5 women who fought for your right to vote. Don’t let them down.

I don’t know about you, but I need to take a nap from this election season. There is so much hate, and rhetoric, and more hate coming from both sides that it makes some people I know say, “Forget it! I am not voting.”

Honestly, who can blame them?

But, here’s the thing, ladies: you can’t sit this one out. Too many women fought long and hard for our right to vote. Susan B. Anthony would slap us across the face if she knew we have just thrown our hands up in the air and said, “Forget ’bout it.” Okay, I don’t know if she’d actually slap us, but I bet she’d want too.

Suffrage parade. Source: Wiki Commons

It wasn’t that long ago that women were considered second class citizens; too feeble and inferior to men to be trusted with such a thing as voting. Oh, the horror.

After decades of fighting, all women in the United States were granted the right to vote in 1920 with the passage of the 19th Amendment. Exercising our right to change the course of history, not let someone else (men) choose it for us…now that’s power.

I have voted in every Presidential election since I turned 18. It’s not only my right, it’s my privilege to vote.

Here are 5 women who changed the course of history by making history:

  1. Victoria Woodhull was the first woman to run for President in 1872; 50 years before women won the right to vote. She ran against President Ulysses S. Grant. “Her platform included such progressive reforms as an eight-hour workday, women’s suffrage and an end to the death penalty, and she rounded out the groundbreaking ticket by selecting abolitionist Frederick Douglass as her running mate (though apparently without his permission). ” Source
  2. Carrie Chapman Catt was one of the driving forces of the suffrage movement and founder of the League of Women Voters (1920). “If women could vote, she argued, they would become a force for world peace and would help improve the conditions of life for themselves and their children.” Source
  3. Alice Paul spent time in prison, was force-fed and sent to a psychopathic ward (because asking for the right to vote made her crazy, apparently). She was inspired by tactics used by British Suffragettes which could be labeled a hostile at times. She is quoted as saying, “There will never be a new world order until women are a part of it.”
  4. Jeannette Rankin was the first woman to be elected to Congress. She ran for a House seat from Montana in 1916, in which women gained the right to vote in 1914 (before much of the country). She was one of the few suffragists to be elected to Congress; and not once but twice: 65th (1917–1919), 77th (1941–1943). She was a pacifist, voting ‘no’ to the U.S. entering WWI & WWII. She fought for suffrage, heading committees in Congress and challenging her constituents on the subject. “You take people as far as they will go, not as far as you would like them to go.” Speak truth, Jeannette.
  5. In 1872 Susan B. Anthony and 16 other women demanded the right to register to vote in Rochester, New York. All the women were arrested and Anthony was tried for violating the 14th Amendment. She was found guilty and fined $100, which she refused to pay. The judge didn’t dare send her to jail in fear of an appeal by the Supreme Court. This only fueled the suffrage movement. Anthony died never receiving her right to vote.

“There never will be complete equality until women themselves help to make laws and elect lawmakers.” Susan B. Anthony 

No matter who you cast your ballot for this election…just vote. For every woman who came before you and those who who come after.

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