Posts Tagged ‘National Women's History Month’

Art by Pat Bean

Aging My Way

These days there seems to be a month for everything. In March, there’s Sing-With-Your-Child Month, Appreciate Dolphins Month, Berries and Cherries Month, Mad for Plaid Month and National On-Hold Month – and that’s just to name a few of the many I usually never hear about, nor celebrate.

On a more relevant note, at least to me, is that March is National Women’s History Month. I’ve come a long way from being raised in a time when women’s proper place was thought to be married, barefoot, and pregnant to thinking I should have the same rights as a man.

My original perspective was that women’s fight for equality began in the 1960s and ‘70s, spurred by women like Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan, and the fight for the Equal Rights Amendment.

These were the years that marked the beginning of my awareness of inequality and unfairness in the world, and not just for women. Not surprisingly, these years coincided with the beginning of my 37-year journalism career and my personal fight for equal pay for equal work.

History, however, tells a different story. While there are many individual stories going way back in time, the big fight for equal rights for American women began in 1869 with the founding of the National Women’s Suffrage Association by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who along with women like Susan B. Anthony and Victoria Hull, fought for women’s right to vote.

This resulted in an 1884 decision by the Supreme Court that citizenship does not give women the right to vote. Women didn’t give up, however, even though many of them were severely harassed or even jailed simply for continuing to fight for the vote.

Then, in 1913, thousands of women marched on Washington D.C. demanding the right to vote, a right that was finally achieved nationally in 1920 with the passage of the 19th Amendment. As a writer, I think of all the stories, told and untold, that led up to this momentous occasion. I also am still astonished that this took place just 19 years before I was born.

It’s because of these strong women of the past that I have the privileges I do today. And I’m thankful. Yes. National Women’s History Month is one I will celebrate.

Pat Bean is a retired award-winning journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is an avid reader, an enthusiastic birder, the author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon (Free on Kindle Unlimited), is always searching for life’s silver lining, and these days aging her way – and that’s usually not gracefully.

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