Editorials

Repeal the 19th? What year is this?

THE EDITORIAL BOARD

First lady Michelle Obama speaks during a campaign rally for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016, in Manchester, N.H.
First lady Michelle Obama speaks during a campaign rally for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016, in Manchester, N.H. AP

The 19th Amendment granted women the right to vote in 1920.

Almost 100 years later, women still have to endure belittlement of their civil and political rights, and the current presidential election has made it worse.

This past week, FiveThirtyEight.com, a website owned by ESPN, published polls showing who would become president if only men or only women voted.

Hillary Clinton cinched the women’s vote while Donald Trump won with the men.

#Repealthe19th appeared on Twitter last Tuesday because some Trump supporters didn’t like those results.

Luckily, most Twitter users repurposed the hashtag to bring awareness to the sexism in this election cycle.

The trending hashtag came on the heels of Trump’s misogynistic hot mic comments from 2005. In the Oct. 9 presidential debate, he brushed it off as “locker room talk,” a ludicrous justification and perfect example of how some men dismiss blatant sexism — and more disturbingly, sexual assault.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Trump’s point man in Texas, blew off the X-rated 2005 comments, saying, “he apologized. You move on.”

We shouldn’t move on. Not when sexism is still commonplace and fueling a dangerous world for women.

“It has shaken me to my core in a way that I couldn’t have predicted,” Michelle Obama said about Trump’s “locker room talk” in a powerful speech last Thursday. “This is not something we can ignore.

“Too many are treating this as just another day’s headline, as if our outrage is overblown or unwarranted, as if this is normal, just politics as usual. But … this is not normal. This is not politics as usual. This is disgraceful. It is intolerable. And it doesn’t matter what party you belong to — Democrat, Republican, independent — no woman deserves to be treated this way. None of us deserves this kind of abuse.”

Everyone should have the right to be treated equally, but this election is making it clear that’s not even close to true.

Women deserve better than being a political ploy, one disenfranchised because others fear female empowerment or believe they have some misogynistic get-out-jail-free card.

We have to change this, even if it’s one person’s viewpoint at a time. Something must be done.

This toxic sexism needs to be gone.

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