' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Why voting for Hillary today is so emotional

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Why voting for Hillary today is so emotional

Lorraine voting this morning for
First Mother Forum could not have taken a stand in this election, but we both strongly believe in women's rights, and a woman's right to chose, and we haven't been nonpartisan up to now. So there's no point pretending we are not rooting for Hillary to win tonight. That's me on the left at my polling place this morning, taken by my Hillary-supporting husband, Tony. Jane voted early in Oregon a week ago.

I wore white in remembrance of the suffragettes who wore white as they campaigned for the right of women to vote in the early 20th century. They were arrested and jailed, tube fed when they went on a hunger strike, spit at and lost jobs in their journey to the vote. We finally won the vote in August 18, 1920 when the youngest member of the Tennessee legislature, Harry Burn, 22, who had made his intention to vote Nay, changed his mind and voted Aye. This made Tennessee the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment, thus meeting the constitutional requirement of having three-quarters (of 48 states) pass the amendment.

The day after, he spoke to the Tennessee legislature and said that his mother had written him a letter and told them he changed his vote because his mother asked him to and that she had always taught him that "a good boy always does what his mother asks him to do." Here's what his mother Mrs. J. L. Burn (Febb Ensminger) wrote:
"Dear Son:
Hurrah and vote for suffrage! Don't keep them in doubt! I notice some of the speeches against. They were bitter. I have been watching to see how you stood, but have not noticed anything yet. Don't forget to be a good boy and help Mrs. Catt [a leader of the movement] put the "rat" in ratification. Your mother."
Considering the lengthy fight women have had just to have the right to vote, considering all the garbage hurled at Hillary since the 1980s, and the fight that we continue today to change how people think about adoption and the slurs that has been hurled at me in days past, casting a vote for Hillary-- the first woman to be nominated by a major party--was emotional for me this morning. Though you can't see it in the photo, I had a tear in my eye when Tony shot it. Adoption change has already begun, and more is sure to follow, perhaps with the help of her appointments to the Supreme Court. Our work is far from done.

But today I urge others to take part in this historic event and vote for the woman who will protect women's rights, including the right to choose; the environment; will make America welcoming to people of all faiths and backgrounds, allow people to marry the partner of their choosing, sane gun control, and come up with a reasonable plan for immigrants--HILLARY. And if you believe in these things, vote down ticket for Democrats too.--lorraine 


  1. I voted by mail a couple of weeks ago, but I am wearing white today in honor of the women who took the blows and the vilification so that we could see this day happen. Wonderful blog, Lorraine. (Robin Westbrook)

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  3. Great blog post Lorraine. And thanks for providing the content of Harry Burn's mother's note to him. We watched "Iron Jawed Angels" in my Women & Gender Studies class earlier this semester and were wondering what, exactly, she had said. I will share this with my students.
    I'm glad to say I voted for Hillary on Sunday when I mailed in my ballot. To celebrate the ability to do that, I wore a pantsuit today. And interestingly enough, I was scheduled to teach a workshop on diversity through our SafeZone program. So I spent the afternoon immersed in the topic of sensitizing ourselves to the identities of others. Such a fitting activity to be doing on this historic election day.

  4. I, too, felt emotional seeing a woman's name at the top of my ballot. I think the historical significance was not as pronounced as it might have been at the convention in July because Bernie Sanders didn't immediately concede.

    One of the most moving things I have seen from this whole election is the many women putting "I Voted" stickers on Susan B. Anthony's grave in New York.

    I hope people will also take a moment to remember Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone, Sojourner Truth, and all the other brave women and men who fought so hard to bring us to this day. The Suffragettes were focused on getting the vote. It was probably beyond their imaginations to even fathom a woman being president.

    I remember having a conversation with my a-sister when I was a teen and we both agreed that we would never see a woman president in our lifetimes. Hopefully, in a few hours, we will be proven wrong.

    Update: No, we were not wrong. A woman cannot be President of the Not-United States of America.



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