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Rebecca Woolf Rocks the V

This week on Mom.me, let’s talk about the v-word. And by "v-word," I mean VOTING. Midterm elections are coming and I want to hear from YOU. I want to hear why you vote and how you vote and why it’s important for you to get out there and vote. Yes, I’m talking to everyone, but specifically the ladies in the house, because there is a lot on the line, at the moment, when it comes to female bodies and our rights to them.

I happen to live in a progressive state (California), but to quote my friend Sarah Flicker of Lady P Justice, “our experience being a woman—and our rights—shouldn’t depend on our ZIP code(s).”

Midterm elections are November 4th, 2014, which means we all have a month to register. (Or re-register—if, like me, you have recently moved. I forgot to do this last time and ended up having to fill out a provisional ballot because I totally flaked. This year, however, I am proud to say that I have re-registered at my current address and look forward to flexing my "I VOTED" sticker like a champ.)

I’m not just talking about Democratic women voters, by the way. I’m talking about everyone: conservative voters, liberal voters, voters without a party ... (That’s me: I don’t identify with either party, anymore. I identify with ideas and human beings who respect the opinions and choices of others without trying to interfere with them. So far, no “party” has represented that for me. )

Anyway, here are a few resources for those who might need a little nudge in the direction of the voter’s booth.

"For the past three decades, voters have been disproportionately of higher income, older or more partisan in their interests. Parallel to participation gaps are widening gaps in wealth,reduced opportunity for youth and frustration with the polarization in politics. How would our world be different if everyone participated?" (Via: Mass Vote)

"This history of the right to vote has been defined by exclusions. At the beginning of our republic, for the most part, only white males with property or wealth could exercise the right to vote. The first major expansion of the right to vote occurred after the Civil War ... the right to vote was extended to former African-American slaves. However, from that time until the Voting Rights Act in 1965, many minorities were kept from the polls through overtly racist means. Access to the political process ... is far from over. This struggle for electoral equality continues today. Concerned activists ... armed with tools, such as the federal Voting Rights Act, persist in their efforts to dismantle the last vestiges of electoral practices that inhibit the full political integration of racial and ethnic minority communities." (Via: Seattle University School of Law)

And this, from Dr. Judith Rich: "So before you decide your vote doesn't matter in this election, I ask you consider this question: Where else in your life have you left the playing field because you didn't like or agree with the way the game was being played? What relationships have stopped working due, in part, to your decision not to fully participate?

"You might be absolutely correct in your assumption that not voting is a way to register your disdain for the process or the candidates. I would not argue that the process is without serious problems. That the system needs reform is without question. But ...

"You still have your one vote, and if you don't exercise it you give up your right to have a say in the matter. That, ultimately, is the premise upon which this country was founded. Thousands of people have given their lives so that you and I could have that right ..." (Via: The Soul of a Citizen)

And my personal favorite from David Foster Wallace:

“If you are bored and disgusted by politics and don't bother to vote, you are in effect voting for the entrenched Establishments of the two major parties, who please rest assured are not dumb, and who are keenly aware that it is in their interests to keep you disgusted and bored and cynical and to give you every possible reason to stay at home doing one-hitters and watching MTV on primary day. By all means stay home if you want, but don't bullshit yourself that you're not voting. In reality, there is no such thing as not voting: You either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some diehard's vote.” (Via: Up, Simba)

So tell me, friends, why do you vote? If you haven’t registered to vote this November, please go here. If not for yourself, for those who fought before us so that we could, and for those who will fight after us, who will owe us the same gratitude for how we fight in this life for them.

Shout out to Sarah Flicker and Lady Parts Justice for the pinnable images (featured, here) and much love to ALL who stand for something larger than themselves. See you all in November!

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