EmBe CEO Column: November 2022

Get out and Vote

In case you weren’t aware…. In case you haven’t noticed, there is an election happening. If you’re like me, you may be fatigued by the political advertisements, solicitations, and some of the ‘dirty politics’ that accompany each election. Perhaps that’s why the right to vote, suffrage, sounds so much like suffer. We “suffer” through the political season to finally get to lift our voices through the right to vote.

The reality is, the word suffrage comes from Latin suffragium, which initially meant “a voting tablet” or a “ballot” or a “vote”… ultimately becoming, the right to vote. The campaign for women’s suffrage, or the ability to vote, began over 200 years ago. However, it would take another 100 years for this to become a reality. The Women’s Suffrage movement began with the argument that women and men were “created equal” and therefore, women and men deserved the same rights and responsibilities as men. It wasn’t until the 1890s that the suffragist activists changed their argument and gained traction towards the right for women to vote because they were DIFFERENT from men. More specifically, women’s differences became a political virtue and their differences and voices allowed for a more “maternal commonwealth.”

We sometimes get this political thing wrong. Ok… we have often gotten this political conversation wrong. I admittedly have hoped that my spouse forgets to vote so that his vote does not cancel out my vote on issues or individuals that we stand on opposing sides. However, it’s the dissention and differences that make our political system valuable and robust. It’s our differences that make our voices important and necessary. On Tuesday, November 8, I ask that you join me in honoring all who came before us and all that will come after us, by casting your ballot. This is a right that was not always extended equally to all and it is our right and responsibility to assert each of our voices through this process.

“I raise up my voice – not so that I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard.” – Malala Yousafzai

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