Yesterday was the 88th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment (giving women in the United States the right to elective franchise). Aside from making my usual recommendation that everyone watch (and tear up over) Iron Jawed Angels, I offer a couple of blog posts that came across my RSS feed.
Jessica, at Feministing, opened a comment thread yesterday for readers to share the stories of the first time they voted. Lots of fun — and occasionally painful — reminiscences there!
Amanda Marcotte, over at Pandagon, covers the appearance of anti-choice protesters who turned up at a rally to celebrate women’s suffrage. “I mean,” she writes, “if you can buy that not getting pregnant in the first place is actually an abortion, then why not expand the definition even further to start chipping away at other feminist gains and ideas?”:
- Votes for women are totally abortion. Look, the only reason that abortion is legal is because women became a voting bloc whose opinions mattered politically. There’s exactly no way we’d have Roe v Wade if we didn’t have the 19th amendment.
- Equal pay for equal work? Abortion. If women have more money, they’re just going to buy abortions. It’s like giving a kid a bigger allowance—they’ll just buy more candy with it. Except for abortions.
- Title IX? Of course it’s abortion. All that running and jumping around that female athletes do makes the womb inhospitable, which is abortion. Also, Title IX ensures equal funding for academics. Girls who think hard have less uterine lining. I read that somewhere, probably an 19th century “medical” textbook. Anyway, we know that teenage girls who participate in sports have a lower pregnancy rate. If a teenage womb goes empty, that’s abortion.
Check out the rest of the post, and then go curl up and watch Alice Paul & company stick it to the man. Or, if you’re in a literary frame of mind, read journalist Doris Stevens’ Jailed for Freedom, which is the first-person account of the latter years of the suffrage campaign on which the film drew heavily.
*and the photograph above is of my friend Edith, dressed as Alice Paul, at the 85th anniversary celebrations in Crawfordsville, Indiana (2005).