Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day, everyone!

Most of us are enjoying a day off and cramming our faces full of watermelon today.  You might have seen a parade and you might be watching fireworks tonight. 

I have a question for you.  Are you registered to vote?

All United States Citizens that are able should exercise their right (and duty!) to vote, whether they are a man or a woman.

It’s important that we all empower and educate ourselves, exercise our right to vote, and encourage each other to do the same. 

Women have only had the right to vote in the United States since 1920. That means your great grandmother or your great-great grandmother probably wasn’t allowed to vote. Their generation fought to be treated as equals.  Every generation of women since then has continued that fight: from the right to birth control and reproductive choices in the 60’s to the right for equal pay and equal opportunities in the 80’s.  These fights are not over, and now it’s up to our generation to continue what they started.

Lately, the news is full of stories and by now, even if you’re not politically involved, you’ve probably heard about the “War on Women.”  Women’s rights to defense against rape, adequate medical care and even our right to employment are all being challenged, yet the loudest voices in the media seem to focus on the topic of abortion.  It doesn’t matter what you personally believe about abortion – emotionally charged words and issues like this are used to intimidate women, in order to discourage them from voting at all.

I’m making a careful effort to keep my personal beliefs out of this post.  What I believe is not important.

It’s not important what you believe, either.  It’s not important if you are “liberal” or “conservative.” It’s not important how old you are, how much money you have, what color your skin is or how many children you have.  It’s not important whether you’re single or married, gay or straight.

It is important that you vote. If you’re at least 18 and you’re not already registered, do it today.  You can even register online.

It is important that you educate yourself.  Read and subscribe to blogs that talk about the issues that are important to you.

It is important that you evaluate credibility. Check facts. (I like politifact.com)

Your vote is important.  You are important.

Happy Independence Day, everyone!

(Suffrage Photos via Time.)
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