The American 19th Amendment

Suffragette authors of what should have been the 16th, but became the 19th, Amendment: Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Yesterday was the 93rd anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution. It is universally, but incorrectly, believed to ‘give’ women the right to vote.

Anything given can be taken away. The text of the Amendment is

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex (emphasis mine). Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Based on this, it’s time to reframe the argument into something along these lines: Amendments like the 19th underscored universal equality for those too ignorant to recognise it without its unequivocal emphasis.

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Filed under opinion, politics

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