There is a stubborn deniability on the part of white women in America, a failure to recognize that color is only skin-deep, that they are first and foremost members of the human race and that who we are as members of the human race [trumps] skin color.
The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granted American women the right to vote, a right known as women’s suffrage, and was ratified on August 18, 1920, ending almost a century of protest. In 1848 the movement for women’s rights launched on a national level with the Seneca Falls Convention organized by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott. Following the convention, the demand for the vote became a centerpiece of the women’s rights movement. Stanton and Mott, along with Susan B. Anthony and other activists raised public awareness and lobbied the government to grant voting rights to women. After a lengthy battle, these groups finally emerged victorious with the passage of the 19th Amendment.[History.com]
The fact is that as they have done to black Americans, white men were quite comfortable with preventing white women from voting,. White men believed that they and they alone were smart and responsible enough to elect leaders through the ballot box. In fact, they were basically the only candidates for elected office with the exception of a few cases.
During America’s early history, women were denied some of the basic rights enjoyed by male citizens. For example, married women couldn’t own property and had no legal claim to any money they might earn, and no female had the right to vote. Women were expected to focus on housework and motherhood, not politics.
Hillary Clinton’s early decision not to follow traditional first lady roles in the state of Arkansas may have forever ruined the way she is perceived.
The undeniable truth is that white men were quite comfortable in denying their own white women the right to vote, own property, and even to have autonomy over their own financial resources.
They were, and in many regards are still comfortable with having babies with their women while denying them the right to make decisions over their own reproductive rights.
Thanks to the struggles of progressive women like those aforementioned and other unsung heroines and heroes, women have had some autonomy to make decisions on their own.
Nevertheless, today some of the same challenges women faced pre-August 18, 1920, are still in play.. It is inconceivable that in 2018 women would still be at risk of losing the right to make decisions as it relates to their own bodies.
Yet the looming confirmation battle of potential Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh poses exactly those same risks and far worse, not just for all women including white women but also for all people of color.
The shocking truth is that white women have benefitted from the struggles of progressives outside of the narrow confines of reproductive rights. The civil rights won battles which allow them the right to vote, own property and handle their own money did not come without major fights.
The sad reality is that though white women have largely benefitted from the sacrifices of others and may arguably be said to be a protected class in America, they are reluctant to speak out in defense of the rights of others who still struggle to be afforded their rights.
To the contrary, white women of varying class have demonstrably taken a decided stance against protecting the rights of those less protected and have themselves engaged in systemic oppression and support of oppressive and discriminatory practices against others.
That kind of behavior is reprehensible and must be seen for what it is,, a clear and unequivocal attempt to kick away the ladder and side with the very same forces which once had them in subjugation.
It is reprehensible and shameful but most of all it is ignorant.