“Standing Tall” Inspired by the Autry Museum

From the diary of Anna Forrest, 1870

I saw a field of sunflowers today and I understand now more than ever why they represent the suffrage movement. At the gathering, women were preaching about standing strong, tall and confident about their rights. I hear their words, but did not appreciate, I did not heed their message. They seemed like radicals, spewing out words about independence, equality and our natural born rights. It didn’t dawn on me that they were standing up for me too. That I, a young wife, did not have the ability to speak my voice. That my husband represented my opinion, that my voice was silenced because I had not been freed yet from the chains that hold all women down. This wasn’t something I considered, until I went to the rally.

These brave women are right! If we ever do win the right to vote, how much could that change our status? How much would it affect our lives… to know that our stance could possibly be counted in such an important opportunity such as voting? Men can say what they wish, but I stand with these women.

I want my unborn daughter to be born into a world where she is not cast down simply because she is a girl. I want to stand with these women so my daughter and my daughter’s daughter can prosper in a world that recognizes that voices are all considered equal. I wonder why on earth I had not cared to look inward and question why wives could not vote. It’s harrowing and upsetting to feel ignorant in that sense. But I suppose this is a blessing, that my eyes have been opened by the possibility of progress, the strength of our voices, and the opportunistic future that lies ahead of us all.

I walked by the field of sunflowers, feeling my daughter kick inside me, and today I decided, as I looked at the yellow flowers, that I too would stand a little taller today and for my future days as well.