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Educate and Celebrate

The 2012 election will be here before we know it! Everyone is constantly in your face about how important voting is. Ok, we get it.  However, I think that women are not realizing how much power we have and how much our vote counts. August 26th is National Women’s Equality Day. On this day, women were given the right to vote, thanks to the trailblazing females of 1920 who rallied all over the U.S.

I voted in the 2008 election because it was something my parents told me I should do. Only within the last year did I realize the importance of voting, presidential or not.

We have all heard about the state budget cuts that Governor Corbett proposed. When I heard this I thought, great, let’s just double my student loans. Because I am not the most political person that has ever lived, I had no idea that Corbett had openly announced that if he was elected he would be cutting funding for State Universities. Many of my friends also did not realize this. Lesson learned: our votes can change things.

There are so many women-centered topics in the forefront of discussion right now of which myself, and, I learned, many other people are not aware. It is time for my generation, along with myself, to become educated on what is happening around us. So I’ve kicked off this journey with learning first about healthcare. Let me say…YAY! Healthcare has finally mandated that all business owners other than those of a religious non profit organization must include birth control in the health care plan. Women are finally getting what we deserve. We finally have control over what we do with our bodies. The upcoming election can change this though, as many people have a strong belief against this law that has passed. The majority of my girlfriends weren’t even aware of this exciting change. I am not saying you need to make watching CNN your favorite past time, but I am encouraging you to realize that there are so many heated topics happening right now that can negatively affect us as women depending on the outcome.

The women whose actions are commemorated on National Women’s Equality Day were educated, had voices, and were passionate in what they believed in. Now it is our turn. So don’t just vote, but speak out so that others realize their importance in this upcoming election. I know it sounds cheesy, but we truly can make a difference. Becoming interested and concerned in the election is new for me, as I never really cared about it before. So chances are there are a lot of other people my age who don’t care either. Tomorrow I start my first day of classes, where I will also start my ten a week project! This means I will ask ten different students on campus per week if they plan to vote and why they want to vote. Every two weeks I will compare and contrast the results as a voting blog series, leading up to the election. My in-a-perfect-world vision? I will single-handedly be able to spread the word to at least ten students a week about the importance on voting and how we can really change things if we try hard enough. Ahh, I can see it now. Ok so the road will most certainly not be that simple, but hopefully by November I will have educated and celebrated change for our future.

Kelsy McMeans, AWP Intern

P.S. Take the NWHP Women’s Equality Day Quiz and let me know how you did and what you learned in the comment section of this blog.

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