Long live the Suffragettes

Happy 95th Birthday to the 19th Amendment:

On August 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed women the right to vote, was ratified. The following week it was certified by Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby, officially enshrining the new law into the U.S. Constitution.

Although it was made law in 1920 with ratification by two-thirds of the states, it wasn't until 1984 that the final state, Mississippi, passed their ratification. The League of Women Voters was there from the beginning!

Really, Mississippi? Looking back, I'm thinking we should have given France $15 million *and* the territory that would become the State of Mississippi during the Louisiana Purchase, but that might have soured the deal.



1848 to 1971.

North Carolina ratified the 19th amendment in May of 1971. Yes, 1971.

The 19th amendment passed into law only after a group of women, quietly demonstrating outside the White House were arrested, thrown into the federal prison in Occoquan, Virginia, abused, and ultimately, after a hunger strike, force fed raw eggs. Word of their treatment leaked to the public and horrified the nation.

The 19th amendment passed the Tennessee legislature by one vote.

This is why I believe we need to pass a constitutional amendment proclaiming women as the equal of men under the law. Until the word 'woman' is part of our constitution, declaring that women have inalienable rights, that women have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, we will remain lower class citizens to many of the opposite sex. And what has been 'given' to us, can be taken away.

We should not have to wait for each state to make women equal under the law. From Senaca Falls in 1848, to passage of the US Constitutional amendment in 1920, to NC ratification of that amendment in 1971, is far too long for women to wait for their rights. We cannot do this on a state by state basis.

Even today, there is an element that would take away women's right to vote, claiming that votes from woman have caused our government to 'grow' unnecessarily. Proponents of small government blame women's interest in social issues for what they see as big government.

What has been 'given' can be taken away.
The struggle continues.