It’s been 90 years since U.S. women won the right to vote after a 100-year struggle. With Women’s Equality Day–the day the 19th Amendment was ratified–we’re paying homage to the suffragists, celebrating (Sh)Equality Week, and reinvigorating the voting spirit!
When women began to chafe against the “Cult of True Womanhood” in the 1820s and 30s, they rebelled against the idea that a “true” woman was a submissive housewife confined to the sphere of home and family. Fast forward 100 years, 600,000+ petition signatures, 500 arrests, 168 jail sentences, hundreds of pickets and countless marches: The deciding vote was finally cast for women’s suffrage in 1920 by Harry T. Burn, a 24 year-old state legislator from Tennessee. If it wasn’t for his fabulous mother Febb, who sent him a letter admonishing him to be a good boy and vote for suffrage, who knows how much longer the wait would have been!
Elections are around the corner in November and there’s a lot at stake. Today, with women’s equality still far from secured, it’s more important than ever that we make use of the right that our predecessors so bravely fought for. Let’s not forget that women still make 77 cents to the dollar and that our abortion access is being increasingly limited. And that the ERA still has not passed. If we don’t elect lawmakers who care about women’s rights, these things will never change.
Since the moment they could vote, women have always cast ballots in greater numbers than men. Young women alone, almost 22 million strong, make up a substantial voting bloc. More than 13,000 people turn 18 each day–that’s more than 9 million new eligible voters since 2008. Those 9 million additional votes can keep feminism and equality moving forward.
Whether you register as a first-time voter or update your voter information, don’t lose this opportunity to make your vote count. We’ve come a long way sine 1920, but we’ve got more places to go. Use your vote to get us there!
Click on the box below to register to vote!
Photo of 1912 Suffrage Parade in New York City from Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike General Liscense 2.5.