Why Women Should Vote

It’s a great privilege for anyone to be able to have a say in who will lead their country, but American women in particular need to remember we didn’t always have that right.

It wasn’t until 1920 when Congress passed the 19th Amendment:

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.

Up until then women had no say in politics whatsoever. Unless you were an Abigail Adams whose husband valued your views (so rare), you forcibly were mute on the subject of government.

Hard to imagine isn’t it? In our lifetime it’s such a given to be able to pop in a school or union hall to pull that lever but let me say, our noble predecessors, who fought good and hard to change things, need to be remembered on Election Day.

Names like: Paulina Kellogg Wright Davis, Abbey K. Foster, Matilda Gage, Lucretia Mott  Lynn Stone and Sojourner Truth to name a choice few who courageously led the charge.

They were referred to as suffragettes,  women seeking the right to vote through organized protest. It sounds so peaceful and civilized doesn’t it? Truth be told it was anything but. Men along with the powers that be did not think we were smart enough to have a valid opinion in the way our country was run. Our place was in the home and only the home to do what we were told by our husbands and fathers.

My heart races like a Maserati even thinking about it.

Our campaign started as early as 1848 in Seneca Falls New York where a convention was held attended by 300 individuals, mostly women, but also by a few open-minded men like William Lloyd Garrison and Oliver Wendall Holmes, father of future U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Oliver Wendall Holmes Jr.

It was a great success in the sense that the cause was launched like a rocket across the country siring what was called The Women’s Suffragette Movement that spanned 72 years. It’s shocking to think it took a little under a century  for us to have that simple, equal right.

There are 2 women I’ve yet to mention that are real heroes to me: Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

I purposely didn’t call them heroines since there should be no distinction between the two.

Ken Burns did a film about them called Not For Ourselves Alone that is quite worth watching. It’s part of his America series that your local library should carry.

Mrs. Stanton, famous for writing The Women’s Bible in a time when nothing like that remotely existed, teamed up with Miss Anthony relentlessly lobbying so we could humbly participate.

They were laughed at, insulted, not allowed in during conventions. Imagine Hilary Clinton being told you’re not welcome here. This is man’s business. Go home woman, where you belong.’

They’d have to carry her out in a straightjacket.

Since Mrs. Stanton was the mother of 8, it was left to the unwed Susan to travel the country promoting their cause. She’d then return to the Stanton home in Seneca Falls alongside her friend to prepare their next move. It must have been very frustrating for a woman with Elizabeth’s intellect to have to stay behind yet the two of them, accepting their roles, worked tirelessly together.

When I think both of these women after all their hard work never saw the vote in their lifetime, my heart breaks.

This is why I get up bright and early on Election Day, put on my best suit and proudly go to PS 6 where I’m a registered voter. It’s because of them and 100s of others that I have the honor of doing so.

Even if I’m not filled with enthusiasm for a candidate I still vote…I do it for them.

Here’s to you ladies, and thank you for being so boldly brave in a time when women were sadly very much on their own.

  Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902)             Susan B. Anthony (1820 – 1906)  EVERYONE SHOULD VOTE, AND I MEAN EVERYONE!

SB

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About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.
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20 Responses to Why Women Should Vote

  1. Rob says:

    It’s a bizarre fact that folk are dying in their hundreds in their fight to chose their leader on one side of the world, whilst folk on the other side can’t be bothered to exercise that right.

    Like

    • So well said Rob. People are very lax and take voting for granted. It’s really a big thing when you think about it. I sure hope everyone participates.

      Like

      • Rob says:

        Are you pleased with the result? I’d say I am, even though I’m not an american. That’s not because Obama is a panacea but rather because Romney just seemed such a rabid reactionary.

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      • Yes I am. Voted for him. Romney was quite scary to me. Obama inherited such a mess from the Bush administration, and the powers that be hate that he’s an articulate African American man so he was up against a lot. I hate to say it but the prejudice that still exists in this country in vast. I’m not making excuses mind you, but I hope the next 4 years are better served by everyone. Hope they give him a chance to really lead.

        Like

      • Rob says:

        Me too!

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      • merryprangster says:

        Susannah, I love your reminder that women especially cherish the right to vote. I must say that my own first Facebook post (yes, I admit it, I use Facebook) was to thank all the members of the United States military, past and present, for preserving the freedom that allows ALL of us the privilege of voting. There is so much the citizens of this country take for granted. Thanks for the reminder.

        Like

  2. I’ve been volunteering for the past few days and I must say I am blown away at the number of people living in caves these days. When is it again? Where do I vote? and my favorite….What am I Democrat or Republican? I don’t have to respond, my face speaks for itself! These fine women are no doubt spinning in their graves. Great post….Lucretia Mott is another Quaker woman and a good read if you get a chance.

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    • had no idea she was a Quaker. Always loved her name. I love that you volunteer. I’m about ready to throw on that suit and go across the street. I’m amazed how many women want Romney. He wants to set them back a century but they don’t seem to care. I think you’re right, they don’t know all the facts. Oh, Madonna Mia!

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  3. kerrycooks says:

    GREAT post Susannah! It’s astounding when you think about what our fore-mothers did in getting us the right for vote not so many decades ago, and now we take it for granted

    Like

  4. rachel bar says:

    Love the post! Always love posts about strong women. Unfortunately, there are still too many of us who serve as a reminder of why men didn’t take us seriously. Just yesterday I talked to a woman who didn’t know who the Republican candidate was, and wasn’t sure when voting day is. Speechless was an understatement, and I’ve been speechless three times in my life…
    I love that you know your history. You should have been a history teacher or professor, your students would have been fascinated by your enthusiasm.

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  5. rheath40 says:

    Good post. So many young women fail to realize that we have not had the right to vote for even 100 years in this country. That we were considered second class citizens and on some issues we still are considered so. It is a proud moment for me to stand in that booth and vote. And to remember those women that fought for us. Some went to jail, and some died for that right. I never ever pass up a chance to vote. Even if either candidate doesn’t flip my trigger. I still like knowing I have a voice.

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    • Yes Ma’am…you said it all. Glad that you feel the same way that I do. I know 2 people who won’t vote at all because they don’t see the point. They hate both candidates so….what can I say, it’s America, they can do what they want, but that’s why they can do what they want, if you know what I mean…ou

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  6. manty67 says:

    Totally agree with everyone must vote 🙂 – My eldest turned 18 this year and he gets to vote in a couple of days on a mini local election. I still remember making my first vote at 18 – it felt so important to me then and still does today.

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    • How exciting for him. it really is a big deal. I imagine all of those women smiling down on us. By the way, I still can’t get to your site. Tried again over the weekend. Maybe it’s Mac who can be a real pain in the ass, I don’t know. You are always so nice to read what I write, would like to return the kindness.

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      • manty67 says:

        sorry for such a late reply, have only just got a chance to start reading my emails now. I’m not sure what is going on with my blog, however, I will have another go and see if I’ve blocked it from view. Thank you for trying 🙂

        Like

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