March April 20 Report

of Representatives are women, making it the highest percentage in US history. 6 Additionally, 29 percent of elected representatives are women in the state of Ohio. 7 This progress must continue with more women officials in federal, state, and local governments. More equality in representation in government would allow women to advocate for themselves by bringing their personal experiences and background to enrich the policies that affect their communities. At the beginning of the suffrage movement, there was a split between those who supported the rights of African American men to vote and those who only supported universal voting rights. While the split was eventually mended, it came at the expense of neglecting the grave injustices against African American people. By the beginning of the 20th century, some white suffragists even refused to protest alongside black suffragists like Ida B. Wells. 8 Unfortunately, the modern feminist movement is still often criti- cized for its lack of intersectionality. To continue progress toward equality, the focus on women’s rights must be expanded to encompass the struggles of all women. For example, African American and Native American women are three times as likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women. 9 Women of color and LGBTQ+ women need a seat at the table to make their concerns heard, and they need the support of allies behind them. Therefore, meeting the challenges that women are facing today calls for inclusivity and support for all women through their journeys. Only then can we complete the path started for us more than a century ago and finally accomplish the dream that our ancestors had for us. 1 U. S. Const. amend. XIX 2 How Protective Paternalism HurtsWomen. Blackburn Center Greensburg Anti-Violence Organization, 24 July 2017, Protective-Paternalism-Hu rts-Women. 3 Editors, Fought for theVote.A&E Television Networks, 14 Oct. 2009, 4 Levy, Michael, and Brian P. Smentkowski. Nineteenth Amendment. Encyclopædia Britan- nica, Inc., 20 Nov. 2019, 5 U.S. Const. amend. XIV 6 Hartig, Hannah. InYear of Record MidtermTurnout,Women Continued toVote at Higher Rates than Men. Pew Research Center, 3 May 2019, fact-tank/2019/05/03/in-year-of-record-midterm-turnoutw omen-continued-to-vote -at- higher-rates-than-men/ 7 Kilpatrick, Mary.Women Make up 29 Percent across All Levels of Ohio Government, Re- port Shows., 6 Dec. 2018, make-up-29-percent-across-all-levels-ofo hio-government-report-shows.html. 8 Levy and Brian 9 Rabin, Roni Caryn.“Huge Racial Disparities Found in Deaths Linked to Pregnancy.” Health,The NewYork Times, 7 May 2019, cy-deaths-.html. Thompson is a 1L student at the University of Cincinnati College of Law, graduating in 2022. She said this essay presented a way to dive deeper into a legal issue with significant social implications for women and underrepresented individuals. “My mother is the first person who comes to mind when I think about inspirational women,” saidThompson. “She is determined, selfless, caring and dependable.” “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”. 1 The brevity of the 19th Amendment does not accurately capture the decades of effort to introduce, adopt, and ratify it. Since the inception of America, ideas stemming from “romantic paternalism” kept women from political office and exercising their right to vote. 2 Through the idea that women were always in need of male protection due to their perceived weakness, women were often put in a cage disguised as a pedestal. In the early history of American law, women could not form contracts, own property, or establish custody of their own children. Suffragists envisioned recognition of their rights through the scared democratic process of voting. To them, voting represented more than casting a ballot into a box. It meant direct participation in a democratic system histor- ically excluded them. The 19th Amendment solidified the voice of women all over the country and established that women had a place in the political sphere. Thanks to pioneers like Ida B. Wells, Lucy Stone, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony, women’s concerns were forced to be taken into consideration on a national scale. 3 Through the efforts of brave suffragists like those previously mentioned, women felt empowered to defy their tradi- tional gender norms to ensure the right to vote. After gathering public support and persisting through one failed attempt, the 19th Amendment was finally ratified by Tennessee. This brief para- graph subsequently received the 2/3 majority necessary for the amendment to become an integral part of the U.S. Constitution on August 26, 1920. 4 The spirit that embodied the 19th Amendment persisted to inspire people for generations after it was enacted to make great progress in the area of women’s rights. Additional support sprouted from Supreme Court decisions based on the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, providing a possible legal remedy to women facing gender discrimination. 5 However, there is still much work left to be done. New challenges to women’s rights frequently present themselves, like reproductive rights and new laws that could potentially restrict voters. The outdated stereotypes that kept women from exercising their right to vote are still underlying in today’s culture. Even considering all the progress that women have made in the political and social spheres, there are still those that question the ability of women to be leaders because they are too emotional, passive, or other- wise unfit to lead. Advocates continue to fight against oppression against women and push for change through both legislation and grassroots efforts. Today, women continue to exercise their right to vote by constituting 53 percent of the electorate. Confirmation of the 116th Congress marked an impressive increase in female represen- tation in the federal government. Almost a quarter of the House The Past, Present, and Future of the Nineteenth Amendment By Janelle Thompson March/April 2020 CBA REPORT l 7 In the Spotlight