For those of you who don’t know, Susan B. Anthony was one of the original Suffragettes. She was one of the many American women who felt that women should be equal and should have the vote. And yes, she and many others were arrested and put into jail. They went on a hunger strike. When the media found out about it, there was hell to pay. The women were released and soon after they got the vote. Speaking for every woman in my family, Susan, we thank you for all you suffered, endured and how steadfast you stood to the belief that women should have the vote. Now that we have our first female candidate for President, gratitude goes out to you, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the hundreds of women who walked out of their homes without putting dinner on the table and picked up signs and began marching and protesting. Thank you, the women of the twenty first century.
On August 26, 1920, the 19thAmendment granting women the right to vote, became law.
“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. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”
When American women were first trying to get the vote, men believed it was inappropriate for women to vote and provided a variety of “reasons”. In 1915, writer Alice Duer Miller countered the ridiculous arguments of anti-suffrage men with humor:
Why We Don’t Want Men to Vote
Because man’s place is in the army.
Because no really manly man wants to settle any question otherwise than by fighting about it.
Because if men should adopt peaceable methods women will no longer look up to them.
Because men will lose their charm if they step out of their natural sphere and interest themselves in other matters than feats of arms, uniforms, and drums.
Because men are too emotional to vote. Their conduct at baseball games and political conventions shows this, while their innate tendency to appeal to force renders them unfit for government.
The true ridiculousness of the fight is clear in the view of hindsight — during World War I, when able-bodied men were fighting in Europe, it was women who took their place in factories and kept this country moving, providing support and arms to our fighting men. Yet still, these brave, hard-working women could not vote. President Woodrow Wilson recognized the disparity, and in a speech on September 18, 1918, he said,
“We have made partners of the women in this war. Shall we admit them only to a partnership of suffering and sacrifice and toil and not to a partnership of right?”
According to the website AmericanCivilWar.com, “the National American Woman Suffrage Association’s (NAWSA) Congressional Committee and the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage (CU) worked together to try to get women in America the vote. In 1917, the CU formed the National Woman’s Party (NWP).
Photograph of Alison Turnbull Hopkins with banner, “Mr. President How long must women wait for liberty,” picketing for suffrage outside White House gate. Photograph published in The Suffragist, 5, no. 56 (Feb. 7, 1917): 4. Caption reads: “New Jersey Day: Mrs. J.A.H. Hopkins heading the line”. Photograph illustration in story “Fourth Week of the White House Guard.”
In January 1917 the CU and NWP began to picket the White House. The government’s initial tolerance gave way after the United States entered World War I. Beginning in June 1917, suffrage protesters were arrested, imprisoned, and often force-fed when they went on hunger strikes to protest being denied political prisoner status.
The National Woman’s Party militant tactics and steadfast lobbying, coupled with public support for imprisoned suffragists, forced President Woodrow Wilson to endorse a federal woman suffrage amendment in 1918. Congress passed the measure in 1919, and the NWP began campaigning for state ratification. Shortly after Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify women’s suffrage, the 19th Amendment was signed into law on August 26, 1920.”
I am bringing this up today not only to celebrate the 94th Anniversary of this wonderful Amendment, but also to make a point to every woman out there in the United States:
A mid-term election is coming up in November. I don’t know who you support in the election, or what party you are involved with, or if you have ever voted before, and it really doesn’t matter. What DOES matter is this:
A lot of women worked very hard for a long time to give you the right to vote this November.
You owe it to them, as well as to you, your generation, and the next generation to come, to exercise that right. Vote for your granddaughters and your great-granddaughters, and they will one day have what we have yet to win: True Equality.
Ninety-two years ago, the Suffragettes won the right to vote. It was a very difficult fight. Men didn’t think we could think logically and rationally. Many didn’t think we could think about anything but the price of chopped sirloin or which tablecloth to put on the table for Sunday dinner. Women who were not married and had no children were pitied and thought of as very different even abnormal. Women didn’t even wear pants back then. Think about trying to accomplish a day in your life with a corset, bloomers, long sleeves and a floor length skirt on. The Suffragettes also gave us the right to throw the corsets away and breath and wear pants. Tennessee was the state that gave us enough votes to win the right to vote.
Now, it is 2012 and we have the right to vote to protect our existing rights. We need to vote for the candidate who will uphold our rights that we have now and who will work to give us legal equality next year. Think about the fact that ninety-two years after we have the vote, we still are not equal.
When you gain a right such as voting, you have a responsibility to use it. Women have a responsibility to vote this year. Our votes can make a huge difference in this election and shape the future for our daughters and granddaughters. Set the example for them to become knowledgeable about all of the issues and vote according to truth. Look into the “War on Women” and find out what the predominately male white Congress is trying to take from us. Obama supports programs that benefit women.
I urge you to use the right the Suffragettes fought and gained for us and vote in 2012. Women need to be as outspoken about what happens in this country as the men are. We can make a difference.
Mensen maken de samenleving en nemen daarin een positie in. Deze website geeft toegang tot een diversiteit aan artikelen die gaan over 'samenleven', belicht vanuit verschillende perspectieven. De artikelen hebben gemeen dat er gezocht wordt naar wat 'mensen bindt, in plaats van wat hen scheidt'.