“The history of the past is but one long struggle upward to equality.” Elizabeth Cady Stanton
The #MeToo Movement was the viral outcry against sexual harassment and assault, especially in the workplace. If we rely totally on what we see in the media, it appears to pertain mostly to women. However, men are victims as well. But it was a tribe of women that not only said enough is enough but also decided to shed light on this travesty.
The #MeToo Movement shines a bright light on the challenge of women wanting to get ahead in a workplace dominated by decision-making men. Some, not all, of those decision making men have used their position and power to exert their ‘or else’ authority. The woman under their authority either permits the sexual advance ‘or else’ they won’t get the job; the promotion; the part in the movie, etc. You see where this is going.
“Women will only have true equality when men share with them the responsibility of bringing up the next generation.” Ruth Bader Ginsburg
The #MomsToo campaign, though as of today isn’t as viral as the #MeToo Movement is just as powerful. #MomsToo speaks for women on a mission to end discrimination against working mothers. When I was starting my professional career in the public sector during the late 1980s, we called it ‘the glass ceiling’. The glass ceiling, according to Wikipedia.com is a metaphor used to represent an invisible barrier that keeps a given demographic (typically applied to minorities) from rising beyond a certain level in a hierarchy.
The glass ceiling may have been invisible but it was very real nonetheless. My head and my heels bumped up against it more than once over my 30-year professional career. It was challenging enough for a woman and then when I became a mother the struggle to get ahead took on an entirely different bumpy roadway.
Yes, I needed to leave work at a certain time every day to pick up my children from daycare. I couldn’t stay late into the evening without advance planning. This was before telework and remote working. I lost count of the number of times after picking up my children from daycare, reviewing homework, feeding them dinner and my husband got home; I went back into the office to work. If I didn’t go back at night, I would leave daycare drop off to my husband and go into the office at 4:00 a.m.
Before #MeToo and #MomsToo and glass ceilings there was the American suffragist and the Women’s Equality Movement. Without them, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to even climb the professional ladder.
“There never will be complete equality until women themselves help to make laws and elect lawmakers.” Susan B. Anthony (BrainyQuote)
The year is 1878. American suffragist, social activist, and abolitionist spearheaded by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony led the effort to get women the right to vote. The fight for voter equality was long fought and hard-won. It took over 40 years, August 26, 1920, for the 19th Amendment to the constitution to be ratified. Ironically, neither Stanton nor Anthony lived to see that ratification.
It is on their shoulders me and other women like me stand. Every day I make a new business deal, take on a new coaching client, facilitate a corporate Lunch and Learn or Mastermind I remember equality. I am grateful for equality. I promote and embrace equality.
Women’s Equality equals too:
E – I’m empowered too.
Q – I’m qualified too.
U – I’m unwavering too.
A – I’m adept too.
L – I’m liberated too.
I – I’m inspired too.
T – I’m transforming too.
Y – Yes. Yes. I’m my yes too.
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