One of the first things my Gam said to me when I turned 18 was: “You can vote now!”
She’s 99 years old, and for her, voting meant a great deal. Her generation wasn’t that far removed from the time when women couldn’t vote. Voting meant so much to her. It was a way for her to make her voice heard. A woman who worked in factories, constantly fighting sexism, ageism, and other discriminations, who had lived with abusive parents and an abusive husband, Gam knew what it meant to have that voice taken away. She wasn’t about to be silenced. Moreover, she didn’t want me to be silenced, either.
Gam was a feminist. She never knew it. She never wore a moniker or said “I’m a feminist,” but she was. She believe in the right to reproductive choice. She believe women could perform equally in the workplace. She believed single women could make it on their own. Most importantly, she believed that women were equally as important as men in politics and other ruling institutions. My Gam has spent the entirety of my life telling me that I am strong, not in spite of the fact that I am female, but rather because I am. I am strong because I can stand on my own just as she, and women before her have done. She would expect no less than for me to go to the polls today and exercise the Right to Vote that so many women fought for.
It’s my duty as a citizen. It’s my duty as a woman. It’s your duty, too. Whether you’re male or female, it is your civic duty to make informed choices and vote!!
A man told me yesterday evening that he wished I couldn’t vote. He wanted me to “stay away from the polls” because I was a “threat to him changing the country back to the way it belonged”. I’ll be damned if I’ll throw away everything my Gam, and all the women besides her, fought for. I’ll never let him drag me back into being a silenced voice. Don’t you let him, either.