Friday, August 26, 2011


It is not often that I talk about politics. I try very much to keep this blog free from personal politics, but today I wanted to celebrate. See, on this day August 26, 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United states finally became law.

So, ninety one years later, and one hundred and sixty-one years after women began formalizing the right to vote at the Seneca Falls Women's Rights Convention, in 1848, I want to take a look at where we are today.

Written by Kellyanne Conway in, What Women Really Want. Her book tracked trends in female voting and discussed how to reach out to today's women for voting.
"In the 2004 presidential election, more than half (54.5 percent) of women between the ages of 18 and 24 did not vote. However, women in this age bracket voted at a higher rate than their male counterparts, only 40 percent of whom cast ballots. At the other end of the age spectrum, only 29 percent of women aged 65 to 74 did not vote, compared to 26.1 percent of men in the same category. The top reasons women offer for opting out include “illness/disability” (19.8 percent), “too busy/scheduling conflict” (17.4 percent), “not interested” (10.7 percent), and “did not like candidates or campaign issues” (9.7 percent). Excluding the final two responses, it is important to note that nearly nine in ten women did not participate for reasons other than a lack of feeling engaged."
In ninety one years, women have fought for the right to vote, staging rallies and protests from literary to chaining themselves to courthouses. Many of the most outspoken voices in the US women's suffrage movement, like Alice Paul were incarcerated in terrible conditions for months on end, seven in her case, for peacefully protesting, holding signs in front of the White House.

Paul herself, outraged over the conditions of the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia, began a hunger strike. This led the workers at the facility to place her in the psychiatric ward of the prison, force feeding her through a tube a diet of raw eggs. The women at the turn of the century suffered, literally so that politicans would be bombarded and reminded that they wanted equality. I personally admire the tenacity and courage these women endured to ensure that women around the world and eventually with the Equal Rights Amendment, to create anti discrimination laws on the basis of gender, race, religion or national origin.

But, the trend shows that women in older age groups vote more often than their younger counterparts. Most likely, the women who lived through the Civil Right's movement recall the struggles more than women in the 18-24 year old age bracket. Young women are still voting at higher rates in that age bracket than the men, so is this a concern?

I would like to think that if we told every young woman about women like Paul and her contemporaries or even all the people throughout the decades working on equality that they will be inspired to vote. But, I'm not sure that will work. Young people do not feel like they have a voice in today's democracy.

I wish I could inspire and celebrate more people voting. So, I am doing what I can and celebrating the accomplishment and hopefully encouraging those who read not just to take part in your government, but to celebrate those who's passion for equality and equal rights should not be forgotten!!!

Get up and be heard in the world...fight for what you believe in...make a difference for people hundreds of years in the future!!!

I know I want to!

<3~ Traci

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