Sunday, January 21, 2018

Woman Power

Yesterday was a national Women's March.  Crowds of women marched for various causes, but what inspires me is that they marched at all, making their voices heard, demonstrating our power as women.

Today two friends and I saw "The Post."  Meryl Streep as Katherine Graham realizes her power as she is brave enough to order her newspaper to "go ahead" with publishing the Pentagon Papers.  At one point she quotes Samuel Johnson, who said after hearing a woman preach at a Quaker meeting, "A woman preaching is like a dog walking on his hind legs.  It is not done well, but you are surprised to find it done at all."
Disgusting, isn't it?  Johnson would have been flabbergasted to meet Katherine Graham, a woman of today.

When I was a youngster, women stayed home, kept the house spotless and raised the children with little help from their husbands.  Some women of my mother's generation "helped out in the store" but rarely did women have jobs of their own.  Women didn't aspire to professions or higher education.  My mother at one point thought of going to college  at the University of Texas in Austin, but my father nipped that idea in the bud.

Although I finished college with a major in speech pathology and worked for a year, as soon as I got married, I quit my job and got pregnant immediately thereafter.  None of my friends worked or even thought about it.  In our organization directory we were listed as "Mrs. XXX," with our first names in parentheses.  When I was asked to donate to various causes, I always answered, "I'll have to ask my husband."  After I was divorced, I announced to my family, "I'll have to start thinking like a man."  It never occurred to me that women might think about a lifetime career.  I believed I was thrust into a man's way of thinking; however, being female, I was unable to get a charge account and my automobile insurance dropped me because divorced women were "more likely to have accidents."

Not surprisingly, I embraced the women's movement.  I attended the first national women's conference in Houston.  One of my favorite souvenirs was a button that said, "A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle."  Yes,  I married again, but I didn't give up my career, and my husband and I shared equally in responsibilities around the house.  I'm proud to say I've never cooked a Thanksgiving turkey; that was his job.

I have watched times change, have seen women become public officials, CEO's, doctors and lawyers.  I have seen women stand up for what they believe in, and this year I've seen women speak up about sexual harassment and march to end sexual abuse.  I'm proud of what we've done and what we're doing.  I'm glad to be a woman of today.


Susan Kane said... [Reply to comment]

Women have advanced and shown the world their talents. Hidden Figures was inspiring.

While the Women's March was in the news and praised, the other march for Pro-Life was ignored. It was a blip that seemed offending to media. Are the views of all women important?


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