Why Women's History Is So Important

Why Women's History Is So Important
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This is the last week of National Women's History month. Big whoop, right? Yeah, big whoop (from yo' mamma) right on your ass if you think you don't have to care about it.

Just ask Hillary Clinton, who, according to a recent issue of People magazine, has logged more than 492,646 air miles traveling around the world, and who has made equality for women and girls the one mission she won't give up on in her lifetime.

The point is she was the first woman I was able to vote for as President. She didn't win.

The point is she's traveled all around the world like a hundred times and has seen firsthand that we ladies in America have it pretty damn good, even though we completely take it for granted.

The point is that the environmental problems, the population problems, and the stupid boy-war problems we face in every region of the planet (except for perhaps the Arctic) won't be resolved until every woman in the world has the right to an education, the right to marry for love and divorce if she wants to, and, for land's sake, the right to own property.

Let's get those things taken care of first before we start to worry about our right to wear nail polish and lipstick, please. (And by the way, according to all the experts, if those things are taken care of for women, the size of the human population on the planet will be under control naturally.)

Why is it that the pace of change for technology feels like the speed of light, but the pace for change where it really matters--like in women's rights and people's right to a clean environment--is slower than molasses? And I like molasses.

We live in interesting times now. Some of us are free, and yet we are not using our freedom as wisely as we could. Some of us are free, and yet the majority of women in the world still suffer from a lack of freedom. Why is this?

Well, it ain't from the Bible. Look at Jesus: He rocked with women and they were some of his most faithful followers. Look at the conflict now with women and churches around the world and you see a different story. But I don't have the time or space to psychoanalyze how we got into this mess in the first place. (Though there are lots of good books on the topic). I'd rather spend my time taking action.

This past week I got an unsolicited letter (i.e. junk mail) from Meryl Streep. I opened it because I have met her twice, and she is really nice and does good work for the environment. It turns out she is lending her name to the building of a Women's History Museum in Washington, DC. The letter says, "Even today, in one typical sixth grade history book, only 7 out of 631 pages talk about women. Suffrage leader Susan B. Anthony does not rate even one single line!"

The thing is, when you learn about history from a woman's perspective, the world seems so much more interesting. And honestly, men look a whole lot more...like cheaters. It's easy for them to look important and smart if they prevent women from even learning anything in the first place.

So yes, I sent in a donation to the Women's History Museum. Yes, I am raising super-strong daughters. Yes, I am kicking glass ceilings like a female ninja (with an umbrella to protect me from falling glass). Yes, I am facing all those lads head-on, and fearlessly, and sometimes even making them laugh...because after all, good men are useful and handy to have around. Good men are teachable, too, and can learn to respect and appreciate the capabilities of women.

And yes, I am celebrating Women's History month. Every month. Every day. Forever.

For more from Maria Rodale, go to www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com.

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