Women in America are indeed phenomenal; they continue to make amazing contributions to our beloved Country. Women have moved from being classified as Chattel to being Chairs of major corporate boards and other major entities. Women continue to create options to the ever changing employment landscape and the political arena.
In the early years, the vote was systematically denied, but our fore-running sisters never gave up the fight; victory was finally realized. Women were no longer legally barred from participating in the political process. We should always remember to thank the forerunners for their unwavering commitment to change that serious injustice. Susan B. Anthony - one of the most notorious suffragettes must be remembered. Jeannette Rankin, who broke the Congressional barrier during a time that was extremely tumultuous in America for women, must also be remembered and thanked. Margaret Chase Smith and Shirley Chisholm were two amazing women who really changed perceptions about women's ability to seriously pursue bids for the presidential nomination; they boldly stepped out; they too must be remembered and thanked.
Let's also remember and thank Nancy Pelosi who became the first women to serve as House Minority-Whip; it is still difficult to believe she was able to achieve such a feat. According to Pelosi, "Sometimes it is necessary to disrupt the status quo." [Less Weisbrod, Trial, in Nancy Pelosi Know Your Power, President's Page (2008).] Additionally, let's say Lilly Ledbetter who helped bring much needed attention to the ongoing equal/disparate pay problem - a statute of limitations impediment that hindered so many. Understand, Ledbetter never received a dime from her employer even though she proved wage discrimination; nevertheless, her fight makes a difference for all who decide to seek justice for wage disparities [550 U.S..618 (2007]. en.m.wikipedia.org
Currently, we are in the stages leading up to the Presidential election. Hillary Clinton, for the second time, is trying to "disrupt the status quo"; we should thank her, like the ones who - doubtless - made the road a little easier for her. It doesn't matter what position you take; one of the most important aspects of being American women is the FREEDOM we have to make our own, informed decisions - we are no longer chattel, and we can definitely think for ourselves.
Therefore, we have a DUTY not only to remember the struggle for equality but we also have a DUTY to remember there is much work to do. For example, the Equal Rights Amendment, the equal pay debate, and the glass ceiling are long-term, evasive issues that continue to plague our Nation. These issues ultimately affect the whole, not just women.
The struggle is important; unfortunately, issues that affect women are compounded and magnified for many of our sisters around the globe; many do not have the same type of freedom and access to information and opportunity. As a result, they look to the women's movement in the U.S. for encouragement, guidance, and support. American women are global trailblazers and mentors whether we realize it, or whether we accept the positions. We, as citizens of the world, must assume our role. American women must seriously guard the legacy our forerunners bestowed on us, We are equipped to move the legacy forward - 'American Grit' is an inexplicable commodity; a template that's built on solidarity and true American willpower.
Most of the aforementioned thoughts are excerpts from an article I wrote almost six years ago, American Women - The Struggle Continues, 12 Journal of Law & Social Challenges 13 (2010), litigation-essentials.lexisnexis.com, because I needed to refresh my memory about the many, many forerunners who made my opportunities possible;. assuming that they were provided without struggle was something I knew was not true, and I reaffirmed my responsibility and dedication. I refused to continue to take them for granted; as a result, I had to assume my DUTY. After reviewing the early years, my desire to stay the course -- stay in the struggle was heightened. The forerunners' past accomplishments convinced me that we can get to "EQUALITY" if we continue the discourse, Yes, yes, yes we can guide our Nation to Equality's Light. We are all Americans, and we are better when we are all allowed to partake of all that our GREAT COUNTRY has to offer - unlimited potential and opportunity -- the real American Dream for all Americans, which includes us, the devoted women of America who are determined to continue until the entire Nation is in the Light!