Commentary, Elections

Happy (Belated) Women’s Equality Day everyone!

I know that with the War on Women going on, it is hard to feel equal. Sure, we have the right to vote, but make decisions about our reproductive health? Not so much. Part of this has to do with the lack of women in leadership in politics. Our voices need to be heard.  We make up over half the population but hold only 17% of the seats on Congress. Part of the solution is to get women to run for office!  This year we’re doing just that. In House races this year, 154 women have received party nominations.

Kate Farrar from the Huffington Post writes, “On this Women’s Equality Day, we should certainly celebrate the power of a woman’s vote. But let’s also celebrate a woman’s voice and the fact that we can make ourselves heard every day — not just every four years — by supporting a sea change of leadership.”

Her article links to some great training programs for getting women into politics.  Though most of the groups are not hosting any trainings in 2012, you should still check it out. And go. And run for office. I will help keep you updated when trainings come to Washington.

Also, am I the last person to see this video? This is a huge possibility since I only recently saw the Double Rainbow video.

The video really appeals to my recent desire to dress up like various feminist icons and go door-to-door canvassing, hold a sign, go to brunch, just do things in a really cool costume. I was more than a little jealous of my coworker for being able to wear our Lady Liberty outfit at Run for Your Rights this year.

One of my favorite parts of the video (besides everything) is that the reference to Harry T. Burn’s letter from his mother. Representative Burn’s constituents were mostly against women’s suffrage.  He wore a red rose on his lapel to symbolize that he was an “anti.”

But in his breast pocket he carried a letter from his mother. The letter read, “Dear Son, … Hurry and vote for Suffrage and don’t keep them in doubt. I noticed Chandlers’ speech, it was very bitter. I’ve been waiting to see how you stood but have not seen anything yet…. Don’t forget to be a good boy and help Mrs. Catt with her ‘Rats. Is she the one that put rat in ratification, Ha! No more from mama this time. With lots of love, Mama.”

Rep. Burns ended up voting “aye” for the 19th Amendment.  This made Tennessee the 36th state to ratify the amendment, and the last state needed to enact the amendment.


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