Today is a very important day for this country. Many government seats are up for grabs. What I noticed more during this election season than ever is the on slot of negative campaigns with little to no information on the positions of the candidates running for office. I feel that sadly we are lead to vote by the emotion the ad evokes: fear for our safety, anger against a candidates previous opinion or blind solidarity to the candidate that belongs to the same party that we belong to.
I feel as women we should really take a deeper look at why it is so important that our voices are heard. Alice Stone Blackwell, one time editor for the Women’s Journal wrote 16 reasons why women should be given the right to vote, I have listed a few here. Although it was written sometime around 1896, many of the reasons sited hold true today.
1. Because it is fair and right that those who must obey the laws should have a voice in making them, and that those who must pay taxes should have a vote as to the size of the tax and the way it shall be spent.
2. Because the moral, educational, and humane legislation desired by women would be got more easily if women had votes. New York women have worked in vain for years to secure a legislative appropriation to found a state industrial School for Girls. Colorado women worked in vain for one till they got the ballot; then the Legislature promptly granted it.
3. Because laws unjust to women would be amended more quickly. It cost Massachusetts women 55 years of effort to secure the law making mothers equal guardians of their children with the fathers. In Colorado, after women were enfranchised, the very next Legislature granted it. After more than half a century of agitation by women for this reform only 13 out of 46 States now give equal guardianship to mothers.
4. Because equal suffrage would increase the proportion of educated voters. The high schools of every state in the Union are graduating more girls than boys-often twice or three times as many. (Report of Commissioner of Education.)
6. Because it leads to fair treatment of women in the public service. In Massachusetts the average pay of a female teacher is about one-third that of a male teacher, and in almost all the States it is unequal. In Wyoming and Utah, the law provides that they shall receive equal pay for usual work. (Revised Statutes of Wyoming, Section 014; Revised Statutes of Utah, Section 1853.)
7. Because it would make women more broadminded. Professor Edward H,. Griggs says: “The ballot is an educator, and women will become more practical and more wise in using it.”
8. Because it is the quietest, easiest, most dignified and least conspicuous way of influencing public affairs. I takes much less expenditure of time, labor and personal presence to go up to the ballot box, drop in a slip of paper, and then come away, than to persuade a multitude of miscellaneous voters to vote right.
The last one was most compelling to me. To ensure that your needs are meet in the future, you need to cast a vote for the candidate that reflects those needs in their platform. Carry the legacy of those who suffered to give you the right to vote with you. Take your children with you and teach them the importance of what you are doing today.