Welcome to March Madness….does basketball have your attention, or is it the spring weather? Maybe it’s Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day. For me, March and madness go together this year.
I have been all kinds of surly about the fact that we even need a month dedicated to Women’s History. It’s bothered me this year because we have been fighting the fight for centuries and I am pissed it still has to be fought. There’s no men’s HIStory month, because as the word implies, men wrote the history.
There’s a line from a 2017 movie The Post, with a dutiful wife explaining to her husband how women feel being marginalized. It is something like, “It’s not that we are ignored. It’s that we are not even seen.” There’s a huge difference.
That is where I take comfort. We are no longer ‘unseen’. Women are very seen and some people really hate that. Some still try to ignore women. Uhm, sorry…no. Some enact laws to push women back down. Just like their old jalopy thinking, it’s backfiring.
I take comfort in throwing away my six year old “Vote Women” bumper sticker because we have many in offices. I do need a new bumper sticker that says, “Vote smart women.” Not just hyper verbal, not just charismatic, not just opportunists, but smart.
I take comfort in a radio discussion that gave equal time to the Women’s basketball teams when talking about the Sweet 16 rankings. Seen and no longer ignored. Their stands are full.
I acknowledge that sometime the press women receive can likely be attributed to some guy who has a sticky note on his computer that says ‘don’t forget to mention the women’. The sludge is moving through the rusty pipes and that guy is slowly emerging from the 1960s. I can take some comfort in that.
Progress is slow. Too slow. Progress can be two-steps forward, one-step back. But there was a time when these things were questioned… women having their own credit, women working when pregnant, having credit cards, being fighter jet pilots, being astronauts, women serving as president (oh wait…), serving on juries, going on birth control, getting an Ivy League education, expecting equal pay (hmmm).
I know there are men who never questioned the above. I was raised by one of them. I married one of them. I am friends with them. I take comfort in that.
This month I thank the women of the past, present and future. The women who never let up, the women who grabbed the torch, the people carrying it ablaze into the future.
Enjoy the rest of March and try not to go mad.