First Woman President Vote 2/05/08

by Edie McClurg
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hillary.jpg Today a goal of my adult lifetime was realized. In 1970 I was involved in the Student Strikes at Syracuse University following the killing of students at Kent State University while they were protesting the Vietnam War. I was an anti-war activist and reported on the strikes for the local public radio station.

But I was not yet an active Feminist. That came later when, as the first woman instructor in the Radio/TV division of the University of Missouri at Kansas City, I was denied a vote in Department meetings. But I was expected to make the coffee and do a donut run for the men who would attend the meetings. I purposely made the coffee badly and was taken off the task. I then started reporting on the activities and protests of the Kansas City Women’s Liberation Union. I produced a weekly radio program on the NPR station called “New World Coming” from 1972 to 1974. I attended protests for equal rights. I know I have a dusty file in the Kansas City office of the FBI because of my activism. 

pecansandie.jpgI drove far out into rural Kansas to interview an 85 year old Suffragist: the first woman to cast a vote after the passage of women’s suffrage in 1926. She still claimed to be a “lady” as though I would dispute her femininity. She would not put the tea kettle on until I had arrived. She said that tea was best made with freshly boiled water. Pecan Sandies accompanied the tea and as I had just driven four hours to see her, I hoovered the plate clean. She told of going to lobby members of the House of Representatives about the vote in Washington DC; but her description was more about her dress, hat, gloves, and shoes chosen to charm the men who would decide women’s voting future. Sitting there in my body shirt, hiphuggers, and Earth Shoes, I felt lucky to be living in modern times; but knew there was a long way to go. Today I cast my vote for possibly the First Woman President of the United States of America. And I wept in the little booth.

I’m proud of my past and I’m still hopeful about the future.

 

Edie McClurg was a manager of an NPR station in Kansas City and has voiced and produced
many segments of “All Things Considered”. She is a film and television actress and
multi-talented improvisational comedian.

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