Friday, August 24, 2012

First Generation of Women in My Family Born with Right to Vote

I'm glad some of my foremothers and forefathers were more forward thinking than Miss Florence Hoagland of 55 Monroe Street. I don't know in what town Miss Hoagland resided. I took this at the Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.

I am the first generation of women in my family born with the right to vote. Yes, the first. No, I'm not that ancient.

I came along late in the lives of Jack and Mary Lea Terrell. My mother was born the year women got the right to vote - 1919, in case your high school civics class fails you. Do the math on that, and you'll realize that women haven't been able to vote for even 100 years yet.

My mother, my grandmothers, and all the women who came before us had no say in the political process when they came into this world. I understand how special it is that I do, and I take it seriously, Miss Hoagland's objections notwithstanding.

We are all products of our times. Her time and mine are very different. She may have believed her place was to subject to her husband. And that may have worked very well for her, and I don't begrudge that path to her or anyone else. But the part of that equation that often gets left out is that the husband is supposed to treat his wife with respect.

I live in a time when I have no husband, but men in politics expect women to take responsibility for preventing pregnancy from "legitimate rape." Perhaps Miss Hoagland lived in a time when such things were unknown. I do not. Because I do not, I have no choice but to participate in the process, such as it is. I cannot ignore. I will not subject to men who show such incredible disrespect for all women.

Not participating in the political process is subjecting to that viewpoint. I will not. Instead, I will vote, at every available opportunity.

Yes, politics may be a messed up world, but it's the one we've got to work with at the moment. So, the least I can do is make sure I'm participating in the system to the smallest degree, which is voting.

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