Bad Romance – Women’s Suffrage… A Lady Gaga Alice Paul Music Video Mashup

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Bad Romance: Women’s Suffrage… A Lady Gaga Alice Paul Music Video Mashup
HistoryMusicWomen's Rights 2 Comments

96 years ago today, on August 18, 1920 the 19th Amendment was ratified. Six days later, on August 26, it was formally adopted into the U.S. Constitution, giving American women the right to vote after a seventy-two year battle. The driving force and lead strategist behind the influential 1910s suffrage campaigns that brought about its historic passage was Alice Paul (1885-1977), who is considered “the architect of some of the most outstanding political achievements on behalf of women in the 20th century.” Inspired by Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance, this parody music video pays tribute to her and the generations of brave women who fought for women’s suffrage and equal rights.

It’s important to note, that while the 19th Amendment states, “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,” universal suffrage for women was not actually achieved. Following its adoption into the Constitution, state laws and the continued use of vigilante practices at the state level like poll taxes, physical intimidation and violence, and literacy tests or educational requirements “effectively disenfranchised most black women in the South” until the Civil Rights Movement and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which outlawed the discriminatory voting practices adopted in many southern states (prior to the VRA, “federal laws did not challenge the authority of states and localities to establish and administer their own voting requirements”).


Alice Paul beyond the 19th Amendment… role model of leadership in the continuing quest for equality

While many suffragists left public life and activism after the 19th Amendment was enacted, Alice Paul believed the true battle for equality had yet to be won.

As the Alice Paul Institute recounts,  “In 1923, on the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Seneca Falls Convention, Paul announced that she would be working for a new constitutional amendment, one she authored and called the ‘Lucretia Mott Amendment.’ This amendment called for absolute equality stating, ‘Men and women shall have equal rights throughout the United States and every place subject to its jurisdiction.'” During the 1940s, “both the Republicans and Democrats added the Equal Rights Amendment to their party platforms. In 1943, the ERA was rewritten and dubbed the ‘Alice Paul Amendment.’ The new amendment read, ‘Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.'”

The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was introduced in every session of Congress from 1923 until it passed in 1972 and went on to the states for ratification. The original seven-year time limit in the ERA’s proposing clause was extended by Congress to June 30, 1982, but at that deadline, the ERA had been ratified by 35 states, three states short of the 38 required to put it into the Constitution.

The ERA has been introduced into every Congress since 1982, yet…

the Equal Rights Amendment is STILL NOT in the U.S. Constitution.

Photo: Alice Paul toasting (with grape juice) the passage of the 19th Amendment – August 26, 1920. Photo credit: Alice Paul Institute


Bad Romance – Women’s Suffrage
Lyrics By Soomo Publishing

Oh oh oh oh…
Caught in a Bad Romance!
Oh oh oh oh…
Caught in a Bad Romance!

Vo vo votes ah ah aah
Whoa aa, won’t ta aah
Stop ha, ooo la la
Til we have suffrage!
Vo vo votes ah ah aah
Whoa aa, won’t ta aah
Stop ha, ooo la la
Til we have suffrage!

It’s gotten ugly
They passed the 15th
Still women have no right
Nor guarantee
To liberty
Child, health, wealth
Or property

Hey! We’ll raise our banner
Across this land hey!
‘Cause franchise isn’t just
The right of a man
Universal
Yuh, yuh, yuh, it’s universal!
Yuh, yuh, yuh, universal!

You know we don’t want to
Take freedoms from you
Just want our rights and nothing less

We cry for freedom
Oh, hear our voice
And see we’re equal to all men!
Oh oh oh oh…
We the whole people
Not just male citizens
Formed this most perfect Union!

Oh oh oh oh…
Caught in a Bad Romance!
Oh oh oh oh…
Caught in a Bad Romance!

Vo vo votes ah ah aah
Whoa aa, won’t ta aah
Stop ha, ooo la la
Til we have suffrage!

It is a horror
A cruel design
That makes it criminal
a right that is mine
I want the vote
vote, vote, vote
I want to vote

Well, I think you’re psycho
I think that it’s sick
I’m queen of my home, raise my babies
That’s it
Don’t need to vote
No, no, she don’t want to vote!
No, no, no, don’t want to vote

The rights of citizens
Shall not be denied or abridged
New legislation, baby!
By the United States
On account of sex

We cry for freedom
Oh hear our voice
And see we’re equal to all men!
Oh oh oh oh…
We the whole people, not
Just male citizens
Formed this most perfect Union

Oh oh oh oh…
Caught in a Bad Romance!
Oh oh oh oh…
Caught in a Bad Romance!

Vo vo votes ah ah
Whoa ah, won’t ta ah
Stop ha, ooo la la
Til we have suffrage!

March, march, be courageous
Fighting
For our rights we may just
Start greatness for the ages
Freedom it is contagious
March, march, be courageous
Fighting
For our rights we may just
Start greatness for the ages
Remember the ladies

Not to be above
but equal to all men
We only ask to be
Part of this Union!
Comme dirait le Français:
c’est Démocratie!
Permettez-moi participer!*

I’m a citizen
Of this nation!
An American!
I want suffrage! And independence!

We cry for freedom
Oh, hear our voice
And see we’re equal to all men!
Oh oh oh oh…
We the whole people, not
Just male citizens
Formed this most perfect Union!

Oh oh oh oh…
I want to wear pants!
Caught in a Bad Romance
I want my suffrage!
Oh oh oh oh…
And independence!
Caught in a Bad Romance!

Vo vo votes ah ah
Woah ah, won’t ta ah
Stop ha, ooo la la
Now we have suffrage!

  • KGD

    We STILL need an equal rights amendment! I honor these women who got us the right to vote, but we aren’t done yet!

  • Diagonotter

    It’s a shame the video is so white, there was a missed opportunity there. As with all of the history of the U.S. it’s more complicated than heroines fight for the vote. Perhaps a disappointing moment when black woman are turned away from thise early marches but welcomed in modern times… feels like White Feminism TM as it is.

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