Sunday, December 28, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

100 years later, give thanks to our foremothers

By
From page A15 | October 23, 2011 |

Women gained the right to vote in California in 1911. Courtesy photo

By SueAnn Freeman

On Monday, Oct. 10, members of the American Association of University Women, the League of Women Voters and the National Organization of Women braved a torrent of rain as they marched from the California State Museum to the state Capitol in Sacramento to celebrate the anniversary of 100 years of voting rights for women in California.

The marchers, dressed in traditional suffragette attire, were greeted on the second floor of the Capitol Rotunda by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, Secretary of State Debra Bowen and other dignitaries.

The marchers and dignitaries were entertained by traditional suffrage songs, dramatic readings of Proposition 4 and two short plays, “The Sixth Star Suffragists” and “We Did It For You.” The program concluded with the passing of the suffrage banner to a representative from Oregon, the seventh state that granted the vote to women.

The banner has three stripes — white for purity, purple for respect and yellow for enlightenment and hope. The sixth star on the banner symbolizes the state of California. Like the Olympic torch, this banner will pass from state to state on the anniversary of their centennial celebrations. Each star added symbolizes the original 14 states granting rights to women.

The West led the way in the women’s suffrage movement, with Wyoming first in 1890 followed by Colorado, Utah, Idaho and Washington. California passed Proposition 4 on the Oct. 10, 1911, ballot, becoming the sixth state to give women the vote.

By 1918, the territory of Alaska and six other Western states followed California. No other states independently awarded suffrage to women.

It was not until nine years after the women of California earned the right to vote that suffrage was granted to all female citizens of the United States with the passage of the 19th Amendment.

In the tradition of their Western foremothers, California women still lead the way. Nationwide, 23 percent of state legislative offices are held by women. In California, 27 percent of the seats are held by women.

California’s two U.S. senators are women — Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer. In 2010, California elected its first female attorney general, Kamala Harris.

Walking in the rain with the other modern-day suffragettes, I could not help but reflect on my past. We may have come a long way since 1911 but I can remember an incident in 1980 that took me by surprise when I first moved from the Bay Area to Sacramento.

I wanted to have the utilities in our new home turned on in my name and was told point-blank no. I was informed that as a married woman, my husband was considered the head of the household and therefore utilities must be placed in his name. It did not matter who provided financial support for the family or whether it was a shared responsibility. It only mattered that he was my husband so he was the responsible party.

After creating a small scene and threatening to sue, I was allowed to establish utilities in my name. In 1981, when I accepted a position in labor relations with the Sacramento Regional Transit District, there were few women in the field of labor relations, especially in blue-collar fields. I was told by a union business representative that they would not sit at the table and discuss grievances or negotiate contract issues with me because I was a woman.

The argument presented was the same as 1911 and 1920 when women sought the vote. They suggested that as I was a woman, I would be too emotional and my sensibilities might be offended by the language men used in discussing business. Fortunately, my male boss responded if that was the case then they had no business to conduct with our office. It was me or no one.

I do not know how often scenes like these were repeated in the 1980s or if they are still being repeated in some parts of our country, but it definitely bears remembering and treasuring the rights that our sisters gained for us in the early 1900s and through the 19th Amendment.

If you missed the centennial march at the Capitol on Oct. 10, you can still see the exhibit at the California State Museum, 1020 O St., or see photos of the event online at www.ca2011centennial.com.

In addition, the Women’s Museum of California, located in San Diego, is hosting a reception Monday to celebrate the opening of its centennial exhibit and a Centennial Ball on Saturday, Oct. 29, celebrating women’s suffrage. Attire for the ball is vintage 1911. Additional information on these events can be found at www.womensmuseumca.org.

— SueAnn Freeman is a Sacramento resident, leadership coach and employee and labor relations specialist with more than 25 years of experience with public and nonprofit agencies.

Comments

comments

Special to The Enterprise

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
    Yolo makes hydrogen connection

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Sacramento man convicted for 2011 bar shooting

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    Drugs, stolen car lead to women’s arrests

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    NYC officer mourned at funeral as tensions linger

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    N. Korea uses racial slur against Obama over hack

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    AirAsia plane with 162 aboard missing in Indonesia

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Nominate teens for Golden Heart awards

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    USA Weekend calls it quits

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Supplies collected for victims of abuse

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Sweet success: Cancer Center helps young patient celebrate end of treatment

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Reserve tickets soon for Chamber’s Installation Gala

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Holiday hours continue at The Enterprise

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Covell Gardens hosts New Year’s Eve dance

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    UC Davis debate team wins national championship

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Portuguese breakfast set for Jan. 25

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    At the Pond: It all started with kayaking on Putah Creek

    By Jean Jackman | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Find the first cabbage white butterfly, and win a pitcher

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A6 | Gallery

     
    Does pre-eclampsia raise autism risk?

    By Phyllis Brown | From Page: A6

    Long will talk about value of hedgerows for adjacent farms

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

     
    It’s a wonderful life — and a wonderful state

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8 | Gallery

    College sees benefits in loan guarantees

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    Tickets for New Year’s Eve party going fast

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12

    .

    Forum

    This cat is on life No. 7

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B4

     
     
    It was a busy, black-eye year for disease control

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

    Say thanks to the caregivers

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Commission’s list needs vetting

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Rifkin’s statement is offensive

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Bombing is not the answer

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    Just Us in Davis: Despair and hope for the new year

    By Jonathan London | From Page: A10

     
    Cuba policy changes highlight a momentous opportunity

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    Writer’s arguments fall flat

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A11

     
    .

    Sports

    Kings cruise past Sharks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Lady Blue Devils top Tigers to reach Ram Jam title game

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    DHS boys get good film in tournament loss

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Sacramento survives Knicks in OT

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Sports briefs: Republic FC to host camp series

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

     
    College bowl roundup: Sun Bowl goes to the Sun Devils

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Rob White: Davis tech community is growing

    By Rob White | From Page: A9

     
    Yolo County real estate sales

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A9

    First Northern adds Peyret to agribusiness loan team

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Kaiser’s trauma center in Vacaville earns verification

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    .

    Obituaries

    Ruth Allen Barr

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Charles ‘Bud’ Meyer

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, December 28, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B8