For years we have heard the slogan – “You’ve come a long way, baby!” Back in early North Carolina that slogan was not anywhere near approaching what women had to bear.
Back in 1825 the Raleigh Register had this to say about women; “man may chastise his wife, provided the weapon was no thicker than his little finger.” Then we find in 1828 Judge John H. Bryan wrote, “a woman who abuses her husband to strangers ought to have her tongue cut out, or split at least.” William Boyd of Virginia had this to say; “The men for their parts, just like the Indians, impose all the work upon the poor women. They make their wives rise out of their beds early in the morning, at the same time they lye and Snore.”
A Latin American visitor to New Bern after the American Revolution wrote; “I find that married women maintained the most monastic seclusion and a submission to their husbands as I have ever seen. During their first year of marriage they play the role of lover, the second year of breeders, and thereafter of housekeepers. On the other hand, the unmarried women enjoy complete freedom….”
From 1776 to 1920, which is 144 years, that is how long it took our women to get the right to vote in the United States. Next time you look at your ballot, see how many women are on the ballot. Yes, you’ve come a long way, Baby!