Day 99 – My journey to find reasons to vote for Hillary rather than just against Trump.
She honors her history.
From the time the women’s voting rights movement started, it took almost 100 years to pass. Now, it’s another just-shy-of-100 years since then before we may elect a female president.
In its too-circuitous path to ratification, the 19th amendment (granting women the right to vote) was leveraged for a variety of sins. Much of its early support arose because many thought allowing white women to vote would help quash efforts to allow black men to vote. Some were tempted by this alliance for passage, but – fortunately – backed off. And yes, in the end, black men got the right to vote 50 years before women of any color.
As women organized around voting rights, they chose white as the color to wear identifying themselves as supporters of the movement. It’s why Hillary wore all white when she accepted the DNC’s nomination to run and at one debate. Shirley Chisholm and Geraldine Ferraro also wore white, in a nod to suffragettes, when they accepted nominations to their historic positions in politics.
Some interesting facts about the voting rights movement.
• Idaho and Utah (among other states) gave women the vote before the federal government mandated it.
• Women didn’t turn out to vote in equal numbers as men until 1980 (!).
• It was Democrats who blocked passage of the 19th Amendment.
So, here’s a gigantic THANK YOU to all of the women who have gotten us this far. They sacrificed everything to do so.
But let’s not forget, folks, the Equal Rights Amendment has never been ratified. The Constitution STILL does not provide specific relief for discrimination based on gender. In fact, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said in September 2010 that he does not think the Constitution prohibits sex discrimination.
Some reasons we still need the ERA:
Because we don’t have it yet. Even in the 21st century, the U.S. Constitution does not explicitly guarantee that all of the rights it protects are held equally by all citizens without regard to sex. The only right that the Constitution specifically affirms to be equal for women and men is the right to vote.
We need the ERA because the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause has never been interpreted to guarantee equal rights in the same way the Equal Rights Amendment would. The 14th Amendment has been applied to sex discrimination only since 1971.
The Supreme Court matters (and whether we have strict originalists on it). Voting rights matter. Electing a woman to the highest office in our country matters. Hillary knows it and honors those who have gotten us this far and I like that she looks backward as well as forward.
My links today include information on the history of women’s suffrage and its choice of white as its identifying color. But it also includes Susan B. Anthony’s defense after her arrest for voting. There is not a word of it that is not true or resonant today. And that just makes me sad (or maybe just a little bit angry and energized).