I just finished the book “America's Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines” and here’s what I think we need to understand today:
- Our nation was built, and civilized, in no small part by the backbreaking work of women, slaves, and immigrants. Women have done this work while shouldering the burden of pregnancy, childbirth, and child rearing.
- Today, most men and women can’t even fathom the near-constant opposition American women have faced throughout history. Women could teach, run their husband’s plantations, serve as nurses and even surgeons on our military’s front lines, but could not vote, sign a lease, or, until 1974 (!!!), have a credit card. (To name only a few things.)
- The reason we don’t have to worry about so many of these things now is because of women’s RELENTLESS fighting, protesting, and marching. These rights were hard won by women who dedicated their lives — enduring shame, abuse, and arrest — to making sure we wouldn’t have to.
- For every American woman who dared to wear pants, work outside the home, or fight for basic equality, there were other women who shamed her and fought just as hard against her. Yes, many women fought against their own equality, and continue to do so today.
- So many women like me can’t imagine fighting for rights simply because we’ve been basically, if not perfectly, FINE for 30+ years. I hope that this has not made us lazy and soft. I hope that we can be courageous and organized enough to fight for ourselves and our fellow Americans.
Nothing good or fair comes without a fight.