MEDIA & THE ARTS

Remembering Texas Mujeres

As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of 19th Amendment this month, which granted women the right to vote in 1920, we must also remember that Black women, Native women, Latinas and all WOC were excluded and wouldn’t have the same right until 1965 (and not until 1975 if you spoke Spanish.) We celebrated National Latina Day last week and today is Women’s Equality Day, so we want to honor the mujeres of Texas.

While white women gained the right to vote in the East coast, mujeres in Texas were fighting Spain for independence over a ten year period, which resulted in a victory and becoming the new nation of Mexico. Decades later they fought again in the Republic of Texas, then fought again against the encroaching U.S. colonies immigrating from the East, and lastly, our bisabuelas fought in the Mexican revolution (oh and there was also the 1918 pandemic) — whew we are EXHAUSTED, but we are GUERRERAS .

Soldaderas during Mexican Revolution [credit: Eduardo Francisco Vazquez Murillo]

During all this time before 1920 we had groups of ‘sociedades mutualistas’ popping up since the early 1830s across Texas – often named in honor of Mexican Sheroe “Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez” these women-based orgs worked to create schools, community programs; Mexican women owned land in Texas (until the U.S. colonized) so these orgs also fought to keep land grants. The sociedades also fought for social justice, including speaking out on the lynchings of Mexicans.

These women paved the way to fight for the right to vote! VIVA LA MUJER, VIVA TEXAS y VIVA EL VOTO! So we better vote, our bisabuelas didn’t fight all that so that we could just sit out elections.

Of course be safe, vote early and call ahead to see if your voting stations offer curbside voting, which you can request. Find more info at TexasDemocrats.org

“Sociedad de Mutualistas de Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez” Alpine, TX circa 1900
[credit Texas Archives]

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