Pandemics Won’t Stop Us
Before I share with you some of what I’ve been reading and hearing online, I want to alert you to this breaking news:
This morning, you can listen to one of the first cases in the U.S. Supreme Court’s history to be conducted by teleconference—the Trump Administration’s challenge to the Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate.
Trump wants to allow almost any employer to deny insurance coverage for contraceptives by citing religious or moral objections. This is the third time the mandate has reached the Supreme Court, but the first opportunity for Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to influence the outcome.
You can listen to the arguments live, beginning at 10:00 AM ET here, and following the live stream, a rebroadcast on C-Span here.
Tomorrow (Thursday, May 7th at 12PM ET), I also invite you to join a compelling webinar presentation, Past is Present, by World Without Exploitation on how the historical effects of the sex trade have led to a disproportionate impact on women and girls of color. Register here soon, as capacity is limited.
My reading list for this week begins with this fascinating piece in the New York Times – “How the Spanish Flu Almost Upended Women’s Suffrage“. As you know, one hundred years have passed since the 19th Amendment was ratified and added to the Constitution, but the 1918 Spanish flu almost derailed the suffragists’ cause. During this pandemic, many women took on additional important roles from nursing to the Red Cross, and they were forced to take extra steps in order to continue their suffrage work. The public was able to see first-hand the important roles women played in society and their patriotic commitment to the country. And ultimately the following year, Congress passed the 19th Amendment. This column brings to life an important chapter in women’s history, and I encourage you to follow the links included in the text for more insights.
But the 19th Amendment did not bring full access to the voting booth for all women – with Jim Crow laws, racism and several barriers to citizenship preventing African Americans and other women of color from voting. There is still much work to be done, and in a countdown to the centennial, NOW is highlighting women of color in the suffragist movement who are often overlooked. You can submit your thoughts about the “sheroes” from history and those who are still marching for voting rights here.
And here’s something a little different, from the Women in History Downtown DC Callbox Tour. Callboxes were used in Washington, DC from the mid 19th century until 1976, when the 911 system arrived. A callbox design competition inspired local historian Mara Cherkasky, sculptor Charles Bergen and student interns to create this installation in time for the centennial of the 19th Amendment. Whether or not you live in the DC area, I think you’ll find this virtual tour enlightening and rewarding!
Finally, here’s the latest installment from our blog posts on the Mrs. America TV series on Hulu.
Until next week, stay safe, stay healthy, and stay connected to all of us at NOW.