Women gained the right to vote in the US on this day only ninety-six years ago. Considering that our nation’s first election was held in 1788 (over two hundred years ago!), it’s still a pretty big deal for us ladies.
I’d also like to mention that in 1920, when the 19th Amendment passed, this was mostly for white women. It was a long time before women of color gained equal access to the polls.
But back in 1920 when the amendment finally passed, this marked a huge step toward equality, so the Behaviorists and I wanted to honor that important moment in history by sharing why we believe it’s crucial for women today to get out there and vote.
I don’t have the right to vote here in the US as I’m French and not a citizen, but it’s very important for woman to vote, to use our rights and our voices! Women have fought ninety-six years ago to give us equality with men, so it’s our duty to vote and honor those women! I can’t wait to be an American citizen and gain the ability to vote. It’s so hard to be living in a country and see everything that’s happening right now and not be able to be heard.
Vote and be heard, ladies!
This is a tenuous time in our country, especially for those of us living at the intersections of multiple marginalized identities. Though women gained the right to vote ninety-six years ago, in many states Black women and other women of color were unable to exercise that right because of the intersection of their race, gender, and class. With state laws and vigilante practices such as literacy tests, Black women were disenfranchised from the political process. It’s with that in mind that I take great pride in my right to vote as a Black woman in America. Knowing that women before me were beaten and jailed in an attempt to exercise their right makes it all the more important for me to do so. This year I’m casting my vote on behalf of all women past and present who continue to fight for our rights to be seen as full human beings worthy of respect and opportunity. I’m casting my vote for pay equity and to eradicate violence against women because it is with my vote that I have the power to shift the trajectory of this nation.
I have a small confession to make. Despite being almost thirty, this year marked the first time I’ve ever voted in the primaries. As I get older, I care more and more about politics and the people we give power to. I don’t judge anyone who doesn’t vote because it’s understandable to feel overwhelmed, apathetic, angry, or any other difficult emotion that keeps us away from the polls. But voting makes me feel better. Taking action makes me feel better, and I think a lot of women would be surprised by how good it feels to get out there and put a vote on the record. Rarely is any candidate my ideal candidate, but when I vote, I know I’ve done something. So if we want to keep pushing toward greater and greater equality—not just for women but for all of our citizens—it’s important for us to exercise our right to vote because fortunately, in this country, it’s our right to speak up and shape the world!
As a woman, I can’t imagine not voting! Even when I wonder if my vote will count, because I live in an area where my views aren’t the views of the dominant party, I know it’s the right thing to do. If we’re required to obey the laws, then we must have a voice in making them. Because, when I think of the states that arrest the prostitute even if she’s there against her will, but merely slap the John with a misdemeanor, I know that we as women still have work to do. Because, I just said goodbye to a friend of mine who was diagnosed and died of stage IV breast cancer in a matter of two months because preventive health care for women is lacking, I know that we as women still have work to do. And when I hear the man who is leading the polls say things that degrade women—“You know, it doesn’t really matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.” “26,000 unreported sexual assaults in the military-only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men and women together?” “You could see there was blood coming out of her [Megyn Kelly] eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever.” “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president? I mean she’s [Carly Fiorina] a woman and I’m not s’posedta say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?”—we still have work to do!
So what do YOU think? Why is it important for women to vote in this day and age? Don’t be shy! Let your voice be heard! Share your thoughts in the comments.