“If you give us the chance, we can perform. After all, Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels.”
– Ann Richards, former Governor of Texas
On the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, here’s to the women who have paved the way and given us that chance. 100 years ago, women didn’t even have the right to vote, nevermind to do what I’m doing this morning, going to work for equal pay in a world where I’m surrounded by female CEOs, politicians, talk show hosts, and scientists. Even that I can go to work in flats and blue jeans is a victory in my book.
I just finished reading When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present by Gail Collins, which really made me think about how far we’ve come in the last fifty years, why we’re in the situation we’re in socially and politically, and how we can take stock of our history and use it to propel us forward. The stories that Collins highlights in this book, which reads like a collective oral history of an era, made me think about the dues I owe to the women who came before me, why my generation is divided in so many ways, and how to bring together a new group of women to finish the job of achieving equality. Because it’s not over yet, and even as we get closer to equality here, there’s much work to be done around the world and we all have a stake in seeing it through.
More on what I’ve learned – about history and about myself – later this week and throughout Women’s History Month. But for now, I leave you with some great women and links to explore:
- Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State
- Sally Ride, the first American woman in space
- Jane’s Lessons Learned, my mom’s blog about her daily lessons which proves that there’s always something new to learn
- EMILY’s List, my favorite national political organization that fights for women in politics
- The Mass Women’s Political Caucus, my favorite local political organization, led by one of my best friends and role models
- Feministing, a rocking blog of all things feminist
What victories or which female heroines are you thinking of this International Women’s Day? How are you celebrating and working to improve the lives of women?