Friday, November 20, 2009

A Mid-day March for Women's Right to Vote

One hundred years ago today, a group of women met on what is now the VCU campus to form the Equal Suffrage League of Virginia (later the League of Women Voters of VA). To honor that first step towards fuller rights for my fair sex, I participated in the Votes for Women Suffrage March just now.

It was wonderfully retro, with women especially in vintage clothes and hats, many wearing sashes proclaiming "Votes for Women" and with the Antonia Accordion Suffrage Orchestra leading the way. We wore buttons commemorating the occasion and carried signs and placards proclaiming the goal of the E.S.L. as we marched to 919 W. Franklin Street, the house where Anne Clay Crenshaw and other Virginia women met to strategize how best to go about obtaining the vote for half the population.

There were remarks by Panny Rhodes and Monica Rao before the dedication and official naming of 919 W. Franklin as The Crenshaw House. The women in the audience found much to laugh and cheer about during the event as we acknowledged how far we've come in terms of equal rights over the past century. But we were doing it wearing pants and short skirts and shorts, only one indication of the seismic changes women's roles have undergone since that significant gathering on Franklin Street back on November 20, 1909. Never underestimate the female of the species.

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