The suffragettes of the late 19th century and early 20th century were looking only for the right to vote. The women of the 1960s and 1970s were only looking for the right to be employed and accepted in positions that were all held by men. What none of us thought about was the consequences of equality, but if we had, it probably wouldn’t have deterred us.
Fifty years later, the consequences are apparent in many ways. Women are accepted in all levels of management. Numerous women own and run their own companies. It is easier for our daughters to get the job they want due to the hard fight endured by their mothers, grandmothers, and farther on back. So it is today that we are for the most part equal in marriage, the workplace and sometimes even income.
Equality for women demands the consequences for a life lived with the advent of more diseases such as heart problems and more injuries and death from war. Recently, ABC aired a 20/20 program that focused on Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark. What she is going through is unimaginable and her future can’t be planned as once she must have done. It was a grim reminder of how far women have come. Watching Diane Sawyer’s interview, it wasn’t difficult to flash back to a similar interview with James and Sarah Brady. James Brady, shot during the assassination attempt on President Regan in 1981, suffered brain injury.
It isn’t uncommon to hear of a woman being killed or injured while serving in the military. The loss of women in combat saddens just as that of a serviceman does; however, it seems more poignant. This is a portion of the price paid for equality. Our children won’t know the difference since the world they grow up in will be more equal. Hopefully, they won’t forget that once long ago that their forbearer struggled to pave the way for them. Progress is a system of pluses and minuses; progress with care.