of their era. Discover how the suffragettes influenced child labor laws and other major issues of their era. As with her other Living History Lectures, a question and answer period follows.

This program is suitable for elementary grades on up. It has been given as a general history lecture to younger students, a cultural background lecture for students of social history, and as a clothing program for costume and design students. This program is especially beneficial for those studying women’s roles in American history. It is also a fun cultural event for general adult audiences and lovers of history and clothing.

Tames studied theater and history at Willamette University in Oregon, and theater at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco and Dell Arte School in California. Throughout her theatrical career, she maintained her interest in history and costuming. Tames has taught fashion history at the Art Institute of Seattle, offering a class that combined fashion history, social history, and women’s studies. More recently, she has been a speaker for the Washington State Commission for the Humanities in their Inquiring Mind series.