Regarding the Email “Why Women Should Vote”

This morning I received an email of the text and photos you will find at the following link:

http://gwenny.newsvine.com/_news/2008/09/03/1821413-why-women-should-vote

It begins:

“This is the story of our Grandmothers and Great-grandmothers; they lived only 90 years ago.

Remember, it was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote.

The women were innocent and defenseless, but they were jailed nonetheless for picketing the White House, carrying signs asking for the vote. ”

You can stop there if you want. Or you can read the rest of it and see the photos here:

http://gwenny.newsvine.com/_news/2008/09/03/1821413-why-women-should-vote

I sent it out to my personal email list with this introduction:

Okay, the fallacy here is that we should vote because someone else suffered in order to get the privilege.
 
That isn’t true.
 
If it were, then if you suffer for getting women the privilege of snowshoeing in Alaska, then I should get myself to Alaska post haste and start snowshoeing my little heart out – NOT. 

 (Logic – a fine thing.)  

However, the story is interesting and I did not know a lot of this.

http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/  will explain many logical fallacies and give you examples that make them quite clear.

One of my friends, a wonderful woman, replied to me:

“Interesting point, Miss Stacy.  I think I might agree with you.
 
On the other hand, I get what this person is saying.  I ask: is it misguided to appreciate and recognize the efforts of women who went before us?
 
The word “should”, as you used it, sticks out in my mind.  Personally, “should” brings to my mind images of finger-wagging and clucking, nagging, maybe even guilt-tripping.  (And for the record, these are clearly *my* issues.  :>)  A guide pointing out the hard road someone took to get somewhere feels OK.  Using that example to strong-arm me into action, I feel slightly ornery.
 
Perhaps the real operative concept is choice.  We now have the choice of voting, or not voting.  I can imagine people who’ve had relatives die and get hurt to fight for us to have choices might feel that it’s a gift that we can repay by exercising the right.  But I’d rather exercise the choice.  Women fought for the right to do all sorts of jobs that men were allowed to do; good for them.  I appreciate the right.  But as much as I value having the choice to work a construction job, I’d not choose it.
 
Just some thoughts, random as they are.  Thanks for sending this along.”

She’s right. “Should” is in the title, “Why Women Should Vote.”  I have no idea whatsoever what anyone (male or female) should or shouldn’t do. They should do what they do. That’s all. (Thank you, Byron Katie and Steven Sashen.)

Wouldn’t it be refreshingly honest for someone to say, “I want you to do the same thing I do, believe the same thing I believe, because then I will get my way?” 

It is truer.

In fact, what is truer than that is that whoever is proposing this “should” thinks that they will be happier in the future if others follow their “should.” So, they stress and express and distress trying to get other people all stirred up to agree and go along and give them this imaginary future in which their fantasy of being happier will come true.

That’s one of the reasons I’m not as concerned, maybe not concerned in the same way, about the election as some people are. I am happy now. I am likely to be happy in the future. If I am unhappy, I might question my thoughts. Then again, I might just enjoy being unhappy until happy rolls around again. Doesn’t matter.

I can’t make myself believe that how other people vote or who is in office is going to substantially affect my future happiness. If you do, then feel free to go through the same questioning processes I did to find out otherwise, and see what you find out. It might be different. I don’t know. 

Oh, that would be The Work of Byron Katie. You can find instructions on how to “Do the Work” at http://www.thework.com.  Totally up to you. It’s just an easy form in which to check this stuff.

Happy either happens now or it doesn’t happen at all. 

Seriously.

Try being happy yesterday – go ahead. Get on that!  Hurry up!

Try being happy tomorrow – c’mon. Do it! Well?  Are you there yet?

Well, you can’t you see. We’re not built that way.

It is far more effective to notice we are happy now.  (Umm, that one is Zooming in on Peace, one of Steven’s IAM Meditations.  Ann describes it on her page. See link on the right.) 

I don’t know what else to tell you.

Vote. Don’t vote.

Be happy. Don’t be happy.

It’s really all the same.

Oh heck!  That is Re-Paring the Universe, another IAM Meditation.  Seems I can’t hardly type about these without those being the most obvious next thought sometimes.

Well, in any case.

“Do whatever you do. Everything works.”  – Jim Leonard & Phil Laut

Love,

Stacy

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5 Responses to “Regarding the Email “Why Women Should Vote””

  1. Stacy Clark Says:

    My roommate emailed me this comment:

    Good point(s) Stacy…and if I had to boil all of “this” down and make a CHOICE I would agree that it doesn’t really matter.

    Did you happen to read Cheri’s comments on Anna’s List and some of the responses? I think her blog address is http://www.muselove.blogspot.com.

    To act or not to act, that question has come up so many times in my life, wanting to make a “difference” and blah blah. And yet I agree with Cheri in that I do have alot of respect for those that put themselves at great peril to do what is “right”, or at least what they feel is right to “better” the world. Sometimes things are blatantly just WRONG, say, like watching someone put a cat (or a baby which is most recently told about in the newspapers) in a microwave. Could I sit by and watch this and not feel anything. don’t think so. Would it be “wrong” to not take any action? Most people would say yes of course. Morality, ethics, rules, things that any society have to come to some agreement on should, (there’s that word again) be upheld or what?

    Just a few ramblings…..

  2. Stacy Clark Says:

    My mother sent me this:

    I remember going to Canada when you were a kid. I was thoroughly disgusted with local and other politics, having learned that governmental entities find ways to do what they want whether of not those who pay their salaries (us) agree. In Canada, some local elections were going on and there were 8 1/2 x 11 sheets posted among the political ads.

    It was a locally familiar cartoon character saying “Don’t vote. It only encourages them.”

    There have been many years I didn’t vote because there was no one, or no position, I wanted to encourage. (This year won’t be one of them.)

  3. Rachel’s Musings » Vote! Says:

    […] reasons, why voting makes a lot of sense to me, especially as a woman. Though it would be a logical fallacy to ask women to vote simply because our sisters have suffered so much to fight for our right to […]

  4. Diana Daffner Says:

    Thanks, this was a good reminder. Knowing we have choice seems defintiely preferable to being “should” upon.

    That’s a big admission from someone (me) who is usually quite pushy about getting people to vote! Of course I can’t know if it’s true that voting matters. You’ve tackled a big one!

  5. Stacy Says:

    Right. I’m not saying we “should” or “should’t.”

    That’s an individual impulse – we either vote or we don’t vote.

    How can we possibly know the effect of what we did *not* do in either case?

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