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Hullabaloo


Friday, July 29, 2016

 
It just wasn't that long ago...

by digby

... that women were literally second class citizens.













Retiring Senator Barbara Mikulski was celebrated at the DNC as the first Democratic woman to become a US Senator in her own right. She wasn't young when she won the seat. She was already 51. (Republican Margaret Chase Smith had been elected in her own right back in the 1950s when Northeast republicans were the country's leading liberals.)

Only fifteen women had ever served in the Senate before Mikulski got there, almost all of them appointed or serving in their late husband's seats. There have only been 30 in the years after she arrived.

Mikulski was first elected in 1987, only 29 years ago. That is not ancient history.

And then there's this:

[T]here are no fewer than 400,000 women in the United States [who were born before women got the right to vote.). In the Census Bureau's 2015 estimates, some 428,000 women were born in 1920 or earlier. The 19th Amendment was ratified in August 1920. Of course we've lost some of those women who were alive in 2015, but there are still hundreds of thousands — more than 1 out of every 1,000 people in the country — who predate suffrage and can vote for Clinton.
My own mother was born before women could vote. (Black women who lived in the south, like black men, did not get the unequivocal right to vote until even later, of course.) She didn't live to see this day but I'm sure she would be pleased. She was a very smart women and women of her age suffered many insults to their intelligence and were often infantilized throughout their adult lives. As a divorced woman in the 1950s she suffered many indignities, including having to get her father to co-sign for a checking account when she was in her 30s.


Here's one of the 400,000. 102-year-old honorary Arizona delegate Geraldine "Jerry" Johnson Emmett gained attention July 26 for her enthusiastic announcement of her state's support of Hillary Clinton:



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