Will she be from Oregon? Delaware? Wisconsin, New Mexico, Alaska or Hawaii? The next woman US presidental candidate.
Politics aside, we can be proud (or should be if we aren’t) that citizens in this country opened their minds enough to actively support a qualified woman running for president. (The fact an African-American man also found his way to that rank is historical as well. Whoo-hoo!)
Again, leaving political parties and personalities at the polling booth, the WOOFer generation is potentially the last to truly appreciate the significance of this milestone. My mother was born around the time women were granted the right to vote in this country. So she was too young to remember struggling suffragettes. Her mother did, however.
That means a woman I have known in my lifetime, a woman who touched me …with whom I talked, laughed and cried…experienced firsthand the joy and responsibility of claiming her place next to men in determining the fate of our country and her own life.
Another of my role models is Elizabeth Cady Stanton (seated here with Susan. B. Anthony), social activist and leading figure of the early woman's movement in America. I think it’s my duty as a woman to share her words with my daughter and granddaughter, who will then, I hope, pass them on to other women and young girls.
In 1892, after fighting for female suffrage and women's rights for five decades, Stanton made her final appearance before members of the US Congress, and spoke on the central value of the individual. From Solitude of Self:
"The isolation of every human soul and the necessity of self-dependence must give each individual the right to choose his own surroundings. The strongest reason for giving woman all the opportunities for higher education, for the full development of her faculties, her forces of mind and body; for giving her the most enlarged freedom of thought and action; a complete emancipation from all forms of bondage, of custom, dependence, superstition; from all the crippling influences of fear--is the solitude and personal responsibility of her own individual life. The strongest reason why we ask for woman a voice in the government under which she lives; in the religion she is asked to believe; equality in social life, where she is the chief factor; a place in the trades and professions, where she may earn her bread, is because of her birthright to self-sovereignty; because, as an individual, she must rely on herself…”
Women have come a long way the last 100 years, from the time they were arrested and beaten for standing in front of Woodrow Wilson’s White House, peacefully waving flags printed with the commander-in-chief’s own words about the rights of Americans.
Still we have not seen a woman occupy the Oval Office. But I just bet Stanton is smiling right now, her hand on the pulse of every American woman’s birthright, merely wondering: Is she born yet?