I was born in the summer of 1977. This was the summer terrorized by the Son of Sam, the NYC blackout, the CIA releasing documents revealing it had engaged in mind control experiments, Studio 54 and disco were all the rage, and the second wave feminist movement was allowing women to view their options in a new empowered light. Turn tables, 8 tracks, Nestle Quick in a tin can…this was the summer energy into which I entered the world on a hot, hot, hot July day.
At the time, my mother was working in manufacturing at a company called NCR. She eventually landed a job (in manufacturing) with IBM, and thought she had hit the pinnacle of success. Growing up in a farming family with six siblings and always wearing hand me-downs, there was no money for new or store-bought clothing much less dance classes. And sadly, there was no discussion about college.
In 1967 upon graduating high school at age 18, my mother was given two choices by her parents . She was told, “get a job or get married”. Either way, she was on her own. Sadly she ended up doing both; waitressing at the Creamery cafe on the Cornell University Campus and being divorced within a year of her first marriage.
Even if my mother could afford to attend college in 1967, her career options were limited. According to tavanna.org;
“The 38 percent of American women who worked in 1960 were largely limited to jobs as teacher, nurse, or secretary. Women were generally unwelcome in professional programs…in 1960, women accounted for six percent of American doctors, three percent of lawyers, and less than one percent of engineers. Working women were routinely paid lower salaries than men and denied opportunities to advance, as employers assumed they would soon become pregnant and quit their jobs, and that, unlike men, they did not have families to support.”
Women were not able to open basic bank accounts without the written signature (permission) of either their father or their husband. I urge you to look into your local state or county laws. You may find old laws that pertain to women being the “property” of their husbands or laws that protect the husband from prosecution of criminal acts against their wives such as forced sex (marital rape).
In the 1960’s, alongside the civil rights movement, the second wave of feminism movement took hold and women began to gather and fight for their own equality. Equality in the home, equality in workplace, in education, in the bedroom, in marriage, and in politics. Hillary Rodham was part of this movement. She pushed the barriers and raised the glass ceiling landing a job in Washington right out of college.
Those of us born into Generation X, Y, or who are considered Millennials, CAN’T even imagine not having choices about education, college, marriage, or power over our own bodies and reproductive choices. Yet these “rights” are threatened all the time, even in 2016. Today women continue to make just 80 cents on every dollar a man makes for the SAME EXACT JOB.
And let’s not forget that women in the United States FOUGHT for the RIGHT to vote. Women were jailed, force-fed, and beaten for standing up for the basic civil liberty as a citizen in a democratic country. It was the 19th Amendment, passed in 1920 – LESS THAN 100 YEARS AGO, that granted women the right to vote.
In my opinion, this Presidential race is not about “politics”, it’s about EQUALITY. It’s time for a woman to lead this country. It’s time for little girls to see a WOMAN in charge, as a leader, and understand that being powerful and influential as a woman does not make her “unlikable”, “bossy” or a “bitch”.
There should be no “limits” based on gender. Equal pay for equal work and EQUAL respect.
While Donald Trump has hit a nerve with the American People. “Make America Great Again”. He’s right. We must stop terrible trade deals, not allow China to own 30% of the U.S., bring the focus back to our very own citizens, veterans, children, education. On this, I do not disagree. I do however acknowledge that our great country has been run largely by wealthy, elite, white, MEN. Women did not make the great recession happen. Women are not at the table making trade deals. For 240 years, men have ruled our country.
If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over, and over, and over again and expecting a different result then voting for Donald Trump, another WHITE, PRIVLEDGED, MAN who has been bailed out by the top banks of the World while his shareholders lost all their investment, is (in my opinion) INSANE!
It’s time. It’s time for women to BREAK that glass ceiling. To claim EQUALITY in the Land of the Free where we are promised such. And this my friends, is why I am voting for a WOMAN in the 2016 Presidential election. I am doing this to honor my grandmother, my mother, my daughter, and myself. The time has come to acknowledge that we are 51% of the population and we deserve the SAME respect, dignity, and opportunity as men.