Monday, February 21, 2011

WOMEN'S HISTORY AS CONTEXT FOR OUR FUTURE

February is coming to an end, spring is close at hand, and change is all around us. One of those changes is an increase in the number of speaking engagements I am receiving and am so delighted to accept.

I will be posting my upcoming appearances on my blog calendar (under construction) as both a reminder to me and to my friends who follow my words in print and from the rostrum. By the first of March my calendar will appear on this blog on a regular basis and I will increase my blogging days.

I am now working on a second book about women, history and leadership. A special Facebook fan page will feature excerpts from both books plus my published speeches being currently featured in textbooks and other venues.

Today's subject is about the abusive treatment of women. We are seeing in the news today an increase in the attacks, both personal and political, on women. Note that these events are breaking through the consciousness of all women as threats to personal well-being and as reminders of what females suffered in history.

Never forget that history until the 20th century completely ignored women as unimportant to world progress. Due to socially enforced illiteracy, women produced few written records in history. Records produced were written by males, about males, and regarding male achievement.

Women’s role in history was strictly limited to being support structures for men’s deeds and misdeeds. Suffrage changed all that. (See blogs of September 28 and December 4, 2010, www.juliahughesjones.com)

Congress apparently wants to ignore women’s progress begun in 1920. Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina leads a group holding up legislation that honors the history of women and suffragists. All that is being asked of Congress, as required by law, is a vote to permit the establishment of the American Women’s History Museum on the national mall.

DeMint says there is no need for a women's history museum. Since the money has already been raised by private sources, his opposition is not because of a request for financing.

Why do we need a museum honoring American women in history and the present day? Here is a good reference point to help readers decide:

To say women have been ignored in history is inadequate.

To point out that women in America were the property of men, with no rights as human beings, in the 1600s is a shocking reminder of our historic “inferior” status.

To remember that women in 2008 had gained the personal status of being able to run for president (Hillary Clinton) or vice president (Sarah Palin) indicates just how far women have come in more than four centuries on this continent.

To recognize in 2011 that Nancy Pelosi served (2006-2011) as the first woman Speaker of the House but was not honored with her photo on the covers of the two leading newsmagazines Time and Newsweek is a major setback for women because all other Speakers, even those removed for corruption, in recent times have been featured on those covers.

Even if you are the opposite political party from Pelosi, or just plain do not like her, remember that she was not corrupt and was not removed from office other than by partisan power change. There is no reason for her to have been omitted from the journalistic recognition awarded to male Speakers….except, that is, if the strong belief that women are inferior to men still exists in journalism. (Note: My late husband was an editor in Little Rock never believed women are inferior. He and Hillary Clinton each claimed the other to be their "favorite political spouse.")

If you wish to see this privately funded, not taxpayer funded, museum showcasing the history of American women, please go to www.nwhm.org and sign the petition calling on Congress to act on stalled legislation.

Don’t sign if you believe women are inferior to men.

2 comments:

  1. I have been following the barbaric treatment of women in Afghanistan. It is torturous to imagine. I was so fortunate to have been born to parents who encouraged me in all things; in an age and country enabling me to speak my mind and follow my path without fear.

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  2. Women in this country have been blessed by parents who encourage us to speak out and follow our dreams. It is a frightening change in direction if the political movement today that intends to put women into a descending status continues.Thanks for your participation!

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