Women, women, women
When I was in 8th grade, home economics was part of the curriculum. I also got to take shop but not as many women signed up for that one. I am pretty sure that no men that I know of did the home economics route either.
I just finished reading The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah. This is the third book of hers that I have read. We follow a family through the dust bowl era. Women had it much worse than men. Many men couldn’t deal and up and left their families high and dry. Another thing that stuck with me is the curriculum young girls were being taught vs. what the boys were being taught. If we want to understand why women have yet to be treated equal, read our history. It doesn’t take much.
Much has changed since 1960, such as women do not have to lose their name when they get married, we can have our own credit ratings and bank account, and we can own our own residence. Gloria Steinem said, “women are not going to be equal outside the home until men are equal in it.” It speaks louder than words, especially as we see the frightening data on how many women are leaving the workplace during the Covid pandemic. Men must become equal partners in the house, period.
There need to be more accessible role models for young women and men. What are the books that you read in high school or college? The “greats” like Steinbeck, Salinger, Orwell, Steinbeck, Shakespeare, and Hemingway. Some female authors are probably in there, such as Harper Lee and Toni Morrison but were there really a pedagogical balance of women and men authors foisted on us to read during our educational years?
Go to your local park or walk around your city. How many statues are dedicated to women who have made an impact in our history?
There are so many successful women that none of us have ever heard of. Why is that man seems to own the narrative? I read a quote from Carol Gilligan that really stuck with me. “The hardest times for me were not when people challenged what I said, but when my voice was not heard.” How many women feel that way in the workplace or other places in their lives? Too many.
It is up to women to rise to the occasion to expect equality and have their voices heard. Years ago, when we were living the suburb life, time and time again, I would see extremely capable women who had incredible educations and serious careers before dropping out of the workplace to become at-home mothers. Perhaps just for a time, or perhaps they never returned to the workplace. Regardless, when a plumber or an electrician come to their homes to do work, they would call their husband to rely on what they were told to do. Why, why, why?
I just finished reading Cassandra Speaks’, When Women Are the Storytellers, the Human Story Changes by Elizabeth Lesser. There is a lot in this book that spoke to me. Being a champion for women has been something I have been passionate about my whole life. We all need to be our own champions. When we leave this pandemic behind, everything will change, more than we realize. We should all be thinking about how we, as women, want to live in the post-Covid world. I certainly am.