Right to Vote & Civil Disobedience
Published on Sunday, 12 October 2008 20:00
Written by Michelle Gonzalez
Today, I just got an amazing email forwarded by Hillary Adams about Why Women Should Vote.
The author is "Clancy" and she borrows from the Records of the National Woman's Party at the Libary of Congress. In her email she tells more about the abuses these women of protest went through even though they were seeking equal opportunities.
The right to vote for women was not only hard earned, but one that clearly must be honored as our systems still try to disenfranchise each American with economic distraction, call back to 'family values' and role models that seek to keep women from creating our own positive change. During this mythic election year, the struggle women had to gain the right to vote further underscores that disparities and inequalities in our nation are something we have to be more outspoken about and not take "no" for an answer.
The story of our foremothers who spoke out about the right to vote was a struggle, they were jailed, beaten, and threatened with being labeled "mentally ill" all for wanting to evolve womenâ€™s role and humanity. Of course these women were also seen as "militant" and "forceful" somehow being outspoken makes you a less of a woman because we aren't docile? This "civil disobedience" or "angry" women brought the issue to the forefront. Although this story of "Women of Protest" does call them the militant arm of the National Woman's Party, I see them as the original suffragettes and "civil disobedient" or an action to "Get Angry" (see Amy Kalafa of " Two Angry Moms" post )as a way to say "enough."
Sarah Palin is a reminder of the illusion the "call for the past" can be. She represents a misguided but real force in our country, mostly because there is still a longing in our hearts for women to "go back" and be just the nurturers or simple "family" value purveyors if we are in fact "outspoken". This nostalgia for "simpler" times is a harbinger of regressive values, and a slippery slope, that denigrates the women who came before us to evolve our opportunities and human rights to determine our futures. So read on about our history, and realize that women are still having to fight for equal pay, health care for all, and public policies that give us more freedom and flexibility for our future. See the film by HBO, Iron Jawed Angels: and realize that we must stand up for women, in our country and throughout the world, to stop being treated like second-class human beings...so I am so glad we can vote, and realize it isn't a token exercise but a right to be outspoken! For more information about getting "Angry" see Amy Kalafa, Two Angry Moms (yes, angry moms!) and RI Women's Fund for more on the disparities American women and girls are still experiencing.
Here is the email about Why Women Should Vote and do comment below.
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