The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday November 26th

Hope can lead to unexpected results of life's competitions

Let me be honest with you right now. As I write my last column before the election, there are a lot of things on my mind.

For starters, my team, the Boston Red Sox, has just swept the World Series. I'm sure many of you will be surprised to know that I am, in fact, from New England.

Liberal and a Yankee - geography-wise, that is. Crazy, I know.

Inherent in the Sox winning their first series in 86 years is a lot of things.

One of them being hope.

Here we had a bunch of self-described "idiots" with all odds against them go undefeated for eight games and take their series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

As a New Englander, I'm looking at this as a good omen. But maybe it's more than an omen. Maybe it's a legacy.

Note to self: Begin transition away from the Red Sox. Back away from the beer.

On a serious note, though, how often in the history of this great nation have we come to bear the fruit of this astounding tradition?

Margaret Mead, renowned anthropologist, activist and writer, said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

As a nation, we stand before one of the most significant elections of our time.

For weeks, I've spoken out about influential issues affecting women in the upcoming election. Whether it be the right to choose, health care or wages, each of these issues effectively will be on the ballot.

My ultimate objective has been to highlight exactly what is at stake for the women on this campus.

I hope that, no matter how you feel about my particular beliefs on these issues, you will take it upon yourself to make an informed decision and to go out and exercise your civic duties.

My interest now is not to make some cheesy rant about the importance of voting. You've been inundated with that message for weeks.

We have been paying close attention to the coverage of networks ranging from MTV to CNN. We have been regaled by celebrities, politicians and pundits about how critical it is to go out to the polls and to be counted.

I'm not trying to underscore their message, either. It is a vital one.

But my message is somewhat different. I ask that you do something that we as the youth of America so often overlook.

I'm asking that you look to the future.

It's harder than it sounds. We often get so caught up in the small-scale drama unfolding around us that we lose sight of the big picture.

There is a lot at stake for us as a nation - and four days from now, it will come to a head.

Four years from now, there will be even more at stake. Let's start thinking about the legacy that we want to create.

I mentioned my niece last week. By the end of the next president's term in office, she will be entering kindergarten.

I want to make sure that the rights and freedoms that I enjoy now will be there, securely in place, for her. I want them to be better and more greatly protected.

I want Sadie to be recognized and appreciated for the merits of her gender, but not defined by them.

I want her to have the chance to compete against boys in sports and at school.

I want her first and last job to be at the same wage and for the same work as the man standing next to her.

I want her to be safe when she walks home at night.

I want her to enter into sex when she's ready and never to be forced or assaulted.

I want her to value and appreciate her body and to be in control of it at all times.

I want her to be informed of all the options available to her regarding her sexuality, and I want those options to be readily accessible to her without stigma.

And if and when she is finally ready to bring her own children into the world, I want it to be on her own terms and in her own time.

All of these aspirations will be with me as I enter the voting booth Tuesday.

I will cast my vote in the hope that they will no longer be simply aspirations but will become a foundation for the undeniable potential of this nation.

Hey, if the Sox can win the series, I feel like anything is possible.

Contact Emily Batchelder

at ebatchel@email.unc.edu.

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