I am so honored to be standing here before you today. It means the world to me to be in a room with so many beautiful ladies who are ready to make a change. Looking back over the years, we’ve seen how men have dominated just about every aspect of our lives. They tell us we should stay at home and take care of the house and kids. Initially, when we were granted permission to work, it was only temporary while they were at war. Even then, they dictated to us how much we were to get paid and when our “temporary” assignment was over. Now that we have the right to work, they still tell us how much we should get paid. Don’t you think it’s time to make our voices heard?
You may be wondering how do we do that? We do that by pushing for our right to vote. Each of us in this room tonight have opinions about something that is going on in the world today. Whether it be labor laws, joining the military, or birth control, we have the right to have a say in the matter, especially if it concerns us. Are we going to continue to allow men to dictate the issues of our heart? Are we just going to lay down and let them make all the decisions regardless of how they affect our lives? No we won’t!
You know, there’s this argument that women are unsullied by the corruption of political parties and it has been a common one during the suffrage battle and that is way many women have had reservations about working within an established party system (Dubois, 2012). We have to show them that we are not afraid or have any reservations working with a party system. We have the right to be heard and taken seriously. Let’s remember what Ruth Hanna McCormick told the men in her home state of Illinois: “This is our country no less than yours, gentlemen.” (The Women’s Rights Movement, n.d.).
We are more than just a pretty face; we are strong women. Do you not realize how powerful you? It’s time for us to call their bluff. We have found the source of our power and it’s our voice. This world wants to oppress us, create boundaries and tell us that we can’t come together and that we are inferior. Is that how you view yourself? I know I don’t and I consider my presence, your presence here tonight as strength. We must come together to persuade the Government for our right to vote, to voice our concerns, and to be heard.
Together, we can move mountains and anyone that gets in our way of our equal rights. We are here to get each other through to our greatness by carrying one another on our backs. Take this opportunity and allow this journey to motivate the next generation to hold on to what we’ve left behind for them to carry on. Help them see their greatness and that they may very well be the next Ruth Hanna McCormick, Edna Kenton, and other strong women fighting for our rights. Let them know that there is something in them that the world is waiting to see. The time to act is now. Our success will be greater than our failures. We are here and ready to determine our own destiny. Our time to remain silent has expired. Now who is with me?
Dubois, E. C. & Dumenil, L. (2012). Through Women’s Eyes:An American History with Documents (Third edition). Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martins.
The Women’s Rights Movement, 1848–1920 | US House of Representatives: History, Art & Archives. (n.d.). Retrieved March 04, 2018, from http://history.house.gov/Exhibitions-and-Publications/WIC/Historical-Essays/No-Lady/Womens-Rights/