Votes for Women? Yes. But Why?

It seems an odd question to ask in our enlightened era (as if). But it’s worth asking this year, because in my country we’ve just celebrated the 100th anniversary of a woman’s right to vote, and every year on Women’s Equality Day. But more, it’s worth asking every day. Why? Because women will always be equal.

And equally responsible.

Historically, most adults married and produced children. The larger, more aggressive male provided food, protection and shelter, and the female provided the nurture, comfort and love that makes a shelter a home. So the idea of freedom became tied to the family unit. As a result, voting, even now a historically new phenomenon, was viewed as a family right. The man, the defender of the family, would represent not only himself but his entire family unit. Single men were exceptions; they could vote (call it practice), but were expected to become heads of households as soon as possible. And single women were expected to move seamlessly from their parent’s households to their own, in each case represented by the male “head” of the household. Ideally, first their father, then their husband, would be noble of character and sacrificial in putting their wives and children’s needs before their own. An honorable man would vote in such a way that his wife knew he truly represented her.

But it didn’t always–or even usually–work that way, the suffrage movement argued. Instead, men too often abused their authority. Because, as Lord Acton famously observed, “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” This painful reality was the basis for the wisely-designed “check-and-balance system” instituted by my country’s founders.

But in the home, or for unmarried women, no such check-and-balance system existed. The Bible is profoundly clear-headed about this reality: “For everyone sins and falls short of the glory of God (what they were created for), and there is no one who consistently does what’s right–no not one!” (Romans 3:23 and 3:10).

So I celebrate the equality of women (and others) today and every day. But I’m also not deluded. Yes, we all have, or ought to have, equal rights. But we have yet to learn to use those rights in the right way. We must learn to use our freedom to serve something far greater than ourselves. Only when we do…

Will we all be truly free.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Quips and Quotes. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Votes for Women? Yes. But Why?

  1. Everyone has the right, privilege, and responsibility to vote. I can’t imagine not using something that was so hard fought for.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Aidan says:

    I like the way you added “equal responsibility” there. Many seem to forget that rights and responsibility are two faces of the same coin.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Look! Up in the sky! Is it a bird? Is it a plane?
    It’s Lady Quixote, on her way to exercise her right to VOTE!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. numrhood says:

    romans 3:35 & 3:48

    Like

  5. boromax says:

    High fives!

    …and… heheh… you got auto-corrected… “Lord Action” !!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nancy Ruegg says:

    I wonder how many couples vote the same way in election after election? I’m thinking that as the decades have gone by since 1920, more and more couples make different choices from one another in the voting booths. We also have a larger population of single women now. Even though my husband and I agree for the most part on our choices, I’m still thankful I can cast my own ballot.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. JMP traveler says:

    Then there Abby Johnson talked about one household vote “This voting system would allow only the head of a household to cast a ballot. In Johnson’s opinion, that means that “in a Godly household, the husband would get the final say.” When asked how this would play out if members of a household held different political beliefs, she replied, “Then they would have to decide on one vote” and that it should be the husband’s. “Yes. So shocking! A husband and wife who are in agreement and a wife who honors her husband as the head of the home.”

    Some of the biggest opponents to giving women the right to vote where other women. I don’t want to end on a downer so I present Eannette Pickering Rankin the first woman elected to US Congress and did cast a yes to the house vote for voting. The 19th amend happened a year later after her term in Congress was over. In her own words “If I am remembered for no other act”, she said, “I want to be remembered as the only woman who ever voted to give women the right to vote.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Yes, absolutely Mitch. I cannot even imagine living in a world where I was treated as a second class citizen…I so love to read. Some cultures did not teach women to read. I often wonder what my life would have been like living in one of those cultures!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. pkadams says:

    Women need to learn how to vote correctly. Not with emotions. Study the issues, the candidates, their history, their plans. Don’t vote based on looks or promises. Please .

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Efrona Mor says:

    I see women becoming equal, but I’ve not seen it yet…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. revruss1220 says:

    Amen! I too celebrate the centennial of the 19th Amendment. In fact, I celebrated it by joining our local chapter of the League of Women Voters.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Therein lies the rub, to paraphrase Shakespeare. “Women’s issues” have become distorted. Indeed, many of them are distinctly ‘anti-woman’, but they are being brainwashed otherwise. However, with lack of middle ground and common sense, the current two-party system, whose members only seem to be promoting themselves and being outrageous, offer no real inspiration for me to align myself with either. I am very, very tired of choosing the lesser of two evils and voting against my conscience on many social/societal/economic matters to always vote for those who say that they are pro-life.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. usfman says:

    Then having equal rights should be about sharing what what we have for all who surround us.
    Government and religion to me set poor examples in how to go about doing this.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s