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I wanted to chat today about Women’s Equality Day, which was actually yesterday, August 26th. Women’s Equality Day is the anniversary of the 19th Amendment going into effect.
Some of you may be asking, what is the 19th Amendment and why is Jessica talking about it? As a feminist, the 26th of August is a rather important date, the 19th Amendment is what granted women the right to vote. Ninety-Five years ago women were finally allowed to vote, to make their voices heard. It’s important because had those women not fought for this amendment, we ladies wouldn’t be able to voice our opinions at the voter booths! Let’s take a moment to think about what kind of world that would be … Scary isn’t it?
In July 1848, 200 woman suffragists, organized by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, met in Seneca Falls, New York, to discuss women’s rights. After approving measures asserting the right of women to educational and employment opportunities, they passed a resolution that declared “it is the duty of the women of this country to secure to themselves their sacred right to the elective franchise.” For proclaiming a women’s right to vote, the Seneca Falls Convention was subjected to public ridicule, and some backers of women’s rights withdrew their support. However, the resolution marked the beginning of the woman suffrage movement in America. ~History. com
I have written before about women today making a big deal about saying that they don’t need feminism because they are this or they are that. It makes me angry because they seem to be purposely forgetting about this huge part of the history of women. That before August 26th, 1920, women couldn’t cast a vote in an election, it was all men deciding what was best for the country. The country that women also happen to live in.
The current state of Feminism has it’s pocket of man-hating, extremists, as any social movement has it’s share of extremists. That does not mean that all feminism is bad. There are women (and men) like me who see feminism as a fight for equality, a way for all creatures on Earth to be equal to one another. A place where women can breast-feed in public if they want to without fear of being shamed or judged. A place where a woman who is raped isn’t called a slut or shamed because she was clearly “Asking for it.” If you’re wondering how such issues connect to feminism might I remind you of this;
Feminism (as defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities
Men aren’t shamed into thinking they “asked” to be raped or beaten. Men aren’t asked to keep their shirts on in public because their breasts are seen as “indecent”. At this moment in time, the fact is that women are not treated equally and it saddens me. We have taken such strides and yet, this imbalance remains. To the point that even when I post this blog I get comments about how I am some kind of angry feminist or I get trolls that want to talk about breasts or how naughty they (the commentator) is, in the hopes of getting me to either yell at them or flirt back. Now, some of that is the weird society that is the internet but some of that is about a lack of respect for my ideas because I am female.
I sometimes wonder, with all that is going on in the country, if the equality fight is the most important issue and the answer to that, if I am being honest with myself, is an uncertain no. Other movements require attention right away, what with the onslaught of gun violence in our country and the deaths of too many at the hands of the police. Our country is in a state of turmoil and feminism often gets kicked to the bottom of the pile, but that’s also exactly what makes it so important. Feminists cannot become complacent or our rights can easily be stripped away from us (especially if Donald Trump wins election, or even the nomination is too close for comfort for me). The fight for equality, for all of us humans to become the united, is a fight that, while subtle in may respects, deserves as much attention as we can give to it.
What do you think? Did you celebrate Women’s Equality Day yesterday? Tell me your thoughts in the comments!