KERNS: Media Spend Women’s History Month Forgetting Republicans — Not Democrats — Gave Women Right to Vote

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Jen Kerns Contributor
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Over the weekend, women celebrated #InternationalWomensDay on social media and at events across the globe

The United Nations’ slogan for the day was, “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change.”

For Women’s History Month, Rolling Stone magazine featured Speaker Nancy Pelosi along with Reps. Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez paying homage to the record number of women serving in the 116th Congress and of course, bashing Republican President Donald Trump.

Democrat females even wore “suffragette white” to last month’s State of the Union address.

Each of these feminist commemorations failed to communicate that Republicans — not Democrats — were responsible for granting women the right to vote in the first place.

It is a trailblazing history of which Republicans should be proud.

The Women’s Rights Convention held in 1848 was the catalyst for the women’s rights movement. Two years later, another convention followed where the matter was discussed.

By 1870, the Massachusetts Republican State Convention had already seated two “suffragettes” who had fought for the women’s right to vote — Lucy Stone and Mary A. Livermore.

Just two years later, the National Republican Convention of 1872 approved a resolution calling for a wider role for women in the political process, and demanding that “additional rights” for women “should be treated with respectful consideration.”

In 1892, two women delegates from Wyoming were seated for the first time at a national political convention — but it was the Republican National Convention (not the Democrats’.) This same convention was the first time a woman was ever allowed to speak at a national political convention — again, it was a Republican convention. During her speech, the chairwoman of the Women’s Republican Association of the United States vouched for Republicans’ commitment to granting women the right to vote and said they would see the fight through to the end.

Finally, at the request of Republican Susan B. Anthony, Sen. A.A. Sargent — a Republican from California — introduced the 19th Amendment to grant women the right to vote. The amendment was voted down by a Democrat-controlled Senate.

When Republicans regained control of Congress in 1919, they passed the Equal Suffrage Amendment as one of their first orders of business.

It was a decades-long fight that Republicans saw through to the end.

Without Republican leadership and support, women would not have gained the right to vote when they did; in fact, perhaps they might not have gained it at all.

It is hard to tell exactly where Republicans lost control of the message that it was they — not Democrats — who were the champions of women. It was likely during Gloria Steinem’s “second-wave” feminism of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Without Republicans fighting for women, there would be no Nancy Pelosi or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Any story about Women’s History Month that hails the record number of Democrat women in Congress — while failing to mention Republicans’ role in fighting for them — is not only biased, it is an incomplete history.

Jen Kerns (@JenKernsUSA) served as spokeswoman for the California Republican Party; spokeswoman for California’s Proposition 8, which went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court; and as a Fox News writer for the 2016 U.S. presidential debates.

 The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.