Sunday, August 26, 2012

Women Are People, and Voters, Too!

On August 18, 1920, Tennessee narrowly ratified the Nineteenth Amendment, and a few days later, on August 26, it was formerly certified into law throughout the United States. Nearly twenty years later Maryland ratified the amendment in 1941. After another ten years, in 1952, Virginia ratified the Nineteenth Amendment, followed by Alabama in 1953. After another 16 years Florida and South Carolina passed the necessary votes to ratify in 1969, followed two years later by Georgia and Louisiana in 1970 in 1971. Mississippi did not ratify the Nineteenth Amendment until 1984, sixty four years after the law was enacted nationally.

I remember sometime in the 60's having a report due at school on women's suffrage. I asked my grandmother if she remembered any of this, and she told me all about the Tennessee vote. She had heard that news herself quite young, but was just as excited as all the older 'ladies,' so taught me to mark that date with her each year. I was broken-hearted as a young activist we couldn't get the ERA passed. And with a daughter and granddaughter, I am amazed we are still fighting the right-wing about so many things related to women that should obviously be simple human rights.

Let's all hope both reason and the Democratic Party succeed in November in retaining the Presidency,  increasing the margin in the Senate where we really need 60, and retaking the House. Otherwise, given how far to the right the Republican's agenda has gone, we will be fighting to protect women's rights for years to come.

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