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Repeal the 19th Amendment!

Forget repealing the Fourteenth Amendment. Let’s repeal the Nineteenth! Before the Nineteenth Amendment passed, we lived in an idyllic world of hoop skirts and corsets. Vote? We were too concerned that we might faint if left outdoors for any period of time. And as a consequence, everything was so much more ladylike. World War I happened, and our country scarcely participated. We women sat around sewing our political opinions onto samplers and subtly placing them near important figures. “Do you notice that cushion you’re sitting on, Woodrow Wilson?” we asked, demurely. “That cushion endorses the League of Nations.”

Before women got the vote, there was no glass ceiling. It was just a regular ceiling! If we wanted to work in traditionally male-dominated industries such as writing sentimental novels or fighting in the Civil War, we had to pretend to be men, and if they caught us, we were stopped. But now that we can vote, nobody stops us from doing anything. We’re expected to do all the things men do, as well as a few bonus things such as bearing children, having empathy, and hearing ourselves roar. It's too much effort. We even have to arrange our own marriages. Marriages today are to marriages back before suffrage what travel today is to travel back then: someone used to set it all up for you, and it required you to spend a lot of time sitting in uncomfortable chairs. And you couldn't bring nearly so much baggage.

Now we can vote. What has it gotten us, besides Presidents Harding through Obama?

After August 18, 1920, everything went downhill. Women started doing things like “flapping” and “becoming heads of household.” Then there was the temperance movement. Whose idea was that? That was awful.

According to the Center for Women in Politics, women have outvoted men percentage-wise for at least the past 14 years. So you can lay the blame on us for everything that's gone wrong. Maybe if we undid the Nineteenth Amendment, the economy would fall magically back into place, along with our ability to carry on conversations without consulting our smartphones.

Besides, around 40 percent of us still don’t vote. All the Nineteenth Amendment does is make these millions of women feel guilty and awkward when the subject comes up at parties. It’s time we fixed that. Before we get started tackling the Fourteenth Amendment and undoing decades of civil rights progress, we should get in some practice by knocking out the nineteenth. I'm getting my hoop skirt ready now!

By Alexandra Petri  | August 18, 2010; 6:40 PM ET
Categories:  Petri  | Tags:  Alexandra Petri  
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Next: Giuliani speaks on 'mosque.' Now, where's George W. Bush?


Ha. I know this writer is being facetious, but I couldn't agree more.

Posted by: rhymnoceros | August 18, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Maybe we should repeal the 19th Amendment, the first ten are the important ones and besides I know a woman who doesn't even vote every year...women won't miss this amendment will they?

Posted by: Civilius | August 18, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Nicely wicked political satire. Jonathan Swift would be green with envy -- Repealing the 19th Amendment is, after all, a modest proposal.

Posted by: griffina1 | August 18, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

I don't think women shouldn't be allowed to vote. But it would be nice if they weren't allowed to drive!

Posted by: RMS70 | August 18, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

I have to agree with you on this one. If more women were home there would be less men looking for work. There would be more room for higher paying jobs, less harassment in the workplace. Kids that have manners would once again be the norm.

Wow. Imagine it would be an American dream awakened from the nightmare that is called "this is how it is now"

Posted by: applehunter72 | August 18, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Ah, the ironic wit of the satarist. It is so, well in this case unrefreshing.

No one has suggested repealing the 14th Amendment, nor amending it. People have suggested amending the Constitution to clarify the foundation definition of citizenship. It would not be the first time in our history this was done. The 14th Amendment, for example and Dredd Scott were two other times.

The change would modify the establishment of citizenship by birth, it would add other criteria, or more likely allow Congress to add additional criteria. For example it might say that persons born of citizen or naturalized parents and legal resident aliens on permanent immigration visas are automatically citizens. Omitting the passenger in the terminal or the illegal alien children from automatic citizenship.

As it is written today, for example, a person born in Austria to American citizen parents might not qualify for citizenship. Although no one would say today such a child was NOT an American citizen, some "nut wing" Democrats suggested this might be the case for Senator McCain who was born in Panama.

No other nation has this birth place rather than birth right of citizenship. The Amendment process is intended to address deficiencies or modernizations over time. Liberals and one world types who wish America would adhere more to international standards of law would applaud this type of change, one would think. As we would conform then with the citizenship standards of France, German and other far sighted liberal countries.

Posted by: krush01 | August 18, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

krush01---If you would bother to check out the facts you would find that there are 32 Nations with "birthright citizenship" like that of the USA. I assume you like to believe the "E-mail trash" that comes around with silly crap like "we are the only nation with birthright citizenship". Check it out. Just type in "Nations with birthright citizenship". Not hard.

Posted by: truffle4 | August 19, 2010 1:22 AM | Report abuse

Very funny article. But for God's sake don't give those nincompoops at Fox News or the Republican leadership any more crazy ideas. They really don't get satire and irony.

Posted by: taxpayer2 | August 19, 2010 6:14 AM | Report abuse

Snide and facetious do not an argument make.

Restricting citizenship to those born to an American citizen or legal resident is an argument that can be made on its merits. The countervailing argument can also be made on its merits.

That said, this article could have been effective had it made a reductio ad absurdum argument. The fact is that no one in any way at any time has talked about restricting the rights of existing American citizens or residents. The citizenship argument, rather, is about illegal aliens who have, by definition, entered this country in contravention of its laws. Lawbreakers should not benefit from the action of breaking laws. That is why we have statutes like the Son of Sam Law, designed to keep criminals from profiting from their crimes, often by selling their stories to publishers.

Posted by: spamagnet987 | August 19, 2010 7:08 AM | Report abuse

Harry Reid: "No Sane Country Would Permit Birthright Citizenship"

Posted by: hunter340 | August 19, 2010 7:22 AM | Report abuse

Repeal the 19th? ABSOLUTELY!!!

I think that only property-owning white males should have the vote. My only reservation is that to many I am the wrong kind of white (not a WASP you know), but we can work on that. May be another one of those 2nd amendment solutions. Who could object to that?

Posted by: AMviennaVA | August 19, 2010 7:34 AM | Report abuse

Repeal an Amendment? What is this pail of worms talking about? She acts like we still have a CONSTITUTION. She talks like we still have a Representative Government. She talks like we still have a Country that is ruled by LAW, and not by MEN.
There's a CANCER in the White House, and it needs to be CUT OUT.

Posted by: GoomyGommy | August 19, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Bush/Cheney did their best to dismantle the Constitution, thinking the White House should have all the power. Of course, Congress didn't help by passing their power of declaring war to Mutt and Jeff.

Posted by: jckdoors | August 19, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Not only is this piece intellectually shallow, it isn't even funny. No one has suggested repealing the 14th Amendment. Well, except for reactionary left-wingers suggesting that nameless, faceless Republicans want to repeal the 14th Amendment. A desire to pass a constitutional amendment to modify the birthright clause of the 14th Amendment is not the same as advocating the repeal of the 14th Amendment. To suggest otherwise is disingenuous at best.

Posted by: mathewcarson1975 | August 19, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Dear Ms Petri; all,

fwiw, i think you're wasting your time at the washington COMpost. - instead you should be replacing WILL ROGERS as America's main WIT! = i predict that you'd get RICH!
(NO, i'm not joking - you write GREAT/entertaining satire.)

funniest column that i've read in years. - PLEASE do some more similar writing.=====> may i suggest that you next turn your pen upon Princess Pelosi, Harry Reid, BHO, Chuck Shumer, Barney Frank, Jesse Jackson, "DUH, reverend not-too-SHARPton" & puncture those "blown-up", SELF-impressed bags of HOT air.

your new/main FAN.

to all: let's all get together & get Alexnadra Petri her own weekly TV show. = FOX would welcome her, i suspect.
(the DULLARDS that run ABC, CBS & NBC are too "SELF-important" & DIM-witteed to understand irony/satire, much less appreciate it.)

yours, TN46
coordinator, CCTPP

Posted by: texasnative46 | August 19, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Satire is supposed to be funny right? But I can't even tell who she's poking fun at here.

Posted by: Eric12345 | August 19, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Hey, let's repeal the whole thing. That's solve the gun issue, too. Bring back King George (not Bush, the German!). Maybe we could go all the way back to feudalism, and finally make the Republicans satisfied.

Posted by: samsara15 | August 19, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Just to clarify, I don't think anything even needs to be done to the 14th Amendment. If we control our borders, and stop illegal immigration, this is a non-issue. I just thought Ms. Petri's attempt to be clever was disingenuous and stupid.

Posted by: mathewcarson1975 | August 19, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse


OR we could repeal whole Constitution & appoint BHO as "TSAR BARACK the FIRST", of the USA.

then the hate-FILLED, antisemitic,terminally IGNORANT, secular humanist, LOUD-mouthed, ARROGANT, ELITIST, SELF-important "leaders" of The DIMocRATS Party would be PLEASED.

BHO and "his coven of BIGOTS, Chicago thugs, America-HATERS, corrupt union bosses, LEFTIST lunatics & fools" would be PLEASED to make EVERY decision FOR you!

then all you would have to do is SUBMIT to "your betters".

yours, TN46

Posted by: texasnative46 | August 19, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

You realize if the 19th amendment were repealed, it wouldn't magically take away women's voting rights... right?

Posted by: brianshapiro | August 19, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I know this writer is trying to be funny, but I am glad women have the vote. Now I, too, can have my vote. I don't have to vote the way my wife tells me, because she has her own vote. Seriously, any man in a good marriage discusses important things with his wife. He may or may not do what she says. But women have good ideas, and I must admit that I prefer an equal partner to a woman who obeys whatever I say. I have made changes in my thinking based on those discussions with my wife. She is a source of excellent ideas, and when I don't agree with her I have to examine my beliefs to really be sure I am right in those beliefs. I voted for Clinton the first time, my wife avoided making that error. Never trust a politician who is on the campaign trail; instead, pay attention to his [or her] background and any voting record he [or she] already has.

Posted by: Isaldur43 | August 19, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Not nearly as funny as the city sidewalk "End Women's Suffrage" petition drive on "The Man Show," 10 or so years ago.

But congratulations on being less funny than Jimmy Kimmel. That requires quite a bit of effort.

Posted by: Ralphinjersey | August 19, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Young Lady - Your statement - that we barely participated in WWI reveals your ignorance. By the time we got into the fight, the Western countries that were fighting the Hun were pretty much done. If it wasn't for Pershing and the thousands of doughboys the outcome of the war would have been entirely different. We might have been late but our actions were not inconsequentional.


Posted by: Ardmore | August 19, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Dear texasnative46,

I think you need to take a break from the internet...your posting comes off as borderline psychotic, and you abuse quotation marks and capitalization. Your reference to the Post as the Washington COMpost will haunt me as one of the stupidest attempted play-on-words I've ever come across. Meanwhile the rest of us are trying to enjoy some good satire. Please, for America, stop your herpin and derpin.

Posted by: purpledrank | August 20, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm still trying to figure out how this article elicited this set of comments.

Posted by: jeffwacker | August 23, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

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