So I hear women are “disgruntled”, hopeless… disparaged even…woe is me, woe is me… the world is coming to an end because a few women are disgusted with politics and may just sit out the election this November. Women must feel defeated… HOW DARE YOU?
According to a recent article in the New York Times, a “poll suggests that men are angrier than women, and that their anger may be more motivating than the sense of hopelessness expressed by women, particularly on economic issues.” What does that mean? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. If we, as women, begin to believe that polls can dictate whether or not we women voters will turn out to vote, then all the women before us who fought so diligently to gain those rights were utterly and appallingly in vain.
Take Lydia Taft, for example. Taft was the first legal woman voter in colonial America. Thanks in part to her husband’s death and his role in local politics, she was able to vote in the local town hall on behalf of her deceased partner. Or Emmeline Pankhurst…who so courageously fought on behalf of women’s suffrage in England during the early 1900s? Francis Wright? Or Earnestine Rose, who was heard by New York legislature through five petition signatures on women’s suffrage?
One of my all-time favorite women champions was Sojourner Truth: What a woman! What a woman she was! Truth, a freed slave, gave her infamous “Ain’t I a Woman” speech to the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention in 1851. Her final statement in the speech: “If de fust woman God ever made was strong enough to turn de world upside down all alone, dese women togedder ought to be able to turn it back, and get it right side up again! And now dey is asking to do it, de men better let ’em. Bleeged to ye for hearin’ on me, and now ole Sojourner han’t got nothin’ more to say.” How I wish I could have been a fly on that wall, but somehow I know Truth demonstrated that women were equally capable of making sound decisions. How can ANY woman in her right mind dismiss the sacrifices and efforts of our women mothers and sisters in spirit, who triumphed the league of man and gave us the right to vote today?
How about Susan B. Anthony, women’s suffrage advocate? Beside her valiant efforts to getting the 19th Amendment passed, she published a weekly journal called “The Revolution”. Its motto is equally important today as it was then: “The true republic—men, their rights and nothing more; women, their rights and nothing less.”
Fellow women social networkers have proudly come forward to state when they began voting and why they vote:
Monica Michel says that she voted as soon as she was legally able to do so.
Barbara Zimmerman adds, “As soon as I legally could vote because many women fought a long, difficult battle to gain us this right that we deserved all along. Civil rights; women should never be considered chattel. And whatever happened to the ERA???”
Cheryl Janachione writes: “When I was around 19/20 – presidential election. I know I wasn’t nearly as passionate as I am now, but it was my right. I think it was more about being an adult then about the politics although I have only voted one party my whole life. Now, it is a different story. After these wars, the financial sector collapsing, Enron and corporate corruption, can’t afford any decent healthcare, clusters of cancer in areas where corporations dumped toxic wastes, the Exxon oil catastrophe in Alaska etc – believe me, I’m involved. Very involved. Obviously, our representatives did not do a good job in caring about our welfare and seem to be treating congress as a country club. So I feel I need to be more involved in the process – at least it gives me a right to complain if I am not happy.”
My own daughter, Marie Ricard weighed in: I voted when the school handed out the forms (if you were turning 18 that year, you could vote in the primaries) Which I was, and of course, I wanted to vote, and I voted for the person who is standing in office now. I went on my own, and my mom voted for someone else in the primaries, but I knew it was time for the world to see that everyone who is anyone can be someone. Black / White / Orange / Brown / Yellow / Purple / Green-if you have the dream you can do it.”
Are you more than a woman? Are you capable like the women who fought long and hard before us? Capable like the women that we are? Capable to move mountains with motivation and an undying quench to make a difference? YES, you are more than a woman…and you do not need a poll to tell you whether or not you should vote. Don’t give into the politics of “no” because you are a woman and YOU can do anything you want to do…including the RIGHT and the DUTY to VOTE!
More than a Woman
By CarolAnn Bailey-Lloyd – Social Media and more
*Photographs courtesy of Wikipedia
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