Friday, August 24, 2007
Women's Equality Day is coming up on Sunday, August 26. Instituted by Rep. Bella Abzug and first established in 1971, the date commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, the Woman Suffrage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gave U.S. women full voting rights in 1920.
Unless your name is Ann Coulter, the day is cause for celebration! It's also a time when religious right fanatics take to the streets in protest -- usually of abortion rights. 2007 is no different, as the protests have already started in some parts of the country.
The next election is MONTHS away, but it's never too early to remind women in particular, and everyone, how important it is to VOTE. I know it seems as though our votes don't always count -- and sometimes they aren't counted properly, but the bottom line is we have a civic responsibility to show up and vote!
The young women, and men, who will vote for the first time in 2008 were born in 1990. YIKES! They have not lived in a world where birth control and abortion were illegal -- even for married couples. They never saw employment ads that were listed as "Help Wanted Male" and "Help Wanted Female." And they have no memory of the first Gulf war.
We are close to losing reproductive rights. The Bush administration's 'faith-based' initiatives have created government funded employment discrimination (based on religion) and far too many young people are dying in a war based on lies.
The slogan "we won't go back" works for someone my age, but is meaningless to new voters. The New York Times reports that young voters are leaning to the left. So I suggest to them that unless they want to find out first hand what we are all chanting about (at various protests and rallies) they -- and ALL progressives -- need to get our butts to the polls and vote!