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What a privilege it is to vote as a citizen of a democratic country—a privilege that should be guarded, honored, and, most importantly, exercised.
Below is a poem I’ve written for the women of this country. The words carry a rallying cry to vote and to ruffle the feathers that make the bald eagle soar:
Vote my darlings, vixens, and doyennes.
Because if you don’t, then no one wins.
Not the people and not the democracy.
Do you know suffrage?
Do you feel the pain of Rosa Parks?
Or did you march from Selma to Montgomery?
You didn’t, but I bet your grandmother did—
else why would you think it was okay not to vote?
Go and vote—you make the 51 percent of the United States.
They say history repeats itself,
but what good is that history that repeats and not builds?
Blood has been shed, so you may not turn your heads away
and look into the eye of the storm because we women are good at that.
We don’t shy; we stand naked to protest.
We become tigresses when we protect.
We nurture the womb for it to blossom.
And we are lionesses when we lead.
Now we save, protect, nurture, and lead the democracy.
It’s time—it’s not about allegiance to a party.
It’s not even about the debates, the news—fake ones included.
It’s about studying and observing objectively how the country did the last four years.
And then jog your brilliant minds.
Bring out your heels, walking shoes, or flip-flops.
Rock the dress, the yoga pants, or that skirt.
Stand in the line or the mail in the vote.
But don’t turn your heads away—
always remember the blood that has been shed for you to vote.
We are a democratic country, not a dictatorship.
Four years is the number—and it is up.
We are intelligent, intuitive, and we know—
what good is that government where the women are not represented?
Gender inequality, sexual violence, reproductive rights,
lower pay, access to women healthcare—we have a voice.
Exercise the right to voice.
Respect the right to vote.
Women—thoughtful, hard-working, responsible.
Vote for human rights to blaze the trails,
and raise sons and daughters of tomorrow.
So vote, my darlings, with your lipstick on or off.
The country moves forward when women do.
Vote, my darlings, vixens, and doyennes.
May the above words inspire us to do right by the country and its people.
May the words catapult the strength required to be honest for the sake of generations to come.