Wednesday, April 21 2021

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We've Come Along Way Baby
by Tara Becker

With the presidential election right around the corner and with each candidate courting the women’s vote, did you realize that it was less than one hundred years ago that women were even granted the right to vote?

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848. The first American women’s rights convention organized by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott held in Seneca Falls, New York where the most controversial reform proposed was the demand for women’s right to vote (called woman suffrage).

But, It wasn’t until 1914 that the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage (CU) was founded by the National Women’s Party (NWP). This was some 42 years after Susan B. Anthony registered and voted, then was arrested for ‘knowingly, wrongfully and unlawfully voting for a representative to the Congress of the United Statesapostrophe" in Rochester, NY.

We’ve come a long way baby is an understatement with what dedicated women did for our rights today. Rights many of us take for granted. Don’t forget your sisters, Lucy Burns, Alice Paul, Dora Lewis and many more courageous women who wrote, marched, and practiced civil disobedience for the right’s of women including free speech, the right to assemble and the right to dissent. They wrote, marched, practiced civil disobedience and lodged hunger strikes, which brings me to a film by HBO. “Iron Jawed Angels” staring Hilary Swank is an accounting of this essential period in U.S. history and women’s rights that depicts the creative fight these suffragists waged for the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Through this constant battle, President Wilson was finally obliged to support the amendment. Comparable tactics were also placed on national and state legislators that led to the ratification of the 19th Amendment in August of 1920. Can you believe it took 72 years?

So, ladies when you head out to the polls or send in your absentee ballot, whatever is your voting method of choice. Remember voting is a privilege that your sisters suffered and died for. Vote with honor. But most importantly, VOTE.