In a world where standing up for yourself is more acceptable than before, what does self-advocacy mean today? Why does self-advocacy matter in the election of 2020?
It means using your voice and stand up for what you believe is right and what matters to you. (link my definition of it)
With black lives matters, women, and LGBTQ rights, it may be hard for you to see the importance of being assertive.
A little History
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Through the 19th amendment in 1920, women gained the right to vote. Men did not wake up one day and decide, ‘oh, we should give women voting rights.’ It took countless women, known as suffragettes, protesting nearly one century for us to have these rights.
“Between 1878, when the amendment was first introduced in Congress, and August 18, 1920, when it was ratified, champions of voting rights for women worked tirelessly, but strategies for achieving their goal varied”https://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=false&doc=63
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“The woman suffrage movement actually began in 1848, when a women’s rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, New York. The Seneca Falls meeting was not the first in support of women’s rights, but suffragists later viewed it as the meeting that launched the suffrage movement.
For the next 50 years, woman suffrage supporters worked to educate the public about the validity of woman suffrage. Under the leadership of Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and other women’s rights pioneers, suffragists circulated petitions and lobbied Congress to pass a constitutional amendment to enfranchise women.”https://www.womenshistory.org/resources/general/woman-suffrage-movement
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“In 1920, due to the combined efforts of the NAWSA and the NWP, the 19th amendment, enfranchising women, was finally ratified. This victory is considered the most significant achievement of women in the Progressive Era.
It was the single largest extension of democratic voting rights in our nation’s history, and it was achieved peacefully, through democratic processes.”https://www.womenshistory.org/resources/general/woman-suffrage-movement
It took visionary women 70+ years to get their rights as voters. Both the founders had passed away before 1920. It took two to three generations of women for the movement to becoming victorious.
The Civil War ended in 1865, which freed all slaves in America. Yet, in the 1960s, the Civil rights movement started to become a strong voice of the black people. Due to slavery like treatments/conditions of the black people.
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At the end of the Civil War, on paper, black people could also vote. Yet, many things were in the way of blacks voting. One such law was the BLACK CODES. Passes, but the southern states, it made it all but impossible for a black person to vote.
It took a lot of work by those like Martin Luther King, Jr. to help end Jim Crow/separate law but equal back in 1964.
“Before passage of the Voting Rights Act, an estimated 23 percent of eligible Black voters were registered nationwide; by 1969 that number rose to 61 percent.”
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History.com goes on to say, “In 2012, turnout of Black voters exceeded that of white voters for the first time in history, as 66.6 percent of eligible Black voters turned out to help reelect Barack Obama, the nation’s first African American president.” https://www.history.com/news/african-american-voting-right-15th-amendment
Civil Rights did not end all inequality, as the women’s right to vote did not end sexism. But, THE movements made great strides. Which led to the world we now live in.
Through self-advocacy, we used our voices in the 2012 Elections. Blacks and women made it happen. We voted for Obama and gave him another term in office. A term that brought about the Affordable Care Act, which saved countless lives.
In June 2020, the LGBTQ had a significant win! One that should not be necessary, if equality for all existed in America. The supreme court made a surprising decision. Who would have thought that in 2020 a law, so you cannot be fired for your sexual orientation, needed to be in place?
“Five years after the US Supreme Court declared a fundamental right for same-sex couples to marry, the justices produced another landmark for the gay rights movement by ruling that federal anti-bias law covers millions of gay, lesbian and transgender workers.” https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/15/politics/supreme-court-expanding-gay-rights/index.html
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The LGBTQ fight has been a long and hard one. “Beginning in the 16th century, lawmakers in Britain began to categorize homosexual behaviour as criminal rather than simply immoral. In the 1530s, during the reign of Henry VIII, England passed the Buggery Act, which made sexual relations between men a criminal offense punishable by death. In Britain sodomy remained a capital offense punishable by hanging until 1861. Two decades later, in 1885, Parliament passed an amendment sponsored by Henry Du Pré Labouchere, which created the offense of “gross indecency” for same-sex male sexual relations, enabling any form of sexual behaviour between men to be prosecuted.” https://www.britannica.com/topic/gay-rights-movement
For LGBTQ’s to move even one more step closer to equality, is a win for the human race. It is a fight that we should be more understanding. Bigotry of any kind is as good as racism. And racism, most of us can agree, must come to an END, ASAP.
Growing up in a conservative religion, I admit that I was one of those bigots. I did not think it was morally right to be gay. As I grew up, I came to understand more about Jesus Christ’s teachings.
I came to understand and accept my heritage as a great-great-granddaughter of Haitian slaves. I realized that the anti-gay mentality is 100% against Christianity. Homophobia like racism is a form of bigotry that we must end.
Look, I am not saying that you should go out there to become bi or gay for fun. I am saying I recognize that being bi or gay is not a choice.
I am saying that if you are bi or gay, I stand with you. There is no difference between women’s right to choose, black lives matter, and standing up for the LGBTQ community. Inequality for one means inequality for all.
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Our World Today
In today’s world, blacks and LGBTQ’s around the world are still working on THE movement. One that we should not have to talk about, in the 21st century, equality.
But here we are! George Floyd’s brutal murder caused massive waves of outrage throughout the world. Because of his dealth, the inequality movement has reached a new level. The strongest yet and perhaps, finally, a turning point.
We are in a war, and though the battle for inequality has moved closer to an end, it is still raging. It will take many more battles for the war to end.
In a world where we CAN advocate for ourselves, and for others who are unable to do it for themselves, I ask you, how are you going to use your rights?
Conclusion: Time for Action
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In the 2020 Elections, you cannot sit and let this play out. You cannot be a bystander. It’s time for us as women, of all walks of life, to stand for the end of all inequality toward every human being.
You need to make your voice heard. There is power in self-advocacy, real power. Use your power to speak for your needs and help those who are also in need.
We need leaders to stand for what we believe; we need laws changed to make life equal for all. Please do something about it, stop hoping for a change.
Self-Advocacy is essential, it does not merely stop at letting a friend know they are walking all over you. It continues to every aspect of your life. Please stand up for what you believe in; do not wait for others to stand up and do it for you.
How have you used your superpower of being an advocate for yourself lately? Let me know in the comments below!
What you should do next:
- Please answer my question above.
- Decide today that you will vote this November.
- Sign up for an absentee ballot through your state, so Covid19 does not keep you your fulfilling your right to vote.
- GET your FREE Social Media Sticker, then share it to motivate others to vote as well.
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