My grandmothers had no personal or professional rights. They could not deny their husband sex, even if it meant babies arrived every 11 or 12 months until their bodies gave out. They could not inherit their father's property, nor could they have bank accounts. They could not vote, could not speak out in church, attempt to influence policies or practices in the home, business, or politics.
My mother responded to the WW II effort when I was five years old by taking a man's job at Kaiser Rolling Mill doing the work that men had done before the war when the drafted men left. She did not receive the wages that male wage workers received before they left and when the war ended, she was given a pink slip and could not submit an application for work. She returned to school to get a nursing degree when I was in high school and did not earn a living wage when she entered the paid labor force as a trained, registered nurse.
When I left my husband I could not get a bank account without a male signature as surety nor could I get credit under my name. The jobs open to me were "women's" jobs, low pay, little consideration for the needs of the family unless the employer gave time off for having a baby, taking care of children, or when a family elder needed care. Employers and the law considered women as part-time workers or not needing a living wage because of the expectations that the family received support from his earnings.
Before the war, there were not enough wage workers to fill the job opportunities. After the war, and since the globalization of production, more and more men lost the ability to support families when Third World countries supplied cheaper labor forces. Many men took traditional women's jobs, such as nursing, teaching, and service job, all traditionally low paying jobs.
In 1975, the wealth gap began to spread and continues to spread to this day.
We need more women and men support the Equal Rights Amendment. Men and women, husbands and wives, wages workers of all gender and racial identities need to join together to make the U.S. fair and equitable to all citizens. People of other races than mine need to join in the effort for Equal Rights as do people of all sexual orientations. I can tell my perception, others need to share theirs.
Trump's Sexism Provokes New Effort to Pass the ERA
Joan, I can't see that the ERA has so much as a snowball's chance in hell with the current administration and Congress in place. That said and considering what happened the day after Drumpf took office (give you a hint: "Pink Pussy Hats!"), I think any desire the Legislative or Executive branches of our government may have to minimize the influence or political power women have in the here and now would be very ill-considered. A thrust for the ERA in 2019, AFTER the mid-term elections, might yield some VERY interesting results!
Drumpf has sown the wind, and I can't escape the feeling that the whirlwind isn't far off.
I agree, 100%. Your points define the issues accurately. Given that reality, we are not helpless! We have the potential power of numbers, except too many sleep or live deluded lives in denial of what happened 42 years ago and continues to this day.
Yes, AFTER the mid-term elections, might yield some VERY interesting results!
I surely hope so.
The way things were for your grandmother and you are exactly how Trump, Pence, and the gang want things to be for women today. This is what the GOP supports in general and yet they have balls enough to say it isn't so. My remarks to them would be - prove it!
There are no equal rights. Those who are in power have all the rights and others have none, or very little. In my church days I actually knew a man who forced his wife to walk a few paces behind him. It has to be right, they say, because this is what their god wants. All we have to do is give modern man the current technology and conveniences. The ancient beliefs remain the same. This is based on their static ancient book which can never change. It is how they were brought up. The "good book" is not so good at all and never was.
People want to believe that "god is great" but it is this nonsense that keeps it all going. Not so long ago I had to take a friend to a place where he could get his free food. This is all church sponsored and he actually had to sit through a 20 minute program first before food was given out. What this tells me is that if you do not believe in our god you will get no food. They also prayed to this god and thanked him for the food before it was given out. How terrible.
This is the thinking base that goes into our ideas of equal rights in this country. We are taught from the cradle that god bestows rights upon us. "Equal rights" mostly depend upon who is in power at the time. Many will not admit this, but it is where our equal rights come from.
That food was not free.
Anything free is worth what you pay for it.
-- Robert A. Heinlein
Michael, you speak from insightful experiences. You know the "drill" of submitting to preaching before food is shared and the pretense of generosity.
I had an incredibly lush vegetable garden in Spokane and regularly took bushel baskets of food to the Community Center where they had a food kitchen and distributed free food. Out of abundance, I gave the food happily and the volunteers prepared the meals generously! No conditions of submitting to an unseen, unheard, unfelt higher power.
As to being helpless, that is a myth. We are not helpless! The French people understood better than most that it takes action to have freedom. I don't advocate the guillotine, but I do support non-violent resistance.
“Anger is good... Anger, you see, is to people what fuel is to an automobile. Without it, we would not be motivated to rise to any challenge, and life would be no more than mere existence. Anger is an energy that compels us to define what is right and wrong, good and bad, just and unjust.
"Anger is also like electricity. Electricity is powerful-- so powerful, in fact, that it can cause devastating destruction if it is mishandled or abused. But if channeled properly and intelligently, it is highly useful to mankind.”
― Arun Gandhi, Legacy of Love: My Education in the Path of Nonviolence
The same is true of water; it is powerful and can be devastating if mismanaged. If managed wisely, it is priceless.
Consider the prevalence of 12 step AA programs. Superficially a "treatment " for alcoholism that is really little more than court ordered attendance to religious brainwashing attempts. As you say Michael "free food"?
John, everything I've seen about AA's efficacy says that it's questionable at best and controversial at worst. Personally, I'm just as glad I don't need it. Fact is, I have a friend with the Northern Ohio Freethought Society (NOFS) who does need a program and is in a secular one, which is science-based and which he feels has been both effective and beneficial.
AA can blow it out its ass, for all of me.