Monday, October 29, 2018
If You Don't Vote, You Don't Get to Complain
When I was researching Murder Between the Pages, I remember reading a contemporary (1940s) account of women being dragged off a parade float celebrating their newly gained right to vote. Yes. Women being dragged off a local parade float by their male FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS AND FAMILY MEMBERS because of their outrageous demand to have a say in politics.
And by politics, I mean legislation that affected these women intimately and immediately--as all legislation does.
Now, in fairness, many gentlemen in the crowd came to the assistance of these ladies--this is why we all need allies. We cannot do it alone. No one can. Allies are required. Allies are a non-negotiable component of success. To affect political change you need the good will and strong arm of the majority behind you--and even then, you're in for a hell of a fight. Make no mistake.
Anyway, women won the right to vote--the right to even cast a vote--in 1919. Please pay attention, girlfriend, because some of your great-great-grannies did not have the right to vote. My grandma could remember a time in which she did NOT have the right to vote. (That's right, I am old--and I wear it proudly.)
This right that you take so much for granted that you don't bother to use it...well, think about it. African American males won the right to vote in 1870. (As well they should have.) But our right to vote is still relatively new and pretty damned fragile. I have heard females argue that women have innate protections merely by virtue of being white or middle class or pretty or whatever.
NO. Get your head out of your ass, my dear. What are you, British? (That's a joke--British women only got the right to vote in 1918.) Wake the fuck up.
We still live in a time when men (some men) take it for granted they can legislate everything from our health care to whether we have children. We live in a time where OTHER WOMEN take it for granted that men should have the right to legislate our health care and whether or not be have children.
You think "it" couldn't happen here? That's what people always think. Look at history. And then weep. Or not. Because big girls don't cry. They VOTE.