Tuesday, March 8, 2016

International Women's Day

It was very interesting to be a young girl growing up in the 50s and 60s in America.  The attitude and expectation prevailed that if you were female you were subordinate to men and should only aspire to be a housewife and mother.  If for any reason you did not have a husband and had children at home, you were an outcast in most communities.  It was simply not acceptable to be a single mother in society at that time.  I remember my own mother's struggles as she worked for less than half of a man's salary for the same work and could barely make ends meet. 

A Changing World

When the Women's Liberation Movement began, it sparked a desire in me that would change the course of my life forever.  An entire world of opportunity seemed to be developing right before my eyes and I was enthralled.  I was too young to grasp the full gravity of the change that was occurring but I knew it felt like freedom to me.  It meant that I had choices that I never thought I would have.

With the Civil Rights Movement and the Sexual Revolution happening at the same time, it felt like the culture of discrimination and repression were being toppled.  Suddenly, everything seemed possible in a world that had felt so closed and restricted.

We’ve Come a Long Way

Fast forward 50 years and I look around me at all of the incredible achievements by women during that time.  I am thrilled to see how far we have come but know that there is still so much work that needs to done to provide a better future for all women. 

What were your experiences growing up as a female in your society?  What changes were the most significant in your life?  Join the discussion.