Monday, August 25, 2008

Women voting? Not so crazy an idea

Before August 26, 1920 when the 19th Amendment became law, women had to make a case for why they should be allowed to vote. In North Carolina, the Equal Suffrage Association of North Carolina laid out theirs in a written statement called, "Twelve Reasons Why Women Should Vote." Among their commonsense reasons were these:
Because those who obey the laws should help choose those who make the laws.
Because laws have an effect on women as much as men.
Because laws affecting children should include the woman's point of view as much as the man's.
Women's Equality Day Tuesday acknowledges the struggle of women in getting the right to vote. N.C. women had a long fight on their hands. When the first women's suffrage bill came before state lawmakers, it was referred to the committee on insane asylums. That's right. Women voting was considered crazy.
N.C. was the next to last state to ratify the 19th Amendment, with lawmakers approving in 1971. Mississippi was the longest holdout, waiting until 1984 to give its stamp of approval. Better late than never, we suppose.
Find these and other facts about the women's suffrage movement in North Carolina on the UNC university libraries site,