COLUMBUS, Ohio—Casting a ballot is seen as a basic civic duty.

  • It’s been 100 years since the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote
  • Women of color weren’t guaranteed the right to vote until the 1960s
  • The LWV held an event with two OSU professors to discuss how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go

“As one of my favorite suffragists Lucy Stone used to say— ‘bloody feet have trod smooth this path for you,’” said Professor Carol Lasser, director of feminist studies, Oberlin College.

It’s been 100 years since the United States began ratifying the 19th amendment, guaranteeing the right to vote for women.

And to commemorate, the League of Women Voters hosted a discussion with two women’s studies professors to talk about how far we’ve come—and how far we still have to go.

“We are very excited about this commemoration because we get an opportunity to talk about a complicated history we have surrounding suffrage… so, as much as we’re celebrating the 19th amendment, we’re talking about the fraught history, so hopefully we’re opening up a dialogue about the history and continued voting rights,” said Professor Treva Lindsey, women’s studies, OSU.

For OSU Professor Treva Lindsey, this commemoration is also a stark reminder that women of color weren’t guaranteed the right to vote until the 1960s.

“So, we’re talking about a hundred years since some women were allowed to vote… universal suffrage would come a couple years later with the universal Voting Rights Act, which will next year will be having its 55th anniversary, which secured the rights for black Americans… but also thinking about indigenous rights, immigrants, there are many ways in which suffrage is an ongoing process with many of this resolved just in the 20th century.” Said Lindsey.

They say that marginalization is something still felt today— and something Lasser says we need to continue to fight.

“In the 21st century, we’re seeing issues about registration, voter purges, that concern us. And we really hope that people will understand what went into this long struggle— this very long struggle in which many Americans tried to provide the right to vote,” said Lasser.

She says a good step in the right direction, is encouraging more women to run for office—to have a seat at the policy making table.