Happy birthday, Susan B. Anthony, and thank you.
Sometimes I have to remind myself that I'm a woman. Not that I forget my biology, but rather the fact that if I had been born 50 years ago, the freedoms I enjoy today would have been far from reach. As a woman of the 21st century, I can get any degree I want and my voice matters to my elected officials. I can support myself and I can choose to marry or take a partner's name if I want to.
And yet, the fight for equality is far from over. There are still too many Lilly Ledbetters out there, and certain sectors remain impenetrable to women. Susan B. Anthony's birthday today is an opportunity to commemorate one of the fiercest advocates for women's rights, and reflect on how far we've come, how much more there's left to do, and how much--with President Obama's help--we're on track to accomplishing.
Born in 1820, Anthony took up the cause of suffrage when women still could not own property. She traveled throughout the country, collecting thousands of signatures in support of women's right to vote, only to be ridiculed by Congress and the public. Here I am, a century later, and not only is my vote essential, but my candidate is depending on me.
I owe just as much to those who continued the fight beyond suffrage. My grandmother, also a renegade, married a South Asian man in the 1930s and named my mother after Ms. Anthony. After her husband's untimely death, my grandmother raised her children as a single working woman, an unconventional act in those days. During the 1960's, she lived and worked at the National Women's Party headquarters and lobbied Congress for equal protection of women’s rights under the law. The proposed amendment was never passed, but is the courage of women like my grandmother that built a world where I know I can accomplish just as much as any man. These powerful women remind me to be grateful and inspire me to take responsibility for my world. Have courage! Have hope! Make change.
This is why I am fighting for President Obama. This year, I will honor Susan B. Anthony, my grandmother, and all who have stood up for my benefit by exercising my right to vote. I hope all women will join me in supporting, volunteering for, and voting for President Barack Obama