If you blinked and missed it, Tuesday (August 26) was Women’s Equality Day, celebrating the anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment which granted women* the right to vote. (*white women — others came later.)
Granted, 94 years is sort of a weird number; I’m expecting a lot more fanfare in 2020 for the centennial (assuming the Republicans haven’t repealed it by then). Quite a few good articles marked the occasion, however:
Forbes had a short piece on Why Women’s Equality Day Matters — and the only article on the subject I found that was written by a man.
In Burlington NJ, the director of the Women’s Opportunity Center (WOC), which works with women in transition due to spousal death, divorce or disability, had some reflections on gender equity.
Kentucky’s Secretary of State (and hopefully next Senator), Alison Lundergan Grimes, shares her thoughts on the occasion including the inspiration of those who have gone before like former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (who has endorsed Grimes in her Senate race), while acknowledging that far more must be done.
Illinois State Representative Deb Conroy says it’s time for Illinois to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.
The Daily Beast suggests the ERA go one step further by adding “and gender” to the simple sentence “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex”, to protect not just cis women but transgender women (and men) as well.
HuffPo has a list of 8 things women couldn’t do on the first Women’s Equality Day in 1971…and 6 they still can’t. I remember the hassle my mother went through in 1970 to get credit in her own name after my father died; her long time bank, Bank of America, cancelled her BankAmericard even though she had been working for 5 years and had received steady raises and promotions all the way to full-time employment during that time, so she pulled all her money out of the bank and went elsewhere. Some I’d forgotten though.
On Twitter, there’s been much talk of “white feminism” and how many movements seem to be dominated by white women with agendas that have little to do with the needs of women of color. So a Philadelphia writer went into the neighborhoods of West Philly and asked black women for their thoughts on Women’s Equality Day and gender equity.
In the words of the old cigarette ad: “You’ve come a long way, baby.” And more for just having our own cancer sticks to kill us. But as we’re reminded every day, for every positive step we make, there are plenty of people out there who want nothing more than to force us 10 feet (or 10 years) back.
More notes below the Twisted Cheeto: