YWCA Community Educator Kristen Shares about the Personal Meaning of Suffrage

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Kristen Monnier
YWCA Community Educator

August 2020 marks a month of celebration for women in the United States. 100 years ago this month women finally won the right to vote! At one time in our history, women were not considered capable of having a say in politics, even those that impacted them. Thanks to strong, female suffrage movement leaders such as Susan B. Anthony, Carrie Chapman Catt, and Alice Paul advocating for almost a century, the 19th amendment was ratified. 

I sit here today thankful for the advocacy and activism that was done on women’s behalf so that I have the right to vote today. Being able to take part in my civil right and take part in the voting process is something I am proud I am able to do. Every time I vote in local and national elections, I am voting on policies that are directly impacting me. Each politician I am supporting is someone that I am entrusting to politically act in a way that is of my best interest. Voting is something I take seriously, 

 As a woman, there are many areas in my life in which I have not had the privileges or the decision-making abilities that the men in my life have. The standards and expectations put on me today by society are not too far off from those that the women two centuries ago experienced. The expectation of women to focus on their husband and family and not on what is happening in society is what led men to keep women from being able to vote. Today, I owe the opportunity of having a political say to those who advocated before me. 

While I am thankful for all the opportunities that are afforded to me today, the equality of women in all areas still has a long way to go. Equal pay, autonomy over our bodies, and the ability to make decisions concerning our own lives without the input of others is something that women’s activists are still working towards achieving today. Thanks to the empowering women before me who fought for my right to vote, I am able to have a political say in policies surrounding those inequalities we as women face. Because of them, I will use my privilege and advocate to continue the progression of women’s rights.