Suffering Suffragettes

Ninety years ago, Tennessee ratified the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote.  It went official the 26th of August, but this was the day it became inevitable.

This didn’t just happen. The country didn’t just wake up one day and say, “Whoops, our bad.” It took a lot of work, by women who did bother their pretty, little heads about difficult matters like their right as American citizens to have a say in how their country was run and by those men who weren’t threatened silly by the idea.

Dangerous work, sometimes, because some people, men and women both, weren’t above expressing their anger at those who wanted to ruin this country and bring democracy to its knees by allowing women—women—to be heard in the political arena.  Insults, threats, and objects were thrown.

But in the end, the right of all American citizens to vote in free elections was recognized and confirmed.

Ninety years later, very few people seem to remember what all the fuss was about. The country isn’t ruined and democracy is battered, but not beaten. Those who disagree with me on this don’t appear to be blaming the 19th Amendment.

I’m guessing (hoping, and yes, praying) that in another ninety years, after all citizens have been granted equal rights under United States law, American families will be as stable as they ever were, and the institution of marriage will still be chugging along, as sacred as it ever was. And everyone will be wondering what the fuss was all about.

But for the next three minutes, we dance!

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