Susan B. Anthony: A Role Model for All Feminists

By Anna Sheehan

Susan B. Anthony’s headstone filled with “I voted” stickers
after 2016 Presidential election.

Susan B. Anthony was one of the famous activists fighting for woman suffrage in nineteenth-century America. Her grave is available for the public to visit at Mount Hope Cemetery, where she continues to be remembered and celebrated, especially on Election Day.

The tradition of placing “I voted” sticker on her headstone started in 2014. The biggest turnout was during the 2016 presidential election. There was a long line all the way to the street and most people wore white to honor the history of the struggle for woman’s suffrage.

During the 2016 presidential election, there were even rumors and social media controveries about Republican candidate Donald Trump’s plans to repeal the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution, which made it legal for women to vote in 1919-1920. His candidacy raised concern for feminists around the country. Hillary Clinton, running as Democratic candidate against Trump, wore her famous white pantsuit on Election Day, representing the celebration of suffrage’s history. Women across the country were so moved by her candidacy that they traveled great distances to place stickers on Susan B. Anthony’s grave.

“It was we, the people, not we, the white male citizens, nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed this Union.” — Susan B. Anthony, New York Address 1873

“…it is a downright mockery to talk to women of their enjoyment of the blessings of liberty while they are denied the use of the only means of securing them provided by this democratic-republican government—the ballot.” — Susan B. Anthony, New York Address 1873

Although women were not legally recognized as voters at the time, many people honored Susan B. Anthony for her bravery when she cast her vote in an election on November 5th, 1872 while living in Rochester. Shortly after, she was arrested and put on trial. Fourteen years after her death in March 1906, the 19th amendment was ratified, giving voting rights to all women. It was one of the biggest accomplishments for feminists and women’s suffragists. Today, she continues to be a figure women look up to during continued contestations of women’s rights in the United States and the world such as the recent ban on abortion in Texas.

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