Women's Equality Day: Many fought to ensure women's rights
How many of us know the names Victoria Woodhull, Shirley Chisholm, Sandra Day O'Connor and Nancy Pelosi?
Well, if you don't - you should learn them and reflect on what they have done for us in the past.
Today is Women's Equality Day, and it's a time to reflect on the role that women have played in the history of our society and the effect they have had on making women into who they are today.
This year, with Hillary Clinton's historic campaign, the national spotlight has been on the issue of a woman competing for its highest elective office. Her supporters have celebrated her groundbreaking, glass-ceiling shattering efforts. And we all might feel pride in a presidential campaign that is groundbreaking on the three fronts of gender, race and age.
Today we celebrate Women's Equality Day, commemorating the passage of the 19th Amendment on Aug. 26, 1920, giving women the right to vote and to hold elective office. As Hillary Clinton takes center stage tonight at the Democratic National Convention, we all might recall Susan B. Anthony's words spoken more than 100 years ago, "Every single inch of ground that woman stands upon today has been gained by the hard work of some little handful of women of the past."
As women of the world today, it is hard to imagine a time when women couldn't vote, couldn't be paid the same as men, were considered inferior and had to petition, march and suffer to obtain an equal footing in society.
Abigail Adams, who in 1776 wrote to her husband John, at work on the Declaration of Independence, asking that he "remember the ladies." (His response: "As to your extraordinary code of laws, I cannot but laugh.")
Sarah Grimke (1836), abolitionist and women's rights advocate, who was eventually silenced by male abolitionists who considered her public speaking a liability.
Susan B. Anthony and 14 other women, who registered and voted in the 1872 presidential election in Rochester, New York. Anthony was arrested, tried, found guilty and fined $100, which she refused to pay. At her trial, the judge refused to let her testify in her own defense, ruling her "incompetent."
These are but a few examples. Remember the black women in the south who had to fight even harder to obtain equal rights, and of course in one of the most famous incidents, the right to sit in a certain part of a city bus.
When the 19th Amendment was finally ratified, the National American Women Suffrage Association was disbanded, but its organization became the nucleus of the League of Women Voters. A non-partisan political organization, the league encourages all citizens to register to vote, educate themselves about the candidates and issues and to vote on Election Day, Nov. 4.
Today, if you are a woman, think about your place in society today and all those who have struggled to get you there. If you're not a woman, take a moment to appreciate what the other half of the human race does for you and how they maintain their place in this jungle we all live in.