Two days later Jack started off to his first day on the job at the factory. Rose planned to spend the day reading a book in the setting room of the boarding house. Reading was a old love for Rose, but since she had turned sixteen, she no longer had time for it. Ruth kept her busy with all the social functions and shopping sprees. Finally Rose has the time to set and enjoy a good book.
"Really Rebecca, women deserve to vote. Men shouldnt have the only say of how this countrys ran," Alice Wells, one of the tenants and her sister Rebecca enter the setting room. Both women set on the sofa opposite of Rose.
"But Alice, its improper for a woman to do something so brash. Women lack the skills and brain power to make such decisions," Rebecca sighed.
"Oh thats hogwash and you know it. We have the exact amount of brainpower and skills as men if not more!" Alice argued, then noticed Rose setting across from them. She had been observing the tenants. The couple seemed free-spirited and in love. Jack didnt seem to be the domineering type of men that were so common in todays society and didnt hold Rose on a tight leash. In fact, he listened to her even took some of her advice. And Rose seemed to have a firey spirit. She didnt seem to be one of those women satisfied with being a housewife or a debutante stuck in her place. "Rose what do you think?"
"What?" Rose glanced up from her book. She was eavesdropping a little but didnt want to be obvious.
"Our discussion about women suffrage. Whats your opinion?" Alice explained.
"Oh. Well women should have the right to vote. Its only fair. Plus I know from experience that men dont know everything. In fact a lot of their decisions lead to disaster."
"See, she agrees with me," Alice smiled in satisfaction. "Not all women are afraid to stand up for what they believe in."
"Oh really. Rose dear, would you be willing to march in that rally theyre having in Eau Claire next weekend? Are do you believe in keeping such opinions to yourself?" Rebecca looked at Rose. She too have been observing Rose and thought her to be of proper upbringing. Surely she wouldn't want to participate in such a crude affair.
"I wouldnt mind marching if asked. Womens opinions shouldnt be silenced," Rose replied.
"But wouldnt your husband disapprove?"
"Jack? No. In fact, Jack would support me. He always encourages me to do what I believe in and felt was right."
"See! Told you," Alice clapped. "Rose how would you like to accompany me to the rally? Itd be fun."
"Id love too. But first let me talk
it over with Jack. Im sure hell have no objections
"Rose there you are. Heres a telegram from Jack. He wants you to meet him at George and Cillies house," Gladys came in.
"Ok. Thank you," Rose smiled. "Well I better be going. Jacks waiting. Ill talk to him about this today and Ill let you know tomorrow."
"Bye," both women wave as Rose exits to meet Jack.
Jack, George, and Cillie were all standing on the front porch when Rose arrived, talking and laughing among themselves. Jack got to his feet and pulled Rose into a warm embrace as she came upon the porch.
"Mrs. Gladys said you wanted to see me," Rose smiled.
"I thought youd want to join us," Jack grinned. "Besides, watching Cillie and George made me think of you."
Rose just smiled sweetly, kissing him lightly
on the cheek. "I love you. Oh Jack, I wanted to discuss
something with you. Theyre having a rally over in Eau
Claire next weekend for womens suffrage."
"You the womans right to vote?" Cillie asked, interested. She had heard rumors that the movement would start up near Chippewa Falls but she had no confirmation.
Rose nodded. "Jack darling. How would you feel if I went?"
"Do you want to go?" Jack asked curiously. He of course thought women should have the right, but he didnt know how he felt about Rose getting involved with the movement. She, after all was a first-class girl and wasnt really used to confrontational situations. Titanic was obviously her first.
"Yes. I really do. In fact, Alice Wells, from the boarding house asked if I wanted to join her."
"If marching in that rally is what you
want to do, go for it. Make each day count remember?" Jack
took her hand. "But be aware that there are going to be men
there opposing the issue and theyre not going to be polite
about their objections."
Rose smiled. Jack was always worried about her welfare. "Jack dont worry. If I could handle Caledon Hockley, I can surely handle a crowd of jeering men."
Jack had to laugh. His firey Rose sure would give those men a run for their money, but still "I just dont want you to get hurt."
"Id like to go to," Cillie spoke up.
"Cillie no," George flat out refused.
"Why? Dont you think I have a right to voice my opinion?"
"If women were meant to vote, they would have had it already. Womens places are in the kitchens. Thats all there is about it."
"George dont be so barbaric," Cillie sighed. "We have as many rights to our opinions as you men do and we do have a right to be heard! Its not right that we cant vote but someone with less compacity could just because theyre men!" Cillie got to her feet. "Rose tell this Alice that Ill be joining you to Eau Claire to state my opinion." Cillie stormed into the house.
I guess we better go,"
Jack sighed uncomfortably. "Dont worry. Im sure
shell get over it."
"Of course she will and she will not be going to that rally. Ill see you two later I guess," George waved, watching them disappear down the dirt road.
"George is really against this isnt he?" Rose asked as Jack led the way back to the boarding house.
Jack shrugged. "George was raised differently than I was. His parents were kind of like a Ruth and Cal. Both women and men had their place and neither strayed from it."
"How was you raised Jack?"
"Well my dad always told me that women were no different from men in most areas if you know what I mean," Jack laughed. "He said that a woman could do anything a man can, even better at times. But he never let me forget how to be a gentleman. Women enter a room first and you hold the door open, you never bulch or cuss in a ladies presence, you hold their chailr out "
"Wait a minute. You cussed in front of me remember? On Titanic, maybe a couple of times after "
"Well Titanic was extreme circumstances and afterwards theres no excuse. Ill try not to do it again ok?"
Rose giggled. "Oh Jack thats perfectly ok. If you ever feel the need to cuss in front of me, please do so. Im telling you, it got so boring when I was with mother and Cal. Everyone walked on eggshells around us women, they never got truly angry in public. Of course anger was always reserved for the privacy of ones home," Rose rubbed her cheek at the memory of all the times Cal had slapped her once they were in private.
Jack looked at his wife and placed a protective arm around her. "Rose, I swear to you that no one will ever lay a violent hand on you again. If they do, they have me to contend with."
Rose smiled at Jacks protectiveness. He
always made her feel extra safe. "I love you Jack."
Jack grinned and kissed her nose. "I love you more."
Hand in hand they continue on towards the boarding house, perfectly content to know that for now on they had each other.