Suffragettes pave way for modern feminism,the story of Harry Burn

 

During this past election, people took to Twitter and created the hashtag, #Repealthe19th. By this, the users meant they wanted the 19th Amendment, the amendment allowing women to vote, to be removed.

March is women’s month, and highlighting suffragettes should be mandatory.

For nearly 100 years, women fought for the right to vote. Not just by showing up at rallies and protests, but by actually fighting, boycotting and as a result, were abused by their husbands. For this period of time, rich white men ruled politics, and some might say they still do; however, thanks to the mother of young state representative, Harry Burn, American women were given the right to vote.

Screenshot from Twitter

Screenshot from Twitter

Red and white roses were secured to the lapels of men in Tennessee. White roses for the men who wanted to put the 19th Amendment in place and red for the ones opposed the movement.

Burn pinned his lapel with a red rose.

At this point in time, Tennessee was the deciding state on whether women would be able to vote in America or not. If the state was able to agree upon women voting, it would be the 36th state to ratify the possible amendment.

In the meeting, the vote was split evenly between legislators with Burn being the last to vote. With a red rose pinned to his shirt, it was almost inevitable which decision he would make; however, Phoebe Ensminger Burn, his mother, wrote him a letter.

According to History.com, the letter said, “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.” She ended the letter with a rousing endorsement of suffragist leader, Carrie Chapman Catt, imploring her son to “be a good boy and help Mrs. Catt put the ‘rat’ in ratification.”

Burn took that advice and voted for the 19th Amendment, causing Tennessee to become the 36th state to ratify the amendment, and eight days later the amendment was adopted by the country.

Thanks to Burn’s mother and other women like her, women have the right to vote in America. There are countless other stories about women like Phoebe Burn, some filled with violence, illegal actions and perseverance.

So for both men and women to take to Twitter wanting to #Repealthe19th is not just disrespectful, but back-tracking all of the work women of the past have accomplished for you.

This is not just an issue of sexism, but civil rights. So, before you decide what to believe, remember to “be a good boy,” or girl.