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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Right. Privilege. Responsibility.

Get Out and Vote

Oh, if I could live another century to see the fruition of all the work for women! There is so much yet to be done.”
Susan B. Anthony

The 19th amendment to the Constitution gave American women the right to vote in 1920, the year my father was born. When I was a child, he went into the voting booth with Mother to make sure she voted the way he told her to. Later in life, after my dad died, she often didn't vote because she felt awkward going to the poles alone. When I was with her, not long before she died, early voting had begun in North Carolina. I took her in a wheelchair equipped with oxygen tanks to vote. She gave me her choices, and I operated the machine for her. My mother was obviously not a feminist. She never even thought it her right to enter into a conversation with men unless one of them asked her a direct question, and even then, she usually deferred to my dad. Needless to say, she was appalled by her middle daughter's strong opinions and brash behavior, once telling me, “Get down off your high horse, young lady!” Oh, yeah—that worked well!

There are many places in the world today where no one, man or woman, has the right to vote, or where people are told how they will vote if they want to continue breathing air. We have that right, and even if we aren't delighted with the candidates, we have a duty to exercise it. The voices of women are particularly important since we make up more than half of the electorate. More importantly, women are likely to vote in ways that reflect compassion, that take into consideration people beyond their neighborhood, their country, and their business interests. Women, feminist or not, carry a deep concern for children—all children. They look at the world through the lens of what it will mean for their children. Will we make the world a better place for them to grow up? What legacy will we leave for the little girls and boys who are coming after us?

Whether you are a man or a woman, having a voice, and adding your voice to the chorus, is both a right and privilege. Also, a responsibility. Get out and make your voice heard today. Go vote.

                                                           In the Spirit,


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