Friday, August 26, 2011

Happy 91st to the 19th

And then there was suffrage, which is a good thing, but it sounds horrible.
— Phoebe Buffay, Friends

Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her own works praise her in the gates.
Proverbs 31:31 (KJV)

Ninety-one years ago today, the 19th amendment of the U.S. Constitution gave American women the right to vote.

But this right reflects far more than the ability to cast a ballot. A vote represents the ability to participate more fully in society. A vote is a voice.

I recently watched the movie Iron Jawed Angels, which looks at the Women's Suffrage movement during the years just before the 19th amendment was passed. I was struck by how little I knew about this part of U.S. history.

And it made me think a little harder about what it means to have a voice — not only in the democratic process, but in the family, the church, the workplace, and society as a whole — and what it's like for those who still lack that voice.

Longtime mosaicsynapse readers may recall several posts on topics related to women in this and other countries whose voices have been silenced in various ways. And there are a few more posts still in the hopper.

This is not just a women's issue. What happens when half a population's voices are silenced? The whole population loses.

As I celebrate the 19th amendment's 91st birthday, I'm hoping that it doesn't take another 91 years for this whole thing to be seen, not as a women's issue, but as a human issue.



  1. When I was little, history seemed so far away. My grandpa is 91. How long this stuff has taken just blows my mind sometimes.

  2. you're so right about this being more than just a woman's issue! in fact, most "women's issues" can be freeing to men as well!


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