Voting is one of the things I’m most passionate about. Sadly, I recently overheard a girl declaring that she didn’t think her vote would make a difference. Now it would be easy for me to reference the battle our great-grandmothers fought to give us the right to exercise our voice in elections, but instead of pushing the “guilt” button, I’d rather inspire you to the polls.
I literally had chills run down my back because yes, maybe a single vote doesn't sway an entire election, but an apathetic, disempowered paradigm of your role in society absolutely does. I despise the critique that our generation is entitled, that we are a convenience-based, superficial, instant-gratification-seeking bunch. Our work ethic is laughed at, our commitments are viewed as nonexistent, and our flakiness is at an all-time high.
When I hear comments like the one mentioned above, though, I understand why we're often seen that way. All that being said, I don't think it's necessarily our fault as much as it's our responsibility to do something about it. I know that politics can feel overwhelming, that it's easier to call it a contentious conversation topic and somehow justify a voluntary ignorance, but honestly, it's a cop-out.
Regardless, this election is going to be one of the most important for women's issues, so it's in all of our best interests to make our voices heard. We need girls seriously participating in the election because birth control and Planned Parenthood (among other issues) will effectively be on the ballot. Regardless of your belief system, religion or political preferences, I'm just passionate about reminding you that you matter. Your voice is important, what you think matters, and that's what you are proving to yourself when you cast your vote.
It may seem inconvenient, but you are saying to the world that what you think is important. It's an honor and a privilege that thousands of people literally died for, just so we could have a say in how our government is run. It’s too easy to simply say that government is corrupt, but I think that’s a cop-out, too. There are good people doing their best to work within a flawed system to protect us, support us, and be a voice for us. Those real spokespeople can’t be a voice for the people if we don’t take the first step by speaking up.
This is our chance to be heard, our opportunity to exercise our right to impact the future, and our responsibility to step up to the plate when it matters most. Whether my candidate wins or loses, I want to know I cast my vote and participated in an election that will affect every aspect of my life. Don’t sit in the stands of your own life, get out there and be THAT GIRL who votes!
So, take the time to read articles online, surf some political sites, get informed, and join the conversation. If you don’t think your one vote matters, imagine if just our I AM THAT GIRL (IATG) community spoke up on election day. That would be almost 100,000 voices and that's power. Maybe one person can’t do too much, but we collectively can. Don’t underestimate the power you have to make a difference because the opportunity is right in front of you. We at IATG are here to remind you of your innate worth, but we’re also here to hold you accountable to be the best version of you. And that's the version who speaks up and inspires others to do the same.
Images courtesy of Affinia.com, Timeanddate.com