Tim Wegner points out women’s suffrage for White females passed one hundred years ago this year in the United States. Success of American women occurred three years later than in Russia or Canada but 91 years ahead of Saudi Arabia — although women in the Islamic nation didn’t actually vote until December 2015. This map below illustrates the year women became eligible to vote in each country.
Countries began opening political opportunities for women around the world by the mid-twentieth century. Interestingly, it was the nation of New Zealand that led the pack by extending voting rights to women in 1893. Australia was close behind opening the doors to White women in 1902.
Many women’s groups claim females still have a long way to go. Likely, we all have a long way journey ahead. Our nation and world are not perfect places. The task facing all of us is to continue “perfecting our nation.”
In President Trump’s State of the Union address earlier this week, he stated:
“Unemployment rate for women reached the lowest level in almost 70 years — and last year, women filled 72 percent of all new jobs added.”
Trump’s comment apparently didn’t convince U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
Mother Jones highlighted the frustration women claim they suffer in politics. Running for office while female is “the extrapolation of every woman’s experience,” says Mary Anne Marsh, a Democratic political consultant. “You work twice as hard, you get twice as many or more credentials, you out-work everybody else, and you still get paid less.”
I’m an athlete. One reason I enjoy sports so much is the purity of competition. Not long ago, only White males were allowed to play basketball. My father was on scholarship at the University of Southern Mississippi in the late 1950s. Black athletes could not be part of the team.
The racial barrier finally fell because athletes, coaches and athletic programs preferred to win more than they wanted to discriminate. Black athletes were — and are — highly talented. Once the sports world learned this truth, teams quickly moved to sign the top athletes — regardless the color of their skin.
Women have been treated similarly. Title IX passed in 1972. The federal law mandated that no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
Once women began competing on courts and fields, it was clear to all that talent and winning were far more important than discrimination based on sex. Doors in America were being flung wide open for people from different backgrounds.
America loves winners! Women and People of Color can be winners, just as White males have proven their ability to succeed. Listen to Americans roar!
Women in the Labor Force
Wall Street Journal (Jan 10, 2020) reported women held more U.S. jobs than men in December for the first time in nearly a decade, a development experts believe likely reflects the future of the American workforce.
The share of women on payrolls, excluding farmworkers and the self-employed, exceeded the share of men in December for the first time since mid-2010, Labor Department data released Friday showed. Women held 50.04% of jobs last month, surpassing men on payrolls by 109,000.
Women Push Men Away
New York Post highlighted a disturbing trend. Ladies are being cautioned to leave their man at home.
The Wing was designed to be the ultimate sanctuary for women: decidedly feminine in structure, with walls and furniture in shades of millennial pink and a thermometer set at a women’s-clothing-friendly 72 degrees. Conference rooms and telephone booths are named after feminist icons like Anita Hill and fictional literary heroines such as Hermione Granger of “Harry Potter” fame.
The Wing offers perks other co-working spaces can’t match — showers stocked with high-end beauty products and events featuring big names such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Not all customers are pleased.
“There’s usually at least one [man] whenever I visit. It’s bizarre to choose to occupy a space women specifically wanted for themselves. Classic patriarchal entitlement complex.”
Kaitlin Phillips, 29, New York member
Men simply don’t behave “properly,” in the opinion of many ladies. They complain that men physically take up too much space with their bigger bodies and belongings. Or they hog the phone booths. Or they aren’t respectful of some of the rules, such as ignoring the four-hour cap on guest visits and bringing in outside food.
“At first it was jarring. It started about a year ago and it’s getting worse. A guy even checked me out a few weeks ago. The whole purpose of the space is to not have to deal with anything like that.”
30-year-old longtime New York member, who asked to not be named
About a year ago, the space was truly a women-only sanctuary and female members said they could walk around comfortably braless or in a robe after a shower. Now, they say, they’re constantly looking over their shoulders, wondering who the loud dude chewing his lunch is. Such complaints led The Wing to formally adopt a membership policy:
“The Wing is a space designed for women with a women’s-focused mission. Members and guests are welcome regardless of their perceived gender or gender identity. Recognizing that gender identity is not always consistent with someone’s sex assigned at birth, we do not ask members or guests to self-identify.”
Frustrated that she sees at least one man working in the space each day, Caitlin White and numerous other California members claim the phenomenon “of men” is getting out of hand.
“It’s just annoying. Why do men need to be there? Why can’t they respect the spirit of the place? Men have to have everything.”
Caitlin White, 31-year-old West Hollywood member
She and others now want to limit opportunities for men. “Maybe make it one day a week that men are allowed?” Caitlin says. “There has to be a legal way to work this out that still respects the space.”
A hundred years ago, men and women worked together to open doors for more Americans. Wasn’t perfect. Many Women of Color were not included in the 1920 changes. In some Southern states, African-American women were unable to freely exercise their right to vote until the 1960s.
You’ve come a long way, baby! Let’s not turn back the clock and begin closing doors. How can we find ways to be more kind, compassionate and inclusive this year? That is a beautiful horse, isn’t it?
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Ko’olau of Kaua’i. I am the Defiant One
“I Believe We Can”