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RepealThe19th shames women

Credit: India Price/Online Editor Credit: India Price/Online Editor
Editorials featured in the Forum section are solely the opinions of their individual authors.

Editor’s note: This weekly series highlights stories of women mentioned in the media. Find previous installments @ thetartan.org.

I am not an avid Twitter user, but this past Wednesday I spent a good fifteen minutes trying to login to my old Twitter account to see if #RepealThe19th was a hashtag that was actually trending. This was an effort that involved five incorrect passwords, a “Forgot My Password” e-mail, and concluded with the realization that I did not know the password to my “luv2read713” email account from middle school— in case you can’t tell from my old email address I was the most popular seventh grader to walk those hallways.

After a valiant attempt, I had to resign and make a new account. Much to my utter horror, when I opened the webpage, there in the left hand side bar of my screen was #RepealThe19th under “Trending.” I clicked on the hyperlink and began to scroll through hundreds of tweets brandishing the hashtag.

At first I tried to console myself, many of these tweets were using the hashtag as a form of backlash against those who had used it in a serious context earlier. As I scrolled further down, however, I saw tweets from women reading “I would be willing to give up my right to vote to make this happen #RepealThe19th” and “men should never have given women the right to vote #RepealThe19th.”

Now, one asks what spurred these two women and so many others to have the sudden desire to give up their right to vote? What negative impact would the female vote have on the election?
Well, this past Tuesday Nate Silver, a statistician who specializes in baseball scores and election trends, posted two maps to the website fivethirtyeight.com, which charted the division of electoral votes if only men voted in the election as compared to if only women voted. These maps quickly made their way to Twitter where a [flurry of reactions ensued](http://www.latimes.com/nation/politics/trailguide/la-na-trailguide-updates-trump-backers-tweet-repealthe19th-1476299001-htmlstory.html].

Based on Silver’s math, if women did not vote in the election, Trump would win with 350 electoral votes. If, on the other hand, only women voted, Clinton would win in a historic landslide.

So now comes in the Twitter war fueled by ignorance, misogyny, and rage. Trump supporters tweeted using the hashtag #RepealThe19th highlighting just how much of their freedom they are willing to give away to elect a man who will limit their freedoms even further. The response to these sexist tweets was tremendous, and quite honestly were the reason why the hashtag began trending.

The fact that the hashtag gained such popularity as a result of the backlash, however, is irrelevant when considering the bigoted mindset that set such a hashtag in motion. Come this January, there is a real chance that a woman will be sworn into office for the first time in United States history and at the same time we have people who believe that women should not have the right to vote.

The sexism and misogyny that is at the core of Donald Trump’s campaign is disgusting, but what is more despicable is the fact that his female supporters tolerate, and in many cases endorse, this backward mindset.

These past two weeks have not been goods ones for the Trump campaign, particularly when it comes to the female demographic. The video footage of Trump making lewd comments about women, which has repeatedly referred to as “locker room talk,” has caused other Republicans to withdraw their support and argue that he should drop out of the race, but what is appalling is the fact that the videos have not seemed to sway polls nearly as much as one would expect.
This fact, coupled with the tweets of #RepealThe19th, made me start to lose faith in women in America. Women cannot accept this kind of treatment and behavior; every woman who does is just as bad as the perpetrator. The strides made by women in this country in the past century are groundbreaking, but we have not reached equality yet.

In fact, it seems we are further away than I had previously believed. But this does not mean we should be disheartened. If anything, it means that women need to fight for and demand the respect they deserve more than ever. This is nothing new for women, nor is the resilience of the female spirit anything new.

To think for a moment that taking away women’s suffrage will better our country or the world in any way is so sadly mistaken that all that can be done is to declare as loudly and a frequently as possible the strength, power, and importance of women in order to rebut the hate and sexism.