Tag Archives: NOW

Make History With Your Media Activism on Women’s Equality Day

NOW Womens Equality Day invitationNote: This is posted today as a Women’s Media Center Exclusive

The invitation to today’s Phoenix-Scottsdale National Organization for Women (NOW) “Equality Day Feminist Convergence” depicts a quaint sepia photo of suffragists picketing the White House. It telegraphs “old.” After all, the event celebrates the 91st anniversary of the date in 1920 when women’s right to vote entered the U.S. Constitution.

But, remember, in the decades at the beginning of the 20th century those purple and white sashes and those picket signs wielded by (purposefully) demurely dressed women were new media in action.

Fittingly, attendees at the Arizona event will have a contemporary victory to celebrate, one involving media activism squarely in the suffragist tradition. But this one is powered by e-mail and concerns itself with very modern day attire. Tight jeans to be exact…

Posted in 9 Ways Blog, Create a Movement, Gender, Inspiration, Know Your History, Leadership, No Excuses, Politics, Power Tools | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Alice Paul’s Equal Rights Amendment Back at the Plow

“I never doubted that equal rights was the right direction. Most reforms, most problems are complicated. But to me there is nothing complicated about ordinary equality.” – Alice Paul, suffragist and author of the still-not-ratified Equal Rights Amendment

Yesterday, March 22, was World Water Day. That got a modicum of press. But did you know it was also the 39th anniversary of the date on which Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) passed out of the U. S. Congress and was sent to the states to be ratified? Probably not. And yet, if there is a resource women need as much as clean water, it must be the guarantee of equality under the law.

The original ERA, introduced in Congress in 1923, was written by Alice Paul, a women’s rights activist instrumental in the 1920 ratification of the 19th amendment, which guaranteed women’s right to vote. Paul also started the National Women’s Party, believing that without a political organization’s clout, women’s concerns would never be taken seriously by politicians. Paul was also one of the few women’s suffrage leaders who realized that getting the right to vote was necessary but not sufficient to enable women to be equal partners in society. She argued that those who had fought for suffrage should then shift their work to getting laws passed that would continue to expand women’s rights.

“When you put your hand to the plow,” Paul said, “you can’t put it down until you get to the end of the row.”

How right she was! And we aren’t there yet.

Posted in Create a Movement, Know Your History, Leadership, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Women’s History Roundup: The Lesser Knowns Edition

Yesterday I mentioned that I feel like Women’s History Month is a good opportunity to shine a light on lesser know women – such as Lisa Rabinowitz, the woman ejected from court for daring to wear pants. In that frame of mind, here are some links to help give some more lesser known women their moment in the spotlight.

Here’s a list from Huffington Post of Female Firsts to give you a good timeline of women’s historical achievements.

California NOW has launched a 30 Women You Should Know series on their blog this month, highlighting some women who don’t always get the time they deserve in the spotlight. Check out their post about Women in Military History.

And to wrap up our list of women whose time in the spotlight is overdue, check out the bios of these interesting women:
Astronaut Ellen Ochoa
Egyptian protester Asma Mahfouz

If you missed the guest post from Jezebel’s Anna North about writer Octavia Butler, be sure to check it out and leave Anna some comment love.

Posted in Know Your History | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Know Your History–Create the Future of Your Choice


“If women want any rights more than they got, why don’t they just take them, and not be talking about it.” –-Sojourner Truth, 1797-1883, former slave, abolitionist

During the last 50 years, thanks to feminism and other civil rights movements, reliable birth control, and an economy that requires more brain than brawn, women have broken many barriers that historically prevented us from partaking as equals at life’s table. I feel privileged to be part of this amazing trajectory. All of my Women’s History Month posts come from a place of profound appreciation for the shoulders I stand on. Women like Sojourner Truth who had so much courage, clarity of vision, and leadership savvy.

I found feminism when I was a desperate housewife in Odessa, Texas in the 1960′s. After volunteering for civil rights organizations, I had the epiphany that women should have civil rights too. I “discovered” the new Ms Magazine. Then, I joined the National Organization for Women a few years after its 1966 founding, as an at-large member. Soon, I’d find the half-dozen other at-large members in West Texas’ expanse. It was a heady time of firsts for women; still, few of us could have predicted either the stunning advances or the discouraging setbacks ahead.

Fast forward to Hillary Clinton’s groundbreaking presidential campaign that didn’t take women into the presidency, but came close enough that no one will ever again ask whether women are smart enough or tough enough to do the job. Today even right-wing Republicans realize putting a woman on the ticket symbolizes electrifying change. Women earn 60% of college degrees, reproductive technologies have changed the power balance in personal relationships and we’re closer to parity in earnings than any time in history.

To be sure, women still don’t have full equality in any sphere of political or economic endeavor. Women hold just 17% of seats in Congress–the 2010 elections resulted in the first decline in over a decade–and under 25% of state legislative offices; 3% of top clout positions in mainstream media corporations and 15% of corporate board positions. We’re still waging a battle for reproductive rights, both at the state and federal levels. And despite gender equity laws, women earn 3/4ths of what men do while shouldering the lion’s share of responsibility for child rearing.

Still, the most confounding problem facing women today isn’t that doors aren’t open, but that women aren’t walking through the doors in numbers and with intention sufficient to transform society’s major institutions once and for all. Probing history, there seems to be a recurrent approach-avoidance pattern.

Posted in Know Your History | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments
 
Footer line
Copyright 2010 Gloria Feldt