Today is a momentous day. Today is the 95th birthday of the 19th Amendment. As of 95 years ago today, American women finally gained the right to vote.
Women winning the right to vote was not a simple matter of requesting the right. It took several generations of women who sacrificed and suffered hardships along the way. But they never gave up.
Because of these women, this current generation of women have more than simply the right to vote. Professional and education opportunities are ours for the taking. Marriage and children is a choice, not a necessity. We can own property, we make decisions over our money and our bodies.
We still have a long way to go. There are many who would prefer to take us back to an era when women were meek and amiable helpmates, wives and mothers.
But we continue to fight against the old stereotypes and fight for the rights that are ours by birth.
Happy 95th Birthday, 19th Amendment!
At one point in time, Cindy Crawford was considered to be one of the most beautiful women in the world. She was part of an elite few who were labelled as supermodels.
But time catches up to all us, no matter who we are.
A picture has been floating around the internet the past few days of Cindy Crawford. At the age of 49 and with two children, Ms. Crawford has proven that real women (and yes, even supermodels), have curves, thunder thighs and stretch marks.
Despite the image that Hollywood and Madison Avenue project, they cannot run from the fact that most American women do not look like the faces and the bodies that we see on screen and in print.
Perhaps with this image, American women might finally be able to look in the mirror and be happy with what they see. We will all age, our bodies will sag and so will our skin.
It’s time that Hollywood and Madison Avenue recognized that.
Gail Collins is an extraordinary writer. There are many books on the history of American women, but there are none that are as readable or enjoyable as America’s Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines and When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present. Both were written by Ms. Collins.
History can often be perceived as dull, dusty and boring. We all have stories of the textbooks we had to use in college and how impossibly difficult it was to read because the material just put us to sleep. Thankfully and joyfully, Ms. Collins books are not the staid and boring textbooks we had to read in college.
While both books are rather large and not a quick read, they are an easy read. Between both books, she starts with the women who braved the uncertainty of the new world in the 16th and 17th centuries and ends with the gains that American women have achieved in the past few years. Looking back, it’s easy to see the how far we have come.
I recommend both.
August 18th, 1920 is watershed date in the lives of American women. It is the day that the 19th Amendment was ratified, guaranteeing every American woman the right to vote.
In 2004, HBO premiered Iron Jawed Angels , the true story of the women who fought for the right to vote.
Alice Paul (Hilary Swank) and Lucy Burns (Frances O’Connor) are the leaders of the Suffragette movement, fighting for a national law providing women the right to vote. Standing in their way is not only the male led government, but the older generation, Carrie Chapman Catt (Angelica Huston) who are advocating a state by state pathway to the right to vote instead of a national law.
This movie should be seen by every American woman. These women are brought to life as fully developed characters, flaws and all. I am reminded of this movie when I vote for my political leaders, from the smallest local government to the presidential vote. Without these brave women, we would still be second class citizens, without rights and chattel to the men in our lives.
“Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity” In their own time, Alice Paul and Lucy Burns were thought to be insane. But without their insanity, we would be living in a very different country.