19th Amendment: post notes

On the topic of women’s suffrage, I always find it amusing when modern day folks equate “feminists” with “bra burning liberal hippies.” Or the like. I majored in sociology as well as women’s studies so I feel obligated to also mention there are MANY types & groups of feminists all with their own views, passions and agenda (lesbians, women of color, etc) Moreover, the women’s right to vote movement was started by upper class white women, so hows that for a dent in the liberal hippie stereotype?

I often see feminism equated with the latter stereotype. Or worse, I find people who declare feminism as unnecessary in modern day America. I can only assume these types of people a) don’t know what feminism is b) don’t understand that equal rights benefit everyone and c) things aren’t equal everywhere and sexism is alive and well in modern day America.

I find it helpful to refer to posts where people finish the sentence ” I need feminism because.” Its in the answers that reflect modern day needs for feminism. Games aside, we are still not fully there as far as equal rights for ALL types of people (racial equality, male/female equality, LGBTQ rights, disabled access/rights)  Feminism does not just promote women’s rights but helps in other areas of seeking equality for others’ too. Equal rights for all benefits all (although the people in power who benefit from less competition probably don’t see it this way). I have seen online discussions that quickly devolve into dismissal of real every day women’s issues that continue to persist in society: birth control and women’s access to it and making informed decisions about which works best for her , access to women’s health services as well as services tailored to the needs of gay men, trans people, lesbians, teems…., welfare reform, universal childcare, public preschools, the Equal Rights Amendment and how it still has not been passed, “legitimate” rape, the morning after pill coverage by health insurers, the abortion pill (and the fact that these ARE two different things), the glass ceiling, equal pay for equal work, jobs where women & minority’s still face discrimination from an old white boys network (like government & universities) ….Although successes should be celebrated such as the first women/person of color/lesbians/etc in a field or job, it goes without saying that it is also a sad reminder of how far we have to go & how rare these occurrences still are in some areas of society. Its GREAT we are making advances. Its GREAT we are growing in awareness. That said I’d really like to see a society where anyone qualified can be promoted or given a job without there being talk of their color/gender/etc.I’d like to see a society that doesn’t waste supreme courts precious calendar time debating whether health insurers have to cover birth control, or allowing employers to cherry pick coverage for women based on “morals.” I’d like to see a society where a woman feels safe to report sexual assault without fear of shame, victim blame, dragging her sexual history through the mud & Congress debating the “legitimacy” of a rape. (On that note, I’d also like to see a society where comprehensive sex education is taught in schools, and many members of Congress are in dire need of it as well)


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