Tuesday, August 26, 2008

On This Day in 1920...

Women FINALLY won the right to vote!

Today is the anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which on August 26, 1920 granted women the right to vote. It had been a battle waging for over 100 years, led by brave, strong, resilient women to whom we owe so much.

On this day 88 years ago, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify. A Nashvillian named Harry Burn (the youngest member of the TN legislature) broke the tie with a "yea" vote for women. The legislators had come decked out in their colors: the Suffragists wore yellow roses, the Anti-Suffragists red. Well, Harry came wearing red, but voted in opposition to the color because of a telegram he had tucked in his suit pocket--one from his MOTHER, urging him to back the women.

If you're interested, the full article is here: http://www.blueshoenashville.com/suffragehistory.html

Some of the arguments against women's suffrage included:
- Women are emotional creatures, incapable of making sound political decisions.
- If women become involved in politics, they will stop marrying and having children, and the human race will die out.
- Most women do not want the vote.
- Women are already represented by their husbands.
- Women are too "precious and innocent" to become embroiled in public life.
- The physcial nature of women "unfits them for direct competition with men."

Last night Michelle Obama thanked Hilary Clinton for putting "18 million cracks in the glass ceiling." Well, she is certainly only one of many, including all our mothers, aunts, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, and more. Hopefully we've all had a woman in our lives who urged us to speak with our own unique voice, to know without a doubt that the whole of our worth is most definitely NOT determined by our sex.

We've come along way, baby--but we've still got a long way to go. Currently, women earn only 76 or 77 cents to the man's dollar, for the same job. Equal work for equal pay is a dream that still has yet to be realized.

Rock on, sisters.

* Photos borrowed from www.womenshistory.about.com.

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