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12 February 2007 @ 12:01 am
[Day 12] Voting  


Last year, rageprufrock wrote about women like the burst-open lips of figs, about how women have worn their history as odalisks and sacrifices and mothers and daughters and victims like jewelry -- she wrote about how despite all of this, we sometimes forget how far we have come, and more importantly how far we have yet to go.

It's 2007 and the third most powerful person in American politics, second in line to take over the presidency, is a woman: Nancy Pelosi -- but half of the coverage she earned after her first State of the Union was about the color and cut of her clothes. Hilary Clinton is a two-term senator of New York and former first lady bracing to run for the Office of the Presidency in 2008 -- and yet people are preoccupied by her gender, by how pretty she might be and how she does her hair, whether or not she got plastic surgery. Women are still being raped and killed in Darfur; the Chinese countryside still has families practicing infanticide despite the country's rapidly skewing sex ratios. Girls are still giving themselves eating disorders comparing themselves to impossible standards of beauty, still acting less intelligent than they really are -- to be non-threatening, to be liked. One in three women will still experience sexual assault in her lifetime. So much has changed and so much has stayed the same.

It's 2007 and women are still odalisks and sacrifices and mothers and daughters and victims -- and we owe ourselves and all other women more than that, we owe ourselves better. We can do more.

V can stand for vagina, like Eve Ensler's groundbreaking monologues. V can stand for violence, under whose auspices all women continue to make a home.

V can also stand for victory.




Voting

Women were given the right to vote in the United States in 1920. However, millions of women with the right to vote choose not to use it, never register vote, and if they are registered, never go to the polls.

We are the gender with little voice in our own government. Only 16% of governors are women, and we constitute 15.7% of Congress. We've never had a woman in our government's highest office.

However, organizations such as EMILY'S List, a grassroots political network that's dedicated to electing pro-choice, liberal women to local, state, and federal office, remind women of the importance of voting and of having female representatives in government.

Polls have shown that women tend to be more liberal and vote on and care about different issues than men, and EMILY's list is helping women get into positions so our voices can be heard.
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