The subject of feminism continues to trouble people a lot smarter than me. I did, however, live at a critical time of “Women’s Lib” as my mom called it. She sent me off to a small midwestern college in 1968, thinking I would be safe there from the ferment on college campuses. I had other ideas though; I immediately got involved in the peace movement and later, the women’s movement.
I woke up a college graduate with no MRS degree in sight and started the somewhat baffling task of supporting myself. Through a career of nearly 40 years in education, justice and finally business, I’ve developed a theory that women will never be treated equally until we carry our own stuff.
However, in my travels to Mexico, Zambia and eastern Europe, I’ve see women carrying huge loads and still being beaten down. We’re very lucky here in the US, though we seem to be stalled and perhaps even losing ground. Every war begins with our own small battles, though, and there are certainly some we can fight on the home front–
- Find out how GIRLS can change the world
- Weigh in on a women’s happiness index
- Learn more about gender equality at UNFPA
- Find out how the United Nations Development Fund for Women is making a better life for all women
- Word has it that the best way to fight HIV/AIDS and other modern problems is through women’s education and financial independence
- Read this recent article–“Lift and Separate” from the New Yorker about the sharp divide between Americans, and women in particular, on the subject of feminism, and figure out how you feel about it
- Find out What a Feminist Looks Like by watching this great video
- Work for affordable child care through Moms Rising, and learn about other issues too!
- Read the latest about cheerleading and the Title IX debate by my favorite sports writer, Frank Deford
And finally, listen to Sister Joan Chittester on “On Being” talk about how she “backed into feminism.” She shares the following quatrain in answer to the question–
“Mama what’s a feminist?
A feminist my daughter
Is anyone who thinks or dares
To take in charge her own affairs
When men don’t say they oughter.”
—Alice Duer Miller, 1928
2 Replies to “Take Charge!”
[…] was alive and awake for the women’s movement in the late 60s and early 70s. I didn’t burn any bras, but I sure don’t miss the other […]
Here’s a great clip with insight into “what’s a feminist?”