Our nation has faced peril before. The Revolutionary War gave us the nation; the Civil War kept the Union together; the ongoing wars against the Native American tribes and the Mexican government allowed us to claim all the lands between the two oceans as part of our Manifest Destiny; World War I showed our willingness to fight across the seas; World War II demonstrated our commitment to the rights of man throughout the world by freeing nations in Europe and Asia from dictators and establishing democracies. The one thing all these wars had in common was that they were fought by the male members of the country with the females standing in the background providing courageous support.
98 years ago they won the right to vote throughout the nation. They had that right in some of our western states prior to that time but the 19th Amendment gave it to them throughout the nation. Even with the right for most of the 98 years that followed they continued to act as if nothing had changed. They had the vote but never felt compelled to unite to advance their own. It was not until 1941 that they hit double figures in Congress when ten of them joined that body.
Their number reached 20 in 1961 but then fell again until 1977 when it again reached 20. It dropped back to 17 in 1979 – 1980 so that sixty years after they gained the right they comprised a mere 3.2% of our nations governing body. After that each election showed a rise in their participation in national affairs. While representing 50.8% of the people in the country, this next Congress will see their number rise above 20% for the first time.
They slowly began to realize that things were not going as well as they would like. They recognized that nothing would change unless they took a greater role in the fate of the nation. Yet, they seemed to exhibit no urgency. It is one thing to recognize things while it is another to do something about them.
You all know the story of the talking mule. There was a farmer who boasted whenever he went up town that he had a mule that talked. Finally tiring of his bragging and with a heavy dose of disbelief the major of the town and other officials told him to shut up or put up. They arranged for a delegation to go out to his farm to see this marvel that he talked about. Ten of the town’s distinguished citizens were selected for the delegation. The farmer greeted them warmly when they arrived. He told them the mule was out in the field over by the clump of trees where there was some shade. He said if they were ready they could trek out to the mule after he got something from the barn. He went there and came back with a big sledgehammer. Before anyone could inquire why, he was walking briskly out toward the mule and they followed. When they had all gathered around the mule the farmer steadied himself and with a wide sweeping motion brought the sledgehammer over his head and smashed it down on the head of the mule. Shocked, the minister who was the leader of the delegation stammered, “Why did you do that?” The farmer said: “It won’t talk until you get its attention.”
Trump’s election got their attention. The women of America were hit over their heads with a sledgehammer. One thing that followed was the biggest demonstration ever in America the women’s march. As his time in office progressed they were being continually struck over the heads. Finally they decided to fight back. As the nation faced its darkest days it was not the men this time but the women who would do the fighting. They did. They picked up the broken sword of the nation. They hewed the enemies down and saved a great nation that heroic day.