Saturday, January 12, 2008

"Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels. " Faith Whittlesey

There is a lot going on today that constantly reminds me of how far we have come and how much farther we need to go.

Not surprising, this political climate is not only affecting me, it is having an impact on others as well. I know this because I received as a Myspace bulletin the following essay. I DID NOT write this. I wish I had. My sister, Karen, wrote the following very eloquent piece. There is nothing I could add to make it any better.

"For some unknown (even to me) reason, I have been thinking alot about the Feminist Movement lately. Perhaps, because we may be on the verge of having our first female president.

Many years ago, a handful of forward thinking women broke out of the status quo of the woman's role in society and shocked us all by thinking outside the box. They had the unmitigated nerve to tell us we were as good as men, sometimes better, we could have it all, home children, careers and sexual gratification.

Some, like myself, did not jump on the "militant" bandwagon. Instead, we came around slowly, testing the waters as we went.

As a result of those first Feminist Soldiers (and I include Ms. Rosa Parks in this group for her amazing foresight, conviction and courage), young women today will likely never know what their lives would have been like as a June Cleaver or Harriet Nelson. Their options in this world are so very much more open than they were even 25 years ago.

But, what about the future? "Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it". As mature women today, we need to make sure we share our experiences. The next generation needs to know that their freedoms are the result of a different kind of soldier, the Feminist Soldier.

Some, like my sister, Terri, stood at the front lines and, proudly, demanded change. Others, like myself, came around slowly, and have lived our lives to maintain the values and rights that these first brave woman obtained for us. We are more the troops of occupation, making sure the treaties are not broken.

For the future, I think it is the duty of every woman, young, middle young and mature young, to BE soldiers and never forget we are. There is still much to do. Women, still, are paid less than men in most professions. They are still the victims of domestic abuse. Women's' Sports are still underfunded and under-telecast by the media. And so much more that this aging brain can't even wrap around at this moment!

The point being - be a soldier. Now and for the rest of your life. When you wake up each morning, look to do something, in action, word, or thought to make life better for yourself or another woman.

There must be some generals out there willing to fight for equal pay and not accept the status quo. Where are you? There must be fearless women soldiers out there to stand up for the rights of the abused, be it a 911 call, volunteering at a women's' shelter or making a donation. Support your high school, college and professional women's' athletic teams by showing up for their games, even if your kid isn't on a team, volunteer your time and/or money. Just do something, anything to uplift another woman.

And thank God every day for the women who were brave enough to burn their bras and demand rights equal to those of men."

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