I have a huge confession to make. I never voted until I turned 39 years old. I didn’t really understand our history, I had no idea women weren’t allowed to own a credit card until the laws changed in 1974. Only married women could own a credit card. And I had no idea that women weren’t allowed to apply for their own business loan UNTIL 1988!!! I had no idea womens rights were that far behind.
After all, I had been raised by a very misogynistic society. So, misogyny just felt normal. Until my adult daughter began pointing it out to me, I have to admit, I was naive. I was also taught that if you were a woman that fought for the rights of other women, then you were a feminist. And feminists were bad. They are gay, and they hate men. Of course, I don’t believe that, but, the misogynists in my family really REALLY wanted me to believe that. I’m pretty sure I’m making them cringe with this very post right now. ‘Okay, here she goes.’
And as far as voting…… who had time to learn about who all these people were? I just felt unqualified. So, voting wasn’t for me. My parents never really explained, and I was just told that polite girls never talk about politics or religion. Now I’m pretty sure my dad just knew I would vote opposite of him, and never actually wanted me to vote. LOL! But wow. What a huge eye opener that last 6 years has been. Not only have I learned so much about how the system works, but, also, how women really are viewed as property by some parts of our population, even still today. I know… shocking!
When my dad once asked me if that boyfriend in France had worked out, my reply to him in jest was, ‘He did not have enough goats for you, father’. While my dad chuckled, now that I think back to that, as a woman, I’m technically thought of as property to my dad. I mean, he did ‘give me away’ at my wedding. And now, if it were 1973, my husband would own me, because that would have been the only way I would have been able to function in society, get credit, get money. Back then, women whom were divorced were shunned, many times they couldn’t even get a job. We have a society that has set women up for abuse. Where are they supposed to go? What are they supposed to do in bad situations. And parents often times were of the, ‘what did you do to provoke him, sweetie? Go back and work it out’ mindset. UGH! Thank goodness I have the coolest husband on the planet and he would never view any human as property.
Anyways, that was a very long explanation for… PLEASE VOTE! Your voice is valuable. Women, and minorities, have fought and died for your right to vote. Wikipedia says this about the women’s suffrage in the United States, ‘Women’s legal right to vote was established in the United States over the course of more than half a century, first in various states and localities, sometimes on a limited basis, and then nationally in 1920 with the passing of the 19th Amendment.’ A half a century! For 50 years, women fought for their voices to be heard. I had read about the final protest, where women wore all white and marched to the capital. Everything was peaceful, however, many men had lined up to watch and they got drunker and drunker. They caused a lot of violence and kicked it off. However, it was the women that got injured and arrested that day.
From NPS.com, it says, ‘The marchers found themselves trapped in a sea of hostile, jeering men who yelled vile insults and sexual propositions at them. They were manhandled and spat upon. The women reported that they received no assistance from nearby police officers, who looked on bemusedly or admonished the women that they wouldn’t be in this predicament if they had stayed home.’
Did you know? In 1923, the National Woman’s Party proposed an amendment to the Constitution that prohibited all discrimination on the basis of sex. The so-called Equal Rights Amendment has never been ratified. So, does me wanting women to have the same rights as men make me a man hater? Absolutely not. I adore men! I’m married to one. I do think the ones that feel any sense of ownership, are quite toxic, and hopefully the non toxic men around them will start putting them in check.
So, once again, just, please vote! My best friend, Ginni, gave me some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten about voting. (Just this year, and I’m 53). If you don’t know who they are, go look at their endorsements. (DUH! Common sense, right?). If they are endorsed by something you support, like for me, if they are endorsed by LGBTQ Coalition, I know that I might choose that candidate over another candidate. I know a big one here in Vegas is the Culinary trade union. Because law makers are making laws that effect those workers, and we have a lot of culinary workers here in Vegas. So, find the causes that are near and dear to your heart. And remember, if you don’t vote, then you can’t complain about the state of the world. Besides…. you want these guys deciding your medical future?