Gypsy's Travels


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Having My Say

I have been deprived of Internet service for one week! I am ready to go now!!!

Read ABW's post to understand why I am ranting and raving today.

I voted yesterday but we weren't given "I Voted" stickers at my precinct so I couldn't advertise. We have just one precinct at our ballot box. I stood in line for 10 minutes, after I picked up my ballot I waited for a booth for an additional 5 minutes (some people obviously had not studied the issues before they arrived), and was the 772nd person to vote when I cast my ballot at 2:45 p.m. Apparently, there is some discussion in this county about splitting this precinct because there is high voter turnout and everyone pretty much thinks alike. That is interpreted as "bloc voting." [A VOTING BLOC is a group of members with a common interest who tend to vote alike on an issue - C-SPAN Congressional Glossary].

My Grandmother never voted. Her husband, my grandfather, didn't believe that women should be allowed to vote and she was a woman of the old ways and followed what her husband said. I always think of her when I cast my ballot. I also think of the hundreds of women who fought for the right to vote. They distributed pamphlets, marched in demonstrations, spoke to groups, defied public opinion and spouses before they hurried home to have supper on the table and children ready to meet their fathers returning from work. Finally, in 1920, just 87 years ago, women were "given" the vote.

What has happened in the last 87 years? We have fought, and are still fighting, for equality, but as soon as we win the rights we seek, we settle in to complacency. Yes, we retain the right to make choices in our lives, but voting is the way we retain some control over our rights. All our rights come with responsibility. When I hear someone in Texas complaining about the results of all the Propositions we just passed, my first question to them will be "Did you vote?"


In 1868, the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment proved an affront to the women's movement, as it defined "citizenship" and "voters" as "male", and raised the question as to whether women were considered citizens of the United States at all.

In the early nineteenth century,
women were considered second-class citizens whose existence was limited to the interior life of the home and care of the children. Women were considered sub-sets of their husbands, and after marriage they did not have the right to own property, maintain their wages, or sign a contract, much less vote. It was expected that women be obedient wives, never to hold a thought or opinion independent of their husbands. It was considered improper for women to travel alone or to speak in public.


With the belief that intense physical or intellectual activity would be injurious to the delicate female biology and reproductive system, women were taught to refrain from pursuing any serious education. Silently perched in their birdcages, women were considered merely objects of beauty, and were looked upon as intellectually and physically inferior to men. This belief in women's inferiority to men was further reinforced by organized religion which preached strict and well-defined sex roles.

On 26 August 1920, a constitutional ammendment was adopted when Tennessee ratified it, granting full woman suffrage in all states of the United States. In 2004, women in Saudi Arabia were allowed to vote. I wonder how long will they consider it a privilege.

UPDATE:

Election Results – The results from the November 6 election were that all sixteen Texas constitutional amendments were approved. Williamson County voters approved fourteen of the amendments; voting against (a) issuing $1 billion in bonds for a myriad of state facility construction projects and (b) issuing $3 billion in bonds for cancer prevention and research.



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