99: June 4, 2018

Dear Mr. VP,

Today is my 500th letter to you. I know 500 doesn’t actually really mean much — it’s just a pretty round number — but I don’t think there’s anyone else to whom I have written 500 letters. (That said, there’s also no one else to whom I have written either 499 letters or 501 letters, so yes – the number is round,  but also arbitrary in it’s being a milestone.)

Speaking of numbers and anniversaries, today is the 99th anniversary of the Congressional passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, which lets me vote. Hurrah!

As I listened to a story about this anniversary over the weekend, I contemplated the idea that women have only been allowed to vote for 99 years. As a student of history, I thought about all the presidents for whom I could not have cast a ballot. That I could not have voted in the election of Woodrow Wilson seems unimaginable to me. This was not that long ago.

I was also reminded of Alice Paul.

alice paul

Upon being arrested, Paul went on a hunger strike. Jail officials shoved a tube down her throat and fed her raw eggs against her will. These are the things that needed to happen so that I could vote. And not even 100 years ago.



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