International Women’s Day

Dear Friends & Laura,

“Women are the real architects of society” –Harriot Beecher Stowe

International Women’s Day was March 8.  This celebration began in 1911 and according to the official website for International Women’s Day “More than one million women and men attended IWD rallies campaigning for women’s rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination”.  This has been a long road to get to my generation of independent women.   It is easy to take that long road for granted and forget all the women before me who have fought so hard to gain equal footing with men in this world.  I just heard a story on NPR this morning about “The Original Fly Girls” – female WWII pilots by Susan Stamberg.  I can only dream of being such a bad ass.  Here is a picture of them.

 Courtesy of The Woman’s Collection, Texas Woman's University  WASP (from left) Frances Green, Margaret Kirchner, Ann Waldner and Blanche Osborn leave their B-17, called Pistol Packin' Mama, during ferry training at Lockbourne Army Air Force base in Ohio. They're carrying their parachutes. (copied from the NPR website)
Courtesy of The Woman’s Collection, Texas Woman's University WASP (from left) Frances Green, Margaret Kirchner, Ann Waldner and Blanche Osborn leave their B-17, called Pistol Packin' Mama, during ferry training at Lockbourne Army Air Force base in Ohio. They're carrying their parachutes. (copied from the NPR website)

The sad thing to me is that they were dismissed once the war came to an end and not acknowledged for their service.  In the article, written by Ms. Stamberg, this quote says it all: “It was unacceptable to have women replacing men. They could release men for duty — that was patriotic — but they couldn’t replace men,” Landdeck (historian) says. It is just now, 65 years later, that these women have received the Congressional Gold Medal.  “Fewer than 300 of her 1,100 fellow WASP are alive to receive it.”  Unfortunately this is a common story for women- even in this day and age.

The point I am making is that YES we women have come a long way, BUT we have a long way to still go.  We do not have to look far to see the unequal treatment of women in our culture.  Google that if you doubt me.

Looking forward to planting a firm foot on the path ahead for women, here are some links to some really great organizations and movements for MEN (yeah- I know you are a feminist too) and women.

Support Women Artist’s Now (SWAN) celebrate on March 27!

National Women’s History Project “Writing Women Back Into History” theme for 2010

History Channel has a great website highlighting amazing women

my favorite magazine of all time Ms. Magazine

a great historical novel: Sex Wars: A Novel of the Turbulent Post-Civil War Period by Marge Piercy

I am going to work on being a bad-ass like the original fly girls and I invite you to get your bad-ass self rolling.  Any resources or events you would like to share please post them in the comments. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Tina

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3 thoughts on “International Women’s Day

  1. Thanks so much for publicizing this historic event. Can you imagine that these women did more than other military women in later years were able to do and these brave patriots still did not receive recognition until 2010? As a former Air Force officer, daughter of a WWII veteran, and a mother who at 85, recently received a national award for her efforts for veterans, I am so proud of these fine WWII women, veterans and awesome patriots. These are the women that every woman should like to emulate. Brava, ladies!!

  2. Bea, I am always learning something new about you. Thanks for the comment and thank you, Tina for posting this article along with your thoughts. I would never have know about this if it weren’t for you and appreciated all the links. What a great conversation starter. It makes me want to be more brave.
    Your bad-ass buddy, Laura

  3. Bea- I am so glad you wrote to us about your family and personal connection with this story of the Fly Girls. This story makes me wonder about all the unheard heros. Unheard because of gender, race, or any other discrimination. I am hopeful we are in a time of change, although I know that we can’t do this alone. It is the collective power of people wanting to hear and honor those before us that will push the change forward. I feel that Laura and I are attempting to do this in small movements as we speak about collaboration in the arts. Thanks again for sharing your story.
    Tina
    (the wanna-be bad ass)

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