Confession time. I knew Susan B. Anthony was historically important, because she was the first woman to ever have her face on a minted coin. But if you had stopped me on the street, and asked me WHAT she had done to earn that honor, I would have FAILED that test. Big time.
Perhaps some of you would have failed along with me? No? Just me? Riiiggght.
Well, anyway, as I did my research on Susan B. Anthony Day, and relearned just how amazing Ms. Anthony was, and why we officially recognize and celebrate her birthday each February 15th, I started to feel very ashamed for my lack of recollection. For my lack of gratitude.
I know I was taught all about her in high school, but I was probably not paying much attention, because I have always had –
- The right to vote.
- The right to speak freely.
- The right to earn and keep my own money.
- The right to own property.
And I have always taken these rights for granted.
Shame on me.
None of the women in Ms. Anthony’s day (1820-1906) had any of those rights. But she knew this was an unacceptable civil injustice worth fighting and suffering against. And that’s exactly what she did. She began the women’s suffrage movement, promoting women’s rights, including the right to vote (the 19th amendment, which was ratified in 1920, 14 years after Anthony’s death), as well as the anti-slavery movement.
She fought her whole life, so long ago, so that I could take all these rights for granted, as if I had always had them. Like taking a breath – you don’t even think about it – it’s just there.
But the rights weren’t always there.
Hard to imagine. But important that we do.
And very important that we remember that there are still places in the world, even now, where those rights are still absent. Places where we can step up like Susan B. Anthony did.
February 15th, as we women toast the brave Ms. Anthony, and say a grateful “THANK YOU” to her, we can take a moment to visit the Women’s Cause page at Pledgeling. Be encouraged to find a cause that sparks your own Susan B. Anthony spirit in her honor.
It just takes one woman to make a difference.
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