Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thursday's Truth - A Woman's Vote Counts Now More Than Ever!

It has been almost a century since women received the right to vote. After years of battle (the very first efforts to gain this right are thought to have been mounted in 1848), the Nineteenth Amendment to our Constitution was signed into law in August, 1920.

As depicted in the photo on the left, there were considerable numbers of men who did not think it was a woman's right to vote, or work, or do anything but what were then traditional roles. This scene may appear humorous now and in fact this tactic was used by one female writer to draw attention to the issue.

In 1915, writer Alice Duer Miller published these Five Reasons We Don't Want Men to Vote:

  • Because man's place is in the army.
  • Because no really manly man wants to settle any question otherwise than by fighting about it.
  • Because if men should adopt peaceable methods women will no longer look up to them.
  • Because men will lose their charm if they step out of their natural sphere and interest themselves in other matters than feats of arms, uniforms, and drums.
  • Because men are too emotional to vote. Their conduct at baseball games and political conventions shows this, while their innate tendency to appeal to force renders them unfit for government.
This year's mid-term elections here in the US are becoming a battle ground for women's votes. A number of issues that are part of the platforms presented by both political parties are considered "women's issues", such as the economy, and healthcare.

A report out later today published by the National Women's Law Center and the Rebecca Project for Human Rights will cover the plight of an unseen and largely forgotten group of women - those who live in our nation's prisons.

The report noted the number of women in prison — more than 115,000 as of 2009 — has risen at a higher rate than that of men since the introduction of mandatory sentencing policies for many drug offenses. It said most of the women are nonviolent, first-time offenders, and about two-thirds have at least one child under 18.

This is tragic, because without a parent, many of these children will themselves be susceptible to the forces that cause violent crime - poverty, lack of education, no job.

We need women, more than ever to get out and vote this mid-term election. Seek the truth in what the candidates are saying. Carefully choose who will lead our national and state and local governments. We need policies and programs that allow women (and men) to raise their families in an environment that fosters respect for the individual and a strong work ethic.

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