Girl Power Rules
On this day in 1981 the Senate confirmed Sandra Day O’Connor as the first woman justice of the Supreme Court. No longer would the judicial branch of our government be composed solely of “nine old men.”
Many of us take our right to vote for granted, but women only obtained this right a mere 96 years ago, even though 144 years earlier Abigail Adams urged her husband John to “remember the ladies.” In a letter dated March 31, 1776 she wrote, “I long to hear that you have declared an independency. And, by the way, in the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.”
John may have agreed with his wife, but too many other Founding Fathers didn’t consider women equals. Hence, we have a Declaration of Independence that states, “All men are created equal.” Men. Not people. And thus, women had to "foment a rebellion" to gain the right to vote, though it certainly didn't happen in Abigail's lifetime. We women had to wait until the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution to gain the right to vote for those who represent us, a write bestowed on men back in 1776.
Imagine how differently history might have unfolded had Abigail prevailed. We’ve come a long way, putting many cracks in that glass ceiling since then, but we haven’t yet shattered that glass ceiling. Maybe soon...