Rather hard to believe that a majority of babies born today in the United States will live to be 104 years old on average. More amazing is the fact that there are many people that were born in the United States when women had no right to vote. Newsman Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes fame passed away today at age 93. When Wallace was born – women could not vote in the United States! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women’s_suffrage
It took the Russian Revolution of 1917, for Russian women to get the vote, before the United States. It took what they called the Great War, or World War I to create an atmosphere or global awareness – a world activist rush for women’s suffrage – the right to vote! U.S. President Woodrow Wilson greatly opposed the right of women to vote, so much so that women in the United States called him “Kaiser Wilson”! By the end of World War I, in 1918 the great wave for women and their equality became the worldwide phenomenon that finally created two important Amendments to the US Consititution: The 18th and the 19th!
The Women’s Christian Temperance Union and the Women’s Right to Vote movements came together and created a critical mass in 1920. Their issues were joined at the hip, by women who were outraged at a male dominated society filled with lascivious drunkenness, indicriminate sex with others, as children and wives went hungry as men drank away their wages and worse, as men physically abused wives, mothers and children in the extreme – without any laws to protect them. Women had no power to make lawmakers create laws to protect them. Forthwith came the Volstead Act – the 18th Amendment – Prohibition of all alcohol in 1919 and the final blessing of the 19th Amendment – The Women’s the Right to Vote for the first time in American history in 1920.
The first society to offer women the right to vote was Sweden in 1731, for about 30% of women who owned property, but after a rather short time – rescinded that right until 1919, when it was restored for all women. The part of the British Empire that was early to give women the right to vote was the tiny country of New Zealand in 1838. With less than a million population at the time – men quickly realized that with a severe under population of women – they better be quick to offer equality. One thing that is sure is that some countries in Arab lands just recently have given women the right to vote as late as 2005. Many societies in Africa and other places around the world still restrict the right of women to vote. Without Suffrage there can be no equality. No equal protection under the law. Women remain chattel, neither independent nor free.
The current rush by some US lawmakers to restrict or regulate abortion, contraception and gender based laws different for women than men – are misguided, misdirected and certainly undemocratic in the purist social equality sense. All laws that are established in the United States should be implemented equally without ethnic derisions or sexual discrimination. We still have to wait for eight more years to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Right of Women to Vote. As 2020 approaches – this may very well be a time to assess the various elements of our voting systems in general. Perhaps the courts should start to overturn laws that are gender specific, race specific, sex preferance specific and other gray areas of State and local laws that could apply to these things. Perhaps creating ballots in five languages and making candidates pay for them is another gray area worthy of review. Why does this have to be governed by Federal law? Perhaps it would be better for all ballots to be created in 120 languages as needed and be paid for by letting Google translate those ballots for free and then giving them a tax break for doing so?
Voting should offer equal opportunity and equal protection under the law in any and all cases! Race, Gender and National Heritage need not be addressed to give all the unfettered right to vote that are Citizens of the United States!
The Nineteeth Amendment celebrates 92 Years! Not very long is it?