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“Listen to me Josh Miller,” snapped Flossie from under Aunt Louisa, the cow she was milking. I was often Flossie’s favorite sounding board when she wanted to create a new political argument in her brilliant twelve year old mind. “We can’t allow Robert While and his committee to do this to me just because I am a girl. When Indiana was still a wilderness filled with bears and wild Indians, white men walked north from the Falls of the Ohio to conquer this land. When the new men came, they did not come alone. Right beside them where young wives, often no older than me. When a couple found the place they wanted to settle, the woman swung an axe and often occupied the other end of her husband’s two man saw as they felled the trees for their cabin. When there was no mule or ox for stumping, the young wife often shouldered a piece of harness and the couple cleared their land together. There was no doctor or even a midwife like Helen Jackson to call when the babies started coming. The best any woman could hope for was a neighbor woman to come and catch her newborns. When it came time to defend their cabin, girls like me learned to reload their man’s gun and then to shoot and reload her own. Never once in times of great danger did they ask, why me? They came for the same reason their men did, to be free. What has happened to us, Josh? Who made the rules that say that women are the weaker sex? Why would my mother ever think I would give away my freedom for a piece calico and fancy ribbons for my hair? When did ny sisters decide their lives could not be fulfilled without trapping a husband? They must not win, Josh. Neither my sisters, my Aunt Birdie, my mother, or the Committee on Participation be allowed to stop me. To do so would betray those heroic pioneer women who settled this land for you and me. Josh, I must be allowed to compete at your side for the National Championship. For the sake of my sisters, my mother, and women everywhere I must be allowed to participate, not as a girl but as your equal.”