All the way back in 1848 women got together to protest their treatment as second class citizens. It took them 7 decades of marches and protests to finally win the right to vote in 1919. Still, women were excluded from certain jobs, they were not on the same pay scale as men, and social, economic and political inequality continues today.
In 1968, “feminists” protested at the Miss America Pageant, declaring the program a ‘meat market’ and offensive to the dignity of women. To make their point, the protesters threw kitchen appliances and articles of clothing, especially their bras, into a huge trash can symbolizing their freedom.
Annually women fought for an amendment that would grant them equal rights under the Constitution. In 1972 the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) was finally approved by Congress and went to the states for ratification. Thirty five states of the 38 needed ratified the amendment in the time allowed. Women and others still work toward having the ERA come to a vote again.
The Women’s movement also fought for the legalization of abortion, which they won in a Supreme Court decision in 1972. Hotly debated then, it still remains a hot button issue for many today. Pro-choice vs. pro-life is a never ending battle. Should the rights of an individual be determined by someone else? At what point does life become an individual? Not every woman seeking equality in the workplace would agree that abortion should even be considered part of the same issue.
~ Timothy Mullin