Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Eighteen Million Cracks

"Like art, revolutions come from combining what exists into what has never existed before." Gloria Steinem

I have different views than Hillary Rodham Clinton on many different subjects. But today, I have to give a shout out to her for what she has accomplished.

The first year I was in Catholic grade school, girls had their own side of the playground. The boys had the basketball hoops and the slide, but we "were allowed to use it if we asked permission." Soon after that, it became a co-ed playground.

Girls were not allowed to serve at the altar with the priests during mass. When I asked about it once, our parish priest said it wasn't allowed because "girls play with their hair too much."

There was no girls little league baseball in my home town.

In seventh grade, our class had to submit questions on a certain subject to the teacher. For no reason whatsoever, the teacher (a man) mentioned that the boys in class submitted much more intelligent questions. I'm not sure how he came to that conclusion as we had not put our names on the slips of paper we turned in. I'm sure he thought the better handwriting belonged to the boys also.

The father of one of my grade school classmates told my father that his daughter wasn't going to college because "I'm not going to spend the money on education for a girl."

When I was in my early 20s, I was pushed into a corner and groped by one of the partners in the firm where I was working. When I managed to free myself and tell this guy just what I thought of him, I was warned that, if I told anyone what he had done, I would never work in that town again. I was a secretary working for not much more than minimum wage at the time. And it happened more than once.

When I was in my 30s, I guy I worked with lectured me on how women are all poor drivers because they aren't competitive enough.

These incidents in my life are small potatos compared to the stories of women in our country and around the world who suffer discrimination and worse, but they have affected me in many ways. To this day, I still remember how inferior they made me feel.

"Although we weren't able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it's got about 18 million cracks in it. And the light is shining through like never before, filling us all with the hope and the sure knowledge that the path will be a little easier next time." Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton

Thank you Senator Clinton, from the little six-year-old girl on her first day of first grade who stood segregated on the side of the playground looking longingly at the slide she wasn't sure she was allowed to use. Things will be different for my daughter.

"I'm tough, I'm ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay." Madonna

1 comment:

  1. Amen Sister! Been there and done all that. Being a woman never made me feel bad. Some of our classrooms were segregated at St. Mary's. If you were a girl and got caught talking you go put smack in the middle of the boys part of the room. Well, you know where I headed. NO ONE can keep a good woman down for long. When I applied for a job at Brotherhood State Bank in 1970 I was asked if I planned on having children "soon." Was I ever groped on the job? Yes! Couldn't happen now though. So as women we are definitely part of those cracks in the glass ceiling. Soar like an eagle Hillary!! You go girl!!