October 11, 2011

Let's Hear It for the Gals!

"Because man and woman are the complement of one another, we need woman's thought in national affairs to make a safe and stable government." Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Here in California, we're celebrating the 100th anniversary of women getting the right to vote and I want to give a huge shout out to those brave souls who risked arrest and public censure to give women a voice.

It's easy to forget that so much of what we take for granted today is the direct result of struggles in years past. Consider, in particular, the freedom women writers enjoy. Our words appear in forums big and small, not just specialized publications. We're free to share opinions (political or not), give advice, entertain, critique, teach, persuade, provoke. Quite a difference from the corseted era, yes?

So when you sit down to type your next blog post, take a moment to thank those who paved the way for you to speak out. I think the suffragists would be pleased to see the communities we've created online and off.


  1. Great post, Kathryn. It's easy to forget the freedoms we take for granted today were hard-fought and hard-won. Often we don't realize what we have until we lose it. We must make sure that never happens.

  2. VR: That's why I'm heartened by the Wall St. protests. Change usually starts with people who are tired of the status quo.

  3. I sometimes think if I were in others' shoes from different eras or in different circumstances, would I rise to the challenges being faced? Would I do my gender, my people, my self proud?

  4. Stephanie: I think you can only look at what's going on in your own era and decide if you want to be involved. I've marched and volunteered for causes in years past, but these days I'm basically a petition signer. This anniversary really got me itching to do something more and reignited my desire to write a children's/middle grade/young adult historical fiction series featuring famous as well as lesser-known western women.

  5. So true!! I hope those people who have suffered to give up opportunities would be proud of what we are doing with those freedoms.

  6. Heidi: Me, too. I wish their struggles were covered more in history classes.


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