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Why Women’s History Is So Important

This is the last week of National Women’s History month. Big whoop, right? Yeah, big whoop (from yo’ mamma) right on your ass if you think you don’t have to care about it.

Just ask Hillary Clinton, who, according to a recent issue of People magazine, has logged more than 492,646 air miles traveling around the world, and who has made equality for women and girls the one mission she won’t give up on in her lifetime.

The point is she was the first woman I was able to vote for as President. She didn’t win.

The point is she’s traveled all around the world like a hundred times and has seen firsthand that we ladies in America have it pretty damn good, even though we completely take it for granted.

The point is that the environmental problems, the population problems, and the stupid boy-war problems we face in every region of the planet (except for perhaps the Arctic) won’t be resolved until every woman in the world has the right to an education, the right to marry for love and divorce if she wants to, and, for land’s sake, the right to own property.

Let’s get those things taken care of first before we start to worry about our right to wear nail polish and lipstick, please. (And by the way, according to all the experts, if those things are taken care of for women, the size of the human population on the planet will be under control naturally.)

Why is it that the pace of change for technology feels like the speed of light, but the pace for change where it really matters—like in women’s rights and people’s right to a clean environment—is slower than molasses? And I like molasses.

We live in interesting times now. Some of us are free, and yet we are not using our freedom as wisely as we could. Some of us are free, and yet the majority of women in the world still suffer from a lack of freedom. Why is this?

Well, it ain’t from the Bible. Look at Jesus: He rocked with women and they were some of his most faithful followers. Look at the conflict now with women and churches around the world and you see a different story. But I don’t have the time or space to psychoanalyze how we got into this mess in the first place. (Though there are lots of good books on the topic).  I’d rather spend my time taking action.

This past week I got an unsolicited letter (i.e. junk mail) from Meryl Streep. I opened it because I have met her twice, and she is really nice and does good work for the environment. It turns out she is lending her name to the building of a Women’s History Museum in Washington, DC. The letter says, “Even today, in one typical sixth grade history book, only 7 out of 631 pages talk about women. Suffrage leader Susan B. Anthony does not rate even one single line!”

The thing is, when you learn about history from a woman’s perspective, the world seems so much more interesting. And honestly, men look a whole lot more…like cheaters. It’s easy for them to look important and smart if they prevent women from even learning anything in the first place.

So yes, I sent in a donation to the Women’s History Museum. Yes, I am raising super-strong daughters. Yes, I am kicking glass ceilings like a female ninja (with an umbrella to protect me from falling glass). Yes, I am facing all those lads head-on, and fearlessly, and sometimes even making them laugh…because after all, good men are useful and handy to have around. Good men are teachable, too, and can learn to respect and appreciate the capabilities of women.

And yes, I am celebrating Women’s History month. Every month. Every day. Forever.

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15 Responses to Why Women’s History Is So Important

  1. sarah March 30, 2011 at 7:56 am #

    You GO girl!!

  2. robin March 30, 2011 at 8:34 am #

    To~Magnificent Maria!
    ~~~Many Thanks~~~

  3. Myra March 30, 2011 at 9:15 am #

    Life will only be worth living in this world when and if women are given the lead. According to research, the major difference between men and women is how they run their system. Most women, unless they have been socialized to think like men in order to compete, consider everything within their system, giving extra care and time to any part that is weak or suffering. Most men, on the other hand, only concentrate on what is strong and beneficial to them (their ego) within their system, cutting off support to anything that is weak to eliminate the drag. Considering the state of the world, the words of a popular poster and quote from the 60’s comes to mind – “War is not healthy for children and other living things”. War is not Woman-Made, I would posit with confidence.

  4. Peter March 30, 2011 at 9:40 am #

    We don’t win the sex “war” by women “kicking ass” against men. We win when we realize that it isn’t a battle, that men are as hampered and limited by their sex roles as women are, that both sexes need overcome ugly stereotypes and name calling in order for us to make progress. We win by realizing that both sexes have strengths, weaknesses, and predilections, and we should be appreciative and sympathetic and supportive in equal measure. The answer isn’t a world run by women, just as the answer wasn’t/isn’t a world run by men. It’s about having it run by people who are good at running things. Sexual one-ups-person-ship doesn’t work. Mutual respect does.

  5. Clare March 30, 2011 at 11:20 am #

    Super post, and so, so true.

  6. Donna in Delaware March 30, 2011 at 11:24 am #

    I agree with Peter, even though it will not happen soon enough in this lifetime. Maybe our grandchildren’s children may get to that point! It’s too bad that women haven’t been given a better position in this world, yes given, since we have, and have had to rely on men in the past, as now, to be fair and appoint us those positions in some instances. Never really knowing what women are capabale of doing, not just for the family, but the world at large, was and is a humongus mistake that men have made over the centuries. There is a lot of willpower and brain power out there among all women. We just need the chance to show the world and the men of the world, what can be accomplished withought shooting at each other and having our children die. We surely didn’t bring them into this world to watch them become pieces of a jigsaw puzzle!!

  7. Katherine Ellington March 30, 2011 at 11:53 am #

    Awesome post!

  8. Myra March 30, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

    It is not a matter of gender-war, it is a matter of survival and we are not going to survive with male-think. Think, women! Being polite and protecting men, being in denial that women all over the world, including in our own society have been – and are – victim to gender-war is fast resulting in possible total destruction of our world. I am a happily married woman with a husband who spent his entire career protecting women and children. If more men were like him, we would have a different world.

  9. Savvy Working Gal March 30, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

    Outstanding post!

    I especially enjoyed:
    “Let’s get those things taken care of first before we start to worry about our right to wear nail polish and lipstick, please. (And by the way, according to all the experts, if those things are taken care of for women, the size of the human population on the planet will be under control naturally.)”
    I recently heard a similar comment on a radio program: if every country (including the U.S.) would educate their women, the annual birthrate would go down and the world would no longer have a population problem. I am currently reading Adrian Nicole LeBlanc’s Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx which is an eye-opener to the problems that exist in the U.S.
    I would be interested in reading a book or two on how we got into this mess, if you wouldn’t mind posting them in the comments.

  10. Jenny March 30, 2011 at 4:39 pm #

    Phenomenal post Maria!

    It shouldn’t be a matter of a gender war, but I think sometimes we fall back on that (speaking from a woman who had a male boss who referred to her as “buddy”).

    We all need to take a stand and aspire to be more. Let’s break the barriers together! Think women!

  11. Momma Nature - Carole Madan March 30, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

    You are an amazing woman! I turn 60 soon and just can’t wait to be that perfectly even number. How ever different I am from my mother because I did not let men define me NOR did I let the women (including Mom) of my fam dictate that I be subjugated by males. I am grateful, so very thankful to live in this country because my first husband was E Indian and I know firsthand how they view women in general and me in particular. I was just to intelligent and educated to be treated like a slave!
    Blessings in all you do,
    Momma Nature
    Carole M Madan

  12. Momma Nature - Carole Madan March 30, 2011 at 5:10 pm #

    Second line should read: how very different…was typing too fast! Also, pls add another “o” in the word “to” before intelligent. WHEN will I ever learn to edit my own writing?

  13. maria (farm country kitchen) March 31, 2011 at 7:31 am #

    Thank you all for your great comments! (Even you Peter, whom I DO mutually respect!) Here are my two favorite books on how we got into this mess:

    Sacred Pleasure, by Riane Eisler (this one goes back to the beginning of time and it’s awesome)
    America’s Women, by Gail Collins – just the American story but oh what a story it is!

  14. emi March 31, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

    Right On!!!

  15. Momma Nature - Carole Madan April 1, 2011 at 10:25 am #

    How very awesome – I was just discussing the concept that women used to lead in matriarchial societies 10,000 years ago and then you mention the above book. Will get Sacred Pleasure asap!

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