Still a Long Way to Go: Not A Book Review

 Thoughts for International Women’s Day

16 May - Version 2 I’m glad I have legal rights to       

 Vote at the same age as men

Enter professions and trades           

Drive

Sign legal documents

Own property

Have my own credit card and credit rating

Take out a mortgage without a male guarantor            

Sponsor a husband to live in my country

Have control over my own fertility and sexual activity whether married or not

Financially supported maternity leave

but I did not always have all these rights, and many women still do not have them.16 May - Version 4

I now have “Social” acceptance when I

Eat in a good restaurant with a female friend

Drink in a public house with a female friend

Pay the bill in a restaurant or pub when with a male

Wear pants to work

Such acceptance was not always the case and is still not the case for all women.

 Specific Frustrations in the past

Being called “Sweetie” in the office16 May - Version 4

Having to ask to wear pants to work  (1974)

Being unable to sponsor my then husband to live in Britain until the Labour government changed the law in 1973 or 74

Being told by a professor at university that although there were more female students in the department than male, the reason the majority of the professoriat was male was because women students were not serious so didn’t qualify

But even after I “qualified”

Noticing that while  the majority of non-regular staff in my institution was female, the majority of regular staff was male, yet we had exactly the same qualifications and did exactly the same work

 I live in a country where six of our thirteen provincial or territorial premiers are women, where women can serve in military combat units if they want, where marriage is legal for homosexual couples, but       16 May - Version 4

I am still frustrated about

Insufficient access to affordable child-care

The fact that study after study shows that women still do most of the domestic chores even if they work outside the home

The issue of what constitutes equal pay for equal work is still not satisfactorily settled

Women still face harassment in the work place

and I am rather  depressed about the facts that   16 May - Version 4

It is still not really safe for me to wait alone at a bus stop after dark, especially after 10:00 pm,

and

Contemporary, consumerist culture still pushes  an ideal vision of women that necessitates “body shapers” (I thought we got out of our corsets in the sixties); shoes that in any other situations but fashion and “looking good” would be regarded as instruments of torture; and . . . well, just don’t get me started on the politics of the hair removal and cosmetic surgery industries

and I am utterly, utterly saddened, angered, and motivated  by the fact that

Notwithstanding the gains women have made in some parts of the world, the truth is that women are still denied education, beaten, raped, and killed just because they are women–denied full human and civil rights just because they are women.

As I was typing this, a friend sent me this link: http://uk.news.yahoo.com/international-womens-day-un-releases-song-to-celebrate-one-woman-111253441.html

 8 March 2013 International Women’s Day    

16 May - Version 4

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3 Responses to Still a Long Way to Go: Not A Book Review

  1. Another M. says:

    This is great, M. You describe the gains and problems of women well and build to appropriate fury at the injustices that remain.

  2. Jean Francios Guimond says:

    Extremely well put, Mary ! You can count me as a supporter !
    Best wishes in acknowledgment of International Womens’ Day !
    Jean Francois

    • Thank you, Jean. Someone who contacted me privately also pointed out that she would add “freedom to travel with or without a man,” as another “privilege” denied to women in far too many countries.

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