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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Election Day Thoughts

Please excuse me as I stray from the usual content of my blog. I promise that this post tries to remain neutral between the candidates. It is mainly about the strides that women have made to get to today's historic election.

The right to vote is a precious right that people fought for over many years until amendments were passed allowing all adult citizens to vote.

Amendment XV. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. (1870). (but the voting rights act of 1965 was key to finally getting African Americans a stronger right to vote).

Amendment XIX. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. (1920).

The 19th amendment was passed in 1920 - so half of US citizens were not allowed to vote until relatively recently. My grandmother was denied the right to vote until that amendment passed. That history is probably part of why my mother was one of the most ardent feminists who I've ever known. She's the one who slapped the text of Title IX on the table at Little League registration when the poor man running the sign-up desk told her that "no girls were allowed" and therefore I wasn't allowed to join. After my mother was finished with her persuasive rampage, I was on a Little League team.

She continued to champion the rights of girls during my entire middle school, high school, and collegiate athletic career. She questioned any inequities between the boys' and girls' programs. She led fund-raising efforts to try to take girls sports to new heights. I now look back in wonder at her courage to speak up and fight for what she believed was right - even when her feminism was looked down upon by some people in the conservative area where we lived. I was shaped by my mother in many important ways - and I'd like to think that my independent thinking is one of them.

I find it astounding that it took almost a century before we had a woman as the nominee for president of a major party. No matter what your views or how flawed our candidates may be, this is an historic election. I hope that all of us exercise our precious right to vote. 

Fortunately for me, our state sends mail-in ballots to everyone so I voted by mail more than a week ago when my head wasn't pounding from a migraine like it is today. Research into migraines is one of the many areas where some people believe that gender discrimination still dominates. Maladies that mainly affect women's health tend to get less research funding than other diseases.

I am nervous today, as I expect that most of my US readers are. Let's all hold up the ideals of democracy, no matter how this election turns out. Peaceful transfer of power after an election is one of those ideals. And, learning to compromise with others who hold differing views is another.
R gave his little sister a reassuring nuzzle this morning
And, no matter how it turns out, I wish that my mother were here to share in the strides that women have made in the past century. Despite the ugliness of this campaign, she'd be flying high that a woman has come so close to becoming the leader of our country. She'd never vote for someone just because they were a woman - she felt strongly that women must be held to the same standards as men. However, the fact that it's possible for a woman to be president is what would make her rejoice.

16 comments:

  1. Hari OM
    I am another who would not vote simply because it is a woman - we've experienced that in both UK and Australia and I was not in favour of either of them due to their politics. In Scotland now, our First Minister is a female with politics I DO admire and would vote for.

    I do not envy America today. Common sense says blue must win, irrespective of the female candidate... because the alternative doesn't bear thinking about. Well know soon enough now.

    Wishing you some POTP for the head. Not fun. YAM xx

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  2. Amen to all that you have penned and Amen to Yaminie's words as well.

    We truly hope that some day soon there is a miracle breakthrough for migraine help. Wish we could will your pain away.

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  3. Amen sista! My Gma couldn't stand HC. I don't know why. Being a Democrat it was a weird feeling to have, but there it was. She LOVED our President and voted for him both times. She said if HC would have won the primary, she would have voted for her. The alternative wasn't acceptable. What I've heard this election reminded me of when I was young, certain Catholic Churches threatening excommunication if you voted Democrat. That pissed Gma off like nobody's business! She said, 'They have NO right to know who I vote for, and damn if I'm going to tell them!" . We stopped going to church soon after that. Ma was very proud of Gma. And it's where she got her independent thinking from.
    To all strong women, this vote is for you.....
    Kisses,
    Ruby ♥
    pees: paws crossed real tight....☺

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  4. So much love for this.

    I do, though, kind of hate that we need to say, "I wouldn't vote for someone just because they're X." In itself, that's evidence of the -isms inherent in the system. I look forward to the day when we can vote for who we damn well please without having to defend it against folks who just can't believe that a woman (or whomever) could be the best person for the job.

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  5. Very thoughtful post, KB. My own grandmother threatened to sign herself out of the hospital when she had a heart attack. She was told she could not vote absentee because it was too close to the election. Somehow her physician talked with the election board and they came to her ICU room to allow her to cast her vote. She felt that strongly about it. We owe so much to women like my grandmother and yours.

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  6. An excellent blog. Bless the women like your mother who helped move the needle for women everywhere in the world. Let's keep moving the needle until we have true equality

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  7. I have been looking at some of the close results so far, and am so thankful every woman or person has the right to vote. Our mothers have so much influence on our own lives, either by inheriting part of their character, or with their way of bringing us to adult-hood. Your words are fair, true, and for each of my friends up North, I hope the result today is also fair and true.

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  8. Hey there, KB. Very well written, as always. Your mother sounds like a wonderful person. I'm sorry you lost her so soon, but I'm glad you had her, and were so well-loved and nurtured. What a gift.
    Like you, I've kept - or at least, I think I've kept - my own political choices off my blog. (Twitter is a different story - I started there FOR the political news during a previous election, and it's become quite a helpful resource and outlet for me, in art, farming, and politics.) But I did encourage my blog-readers to vote, and now after being up all night - it's going on 4 AM and I have a splitting headache - watching the returns, I really wonder if I can NOT write about it. Maybe I'd better not blog anything but photographs for a while.
    By the way, I am not complaining about the headache - I am grateful it's not a migraine. I'm so sorry you are having a bout if them lately, and I hope they stop SOON.

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  9. Well said. Tis the day after now, my head, my heart are sad and shocked and embarrassed for our nation.

    BTW after a lifetime of severe/frequent and debilitating migraines, over the course of a year, following MP (the change of life) they gradually faded away and stopped completely, never to return.

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  10. Our condolences on the victory of thuggery over decency. We know that there are many, many good people in the United States but we now know that there are even more nasty ones. We wish you fortitude over the coming few years.

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  11. I'm glad we had and we still have women like your grandmother and your mother...without them we still would wear apron dresses and we would be treated like people 2nd class. hugs to you, hope the migraine attack is over soon...

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  12. My stomach is feeling nauseated after seeing the final results this a.m. I hope so hope that your country can peacefully move forward.

    Ron

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  13. We often forget those brave women, who fought for Women's rights...and say oh....those cultures treat their women badly. It wasn't so long ago...and there are areas that need to be rectified. (SHE was allowed a full football uniform as a child, to play with the boys...)

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  14. Yes, very thoughtful post. I am horrified and humiliated that the election turned out the way it did, but we must all continue to fight for what we care about.

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  15. My gut feeling says that Hillary did NOT lose because she's a woman, but because she is a career politician and people are tired of politics as they have been. Is my gut right? I don't know. I do know it's disconcerting that a black man was president for 8 years and now we've elected someone who has come across as a bigot, and put a political party in power that does not have a record of putting civil rights above other things. But we have to accept the outcome, and all we can do is continue to fight for what we believe in.

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