Saturday, October 25, 2008

August 26, 1920

All of our daughters should know this date. It's the date the Nineteenth Amendment was signed into law, giving women in this country the right to vote. Only 88 years -- only 88 years of having a voice -- of claiming for ourselves the right to representation upon which this country was founded.

The prevailing argument against giving women the right to vote was that we "didn't want to be bothered with unwomanly things." I absolutely LOVE the response one suffragist of the time had to this. In 1915, writer Alice Duer Miller wrote:

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.

Today I took my daughter AND my son to vote with me (Florida has an early voting provision). I wanted them to see democracy in action. I wanted them to be part of the first election in our nation's history that has a black man and a woman on the presidential and vice-presidential ballot.

No matter what your politics, please vote. And remember those women, 88 years ago, who fought so hard to give us this amazing right.

1 comment:

Stacy L. said...

Alyssa - I early voted this morning. It is amazing what women had to go through to obtain the right to vote. I don't ever plan to take the right to vote for granted.

And your puppies are super cute!