As second wave feminism gathered peak velocity forty years ago, the late bombastic and behatted Congresswoman (D-NY) Bella Abzug persuaded Congress to designate August 26th as Women’s Equality Day. It recognized the 19th Amendment to the Constitution that in 1920 gave all U.S. women the right to vote.
There are many reasons to celebrate the 91st anniversary of women winning the ballot, which some suffragist leaders mistakenly believed culminated the struggle for women’s rights. But it turns out the solution to a problem changes the problem–creating uncomfortable new questions about the value of equality and what to do once we get there.
We’ve come a long way, maybe…
Posted in Activism, Feminism, Gender, Leadership, No Excuses, Politics, Power, Women & Politics, Women & Work, Women's History, Women's Rights
Tagged 19th Amendment, Alice Paul, Bella Abzug, Betty Friedan, Equal Rights Amendment, gender equality, Gloria Feldt, Hillary Clinton, infinite possibilities, Michelle Bachmann, Rebekah Brooks, Reproductive Rights, Rosie the Riveter, Senator Patty Murray, women in politics, Women's Equality Day, Year of the Woman
I’m finding Women’s History Month this year greeted with yawns. That could mean women and women’s contributions are becoming everywhere recognized as integral to political and social history. If so, it’s not yet a publicly acknowledged fact.
No surprise there.
History has been defined through male lenses and written by male hands. Almost nobody, male or female, ever thought of Women’s History Anything before the 1970’s. Officially, it’s been in existence since 1978 and started on the left coast (as Women’s History Week) in Sonoma County CA. Now it sounds just nice and ordinary. You can even buy Women’s History Month greeting cards.
So it’s hard for many to fathom that the inception of Women’s History Month marked a revolutionary shift in thinking about whose actions are worth recording. An interesting overview is here, and Louise Bernikow’s “Our Story” articles tell me interesting snippets I don’t find elsewhere; your children probably won’t find them in their textbooks either because few history courses even today have caught up with the stunning progress women have made into leadership and influential roles during the past decade.