There once was a woman named Lucy Stone. She grew up in Massachusetts with eight brothers and sisters. I’d like to believe living in a house with so many kids taught her that women and men are equals.
Her parents took on abolition.
Lucy was smart, driven, and a rebel in her own right.
At 16 years old, she went against her parents wishes. Did she run off and get married?
Did she hide behind the shed and smoke a little weed?
So it wasn’t sex, it wasn’t drugs, and rock and roll wasn’t around just yet. Then exactly how did Miss Lucy rebel?
She started college. She pursued an education. In fact, she was the first woman in Massachusetts to earn a college degree.
She was an amazing orator. She could stand in front of any crowd and take on any hecklers. Lucy wasn’t easily deterred. She gave her passionate speeches even when men threw rotten vegetables and books at her.
She fought her entire life alongside women like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. She was content to let others soak up the spotlight while she carried forth the mission. Lucy held the first National Women’s Rights Convention. And she didn’t wear a vagina hat on her head.
She raised a fierce daughter who carried on her work for women’s suffrage. While raising her baby girl, she quit traveling so much and decided to create a newspaper called The Women’s Journal. It stayed in print for many years, covering women’s issues and promoting our rights. Eventually, the publication played a huge role in the 19th Amendment.
Sadly, Lucy died 30 years before the first woman cast her vote. But I still love her, and so should you.
While our daughters don’t know their voice was once silenced, Lucy’s daughter carried a torch that demanded women be valued.
As a political writer, I spend a good part of my day looking at the left of this and the right of that. I see women trying to bust glass ceilings while other women resign themselves to the casting couch.
I see young women who don’t cherish their right to vote, or even understand the fought that secured it.
But today, I have a ballot. It is mine. I can choose red, or I can choose blue, and no one can tell me not to. They can curse me on Facebook and snub me in Walmart, but in that booth, the say belongs to me alone.
Today, let’s try not to crucify one another for beliefs that don’t easily align. Instead, let’s see the victory that is already apparent.
More votes were cast in early voting than in many previous elections all together. Which means we’re willing to fight. And it’s good to know we still have some fighters among us. We’re willing to stand up and do what we believe is right.
All we have to do is stop fighting each other and start fighting for the greater good.
Maybe you take a knee, maybe you don’t. Maybe you wave that flag as high as you can, and maybe you won’t. Either way, you’re blessed to be in a place where those are the choices we’re all free to make.
As for me, I say my prayers and I pay my respects to those who paved my way. And today, those respects are for Lucy Stone, and the sisters who fought alongside her.
Thank you for amplifying my voice long before I ever came into this world. I’ll be sure to cast my ballot. And no matter who I pick, I know you’ll be there cheering me on because I care about the fight that once brewed inside of you.