An individual woman is going to have her personal interface with the feminist experience. Continuing with the theme of Feminism…my granddaughter asked me:
“What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in the advancement of women’s rights?”‘
These too familiar slogans came to mind:
burn the bra
Equal Pay for Equal Work
Different but Equal
Women wanted equal opportunity for advancement on the job. In the early 70’s, I worked in a corporate setting in a personnel office. The male establishment often brought up the oppositional point that a woman would likely get married, then pregnant and leave her job and fall back on her husband for financial support. They perceived this as some sort of logical reason not to advance a woman on the job. That said, for many years now, the necessity of a two-income household is without question in order to afford a certain lifestyle.
I lived in San Francisco at this time. My ex-husband was in the fire department. Women were fighting for the right to be firefighters. There had been height, weight and physical agility requirements. Most women and men of lesser build couldn’t meet these prerequisites. The requirements were modified to allow women in the department. They still had to meet certain requirements, but these alterations in the standard entry test opened the door to women. Whether or not they were capable of doing the job was going to be tested on-the-job.
The sexual harassment laws have been evolving since the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission began defining what that meant in the 1960’s. It seems to be taking awhile for the male population to take this seriously.
There is the ongoing question around a woman’s right to make decisions about her body. It seems that with each change of administration, the abortion laws come up for question and review.
Women come of age at different times. In our own individual lives as women, it seems to be part of our growth to recognize when we are disrespected, mistreated, devalued. We come to understand that we must first respect and value ourselves. With the strides forward of the individual woman, the macroscm is affected. How we esteem ourselves teaches others how we expect to be treated. No small task. Lots to undo.