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Women’s sufferage

To the editor:

Women have been able to vote in this country for 100 years. We are half of the eligible voters, but how many of us actually vote? And has our participation, so far, made any measurable difference?

I hope all the women of the Copper Country will consider coming to see the exhibit, “Petticoat Patriots: How Michigan Women Won the Vote” on loan from the Women’s Historical Center and Hall of Fame, on Thursday evening, March 5th, at the Carnegie Museum in Houghton from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. “The March of the Women,” a song written for the British suffrage movement, sung defiantly by women who were in prison because of their activism, will be performed. Members of Friends of Fashion will be dressed in 1920’s attire, and refreshments will be served.

My favorite lines in “America the Beautiful” are “God mend thine every flaw; confirm thy soul in self-control, thy liberty in law” and “Till selfish gain no longer stain the banner of the free.” Religion has been “weaponized” throughout history, but perhaps we Copper Country women who are members of faith communities can agree that our nation needs our perspective and energy now as never before. Even though we worship and vote differently, we can share our gratitude for those who worked on our behalf 100 years ago.

You have probably noticed sunflowers appearing around town. They are the symbol of our Copper Country suffrage celebration. On August 15 there will be a parade here, and I hope there will be a large group of women from our widely varied faith communities marching behind a banner that says: “Women of Faith VOTE!”

Across history and culture, women have known the importance of cooperation to solve problems. We are used to being left behind to keep things going at home when the men go off to slay dragons or defend or expand territory. We are needed now, as in the past, to lead humanity, not by bearing arms but by linking arms.