100 Years of Women Voters

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100 Years of Women Voters

Sophie Friedberg, Opinion Editor

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In 1919, women were granted the constitutional right to vote in the United States. In 1920, women were allowed to vote for the first time in a presidential election.

Thus, 2020 will mark the 100-year anniversary of active women’s suffrage in the United States.

With this momentous election fast approaching, it’s critical that young people seize the opportunity to make an impact on the direction of our country.

Our young voices matter. Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the site of the Parkland shooting, sparked the March For Our Lives movement. Victims of sexual assault told their stories and got the attention of celebrities who launched the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.

Even many of the Tideline’s student journalists contributed to the #SinceParkland project, a non-profit initiative to memorialize children who have lost their lives to gun violence in the year since the tragic shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Our generation has made it clear time and time again that we will not be quiet, and it is undeniable that we have drawn attention to issues that once went unaddressed. While we haven’t fully remedied these problems, or by any means found solutions to them, we’ve worked relentlessly to bring awareness to issues such as gun violence and sexual assault.

Women in particular have been active. We’ve been vocal in advocating for better treatment, whether it be equal wages, opportunities or status.

Women have voted in elections on state and national levels for 100 years. Since achieving suffrage, we have exercised our right to vote for those who we believe will govern us best.

100 years is a long time — but it’s not long enough.

White men who owned property were the first citizens to vote, and they have been voting for 243 years.

All white men have been allowed to vote for 163 years.

All men, regardless of race, have had the constitutional right to vote for 149 years.

Women have had the right to vote for 100 years.

Even though a century is a long time, it’s still not a victory for women. We’re still struggling for our rights and we must continue to fight.

This is why it is so important that women, and anyone else who feels that their rights have been pushed to the sidelines, keep speaking up, and keep exercising their opportunities that past generations struggled so hard to gain.

This is why the 2020 election is so important. There is a surplus of candidates throwing names out into the presidential race. All of them, no matter their party, offer different plans and strategies surrounding their perspective on one common goal: to better the United States.

So, when voting in 2020, regardless of your political affiliation, do not blindly support a candidate based on what party they represent. Not all candidates swing fully to one way or the other. Make sure you are educated on the candidate’s beliefs before you give them your vote.

Don’t vote for someone just because your friends support them. Don’t be afraid to disagree with the more popular candidates. Keep an open mind, but defend your beliefs.

And finally, just vote. Vote for the wellbeing of your nation. Vote because your voice matters. Vote because of all the people who weren’t, or still aren’t, able to.

Don’t rely on anybody to express your views but yourself. In 2020, women will have been exercising our right to vote for 100 years. We’re sure as hell not going to stop now.