Today is the Anniversary of the passing of the Amendment to the US Consitution that gave women the right to vote. Perhaps not many reading this post were around when the 19th Amendment to the Constitution passed, but most of us have voted in a US election.
How has this right impacted Your Story in History?
Write about it and let us know. Will your right to vote have a place in your memoir?
One thing is certain–the women who fought for the vote really did fight hard. Some went on hunger strikes in jail, many were mistreated and abused, beaten, and considered fallen harlots because they wanted the vote for women. Even some women didn’t feel it was “comely” for women to have the vote. Interesting–in England in the late 19th century women were given voting rights, but French women did not have suffrage until 1944!
We know that voting rights, even if legalized, were not granted equally, and that in the 1960s people were killed trying to get equal voting rights in the south.
I’m wondering how much we take this for granted. Have you had any experiences where this right was taken away from you? What were the attitudes of your family members and your grandmothers or great-grandmothers about the right to vote?
It gives us a perspective on our own lives to reflect on how much things have changed in the last century.
My grandmother, born in 1903, was too young when women first got the vote in 1920. She was furious about this, since at 17, she was already married and a soon-to-be mother. “I should have been allowed to vote!” she said indignantly, about 70 years later. She wanted to vote for Warren G. Harding, because he was “so handsome.” My grandmother was feisty, but not always wise. But of course, she was only 17 at the time. I guess we should make allowances for the very young.
She made a point of voting in every presidential election after that, and cast her last vote for George W. Bush in 2000. Not because he was handsome, but because she thought Al Gore was “too boring.” Still not wise at 97, sigh. Again, allowances must be made for the very old.
Thanks Kim for your story. I grew up with my grandmother, who was born in 1894, 26 years before women had the vote! So it seemed so strange to me that something that seemed to be just a regular thing to my generation was not law until she was in her twenties. My great-grandmother, who I write about a lot in Don’t Call Me Mother, was born in 1873, three years before Custer’s Last Stand. I always thought that gave a perspective on how far things had come by the time she died in 1965.
Much has changed in a short time…