Susan B. Anthony’s Santa Barbara Sojourn Was Just One Stop on Rough Road to Get the Vote
In the month leading up to this week’s election, I spent an unhealthy amount of time debating with girlfriends on Facebook about political candidates. Some of these women denounced attack ads, others bristled at the mess of campaign financing, and still others upbraided me for insisting that Bloomberg is just another tantrum-prone manbaby. Sometimes our arguments got heated — and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
This is what we do — the informed, opinionated, engaged women of our town. Of our county and state. Of our nation. We think about issues and develop viewpoints around them: Race-based policing. Cannabis growth. The housing crisis.
In all of our weighty pondering, though, there’s one important thing that we rarely think about: the onerous work it took to earn us the right to vote exactly 100 years ago. Putting our opinions into action by means of the ballot is a privilege we take for granted now. It’s so assumed, so obviously just, and so second nature that it’s almost offensive to have to be grateful for it, isn’t it?
In the last two presidential elections, women have outvoted men by 10 million ballots. Yet this right was never given to us — not by anyone, not for a hot minute. It was fought for and hard won over 70 relentless years by courageous women and some principled men who flat-out refused to give up.