FM, Nerd, and all others,
Wow, now this is really exciting! A discussion about “Women’s
Liberation”! This is probably an antiquated term, but it is what I remember
of the loosening of societal bonds that let us women enter into jobs and
opportunities (including income earning ability) that we weren’t privy to
before. I even remember “bra burnings”!
I’m not sure FM and Nerd’s ultimate positions on this issue are
really all that different. Maybe it’s just too late in the day to comprehend
the subtleties of the arguments.
As a member of the older generation, I’d have to echo Robbie’s
mother’s comments from a few days ago. Those of us whom you younger
gals may consider trendsetters, we really didn’t do anything particularly
extraordinary. We just set our goals and plodded along to obtaining them.
Living our lives – day by day. (I must demur to the use of words like vision
and heroism.) However, there were leaders and heroes like Gloria Steinem and
others who helped us all along. And of course, there was the really, really
older generation (even before my time!) who worked to get women the right to
vote. I think it is very important to remember what life was like for women
before suffrage, and birth control, and the women’s liberation movement. But
all of you, FM, Nerd, and others, including the mothers of young children
are laying the groundwork for your daughters and grand daughters just as we
and our mothers did. From what I’ve read here on FamilySaid, the future of
women’s rights is in good, strong, hands. Let’s not forget that it is not a
given even in today’s world, that women will be treated as equals. Remember
the poor young mother in Nigeria who is currently appealing a death
sentence, by stoning, for the crime of adultery. Even today it is important
to remember that there is a need to be strong and supportive of each other
and our collective rights.
Each woman is different. I’ve always been a very quiet person, but
very willful. I decided when I was 15 that I wanted to be a lawyer, and I
worked toward and accomplished that goal. I had the encouragement of a
father who stressed that education was a way out of poverty. He had less
than an 8th grade education. And the help of a very wonderful man, my
husband, who put me through college and then quit his job and sold his
sports car to go to law school with me. (Our kids still cringe at selling
the sports car.)
My point is, I never used the “I’m a woman, get out of my way”
approach. In fact, I really find that approach fairly annoying. I even find
the “Erin Brockavich” approach annoying, although this is in no way meant to
take away from her accomplishments. I just think that whether we’re talking
40 years ago or today, it is performance that counts. Women must have the
education or training that is necessary for the position they want. And then
they must be competent and persistent. There is still very much a glass
ceiling in corporate life, or so it seems. And firefighting has to be one of
the last frontiers for women. I’m sure there are men out there who will
discriminate against women solely based on their gender. But, I think
deliberate, competent persistence will pay off. And, if any of you run into
discrimination, give me a call. I don’t do personnel law, but I’ll sure refer
you to some one who can. Or, just sic the FamilySaid group on them and
then they’ll be sorry.
You are all wonderful and I look forward to read further discussion
on this issue.
Best to you all.
Another Montana Mom