Back in the summer of 1848, women and men gathered in Seneca Falls, New York, for this country’s first convention on women’s rights. For the occasion, Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote and read the “Declaration of Sentiments.”

Mimicking the style of the Declaration of Independence, Ms. Stanton wrote: “The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world. He has never permitted her to exercise her inalienable right to the elective franchise. He has compelled her to submit to laws, in the formation of which she had no voice. He has withheld from her rights which are given to the most ignorant and degraded men — both natives and foreigners. He has made her, if married, in the eye of the law, civilly dead. He has taken from her all right in property, even to the wages she earns.”

Editorials around the country were not receptive to the issue of equal rights. A New York paper stated: “This is all wrong. ... Society would have to be radically remodeled in order to accommodate itself to so great a change.”

A few years after the convention, Elizabeth teamed up with Susan B. Anthony to advocate women’s suffrage. Elizabeth, the mother of nine, put the words to paper, while Susan delivered the message. In the 1860s, the two lobbied for the passage of the 13th Amendment, only to have almost 20 years of hard work cast aside when this passage was included in the 14th Amendment, “But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States ... is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.” This was the first time that gender had made an appearance in the U.S. Constitution. Stanton was so downtrodden, she wrote, “If that word ‘male’ be inserted, it will take us a century at least to get it out.”

In the early 20th century, Alice Paul and the National Women’s Party moved from the speeches and conventions of the past to picketing the White House. When the First World War broke out, some called for them to stop. The lesson from the Civil War taught them not to put their cause aside, so they persisted. They were arrested, locked up, force-fed, and abused. Some were committed and many more shunned. Others, including President Wilson, started to come around. Wilson decided that he wanted women’s suffrage to be a part of his political legacy and actively advocated the passage of the 19th Amendment. Seventy-one years after the Seneca Falls Convention and 143 years after the inception of our country, women secured their right to vote.

Since 1920, women fought for and won many legal rights. It’s been a slow, hard battle with some of our bravest women, such as Ruth Bader Ginsburg, on the front lines. What has eluded us is the highest office in the land. Google female heads of state and you will see a wide variety of countries with a female leader. But not us. And not this year. The only hope for any progress in the near future is a vice presidential nomination. This year marks the 100th anniversary of that long-fought-for amendment, 100 years too long for a woman not to have been in the highest office of this land. It’s beyond time to fix that.

Shannon Green writes from Frederick.

(21) comments

DickD

This story is ridiculous! Vote for the most qualified. Voting on the basis of gender or race is discrimination.

Obadiah Plainsmen

I believe a women would make an excellent President , President Nikki Haley.

veritas

[thumbup][thumbup]

veritas

And let's not overlook the woman who slapped The Donald upside his orange haid in a stellar debate peformance a few years back,...the nimble, quick witted, calm, collected and highly intelligent Carly Fiorina! My guess is, however, that the perpetually indignant lefties tut-tutting herein would express much enthusiasm with either Ms. Haley or Ms. Fiorina.

phydeaux994

As opposed to the perpetually apologist RRR(RadicalRightRepublicans) tut-tutting their enthusiasm for Mr. Donald John Trump without a single fact to support the reasons they give for Idolizing him. "It's NOT the Economy Stupid".

Rick Blatchford

Shannon, Recently I responded to an inquiry about the upcoming election. The response included the impression that the current crop of Democrats is lacking and one reason is that Democrats have not reached into the depths for the most qualified candidate. The goal is simply to defeat Trump. Quality is not an issue. If they could dig up a JFK or a Harry Truman, I'd consider crossing party lines. I suspect the same applies to a woman being president. Here's why. Recent women put up as potential candidates do not present as the cool, calm and collected individuals that we expect as a leader. Just recall, if you will, Hillary or Warren shouting at campaign events. Recall the angry expression on their faces & the angry tone of their voices. They were too shrew-like. Now, as I think back to better examples, Margaret Thatcher and Indira Ghandi come to mind. I can think of no time when either of those women presented as angry, angry women. Put up such a woman who portrays herself as in control of her emotions and I bet she will find a large following. Hopefully, no one will ever vote for a woman simply because they are women. That is not rational.

S.Green

Thank you for unwittingly illustrating just what the problem is. What you wrote here is unbelievably sexist, but no amount of explanation will ever make you understand that.

Dwasserba

[thumbup]Yes. If Stepford is the gold standard, where *would* we ever find the right woman. Botox is simply not convincing enough.

Rick Blatchford

Maybe you can explain why I supported Jan Gardner over Republican men not to mention other women I've found electable. Take your blinders off, folks.

Bwgreen

I'm sure some of your best friends are women, but let's not get so emotional.

Bwgreen

In all seriousness, read and become a better person... https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/29/us/gender-letter-women-voices-high-pitched.html

Bwgreen

From the article "Margaret Thatcher famously employed a voice coach to help lower her voice in an attempt to give herself more authority. Claims of being too “shrill” — a word that, by the way, is used twice as often in media to refer to women than men, as research by the linguist Nic Subtirelu has found — dogged Hillary Clinton in her campaign for the presidency."

AdamUmak

Uh.... anyone is electable if you vote for them.

DickD

Because Blaine was more than you can stand?

sbeach9638

....uh, up to this time , Howard Dean didn't realize that he was a woman...

Bwgreen

Lead, follow or get out the way... you clearly fall in the latter category. Not a grain of introspection that would allow you to see that these opinions are just your own projected misogyny. You want your women compliant and docile. This is not a reasoned opinion, as you would like it to be perceived, but only an expression of your unrecognized bias.

AdamUmak

🙌 🙌 🙌

public-redux

Mr. Blatchford, google “angry Trump image”, look at the photos, and then comment upon the appearance of his face and whether he presents the cool, calm, and collected persona you expect in your leader.

AdamUmak

Congratulations, Rick, on landing the role as the lead villain in Season 4 of The Handmaid's Tale.

DickD

[thumbup][thumbup]

The Grape of Wrath

If you research the arguments used by conservative men to deny suffrage to women as the 19th Amendment was taking shape, you will immediately recognize it as the same garbage conservatives spew today against the ERA, against safe and legal abortion, against family leave, against maternity leave, against child care, against day care, against against against anything beneficial to women. It's all about "protecting" women.

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