I grew up in the 50’s and early 60’s and was raised by a feminist mother. I didn’t realize that was what she was at the time but I do now. My mom was strong, independent and believed females could do anything. When I look back at that time most households around us were following “The Father Knows Best1” culture. In our home my dad could change a diaper and my mom could mow a lawn. There weren’t girl chores or boy chores, there were just things that needed to be done; whoever was available did them, period. My mother taught us there were no limitations, and to let nothing stop you if you truly want something. I passed these teachings down to my own daughter and she is now traveling around the world alone. She has become strong, independent, and believes that all things are possible, just like her Grandmother. To say that I am a proud parent would be an understatement.
Now you can see why it is hard for me to understand that on this day, August 26, 2016, Women’s Equality Day2, women still have to fight for equal treatment. All too often women are still not paid the same wages as men in the same positions. The fact that a young girl (Mo’ne Davis)3 excelling on a “boys” baseball team is rare seems crazy to me. Many women are still the sole caretakers of their children, work outside the home, keep the house up and more, while their male significant others “work.” I am unnerved by the fact that some men use power and control4 over their “loved ones” to make them feel less than equal and sometimes fear for their lives.
At A Woman’s Place (AWP) we believe not only in equality5 as one of our core values, but also in the empowerment of women6, which is part of our mission. Those are just two of the many reasons I am passionate about this organization. As I work side-by-side with so many other passionate people here at AWP I have hope for a better future for the women of our county and country.
While I was doing some research I came across this video and was moved by it because it reminded me of so many amazing women who are stellar examples for us all. As I watched I could almost see my mother’s face amongst them and my daughter’s as well. My hope for the future is that women like my daughter will continue the legacy that women like mother started.
Whose legacy do you carry?
Take a moment to recognize and appreciate them on this very special day in our history.
Jacalyn A. Hartzell