Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Honoring Those Who Have Gone Before...

I have a Susan B. Anthony dollar taped on a card and placed in a picture frame on a shelf in my sewing room.

Why, you ask?  Or why should I care, maybe?

A while ago I was having lunch with some of the younger ladies and we were having a discussion about various books we were reading.  I was at that time reading Anne Perry's series with Thomas and Charlotte Pitt as the main characters.  Farrier's Gate, The Cater Street Hangman, etc.  Look them up on Amazon if you want to know more.

Anyway the discussion centered around how difficult it was for the women in those books to do the things that we take for granted, and how lucky I consider myself that I didn't live 100 years ago! 

The 'youngsters' don't remember a time when women couldn't hold any job for which they were qualified.  That's not too far back in our history, people!!  Women have only had the right to vote in the US for 92 years.  (Although there were exceptions and a couple of pretty progressive places where women voted if they owned enough property.  When they were allowed to own it... but I digress.)

And it only took us about 2/3 of that 92 years to get as apathetic about exercising the right to vote as men are!

The kids have the right idea!
Maybe the only thing we really want is what we do not or cannot have.  Hmmmm....  well, I think it's a good idea for people to think about having a say in what's going on in their world. 

So we're having all these recall controversies in Wisconsin.  We're becoming quite famous for them!  Not exactly as good as being a cheesehead, but you take what you can get I guess.

Seriously, are the gazillion people who signed on for the recalls part of the fraction who voted FOR the elected officials and now are angry about what they did?  Or are they part of the apathetic majority who didn't vote and now are upset that things aren't going as expected?  I'd really like to know the answer to that one.

Anyway, the next time the opportunity arises to vote, think about those who have gone before.  You have a right to express your opinion in the booth.  In Civics Class they taught us about responsibility and civic duty.  And our mothers and fathers taught us that if you're not participating in the process you don't have a right to whine about it.  Of course you have the right not to vote.  But in my opinion not voting equals not whining later.

While you're in the booth making your choices, say a little thank you to Susan B Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone, Alice Paul, Lucy Burns that you have the opportunity to do so.  They're the ones that marched, made speeches, got arrested and even went on hunger strikes so you could. 

And oh yeah, Woodrow Wilson, one of the original flip-floppers, who was totally against it in 1917 but realized that women were people too when he needed their help during wartime.  Good old Woodrow!  What would he think today??

Your choice, people.  I'm just sayin'...

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