Women have become an incredibly important part of the conversation in this unprecedented presidential election. This is not to say that women have not always been an important part of political races, but now issues of women’s health, pay and safety (emotional and otherwise) have come to the forefront like never before.
Although it is equally important that all eligible citizens are doing their part, it is huge for women of all ages to be doing their civic duty and voting in this and all elections- regardless of whom that vote is for.
Women in the United States did not gain the right to vote until 1920. If you do the math, that adds up to less than half of the time this country has existed, and yet, we still take it for granted.
When we imagine the women’s suffrage movement, often times we misunderstand the exact magnitude and intensity of the efforts of the women who took part. History books play a large role in that due to the fact that they do an underwhelming and superficial job of recounting the narrative.
This is a terrible injustice. The women at the forefront of this movement were some badass, nasty women, who were fearless and fervent, some of whom even went to jail. They put their lives on the line so collegiettes everywhere could have a say in the decisions being made in this country. This took place even before discussions about women’s healthcare and the glass ceiling were relevant to presidential elections. But here we are in 2016, and our daily lives have become a huge part of national conversation and according to the Center for American Women and Politics, still only 63.7 percent of us went out and voted in the 2012 election. We can, and need, to do better.
Alice Paul, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and the countless others who put their lives and families at risk for us did not do it for 63.7 percent, they did it for 100 percent. If you do not understand just how pressing this is, perhaps the behavior and hostility during this election will convince you.
After data was released showing that if only women voted, Hillary Clinton would win the election, several people came out on Twitter and tweeted #RepealThe19th. The 19th Amendment is the one that gave all women in this country the right to vote. There are people who want this right to be taken away from you, whether they are serious or not, do not let them get away with that.
Your voice and your opinions matter. You may hear the usual refrain around election season, “Your vote doesn’t count.” Guess what? It does. It was ardently and ferociously fought for, and it is an enormous disrespect to waste it. Remember that this privilege was not always guaranteed to you, remember that issues that concern you are at stake, and remember that your thoughts are the building blocks to this democracy.
If you haven’t registered yet or are not registered in Mansfield, Her Campus UConn has partnered with UConnPIRG to show Iron Jawed Angels, a movie that graphically and accurately tells the story of the women’s suffrage movement, on Wednesday, October 26th at 7:30 in Rowe room 122, all the while handing out registration forms so you can get yourself ready for November 8th. We hope to see you there and if not, we hope to see you at the polls.
One last time: your vote matters! Mary Poppins knows it, you know it, EVERYONE KNOWS IT! I’ll leave you all with this:
Originally posted on Oct. 25, 2017 on Her Campus UConn