March is “Women’s History Month” in the USA, and like most attempts to honor and respect women, “Women’s History Month” took many years to become official in Congress.
In fact it took from 1981 to 1995!
Before women had the whole month, the U.S. recognized Women’s History Week; before that, a single International Women’s Day. Dedicating the whole month of March in honor of women’s achievements may seem irrelevant today, but at the time of the conception of Women’s History Week, activists saw the designation as a way to revise a written and social American history that had largely ignored women’s contributions.
Women’s History Month had its origins as a national celebration in 1981 when Congress passed Pub. L. 97-28 which authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week.” Throughout the next five years, Congress continued to pass joint resolutions designating a week in March as “Women’s History Week.” In 1987 after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress passed Pub. L. 100-9 which designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month.” Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions requesting and authorizing the President to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month. Since 1995, Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama have issued a series of annual proclamations designating the month of March as “Women’s History Month.”
What happened to the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution?
Yes, it is now OK to honor women, but still not OK to offer them equal rights under our constitution. The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is a proposed amendment designed to guarantee equal legal rights for all American citizens regardless of sex. It seeks to end the legal distinctions between men and women when it comes to divorce, property rights, employment, and other matters.
Alice Paul: Courtesy of the Historic National Woman’s Party, Sewall-Belmont House and Museum, Washington, D.C.
The ERA was originally written by Alice Paul and Crystal Eastman. and was introduced in Congress for the first time in 1921. It has prompted many conversations about the meaning of legal equality for women and men ever since.
“In the early 20th century, women who worked outside of the home were primarily low-income factory workers without recourse to oppose the inhumane treatment and serious discrimination they faced. In growing the suffrage movement, activists aligned themselves with the growing female labor force to promote the expansion of labor rights women’s suffrage would help to make a reality. By reaching out to some of the women most hurt by a lack of voice, the suffragist movement gained incredible power in its fights for the vote.
American women gained more than just the right to vote in 1920. After decades of fervent activism and organizing, suffrage finally gave women access to political involvement and the legislative process .The era following the 19th Amendment’s passage saw a dramatic increase in women’s participation in both the workforce. Though societal expectations certainly continued to limit women in many ways, this increase in workplace participation and access to political influence has helped them make amazing strides towards equality at work.” — SOURCE: https://www.equalrights.org/womens-equality-day-where-would-we-be-without-the-vote/
In the early history of the Equal Rights Amendment, middle-class women were largely supportive, while those speaking for the working class were often opposed, pointing out that employed women needed special protections regarding working conditions and employment hours. With the rise of the women’s movement in the United States during the 1960s, the ERA garnered increasing support, and, after being reintroduced by U.S. Representative Martha Griffiths (D-Michigan), in 1971, it was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives on October 12 of that year and on March 22, 1972, it was approved by the U.S. Senate, thus submitting the ERA to the state legislatures for ratification, as provided for in Article V of the U.S. Constitution.
Congress had originally set a ratification deadline of March 22, 1979, for the state legislatures to consider the ERA. Through 1977, the amendment received 35 of the necessary 38 state ratifications. With wide, bipartisan support including that of both major political parties, both houses of Congress, and Presidents Nixon, Ford and Carter, the ERA seemed destined for ratification until Phyllis Schafly mobilized her followers against it . These women argued that the ERA would disadvantage housewives, cause women to be drafted into the military and to lose protections such as alimony, and eliminate the tendency for mothers to obtain custody over their children in divorce cases. Labor feminists also opposed the ERA on the basis that it would eliminate protections for women in labor law. The 15 states that did not ratify the Equal Rights Amendment before the 1982 deadline included: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana,Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia.
Pillow embroidered by my Mom as gifts to her daughters and granddaughters!
I have to say, I find it amazing that in a country like ours, our equal rights are not a given. This is just another example of how threatening women are to men’s power. After all, where would they be without us? I LOVED the results of the 2018 election.
I guess we need to take over Congress to make it work better!
The most fortunate are those who have a wonderful capacity to appreciate again and again, freshly and naively, the basic goods of life, with awe, pleasure, wonder and even ecstasy. — ABRAHAM MASLOW
Although I learned this psychological tool decades ago, I am always re-learning its usefulness in my own life. What is cognitive reframing? Here’s a definition from an article by social worker Amy Morin:
“Reframing is a technique used in therapy to help create a different way of looking at a situation, person, or relationship by changing its meaning. Also referred to as cognitive reframing, it’s a strategy therapists often use to help clients look at situations from a slightly different perspective.”
I have found that choosing a “different perspective” can also be the opposite of what I automatically go to in my own mind.
The point is that we can and do choose how we see ourselves and our lives everyday.
If we were raised with a critical or negative view of ourselves and how the world works, the way we will see our lives may be destined to be critical or negative, but that is not the only way to see ourselves. That is not the only reality behind our circumstances.
Here is an example from my own life:
In my present life I may tend to focus on all of the difficult challenges Mike and I have faced since we decided that we needed to leave Fort Collins behind for many good reasons. I may choose to focus on how much money we left on the table by selling our Fort Collins home before prices went way up up there, how expensive and stressful it was to build down here in a rural area, etc, making me critical of our past decisions. Or, I may choose to see exactly how fortunate I have been in spite of many tough misfortunes in the past few decades; to be here now, retired comfortably and happily, and most importantly together!
In addition there are the greater misfortunes of Mike’s horrible experience with CFS for decades, my inability to find another job in libraries at age 49, my traumatic head injury at age 53, and many more difficulties that just come up as we age. Considering all of these factors, we are more than fortunate. How can we be anything but filled with GRATITUDE that we made it to this soft place to fall in this beautiful place?
That is how reframing works, and it can be used in all parts of your life on a daily basis…
leading to overwhelming feelings of gratitude, a feeling we could all use more of!
You belong somewhere you feel free…