American women have been voting for less than a century. The 19th Amendment was passed in 1920, a hard-won victory that was a long time coming. (Iron Jawed Angels is a great film about it.) That's in the realm of oral history. It still kind of shocks me how recently that happened, and how we take it for granted.
New Zealand is usually mentioned as the first nation to give women suffrage, in 1893, but a handful of places did it in colonial times (New Jersey, Pitcairn Island) and didn't implode or bring the heavens shattering down upon themselves.
Swiss women didn't get the right to vote until 1971. That's almost in my own lifetime. For better or for worse, we expect that in places like Saudi Arabia (still no vote for the ladies), but Switzerland?! I thought they were so civilized.
Of course, I sort of thought we were civilized too, until the recent craziness took over the airwaves. At least we have Jon Stewart.
I almost didn't vote in this election, because I've felt shamefully uninformed lately, but I just couldn't let it go. I waffle between feeling really strongly about what's going on - to head to D.C. for the Rally (no, not Glenn Beck's!), to get out and canvass, to make my voice heard loudly and in possibly offensive rhyme - and feeling sort of apathetic, or maybe hopeless, about the whole shebang. But even though I didn't march, I felt something run through me when I dropped my ballot off.
So thank you, Susan and Lucy and Lydia and Elizabeth and Alice and Inez and Victoria and all the others who made it possible.