You Can Change The World!

It’s Election Day, people!  As a political junkie and history buff, these are the kinds of days that get me excited!  Yesterday evening, John and I headed out to our local election board to cast an early ballot.  This is my third presidential election to vote in, and I still get excited.  As I become more and more invested in the political process, it is all too apparent that this is a right and responsibility that all Americans should take seriously.

I have no desire to get political here because it’s really not about that.  What I want to discuss today is the importance of casting that vote, whatever it may be.  One of the wonderful aspects of our country is that we all have the right to our opinions, and voting is the way we can give those opinions a voice!  Did you know that only 64% of registered voters cast a ballot in the 2008 election?  That is actually a high percentage, but I would like to see it even higher than that!

As a history major and someone who has loved it for as long as I can remember, I always think of the people who came before all of us that helped ensure that we have this right.  One group has always been a particular favorite of mine.  I love the history surrounding the fight for a woman’s right to vote.  There are some giants of history in that struggle, and they often don’t get a whole lot of coverage in regular history classes.  Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were among the first women who started to question the establishment.  Stanton is credited with writing the Declaration of Sentiments at the first Women’s Rights Convention which initiated the struggle for women’s suffrage.  Did you know that when she was married in 1840 she insisted that the word “obey” be dropped from the vows?

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Another favorite historical figure of mine is Alice Paul.  She fought for suffrage in Britain, and continued the fight in the U.S. until the 19th Amendment was passed in 1920.  Afterwards, she turned her efforts to the Equal Rights Amendment, and fought for it until her death.  There is a really great movie that chronicles the struggles of Alice Paul called Iron Jawed Angels.  If you haven’t seen it, get a group of girlfriends together and check it out!  Unfortunately, it probably won’t be something the men in your life will be very into ;)  There’s even a bonus-McDreamy is in it!

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The movement for women’s suffrage is just one of the many struggles Americans have gone through to get and ensure voting rights. I hope you honor these men and women today, and get out there and vote!

Besides, as one of my government students put it today, “you get a pretty cool sticker.”   Have a great one!

Who’s one of your favorite historical figures?  Have you seen Iron Jawed Angels?  Did you VOTE?

 

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12 thoughts on “You Can Change The World!

  1. Carrie

    Natalie, you are so cute! So proud you voted! I sent away for an absentee ballot, so I technically voted close to one month ago. I can’t believe this was my second time voting–I’m getting old, lol.

    You did a great job of summing up how women received the right to vote. As a Women’s Studies minor, I absolutely love it when women realize ladies before us worked so hard so *we* can exercise this right today. Our foremothers were seriously awesome. I have a feeling you’ll appreciate this story: In 7th grade, I had to do a group final project, and we decided to dress up as Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Staton, etc. while we gave an oral presentation. We even marched around the room with posters that said “Votes for Women!”

    I’ve seen Iron Jawed Angels–such a great movie! As I’m sure was the case with you, I felt so grateful, inspired, humbled … and very sad and emotional during some parts.

    Reply
    1. Natalie @ Free Range Human Post author

      That is a great project to do! I’m so glad you were exposed to it. It seems like the entire movement is just a footnote in history class. Love Iron Jawed Angels! I’ve never had such a moving and emotional experience while watching a movie.

      Reply
  2. Chelsie @ Balance, Not Scale

    You know how I feel about who deserves which votes. All I’m going to say is that the suffragettes did NOT work so hard to gain the women’s right to vote for them to make a certain given decision.
    You must be going insane … it’s SO close!!

    Reply

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