I haven’t posted much on social media this political season for a few specific reasons (like avoiding knock down drag out political fights with strangers on Facebook). But I feel like today it’s important to share something that’s been on my heart.
When I was in college, I took Political Science 400 level classes to advance my special field for my degree. Part of my journey led me to volunteer as an intern. As a newly appointed intern, one of the first things I was shown was a “NO CALL list” of female voters whom we could NOT contact to discuss policy or support for votes.
The reason may surprise you.
I was told by my supervisor that it was because these women had specifically asked our party not to call their homes due to the fact they’ve told their spouses that they voted for the same party the spouse supported — to avoid verbal or physical abuse.
So calling to discuss a different political agenda would, in a sense, out them and cause upheaval. Let that sink in.
Naturally, I was stunned. I grew up in a household where I was not told what to think, what to wear, or for whom I should vote. I thank God for my independence and the gift that is my family. Because I’ve celebrated a full life thinking outside the box! If my family and I disagreed on something, we were able to talk about it, make our factual stances, and listen to one another — because that is the beauty of real debate.
Naively, I then asked if this is the same situation for other parties. Are women really hiding their mailed ballots? How is this even possible?
Yes. Of course this happens in all parties. It’s tragic on so many levels. I’m not trying to specifically target one party over the other here. I simply hope to promote awareness that this does happen in our day and age. Still. And I find it terribly sad.
It’s devastating to me that many women are (to remain) silent.
Why am I talking about this? In the last two years I’ve seen plenty of my female friends say on Facebook that they don’t know who to pick — so they won’t vote at all. Some have said that they’re not voting because they are trying to stick it to the Government. Others claim to have forgotten about voting, and now it’s too late. Still others state they’re too busy to read policy and make a decision, so they’re going to flip a coin. It breaks my heart. I’m not here to tell you who should get your vote. I never would. I have no right to do so, and I honor differences in all the people I know. ALL OF THEM. We should all respect each other even more now than ever.
BUT YOUR VOICE MATTERS. YOUR VOTE MATTERS. To you, to me, to our children, and to our country. I’m here to only encourage you to cast a vote and make your voice heard for all the women who can’t — and for the women who came before us who fought tooth and nail. Those women were abused, jailed, and beaten to give you and me the right to vote equally with men. In the last General Election, I voted holding my daughter, and I cried. I felt empowered! I felt alive! I am instrumental to creating change for others just like my little one.
I can think of a hundred other amazingly radical ways you can “fight the power” and stick it to the government — or direct you to understand all the candidates factual policy so you don’t have any more excuses, but I also understand it’s also your right NOT to vote.
But please. Just consider that “NO CALL” list of women when you make that decision not to vote. Empower yourself! Rock your vote. There is still time! Stand behind policy you believe in. Please do not relinquish your right.
Let your VOTE be your VOICE. That’s how you can truly feel powerful today and celebrate a personal victory in this historical political season of your life.