I am a lover of History. I love history so much that I could talk about it for hours, or read for days on the subject. However, I found that my women studies in the US was a bit lacking. Sure I was inspired by the Suffragettes to get out there and face many hardships just to be able to cast that vote and be heard.
However, that was merely a small moment for US women. Who I find to be absolutely lucky in their quest for equality, and I mean that. The more I learn about my French background it makes me even prouder to be a woman and to be alive during this time.
When the 19th Amendment was put into place it was it as August 20, 1920. When the women of France were able to vote, that was 1945. Even I, a bit older than the crowd voting for the first time, feel as though 1920 was so long ago it is merely a faded memory. But the year 1945, that was only 75 years ago. 75 years!
Since then France has been forward thinking in making sure that women were represented in government. One way they did so was passing a law in 2000 requiring that political parties present an equal number of men and women on voting lists. France was the first country to do so.
Learning about this has made voting that much more important to me both as an American and as a French citizen. I have always known how important it is to vote. In fact I remember the first time I did vote, I was so excited to be voting in a presidential election. I was also nervous, I didn’t want to get it wrong. So prior to voting I tuned out the noise and did my own research.
Many many years later I voted for the first time in a French election. The process was different but none the less nerve-racking. France had sent me tons and tons of information on the political parties running. I was able to do some research but the actual voting process was daunting. I just didn’t know how different voting in a French election would be compared to American elections. Once there, in the room, I was greeted with kind smiles and encouragement. Once I was passed the check-in area I was not allowed to talk about what I was voting on. Behind the curtain, I made the choice and then started feeling empowered.
This moment, or the moment at that time, was the moment that my grandmother(who never voted) and my mother(who finally voted after becoming a US citizen in 1997) and women in France just like them had waited for.
I honestly do not care who you vote for, as long as you make an informed decision, I only care that you vote. People from the past worked hard to make sure that we could vote today. And the past STILL matters, without it we have no idea where we came from or how far we have come.
So man or woman register to vote.