Op/Ed By Julianne Malveaux
(TriceEdneyWire.com) – With a woman heading the ticket of the Democratic Party, it may be challenging for us to remember – that women have had the right to vote for less than a century (and Black folks less that). But the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote was certified on August 26, 1920, just 96 years ago. At Congresswoman Bella Abzug’s (D-NY) insistence Congress designated August 26 as Women’s Equality Day in 1971. The first part of the joint resolution of Congress reads, “Whereas the women of the United States have been treated as second class citizens and have not been entitled to the full rights and privileges, public or private, legal or intentional, which are available to male citizens”. Reading the words reminds me how far women have come, how far we still have to go, and how little the status of women of color is included when we speak of the status of women.
How far have we come? Few would have predicted that an African American would win an election and effectively lead the united states for eight years, few would have predicted that a women would have more than a fighting chance of winning the United States presidency. And yet the very campaign that signals progress is also one that illustrates how much more work needs to be done before women’s equality is attained. Too much of the rhetoric around Secretary Clinton’s candidacy is downright sexist. She should be judged by her positions and there should be absolutely no talk about her looks, hairstyle, attire, or tone of voice. No man could stand the kind of scrutiny that she has had to endure. No man has ever been subject to such scrutiny.