Happy Anniversary 19th Amendment!
On August 26, 1920, Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby signed the proclamation granting American women the constitutional right to vote. What we often forget is the sacrifice women made to earn that right. These brave women endured beatings and torture, and likely things we don’t even know about. I honor them. In fact, today the entire nation honors them, although there are many people who don’t even know that.
Today is National Women’s Equality Day.
As I sit here thinking about it, I honestly have mixed emotions. Why? Because we just aren’t there yet. The vote did not bring equality.
Yes, we can vote and we have made strides in what we can (legally) do, be, or have. (As a side note, a friend of mine in her 70s told me when she was in her 30s and wanted to start establishing her own credit, her ONLY option was to beg for a department store credit card. The only way she could get it was for her father to co-sign. She couldn’t buy a house or car on her own at all —she had to have a husband or father do it. Forming her own business? Nope. A man had to get the loan. That is not my experience, and for that, I am so very grateful.)
I admire the women who tore down those barriers, and more. They are smart, strong, resourceful, and amazing (hmmm…like most women I know).
The problem is, my generation came along and decided we were there. The work was done.
But you know what? As long as we collectively do things like:
- call women who speak up (or speak their minds) b!tches,
- victim shame,
- judge each other for not doing things exactly the way we would ourselves…
…we are not there.
As long as we refuse to figure out our OWN dreams and aspirations and choose to live unfulfilling lives, we are not there.
As long as we use our precious vote to allow admitted sexual predators to hold public office, we are not there. (It BOGGLES my mind that women endorse such horrific behavior.)
The good news is, in the last few years, many of us have woken up and realized all of this. The energy among women working together and lifting each other up is amazing. It fills my heart. I’m excited for the changes that are coming. I’m excited about seeing true equality in my life and knowing that my stepdaughter and my niece have brighter futures because of it.
Thank you to all the women (and men) who have never stopped working toward a better future for all of us. Thank you to the women (and men) who have joined the movement. Thank you to everyone who makes this world beautiful and safe for all. Happy Women’s Equality Day.
PS: this is about as political as I will ever get, but women’s equality is an issue about which I have very strong beliefs.
PPS: That’s my niece Maya with me at the Women’s March on Washington. She was so excited that day. Her generation is going to change our world.