Tuesday, November 8, 2016

We've Come a Long Way, Baby . . .

On November 4, 1915,  Dr. Jane Sabine wrote her annual letter to her Smith College class of 1888. After talking about her war work and her summer vacation, she said:
And now has come the crushing blow that suffrage has been voted down. For several years after I was married, I was President of the College Equal Suffrage League, and I have worked hard for suffrage, though I have never stumped the state. Massachusetts will surely be the last to get the vote. Again we shall put our hands to the plough, pushing as hard as ever, never doubting the final result. 
Note that Jane worked for women's suffrage after she was married; her husband Wallace also supported women's rights.

The College Equal Suffrage League, founded in 1900, included "a number of prominent Boston suffragists among its members and devoted a large part of its time to educating high school and college students about woman suffrage and involving them in suffrage work." (Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University.)

* * *

Needless to say, we are waiting anxiously at our house to see if a woman will finally become president, nearly a century after it finally became a (remote) possibility.

If she makes it, it will be thanks to countless women like Jane, who did the work that was necessary to change America into a place where women had a say in their government. We remember Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Stone, Julia Ward Howe, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Alice Stone Blackwell, but let's also remember the army of ordinary women who worked alongside them.

Update: So she didn't make it. This came as no surprise to me although I tried to stay positive, the signs of a Trump victory were everywhere — including Trump signs in too many New England front yards, beyond our Blue bubble in Massachusetts, for me to feel otherwise. So I will follow the example of our foremothers and not give up hope for a better tomorrow. We all have a lot of work to do, now as ever.

1 comment:

  1. Well said, sistah! Now, as ever, a lot of work to do. Keeping the faith for a better tomorrow.
    Thanks for the kitten pix today. They're very helpful.


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