Modern, Progressive World Demands Equality

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Today is a day that means the world to me. I’ve fought most of my life in the battle of equality (in various forms) for women. I grew up watching my mom fight, and we both continue to fight on behalf of my 5 year-old daughter.

I spent the better part of my adult life working harder, longer, and more effectively than men, in a corporate world dominated by men. I’ve removed myself from not one, but two oppressive marriages where feminine submission was a requirement. I have voted against U.S. Presidential Candidates who didn’t fully support women’s rights.

“I am no bird, and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”
― Charlotte Brontë

I hate the term ‘women’s rights’ — isn’t it human rights we’re really talking about? The apparent need to distinguish between what is right for women and what is right for human beings infuriates me.

Today is International Women’s Day. A day that has been observed since the early 1900’s, a time of abundant growth and unrest in a world that recognized a booming population and the upsurge of profound ideas.

For me personally, it is a day to remember women like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton for their roles in the women’s suffrage movement1. And Margaret Sanger, who founded the American Birth Control League2. It’s a day to remember how Gloria Steinem launched Ms. Magazine3, the first serious forum for feminist voices.

For me, it is a day to remember the dedication of Eleanor Roosevelt4 to fighting discrimination against women in the workplace. And to be proud of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act5, signed in 2009 by President Obama.

For me, it is a day to celebrate with pride being a woman.

I’ve cited some websites below, so if you’d like, you may read more about the role models and events I’ve commemorated in this post.

Happy International Women’s Day!

1 http://www.history.com/topics/the-fight-for-womens-suffrage

2 http://www.nwhm.org/online-exhibits/progressiveera/birthcontrol.html

3 http://womenshistory.about.com/cs/periodicals/p/p_ms_magazine.htm

4 http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/primary-resources/eleanor-women/

5 http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-barack-obama-lilly-ledbetter-fair-pay-restoration-act-bill-signin

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