19th Amendment and Sarah Palin

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

On August 26, 1920, the 19th amendment to the United States Constitution, which grants women the right to vote, becomes law. Washington women had won the vote in 1910, after which Washington suffragists had helped with the national campaign to amend the constitution so that all American women could vote.

Eighty nine years after the 19th amendment, America is still engaging in conversations that seek to define who a feminist is and what she stands for. Without a doubt, Sarah Palin resurrected some of those conversations when she became the first woman to earn herself a place on a Republican ticket. Geraldine Ferraro had done the same for the Democratic ticket in 1984.

It is astounding that it took so long for both these accomplishments, and even more astounding that women are still in the position of defending their place within the political process. No one knows this more than Governor Sarah Palin. She has always acknowledged those women who have gone before her to pave the way for her and desires to be a source of inspiration for those girls who follow after her.

It is unfortunate that the governor has had to fight against the smears of both men and women, some of whom seem content with having a conservative woman exercise her right to vote, as long as she's not the woman we actually vote for. Nonetheless, Sarah Palin rises above the small thinking of some who want to put "feminism" in a box. Many women have now broken out of the box and are grateful, not only for the privilege given in 1920 to walk into that voting box, but to see the name of another woman staring back at them when they get in there.

In the video below, Governor Sarah Palin discusses with Greta van Susteren her commitment to uniting women on issues of health care and equal opportunities if ever she chooses to run for higher office again.


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