Monday, October 20, 2008

time to vote...

it's coming very close to the time for us all to i thought i'd take this time to do some research about the past, the freedom to vote and share with you what i find over the next week or two...

since i am 49 i wasn't involved in women's suffrage, nor the Fifteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution which prohibits each government in the United States to prevent a citizen from voting based on that citizen's race, color, or previous condition of servitude (i.e., slavery), it was ratified on February 3, 1870, nor was i old enough to stand up for the National Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Act prohibited states from imposing any voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure, vital to the civil rights movement...i have always felt that i was born in the wrong era, so to speak...for the causes of the past i am passionate about...

i did grow up in a time, however, where young girls would either marry right out of high school or become a secretary...where i was told i wasn't "tall" enough to become an airline attendant... and in this strange time, i was raised by a mother who would madly type letters to anyone in office on her manual typewriter determined to fight for women's rights...i remember coming home from school, and being directed to a stack of typed papers to be signed by my sisters and i... for the future debate of laws for women...perhaps this is why i just kind of shake my head in disbelief when i think of somebody having to fight for the right to vote...

years ago while i was at our local coffee shop, one of the young college girls started to complain to me how 'old fashioned' her mother was - how she didn't get it... i was shocked, because this was really the first true blue generation of young girls who were raised to believe that they could be anything - they could do anything...but yet they couldn't look back just a little in history to see how all these things were made possible for them? i, of course, was compelled to express my thoughts to her for maybe she could understand that her mother was born in a different time, a time of limited opportunities...and that she was the first true generation of young women to have limitless opportunities...

i came home that day and wrote this poem - which is attached to my game board, "before me"

before me

the women before me
are ingrained inme
a well worn path
to follow
as i d a n c e
down their path
witness to
their triumphant gardens
i too
will bend down
clearing the earth
with my hands
for the others
for i am rose's
hazel and dorothy's
loella and jessie's
great granddaughter
emma and mary jane's
great great granddaughter

Women won the right to vote first in New Zealand 1893, South Australia 1894, Western Australia 1898, Australia as a whole 1902 and the USA in 1920.

Native Americans won the right to vote in 1924 after the Indian Citizenship Act was passed. In 1956 the State of Utah became the first State to grant that right.

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