The 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment

One hundred years ago today, the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution passed, giving women the right to vote. This was a major breakthrough, and one that should never be taken for granted, given that the women of Saudi Arabia only got the right to vote 5 short years ago. I will never understand, as long as I live, why every single woman who can vote does not do so.

The first country to give women the vote was New Zealand, in 1893. It’s hard to believe it took us 27 years to jump on the bandwagon, given the fact that New Zealand clearly didn’t self-destruct in the interim. Even Russia beat us to it by 3 years, and the UK beat us by two years.

It seems like a simple concept: if a government is supposed to represent all of us, then it should be elected by us all. But women had to go to jail, starve themselves, be tortured, and even die to gain us this privilege that we so callously neglect. Because of that, I firmly believe that every woman should view voting as a sacred obligation.

Vote, ladies. It’s not only your right but it’s also your duty. Do it for every woman who fought so terribly hard to do so before you.


Hey! Look what I wrote!

Loony Candidates of the Pacific Northwest

A few days ago, I voted in a primary and special election here in the Seattle area. They really make it easy here. You vote by mail, and they provide you with a nice thick pamphlet which tells you everything you need to know about the various candidates and issues.

People in the State of Washington really have no excuse not to vote. It’s not like you have to stand for hours in a blistering hot parking lot, waiting for the chance to vote, and have to conduct hours of independent research to know who to vote for, like I did for decades in Florida.

The pamphlet for my area was 91 pages long this time around. I adore these pamphlets, because they help me do my homework on the candidates. I can eliminate many people on their statements alone, and then do further research on the more serious ones if I feel the need.

But I also enjoy the pamphlet because there are enough loony candidates to turn it into a joke book. Anyone can run if they meet the requirements. But jeez, it really makes you wonder why certain ones bother.

For your amusement, here are some of the more lunatic fringe candidates (in my opinion) running for office here in the Seattle area, and some quotes directly from their statements as included in the voter’s pamphlet. Suffice it to say, I voted for more sane, serious, and qualified candidates than these.

  • Alex Tsimerman is running for Governor of the State of Washington and says he prefers the StandupAmerica Party. Under his Community Service, he lists, among other things, receiving “over 12 trespasses for a total of more than 1,200 days from going into the Demo-Nazi-Gestapo Council Chambers.” In his statement, he simply repeats the following sentence 25 times: “Stop Seattle/King Fascism with idiotic face!”

  • “Goodspaceguy” has been running for one office or another for as long as I’ve been in this state. This time he’s running for Governor. Apparently this is his legally changed name. He says he prefers the Trump Republican Party. His statement includes the following. “Viruses will always attack you. Your immune system defends you. As governor, I will not shut down your businesses or forbid you to go to work….How many robots would you want to supervise to make your work easier? … Please refer to our world as ‘Spaceship Earth.’ This concept might improve your descendants’ future.”

  • Omari Tahir Garret is also running for Governor. He prefers the Democrat Party. He says he’s running as a spokesperson for anti-apartheid/reparations now movement, and claims that “the current Governor’s biggest mistake is turning Seattle’s SVI building over to proven historical Negro vampire criminals.” He also says that “since race is arbitrarily based on ‘skin color’, redefine ‘race’ based on hair color, which is much easier to change.”

  • Jared Frerichs is running for Lieutenant Governor. He says he prefers the Libertarian Party. Under “Elected Experience” he says he was the student council president at his high school. His statement is short and, I suppose, to the point. “Poverty is bad for business. I have some wild ideas on how we can end poverty forever, but I need your help. I don’t need your money. I need your vote.”

  • Cameron Whitney is running for Commissioner of Public Lands, and prefers the Republican Party. In his Community Service section, he states, “I’ve never been to jail.” And his statement is as follows: “I like environmental protection. I don’t like fires. Let’s work together to clean up the environment and stop fires. President Trump says we need to rake our forests to clean up debris that exacerbates fires and that’s where I intend to start.”

  • Mr Whitney’s competitor for Commissioner of Public Lands is Steve Sharon, who also prefers the Republican Party. He says that “If elected, I will direct an independent, state funded study of the effects of 5G cell-phone towers upon living things. My research indicates that this radiation is killing trees, birds, honey bees, human life.” He also assures us that he will stop chemtrails in Washington state, and says he’s against eugenics, Satan, the New World Order and the Green New Deal.

  • Stan Lippmann is running for Superintendent of Public Instruction. He states that “Sometimes I think it would be better to start all over from 550 BC with a Pythagorean Academy, since it’s been all downhill in the common sense department since then.”

  • David Spring also wants to be Superintendent of Public Instruction. He states that “it makes no sense to shutdown schools for months at a time when there is not even a single case of any child in any school anywhere in our state transmitting the corona virus to any adult.”

  • Chirayu Avinash Patel is running for Insurance Commissioner, and he prefers the Republican Party. He wants to do so in order to manage 168 students so that he can major in every degree at the University of Washington. He plans to run the office externally like the Reagan Administration and internally as the Jefferson Administration. He says he’d be the external commissioner 60 percent of the time, and two other candidates would have the role the other 40 percent of the time. He says he would fill the roles of Ronald, Nancy and Nixon, and the other two would be Carter and Ford. Internally, he says, 168 insurance agents would hold the position in one hour increments.

  • Peter Thompson, Jr. is running for Representative. He prefers the Republican Party. Under Professional Experience he says he’s a Machinist who has worked at one shop owned by a real machinist and two shops owned by bureaucratic shareholder welfare queens. Under Community Service he says, “Praying for the souls of roadkill. Opossum coffins are not awesome.”

Don’t you just love the democratic process? Who says voting is no fun? All jokes aside, though, I’m sitting here poking fun at these people under the assumption that a nut can’t possibly get elected. But I thought that in 2016, too.


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Civilians vs. Law Enforcement

Recently I set off a heated debate in my world. I mentioned that I was glad to see that felons who have served their time in Florida have finally had their voting rights restored (unless they were convicted of murder or felony sex crimes).

Florida has always been the most restrictive state in terms of felony disenfranchisement. According to this article, in Florida, before Amendment 4 was passed, “one in 10 voting-age adults, and almost one in four African American adults were barred from voting for life because of a previous felony conviction.”

It’s clear to me why this has been the case. Florida is a red state, and it was feared that most people who have been in prison would vote blue. Also, with the disproportionate number of African Americans convicted of crimes, this was a handy way of depriving that minority of the vote, which, let’s face it, is the deep South’s wildest dream. (Now they’ll just have to rely on gerrymandering to get their desired results, and they’re quite good at that.)

I really believe that if we think that prisoners who have done their time have paid their debt to society, then we have no right to prevent them from participating therein. Now, do I expect that most of them will? No. Most of the rest of us don’t vote, unfortunately. Why should they be any different? But they should have the option.

The more roadblocks we place in their paths, the less likely they will be to reenter society with even a modicum of success. We set them up for failure. We make it nearly impossible for them to find decent jobs. We don’t want them as our next door neighbors. We don’t want them voting. Is it any wonder they remain on the fringe of civilization?

When I expressed this opinion, I got a lot of pushback from the people I know who formerly worked in the law enforcement field. The general consensus seemed to be, once a felon, always a felon. They have no inclination to participate in society.

When other friends, civilians like me, said that this might give them some incentive to do so, the law enforcement people opined that they know better. They won’t change.

We civilians piped up that even if only a tiny percentage wanted to change, that’s worth it. That’s when things got hostile. Apparently we shouldn’t form an opinion because we’d never experienced what the law enforcement types have experienced.

Then we pointed out that the law enforcement types wouldn’t, by definition, come into contact with the felons who were trying to change their lives, so their stats are biased.

More anger. Have we personally seen people attempt to change?

Yes. Examples were given.

That response, of course, was ignored. One person from the law enforcement camp  said they used to laugh at all the “do-gooders” who were attempting to change felons.

But we never said we were attempting to change them. We were just glad that they had their rights restored, so that they could make their own choices.

We civilians pointed out that we were sorry that the experience of law enforcement had left them so jaded. The law enforcements fired back that they were realists and that we had no right to weigh in since we didn’t have their experiences. (I half expected them to start calling us Muggles.)

We were then told that we can’t change anyone. They had to change themselves. Again, we pointed out we are trying to give these people the opportunity to change themselves. Again, this went unheard. They just said that they speak facts.

(Actually, no. These are opinions based on experiences, but clearly these opinions are so strongly held that they see them as facts.)

I can understand why one would become bitter and cynical when dealing day in and day out with the very dregs of society. It actually happened to me, too, for a time, in a job where I dealt with a lot of liars and people prone to fraud. That’s why I quit. I didn’t like how it was causing me to view society in general.

I think there’s a reason why law enforcement types often socialize only with one another. The rest of us don’t get it. We Muggles have a completely different worldview.

But we don’t get it because we have the luxury of hanging out with the majority of society, which is either law abiding or has paid its debt and is attempting to move on. How lucky we are. How grateful we should be.

Law enforcement is necessary, and I’m very glad that it exists. But unfortunately I believe that it’s a career path that warps one’s view of society. People in law enforcement have to live in a dark world, and therefore they have a tendency to forget how to see the sun. And it’s a little scary to think that people with warped views of society are in charge of keeping the peace.

I honestly don’t know what the solution is for this. But I’ll still maintain that if even one Florida felon enters the voting booth, I will consider Amendment 4 a smashing success. Congratulations Florida, for finally getting something right. (In my opinion, of course.)

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Hanscom Voter Syndrome. A Disease Worth Avoiding.

Election day has come and gone here in King County, Washington State. We had less than a 26 percent turnout. That astounds me. The state of Washington makes it so easy to vote that it seems like pure heaven to this Florida girl.

In Florida, you had to wait for hours in the hot sun, sometimes only to be turned away. And you had to do your own homework to figure out who to vote for. Here, you vote by mail, and at least a week before the election you get a nice thick magazine that gives you information about every single candidate and issue so you can make an informed choice. If you don’t want to pay for the stamp to mail your ballot, there are free election drop boxes in many convenient locations. I’m surprised they don’t send a personal courier to your home, such is the ease of voting around here. And yet people still don’t vote. Stunning. Shameful.

But then there are some people who vote who clearly don’t take it seriously, either. It seems that some will vote for any clown who tumbles out of the political clown car, regardless of his fitness for duty. (Yeah, yeah, we learned this when Trump got elected, but silly me, I thought that would be all the lesson we would need. Apparently not.)

Case in point: Here’s the personal statement of Russell L. Hanscom, who ran for City of Kent Council Position No. 6. This isn’t a joke. It actually came from our voter’s magazine.


So, here’s a guy who’s coming right out and saying he isn’t sure he wants the job, and that if he gets it, odds are good that he won’t be effective. One wonders why he bothered to run at all. He actually said in a television interview that he was just being honest, and yet he expected it to be a tight race.

Personally, I couldn’t vote for or against him, as I don’t reside in the City of Kent. I would have LOVED voting against him, though. It seems like a no-brainer to me. The only thing that would have made me more certain was if someone had gotten him on tape bragging that he liked to grab pussies. (No. I’m not saying he did that. That was our president.) But apparently even that wouldn’t slow the voting public down.

Fortunately, the race wasn’t close at all. He got less than 28 percent of the vote, while his opponent, Brenda Fincher, got the rest. Yay!

But here’s what freaks me out: He got 3,616 votes. Seriously. 3,616 people read his statement, and apparently thought that commitment and effective representation were not qualities that they find to be particularly important in their city council, so they voted for Russell. Or maybe they didn’t bother reading his statement at all. Maybe they just didn’t want to vote for his opponent, an African American woman. That thought is equally scary to me, especially after reading her personal statement and getting the sense that she actually gives a damn about her city, and has worked quite hard for it.

Was Russell’s statement honest? Yeah. He definitely told it like it is. But he’s telling you that he’s going to be indifferent and a waste of human flesh, people! You think that’s funny? You think that’s admirable? Why?

Trump disease is still alive and well in this country. I will now think of it as HVS: Hanscom Voter Syndrome. And it makes me weep for those of us who have to live with the results. This time we got off easy. (If you think having one’s time wasted in any election is easy.)

At a bare minimum, Hanscom’s statement is insulting to those of us who take the process seriously. Please explain why we are setting the bar so low. I just don’t get it.

Congratulations, Brenda Fincher! Score one for the good guys! For a change.


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Allow Me to Simplify

Here lately, humanity seems to be struggling with concepts that should be pretty straightforward. It doesn’t make any sense at all. It is causing conflict and anxiety that seems completely unnecessary. Given that so many people these days don’t seem to want to think, let me lay down some basic concepts for you:

  • Nazis? Bad.

  • Texting while driving? Deadly.

  • Waiting your turn? You freakin’ better!

  • Violence? Bad.

  • Compassion? Karma, baby.

  • Net neutrality? Crucial.

  • Racism and/or sexism? Idiotic.

  • Flossing? Necessary.

  • A fur coat for your schnauzer when people are starving? Unconscionable.

  • A right to health care? Obviously.

  • Voting? The most important thing you can do.

  • Helping yourself to my french fries? Get your own.

  • Not pulling right up to the car in front of you in a traffic jam, thus preventing the people behind you from getting through intersections sometime this century? MORONIC.

  • Abuse of power? May your chickens come home to roost, and soon.

  • Courtesy and Respect? The bedrock of civilization.

  • Education? Critically important.

  • Science? Real.

  • Smoking? Bad for you. Even worse for those who love you.

  • Human rights and basic freedom for everyone? Duh.

  • Paying your fair share? Of course.

  • Vaccinations? Not important, as long as you’re okay with having the life expectancy we had in the freakin’ 1600’s.

  • Global warming? HERE. NOW.

  • Abuse of children or animals? Sick. Demented. One of the few things worthy of torture.

  • Taking care of the planet? A good idea if you want to live.

  • Blocking the grocery aisle because you’ve run into a friend? STUPID.

None of these concepts seem particularly controversial to me. And yet here we are, a world divided on these issues. I don’t get it. I really don’t. Please make me understand.

common sense

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%&#@*^% Opinion Polls

As election day drew near and my stress level increased, I took a great deal of comfort from visiting the website. This is considered the poll of polls. Nate Silver combines a wide spectrum of sources to reach kind of an aggregate on his website. And right up to the big day, he predicted that Hillary Clinton had at least a 30 percent chance of beating Donald Trump.

Well, so much for that. Now there’s this huge retroactive scramble to try to figure out why all the opinion polls got it so wrong. Did a large number of undecided voters cast their lot with Trump at the very last minute? Did people who had every intention of voting for Trump lie to pollsters because they were too ashamed to admit their decision? We’ll probably never know for sure.

But here’s what I’d dearly like to know: how many people didn’t bother to vote because they saw these opinion polls and figured their desired outcome would come about without them having to get their lazy butts off their respective couches? Poll that, if you will.

I really can see the value of opinion polls for the people running campaigns. It helps them determine where they should focus their efforts, and what issues appear to be most important to the people. But, more and more, I believe that the results of opinion polls should not be revealed to the general public prior to the election.

Opinion polls have entirely too much influence on elections. I’m sure that a certain percentage of people cast votes based solely on what they deem to be popular consensus. Others, as stated above, don’t vote if they think their candidate will win anyway. Still others will vote, when they wouldn’t have otherwise, if they think their candidate is falling behind.

But here’s my biggest reason for distrusting opinion polls: No one has ever polled me. Not once. When you conduct a poll, here are the metrics: Your results will be based on the responses given by the people you poll. And by process of elimination, that means that your results will NOT be based on the opinions of the people you don’t or are unable to poll.

No one asked me. Who else didn’t they ask? So in truth, opinion polls mean absolutely nothing. And yet they have this insane impact.

So here’s a thought: Ban public disclosure of opinion poll results prior to the election’s outcome. And for that matter, ban exit polls, and even revealing individual state results until ALL polling places are closed. Make voting mandatory, as they do in Australia. And get rid of the electoral college. Only when you do these three things will you truly be able to say, “The people have spoken.”


99% of the people I polled say you should buy my book!

Revel in This Privilege




privilege; plural noun: privileges

synonyms:advantage, benefit

  • a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people.

When I was a little girl, my mother took me to a special place. We stood in line. Then we went into this booth and drew a curtain. There was a wall with many levers on it. I remember holding onto her skirt for balance and  looking up as my mother pulled some of the levers, and ignored others. Then we left.

I didn’t really understand what was going on at the time, although I’m sure she tried to explain it to me. I could tell that whatever it was, it was very important. I was proud of my mother for pulling those levers. And with that curtain drawn, I knew I had been let in on a big secret. It was exciting.

That was my first voting experience, and clearly it made a big impression on me, because as soon as I was old enough to vote, I did. And I always have. And I always will (despite the fact that the levers are gone, so it doesn’t seem nearly as cool).

It astounds me that more people don’t take advantage of this privilege. That’s what it is, you know. Not a chore. Not an inconvenience. A lot of people on this planet don’t have this right. They don’t get to voice their opinion about who should be running their country, and by extension, their lives. They don’t get to say, “This is how I want things to be done.” If you can do this, why on earth wouldn’t you?

Yes, we can talk about corrupt politicians, whether or not this or that race is rigged, how the rich have unfair influence and on and on, but imagine how much worse it would be if none of us voted at all. How quickly the virtual shackles would click on our wrists.

And as a woman, every time I vote I think of all the women who fought and died and protested and were jailed and went on hunger strikes and were force fed just so that this privilege could be mine. Any woman who does not vote may as well be slapping those women across the face.

This election may be the most important one this country has ever faced. Please don’t sit it out. Be grateful that your voice can be heard. Vote!


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Nice Guys CAN Finish First. With Your Help.

I don’t know about you, but I am sick to death of the political climate in this country. Everyone seems to be out on the lunatic fringe, and I’m getting increasingly concerned that the only choice we will be left with when the dust settles is the age-old voting for the lesser of two evils. This is really starting to test my faith in humanity.

Fortunately, there’s a soothing balm for this raw cynicism. There’s a chance for you to cast a vote for a genuinely, sincerely decent human being and change his life.

I first met Sean Kagalis many years ago in the virtual world of Second Life. There, he goes by the name Strum Diesel. He does live concerts in there, and people can log in from anywhere on the planet to listen. I became an instant fan. From there, I got to know him personally and have seen him perform in real life, much to my delight. Aside from the fact that I genuinely love his music, I also happen to think that he’s a truly kind, compassionate, and worthy human being. He’s one of those people you want to see succeed in this world. He deserves all good things.

 Oooh! Even better! You can double your vote by going here, signing up through my referral, and then searching for Sean Kagalis to cast your vote. (Yes, a few extra key strokes, but it’s for a worthy cause.)Then I will get an extra vote which I promise to cast for him. It will only take you a couple seconds. You can do it from the comfort of your own home. You don’t even have to get out of your jammies.

If you go to this website, you can have the pleasure of listening to the music of my friend Sean Kagalis and also vote for him. If he gets the most votes this month, he will win a cash prize sufficient to give his career a boost. (More details below.) And you can then feel wonderful about yourself, because you’ll be helping a great guy get ahead. You can feel even BETTER about yourself by voting once an hour. He’s within spitting distance of winning this thing, so let’s score one for the good guys for a change!!!

Here’s a picture of him. You can see the kindness in his eyes. Who wouldn’t want to help this man? I’ll let you get to know him a little bit through the interview below.


When did you first realize that music was going to be your life’s work?

Sean: Around age 4.  My cousin Chris who was 13 at the time got me into Kiss and he had a drum set.  As soon as I sat at that kit and held the sticks, I knew.

Does musical talent run in your family?

Yes.  My grandmother can sing like Ella FItzgerald.

Tell me about your musical style. What makes you unique?

I just take real experiences and tell my story.  I’m not sure if that’s unique, but that’s my approach.

A lot of your music has political and/or social content. What first prompted you to use your talent as a way to send a message? What impact has it had? Have you had any backlash from doing so?

I was an only child raised by a single mother who is a veteran.  I’ve never met my biological father who works for the State Department.  The first political song I wrote was at 13 years of age while watching the LA riots after the Rodney King verdict.  There is some backlash to my content.  I was recently passed over by a publisher in Nashville because I have an ‘agenda.’   The only agenda I have is to tell my truth.

Tell me about Artist Signal. How does it work?

Every month an artist wins $10,000 for getting the most fan votes which can be cast hourly.  There are voting blocks present on the platform that make it very difficult to win, but my fans have been tenacious.

What would you do with the 10k if you win?

Record a full album of songs chosen by the fans and press it on a limited run of vinyl.

Why are you dropping out of the competition after this month?

I miss my husband, my dogs, and there’s a lot of ‘vote trading’ involved which has my wrist in great pain.  It’s been over eight months that I have been trying.  I’d rather cut my losses and retain the new fans I have made and move on.

When are you going to get your butt out here to the west coast? And have you ever thought of touring overseas?

As soon as this month is over I will shift my focus to booking.  And I’d love to tour overseas.  I have more supporters outside the US than inside. Plus I was born in Germany. I’d love to visit my birthplace.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?   

I’d like to thank my supporters and friends for giving me such a confidence boost.  I’d encourage folks to check out my website:

Thanks, dear friend. Now, dear readers, don’t forget to vote here!

Florida Shame

One of the best things about having left Florida is that I no longer have to bear the embarrassment of being a resident of that insane state. From hanging chads to the Elian Gonzalez debacle to the stand your ground law and people like George Zimmerman who choose to abuse it, to the draconian voting regulations and the reelection of Governor Rick Scott, as a Floridian it just makes you want to hang your head and not make eye contact with anyone.

But recent news takes the cake. Just when you think that state couldn’t sink any lower, geographically or morally, they pull a caper like this. Now that they have been forced, kicking and screaming, to make gay marriage legal, what has Duval County, the home of my old city, Jacksonville, along with two neighboring counties done? They’ve stopped doing courthouse marriages. For anyone. Why? Because some of their employees are apparently uncomfortable with complying with the new law. Boo hoo.

The question is, does that state try to make itself look ignorant, backward, and bat shit crazy, or is it just that way and it can’t help but broadcast it with every action it takes? And what do they gain from this image? I don’t get it.

When I lived there, news like this meant that I had this chronic, low grade heartburn feeling in my chest that I couldn’t seem to do anything about. It was gnawing away at my very spirit. Now, it just makes me slap my forehead from the opposite side of the country and think, “There but for the grace of God go I.”

Crazy Florida

[Image credit:]

Why I Vote

I used to work with a woman who had never voted, had no intentions of ever doing so, and was quite proud of that fact. She hated this country and everything it stands for, and did not want to participate in it in any way. She dreamed of moving to the Australian outback, where she felt her family would be left alone. (I didn’t have the heart to tell her that voting is compulsory in Australia.)

But I have to say that whenever an election would roll around, I couldn’t stand to be in that woman’s presence. It took everything in me not to try to slap some sense into her. The very palm of my hand would ache to do so.

Yes, politics in this country (probably in all countries) is corrupt, and our elected representatives seem to have no desire to represent us. Yes, it’s annoying to have to choose the lesser of two evils rather than the best person for a job. Yes, it’s hard to sift through all the lies to figure out what is the best choice.

As much as I love Russell Brand and his activism, he has become the poster child for a movement that encourages people not to vote as a form of protest because of all of the above. Brand is an extremely intelligent guy, but on this one subject he’s being idiotic. Yes, it’s a broken system, but by not participating in it, you’re not going to make it go away, and you’re not going to fix it. You’re simply giving your power to others.

Here are a few reasons why I vote:

If you do not vote, as far as I’m concerned, you forfeit the right to complain, because you have made no effort to even try to be part of the solution. And believe me, I am as willing to complain as the next person.

If you don’t vote, the majority opinion is not properly reflected, and that causes policies to be enacted that most of us really don’t desire.

The act of voting is the act of reaffirming your democratic freedom, a right which Americans have been fighting and dying for since the Revolutionary War.

People still can’t vote in Brunei or the United Arab Emirates, and women can’t vote in Saudi Arabia. Elections in North Korea are only for show. China is not a democracy, and they are currently trying to roll back the rights of the Taiwanese. As long as there is even one person in this world who wants to vote and can’t, how can I choose to not take advantage of this privilege?

One of the last things my sister did before she died was take her son to vote in his first presidential election. She knew it was an important lesson to teach him. It was important enough to focus on even though she was dying, so your manicure can wait.

But most of all, I am a woman. Women did not get the vote in the US until the 19th Amendment was passed in 1920. It took 70 years of struggle to make that happen. Women died for it, went to jail for it, and had tubes rammed down their throats and were force fed when they went on hunger strikes for it. After all of that, what right do I have NOT to vote?

So if you’re not voting, you might want to tell me that from a safe distance. I take this very seriously.


See, to me that’s a reason to use your celebrity to get MORE people involved. Sigh.

[Image credit:]