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Susan B. Anthony vs. Donald Trump

“Oh, if I could but live another century and see the fruition of all the work for women! There is so much yet to be done.”

-Susan B. Anthony

On this “Super Tuesday Part II” during Women’s History Month, I can’t help but reflect on the history of women’s suffrage.

March 13th marked the 100th anniversary of Susan B. Anthony’s death. She fought for women’s right to vote until her death in 1906—just 14 years before the 19th Amendment was ratified, guaranteeing suffrage to women. Anthony still voted during her lifetime. Once. It just wasn’t legal. She cast her ballot during the 1872 presidential election and was arrested and jailed for her “offense”.

Friend and adviser, Henry Rogers Selden paid her bail. Selden, a judge, had advised Anthony that the language in the 14th Amendment suggested women had already been granted the right to vote: “all persons born and naturalized in the United States...are citizens of the United States,” and as citizens are entitled to the “privileges” of citizens of the United States.

Unfortunately, Selden and Anthony’s interpretation of The Constitution didn’t prevent her arrest. Four months later, Susan B. Anthony stood trial, an ordeal which was a gross miscarriage of justice. The judge refused to poll the jury, and instead enforced his personal decision: Anthony was found guilty and fined $100.

This year I voted in a primary. I will vote in the general election. I will not go to jail. And I am grateful.

What is disturbing to me is how many people, men and women, don’t exercise their right to vote. This year, of all years, there is too much at stake to sit on the sidelines. The issues on the table affect all of us, but I would like to point out one particular candidate who, had he been alive in the 1870s, might have aligned himself with the judge who found Anthony guilty.

Donald Trump is a callous bigot and womanizer. While his main supporters are uneducated men, in national polls Trump’s message doesn’t fare well among female voters. No surprise there—women have often been the target of his ignorant rhetoric.

The advertisement below features women quoting Donald Trump’s views on women over the years. His vitriol is enough to turn anyone’s stomach regardless of gender.

We are far from 1872 my friends. And since more women than men have voted in the past two presidential elections (almost 10 million more), there’s hope that the “gentler” sex will once again turn out in droves, exercise their constitutional right and shut down Trump’s momentum.

We’ve come a long way baby. Thank you Susan B. Anthony.

For 10 “Stupidest Quotes from Donald Trump about Women” visit Candy Kirby’s site.

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