It’s Women’s Equality Day: Let your voice be heard

Today is Women’s Equality Day, the anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment on Aug. 26, 1920, that gave women the right to vote.

Make sure your voice is heard: Vote!

Take the quiz: 9 Questions About 90 Years of Suffrage

Today is the 90th anniversary of the signing of the 19th amendment giving women the vote. How much do you know about our foremothers’ struggle for equality?

Take the Ms. quiz: 9 Questions About 90 Years of Suffrage : Ms Magazine Blog.

New film tells story of Jeanette Rankin

Jeannette Rankin of Montana was the first woman elected to the House of Representatives and the only representative to vote against U.S. involvement in both World Wars.

Now director Kamala Lopez uses film to tell the story of this women, who bridged the suffrage, civil liberties, anti-war and women’s movements of 20th centuryAmerica.

The film, titled “A Single Woman,” begins in 1972, when Rankin is 92 years old and vigorously engaged in Second Wave Feminism as well as the anti-war movement. Featuring music by Joni Mitchell, it moves backward in time through her years working as the first U.S. Congresswoman, peace lobbyist, suffragist and labor advocate.

Take action to meet your feminist icon

July 1972 issue of Ms.

July 1972 issue of Ms.

When I was a newly-minted college graduate, I filled a suitcase and a backpack, rolled up my sleeping bag and moved to New York City.

It was June of 1972, the year Ms. magazine began publishing, and I daydreamed about walking into the Ms. offices, meeting the iconic Gloria Steinem, and volunteering my services. But I was too chicken to do that.

Instead, I moved into a tiny Manhattan apartment, got an office job at Rockefeller Center, read a lot of depressing Existentialist writing, prowled around the city, and watched on the sidelines as New York women marched down Fifth Avenue one day that summer.

I thought of joining them, but I didn’t. I knew their causes were my causes. But instead of stepping into the street, I stood on the sidewalk and watched as the women swarmed past St. Patrick’s and Saks and the Channel Gardens.

I remember watching the marchers with curiosity and interest. I remember wondering who they were and where they hung out and where they were headed that day. 

I was too afraid to discover the answers to my questions — although I never identified my feeling as fear at the time. 

I have few regrets in life, but not joining that march is one of them. Feeling too timid to volunteer at Ms. magazine is another.

The moral of my story is this: Don’t let fear keep you still or silent.  Take action. Speak out. You might get to meet an icon of your own.