Monday, November 7, 2011
Honor the Women Who Fought for Us....VOTE
About 12 years ago I was in my apartment in CA with not much to do on a Sunday afternoon. I turned on the TV, did some channel surfing, and came across a documentary that has had more of an impact on me than any other I have seen before or since.
It is by Ken Burns, arguably one of the best documentary filmmakers out there, and it is called Not For Ourselves Alone.
It is the story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, two women who have probably done more for women's rights than anyone else. I'm not talking about bra-burning women's lib, but women's rights, the basic rights that all citizens of this country are entitled to...voting, owning land, the right to custody of your children after a divorce, the right to a trial in front of a jury of your peers. None of these things existed when these women were alive, and that wasn't too long ago.
The more I watched, the more I became emotional--partly because of the 50 years these women dedicated to their cause, and partly at the outrage that so few text books acknowledge what they did. At that moment I promised myself that #1 I would always vote as a way to honor their work and #2 that I would teach a suffrage unit to every group of students I had, no matter what their age.
I would say I've kept that promise about 98%. Most of my former students know of these women and their work, and I vote during most elections.
I feel like it is the duty of every woman to continue the work of these brave ladies and their tireless efforts, and of the hundreds of others who carried on their work until the 19th Amendment was finally passed in 1920. Less than 100 years ago! Both Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony never had the opportunity to vote during their lifetimes.
We don't have to demonstrate with banners and rallies. We only have to do one thing.
Election Day is tomorrow. Make them proud and do what they could not.