Blogging for HONS 201: Feminism, New Media, and Health at Hunter College.
As I’m sure you know (or hope you know), tomorrow, November 6, 2012, is Election Day. The right to vote, dubbed eloquently by Dr. Maya Angelou as “the great equalizer,” and to choose who represents you as a nation is a precious one. It disheartens me immensely when I come across people who dismiss the importance of their own vote. But lately, it straight up infuriates me when I come across fellow women who tell me casually that they will not vote come Election Day.
For me, context is everything. And historically, women’s involvement in politics throughout history is a relatively short one. In our great nation that is 236 years old, women have had the right to vote for only 92 of those years. And it wasn’t an easy fight. Suffragette Alice Paul was imprisoned after demonstrating for the right to vote, and while in prison, she bought back in the only wat she could: by hunger striking. She was then transferred to a psychiatric ward, where she endured painful sessions of force feeding during which a tube was forced down her throat to pour liquids into her stomach. She did not relent.
Alice Paul was just one of countless women who fought long and hard for suffrage. Susan B. Anthony. Ida B. Wells. Lucretia Mott. Doris Stevens. Clara Chan Lee. Harriet Tubman. These women struggled for years upon years to fight for the vote because they understood the importance of having a say in the way your life is being run.
You owe it not only to the women before you to vote, but to yourself and your fellow women. Women’s rights have taken a central role in the 2012 election, from reproductive rights to women’s health to equal pay, and every vote counts towards a more equal country.
My fellow women who are citizens and of voting age, if you have the access, go out and vote tomorrow. You have no excuse.