Suffrage Good; Suffering Bad

by Tina Blue
August 19, 2003

I often read articles, essays, and message board posts that deplore the "suffrage" of this or that group of people.  Right now, the "suffrage" people seem most concerned about is the "suffrage" of the Iraqi people, first under Saddam Hussein, and now under American occupation.

But, really, under Saddam, the Iraqis didn't have suffrage.  And they don't yet have suffrage under American occupation either, though the Bush administration keeps insisting that there will soon be honest, open, elections in Iraq, and that all Iraqi citizens will certainly have suffrage when that time comes.

If suffrage were the same thing as suffering, then the American Suffragists (initially known as "Suffragettes") would not have fought so hard and squawked so loudly for "woman suffrage."

Suffrage is enfranchisement, folks, the right to vote.  As Martha Stewart might say, "It's a good thing."

It is not suffering, which is something to avoid and deplore.
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