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Happy 100th, Amendment 19

Ellen Levitt

Posted on August 19, 2020 00:47

3 users

It's the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. Let us appreciate this milestone.

It's the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution. The text is brief, and worth reading (and re-reading):

"The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation." 

The language is to the point, and similar to that of the 15th Amendment, ratified in 1870, which extended voting rights to African-American men, even those who had been slaves.

The 19th may be succinct, but its history and fortunes are far from it. There had been so much prejudice against extending the right to vote to women, on the part of males and females as well. Women were even arrested for daring to protest this denial of a right. 

America's multi-layered movements (yes, not just one movement) for women to gain rights and and equality have had ups and downs. Women have worked and struggled to gain rights in so many fields: legal, economic, education, careers, the arts and entertainment, athletics, health, and so on. There are people who have scoffed at some, many or all the advancements and issues pertaining to women, and there have been so many different opinions on what rights should be sought, valued, and expanded.

The right to vote may seem so simple and it is often denigrated. Too many people shrug off the right, the duty, and don't see the value in it on a regular basis. I find this maddening. Especially in light of this important anniversary, I encourage as many eligible women as possible to register to vote, and to make sure that they do vote. 

While I'm discussing this, I'd also like to encourage as many women as possible to exercise other rights as well: the right to express opinions (and qualify them as such); the right to protest what you disagree with and rally in support of things with which you agree. (And do so, with social distancing and masks, at this point.) 

Listen to women and to girls. Acknowledge their opinions, and realize that they can have more than one opinion. But don't denigrate them merely because they are women or girls.

Do not think that women and girls are subservient to men and boys. And in turn, women and girls should be able to assert that they are not subservient just because of their gender.

Do not think that women and girls should be sexually assaulted, stalked, belittled, mocked, ignored.

These ideas (ideals, if you will) must be taken seriously. 

For those of you who are in agreement with what I've written her, I appreciate it if you concur and if you help to make these things come true. To those of you who disagree with me, I suggest you have a soul-searching session to determine why you disagree. 

My message here is to the point: women deserve equal rights. 

Ellen Levitt

Posted on August 19, 2020 00:47

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Source: Miami Herald

On Monday, American women celebrated 99 years of women’s voting rights as part of Women’s Equality Day. On Aug. 18, 1920,...

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