World-changers Needed for One-day Assignment

Old newspaper with classified ads showing jobs for womenHELP WANTED – WOMEN

World changers needed for one-day assignment.

CHANGE THE COURSE OF HISTORY.

Are you a US Citizen who wants to make the world better? This one-day job assignment takes place on November 6, 2018.

March to your local polling place and VOTE. Position is unpaid, but the rewards will benefit you and future generations.

Note: Recurring duties possible as future elections occur in your area.


You’re probably too young to remember when classified ads made a clear distinction between what was “women’s work” and which jobs were for men. The practice was outlawed in 1975. That legislation was but one tick in the timeline of women’s march to equality.

The Long March

Regal woman in gladiatrix dress leading a women's marchThe 19th amendment granted women the right to vote on August 18, 1920. On November 2 of that year, more than 8 million women voted for the first time.

It was a long battle from the start of the women’s movement in 1848 and the ratification of the 19th amendment on August 18, 1920. The battle even turned violent from time to time–most notably on the eve of Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration in 1912.

Suffragettes in 1910's dresses and hatsEight thousand women gathered for a suffrage parade in the nation’s capital. Dignified and determined, the procession was led by lawyer Inez Milholland, astride her horse, Gray Dawn. Women from all walks of life came to participate. The long-activist suffragist “Pioneers” led the charge. They were followed by working women in uniform: nurses, farmers, homemakers, doctors, pharmacists, actresses, librarians, and college women in academic gowns. The women wore sashes proclaiming “Votes for Women” and pinned jaunty gardenias to their lapels.

Crowd of spectators blocking the ambulance at 1912 women's marchAs they marched, men ridiculed from the sidelines. Up to 10,000 people came to watch. Many were drunk, crowding the procession. Women were grabbed, tripped, and assaulted. The injured languished, waiting for ambulances which had been blocked by the unruly spectators. Policemen stood by, indifferent to the violence.

“There would be nothing like this happen if you would stay at home,” said one cop to an injured woman. Over 300 women were injured and 100 hospitalized by the time the day was over.

One Hundred Years Later

Bunch of grinning male politicians

White guys congratulate themselves on making birth control access more difficult for 62 million women.

More than one hundred years later, the battle still goes on. The Equal Rights Amendment proposed in 1972 never passed. It died in 1982, falling short of enough states to ratify it.

The Paycheck Fairness Act (and similar legislation) which would guarantee women equal pay for equal work continues to be filibustered in Congress.

It was only last year when thirteen men sat down to decide women’s health care issues, like whether insurers should have to cover pesky things like mammograms, birth control, or maternity care. They wound up cutting Medicaid, which covers half of all US births and went on to gut access to birth control for 62 million women.

The More Things Change

It wasn’t until the 1900s that women across the United States could own property, take out patents, and keep their own wages.

As recently as the 1970s, a woman could not get a credit card, could not refuse sex with her spouse, nor could she report sexual harassment in the workplace. Landlords could refuse to rent to women, bosses could refuse to hire pregnant women, and judges could refuse to allow women on their juries.

As recently as 1988, women couldn’t obtain a small business loan without a male cosigner. One borrower had to resort to having her minor son co-sign for her before the bank would grant the loan.

Crazy laws still exist on the books. In Florida, an unmarried woman can’t parachute on a Sunday. In Michigan, a woman must provide permission to cut her hair, and in Waynesboro, Virginia, it’s against the law for a woman to drive a car on main street unless her husband is walking in front of the car waving a red flag.

And, on a more serious note, it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind–except in North Carolina, where she cannot rescind consent and call it rape, even if an encounter becomes uncomfortable, painful, or violent. And in seven US states, rapists have parental rights.

Supreme court justice Brett Kavanaugh

Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh

The takeaway from all this is that the fight for equality is far from over. Some days it seems like women’s rights are eroding as fast a shoreline in hurricane season.

The 1994 Violence Against Women Act allowed women to seek civil rights remedies for gender-related crimes. But in 2000, the Supreme Court invalidated those portions of the law permitting victims of rape, domestic violence, etc. to sue their attackers in federal court.

What gems the current Supreme Court has for us, we can only imagine.

Get Thee To A Polling Place

Embed from Getty Images

Maybe you’ve made up your mind and have inspiring candidates to vote for. Or maybe you’re only voting against beef-witted louts like North Carolina congressional candidate Mark Harris, who believes it is a wife’s duty to submit to her husband.

Look, I get it. Sometimes when you look at your options, it seems like a case of the ‘lesser of two evils,’ which is never an exciting reason to march to the polls. Politics is a greasy-gross-cesspool of greed and corruption, and that’s on a good day.

Campaign finance laws enable special interests to steer legislation. The two-party system thrives on divisiveness and pits us against one another to promote their high donor agendas.

The thing is, it’s not going to change–not without people like you. Today there is one tangible step you can take to make a difference:

VOTE.

Wondering who’s on the ballot and where they stand on the issues? Learn more at:

5 Comments

  1. Excellent article – confronting the detail of inequality & misogyny is very powerful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Absolutely superb. Though timely, there is enough information about the situation to continue to inspire long after election day. Even if the house and the Senate flip this election, the battle is only starting. This intransigent problem will take decades to address.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Voted. I can never think of the suffrage movement without tearing up – this is a great write up on things we’ve accomplished for women and a great reminder of the things we have yet to achieve.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. peterkirsch

    Love it. Love it.
    LOVE. IT!

    March on Karen. Please. We need you and millions of others to continue to lead the way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Looks like I had lots of company on this march! I know many were hoping for a blue tsunami, but we got a pink wave. 🙂

      Like

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