Two weeks after the Beauty of a Woman Blogfest (sponsored by August McLaughlin) it is International Women’s Day. Facebook is rife with posts about the accomplishments, often unrecognized, of women in science and mathematics. It is hard for younger women to realize how far we’ve come. It makes me sad to realize how far we have to go.
In my lifetime, the approval of the Birth Control pill probably afforded women the greatest gift: the freedom to choose when she bears children. This was quite the miracle for women in my youth. My mother, good Catholic woman that she was/is, had seven babies. My grandmother (her mother in law) told me not to be stupid, “like your mother” and have a houseful of kids. Since this was a few weeks before my wedding and since I was already on the pill, I wasn’t too worried and told her so, although I didn’t tell her why.
She explained that no woman ever had to have a bunch of kids. Her insurance? “When you’re done ‘messing around’ get up, go to the bathroom and drink a big glass of cold water.”
I kid you not – that was her process for birth control. Apparently it worked because she only had four children. <VBG>
No, I didn’t rely on grandma’s method, but I did take the pill regularly, until we decided to have a family.
My how things have changed. We had to have a signed letter of permission from the doctor to allow my husband into the delivery room for the birth of our first born. The doctor didn’t understand why I wanted him to bother me at that time, but since I insisted, he agreed to send the letter with his permission.
During my third pregnancy in 1975, my husband and I agreed that I would have a tubal ligation after the birth. To my amazement, I had to have hubby’ signed permission for that procedure. In 1975. So while we tend to rail about the poor treatment of women in the third world, it’s important to remember that our more egalitarian treatment of women is fairly new.
Nothing irritates me more than young women saying there’s no longer a need for the women’s movement. Really?
Take a look around.
Men still hold the vast majority of positions of power. In fact, male dominance is so prevalent that when a woman achieves such a position, it makes the nightly news. Her every move is watched, commented on, and critiqued.
Meantime, the CEO of Target, which was introduced into Canada less than two years ago, has resigned, shortly after announcing that the company is closing up shop in Canada The chain totally misread the Canadian marketplace and lost a bundle. His severance package? $61 million. The amount of severance paid to all Target Canada employees, many of whom are women? $57 million. Yes, you read that right. He received $4 million more than all the Target Canada employees!
Let’s talk about equality and fairness.
There’s lots of work to do before women get equality.
[tweetthis]There’s lots of work to do before women get equality.[/tweetthis]
Our plight is awful in the third world but it’s not that great here in North America, especially when compared to that of men. So what can we do?
Speak up. Vote for women, when they’re the best candidate. Join an organization. Speak up for women.
Most important of all, know that we’ve come a long way, baby. But we’ve still got a long way to go.