History Today for Tomorrow (Women’s History Month)

Right now! Today! We are not only products of women in History; we are making strides for History in our immediate present. Milestones have been achieved across the ages for women’s rights, women’s equality as human beings, and women’s progress in images, philosophical thought, and education. Too many points in history of serious achievements for females have occurred for me to list them all and not miss some of the important contributions for women from women. However, this does not stop me from admiring women making strides today for the female voices on our planet. Among the females I genuinely admire for making a difference in the present tense are: Gina Trapani with ThinkUp, Chelsea Clinton with The Clinton Foundation, and Lady GaGa.

I grew up in the 1970s and 1980s where feminism was a question mark and most media referred to women’s rights as “Second Wave” or “Third Wave” questions. The generations at the forefront during that time were not original women’s movement founders and female empowerment was relegated to a “non-issue”. Women in this country were outnumbering men in higher education although men executives still outnumbered females in corporate United States. We did not grow up taught to make a “happy home” as our future. Girls and boys had an equal chance at dreams for whatever they desired to become in the next decade. I did not understand that issues still existed between male and female in the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness.

Then the 1990s rolled in. Human rights became a priority in the women’s rights movement as we saw that other cultures did not support our ideals and images for the modern woman. By the time of the millennium, the two issues became inseparable. In later years, women’s rights would focus on economic stability and gender-based violence with resurgence in the assertion of female needs for children and pregnancy securities.

I have found myself something of an interesting sub-culture as a single, divorced, heterosexual woman in her mid-forties with no children. When I think of women’s rights, I agree to the humanitarian influence as important, but I am more concerned with the female as an individual- not as a woman that may be “at the mercy of a male husband” or dealing children’s needs. If we are going to talk about women’s rights or the female condition, I think we do need to focus on the opportunities available for females instead of focusing on issues related to prescribed female roles.

There are differences between the sexes. Laying aside sex based roles and issues forces us to deal with one another as individual persons. Women’s history has proven we can correctly make strides toward certain equalities. Perhaps we should consider that sexual bias of any sort has to be eliminated to obtain individual freedoms. When we learn that what we choose defines us and we have the opportunity to make viable choices, we will be more capable of eliminating abuses and discriminations based on those choices.