#RepealtheBillofRights

#RepealtheBillofRights

Woman Suffrage Headquarters were common in the fight to get women the right to vote in America. The headquarters in Ohio offered information on why women should be granted that right.  (Photo provided by Wikimedia.com).

Some thought it was just a joke, but the Twitter community was unfortunately mistaken; the hashtag #Repealthe19th or #Repealthe19thAmendment has been making its rounds on the social media site, and it has incited anger from a large portion of users.

The hashtag is in reference to the original photos shared by Nate Silver, chief editor at FiveThirtyEight, that were posted on Twitter, depicting the divide of voters in the presidential election based off of voter gender. The photos showed the United States being mostly blue if only women voted, and mostly red if only men voted.

The hashtag started trending when a select few of Trump’s supporters used this as a reason why women shouldn’t vote, so that the “right” candidate would win.

This photo posted later, further divides the voters by certain demographics pertaining to race and education, as well as gender.

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Now, as a journalist, I wanted to know the source of all of this information. Surely there was some kind of official poll or something of that sort; surely this wasn’t just made up.

After a quick Google search, one would find out that Nathanael Strickland, the poster of the larger demographically divided map, is the chief editor to a blog that describes its contents as “coming from Christian traditionalists’ perspectives.”

If you peruse the site and its contents, you may find some disturbing content relating to religion and race. Now, this isn’t indicative of Christianity as a whole, but this site did have some disturbing undercurrents of racism, and it describes itself as “Occidental Christianity for Preserving Western Culture and People.”

Considering this, it would make sense, as Strickland’s tweet not only included the hashtag #Repealthe19th, which refers to the 19th Amendment that gives women the right to vote, his post also included the hashtag #Repealthe15th, which was the amendment to the Constitution that granted African American men the right to vote by declaring that 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 race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”

That aside, through research it was discovered Strickland’s post included no sources whatsoever. That’s right folks, something we found on the internet wasn’t true or backed up by factual information.

For all we know, Strickland may have found the rest of his voters in Microsoft Paint for the “People of Color” votes to the “College-Educated Whites.”

There are people out there that are accepting “polls” such as this at face value, and it is further dividing our citizens from each other.

There are tweets under the hashtag #Repealthe19th that are hateful and discriminatory. Fortunately, there are some users who have stepped up and supported women, as well as other citizens of the minority, and have stated there needs to be a cultural change in our society.

Chair of the Mass Communication Department and professor, Mary Carver, Ph.D., has stated that this is a social issue that women have been fighting against since before the Civil War.

“Certainly we’ve come a long way, but we have a long way to go, and I think that the women’s rights advocates from the first wave would be appalled that we’re still working for some of the things that we’re working for,” Carver said. “We can legislate all we want but if, socially, we don’t have equal respect where people can come along and call us names, and say we don’t deserve better, that we’re not going to be protected if we’re sexually assaulted, if we’re still getting killed on a daily basis by our partners in the home and not have full protection there, then there is a cultural shift that needs to be made.”

While speaking with Carver, who did her master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation over early women’s rights, she touched on how this election has brought out parts of people you may not have seen otherwise.

“It’s very revealing as to what’s going on in this election and the way [Hillary Clinton has] been talked about, that it kind of has shown our true colors as a culture and the way that we really think about women. The way they’re supposed to act, their true place . . . People’s true feelings have come out this election,” Carver said.

While discussing the discriminatory tweets, it came to light that some of the users promoting #Repealthe19th were also women. Carver said that this fact wasn’t that surprising and brings to mind when women were trying to pass the Equal Rights Amendment.

“Women are the only group of people in this country that have worked to prevent themselves from having more rights… A woman named Phyllis Schlafly got on a bandwagon to prevent us from having the Equal Rights Amendment. [The force working] to oppose the amendment was led by a female, and other females got on board,” Carver said.

To this day, the Equal Rights Amendment, a proposed amendment to the US Constitution stating that civil rights may not be denied on the basis of one’s sex, has not been ratified.

Though the hashtags #Repealthe19th and #Repealthe15th are disturbing, there has been an outpouring of users who have been posting it to empower others. Also, to the people claiming that these people on the internet are just “trolling,” and the hashtag is just a joke— it’s not funny.

The best thing that women and “people of color” can do is exercise their right to vote.

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