This is the moment for women. It’s time to vote tomorrow.  And wow, is this one a doozy. Blood is running hot. THe candidates are controversial. I can’t help but mention, there is a woman candidate! This could be the year we elect a female president of the United States of America.

That’s is a big one. No small thing. Women have been eying that tall climb for a long time.

I was at the Huntington Library and they had a display about Susan B. Anthony. You know the one on the dollar coin?susan-b

Of course I knew about her. She was a pioneer in helping women vote. My daughter is seven now and I explained to her that once upon a time, women couldn’t vote.

“What? That is really mean!”

“Yes, I know. It’s not fair. That’s why about a hundred years ago they fixed it. People realized it was mean and unfair that women couldn’t vote, and now women can vote. It’s really important to pay attention and vote, especially since people had to fight for the right to be able to.”

What I didn’t know when I was telling my daughter about how women got the vote, is what Susan B. Anthony had to go through to make it possible.

At the Huntington Library I learned she voted. In 1872 she voted in an election, and was arrested. She sat in jail because she refused to acknowledge that what she did was wrong. She refused to plead guilty because she strongly believed that it was NOT a crime for a woman to vote.

She sat in jail to prove the injustice for America. She stood out so that all women could have a voice.

It took a while longer for women to find (almost) equal footing in the workplace. For certain, women have been given access to equal education. We’re still working and striving to make our mark, for women and also for our own individual selves.

Thank you, Susan B. Thanks for standing up and forcing America to see you and see your point of view.

As I think about the laws that affect pregnant women in the workplace, I have to think about the stand she took.

Laws as only as strong as the people who use them. The people who enforce them, and the people who demand their protection.

It’s harsh to think about what Susan B. Anthony did. How far things had gone for her to have to make such a stand! To protest all the way into a jail cell! That’s hard-core!

Most of the time, pregnant women have a softer road. The social environment of a job is full of small concessions and compromises.

“Can’t you just..?”

For the pregnant and new mothers I am supporting, I want the process to be one of equality. The compromises should not be one-sided. I want women to feel confident and secure when asking for what they need for themselves at their workplace.

We have rights. Thank you Susan B. Anthony.