2009-09-04 / Letters

Woman's Suffrage Redux

Dear Editor,

Does the year 1920 mean anything to you? It succeeded the tragic influenza epidemic by three years. It began the decade of the Great Depression. But the year, the actual year, must be memorialized by all women as the year we got the vote.

White males had been voting for one hundred thirty four years when Suffragettes finally won the battle for which they had fought so long and so hard. How many insults, embarrassments and impediments, and indignities they encountered in attaining their goal will never be fully recognized. How important was women's success in fighting for and ultimately winning the right to vote? In some countries, today, women are, unconscionably, denied the right to vote; and, with this denial women are subjugated to second class citizenship. Just how important is a woman's right to vote? Let us see.

If some male politician told women that their vote was worthless and future opportunities to vote should be disregarded because our vote simply does not matter, what would you expect the reaction to be: outrage, hostility, frustration, aggression?

Mayor Bloomberg has done just that. It wasn't overt like a slap in the face. What it was, was more like a kick in the pants. Not once but twice women (and men, too) voted to limit term limits for our mayor and members of our city council. It never should have come to a second vote in that the first one certainly spoke for itself. However, the second time, like the first we voted for term limits. Mayor Bloomberg, a spoiled adult with the reactions of a child, decided he wanted to retain his elected position as mayor.

Somehow, Council members (not the electorate) voted to overturn that which was twice voted for. Does it matter to the Mayor that he turned the clock back eighty-nine years on the women of this city? Apparently not. Any woman who even contemplates voting for Bloomberg in the upcoming election should be compelled to read three books on women's suffrage. If that assignment is insufficient to persuade you to rethink your vote, check out the, so called, civilized countries that to this day deny women the right to vote.

As women we cannot, we must not take the right to vote for granted. Neither must our mayor. The fact is that it is too late for him to redeem himself with regard to rethinking his candidacy. It is not too late, however, for the women of this city to exercise our vote for the candidate who has our best interests at heart. We know who that candidate isn't. It is incumbent upon us to research and cast our ballot for the one who is.

JOAN METTLER

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