I sometimes find it hard to explain to women under 40 why I am proud to call myself a feminist. Many think of us as angry, strident, and unnecessary. It makes me afraid that the history we forget, we may be in danger of repeating.
As a ninth grader in Miami, I had to take a series of vocational aptitude tests. Mine consistently showed I would be a good journalist, minister, or lawyer. Big problem: I was a girl. This was the 1950’s, and The Feminine Mystique was just beginning to germinate in Betty Friedan’s heart and mind. Nobody had ever heard of women’s liberation.
Help Wanted columns were divided by Male and Female, and there were no ads for journalists, ministers, or lawyers in the Female pages of the paper. All the “girl” jobs were in offices, hospitals, schools, or restaurants. Never courts. [Read more…]