Thursday, August 27, 2015

Happy 95th anniversary, women

95 years ago women got the right to vote. Big whoop. Women had already made great strides in every area before they got the right to vote--they had a higher graduation rate than men, they had employment, they owned businesses, they'd accomplished public health miracles through women's clubs and agricultural extension, they established the first public libraries, they were speakers at lyceums and actresses in theater and fledging film, they were inventors, designers and musicians and artists. They were pastors of churches. Many states and localities already had voting women, as did churches. Most important, they were wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, taking care of business in the home and on the farm, where butter and egg money kept many families afloat. Getting the vote, although morally right, made almost no difference in women's lives. Their efforts in temperance and abolition were far greater and more important. And until Obama was elected, I'm not sure they even made a difference in who was in the White House, and that's not benefitted the poor, minorities or women.


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