Friday, June 13, 2008

A lack of knowledge of history of what women have gone through...

I read this Blade article that was taken from the Associated Press Young, older women have different views of Clinton's defeat in race for nomination. It gives the example of one 17 year old trying to create the impression that she speaks for all of those who are younger. A quote from two teachers:
"These kids are growing up differently than in the past. They don't have a view of limitations on women," says Michael Yell, a middle school teacher in Hudson, Wis. "I just don't think gender bias is on their radar at this age. But racial bias is, so that's one of the appeals of Barack Obama."

In Milwaukee, social studies teacher Michael Koren finds that his middle school students identify strongly with Mrs. Obama's youthful aura and buy into his theme of change. In conversations about Mrs. Clinton, he says, he hasn't heard disappointment that a woman's quest failed. "Quite the opposite," Mr. Koren says. "They see the glass ceiling is breaking. It was very close this time, and it almost happened. It will happen soon."

Quite a bit of focus is spent in education on the Civil War and what blacks went through to gain their freedom. Yet very little time is spent on Women and Women's right during the educational process. My daughters would know very little of those like Elizabeth Cady Stanton had it not been for me making sure they were aware of how women, just like blacks struggled to have the freedom to vote and to be recognized as persons, not property.

If the Associated Press Writer had asked students how many of them knew how many years men had the right to vote before women did? I doubt many could answer. If the students were also asked who got the right to vote first, black men or women? I'd be surprised if they knew the correct answer...

As Cady Stanton once stated:
The prejudice against color, of which we hear so much, is no stronger than that against sex. It is produced by the same cause, and manifested very much in the same way. The negro's skin and the woman's sex are both prima facie evidence that they were intended to be in subjection to the white Saxon man.

The irony is that had it not been for the work of many of these women, the abolitionist movement would have never existed. Given the battle in this presidential primary of "race versus sex" one wonders what would happen if someone like Sojourner Truth were still alive...
There is a great stir about colored men getting their rights, but not a word about the colored women; and if colored men get their rights, and not colored women theirs, you see the colored men will be masters over the women, and it will be just as bad as it was before. So I am for keeping the thing going while things are stirring; because if we wait till it is still, it will take a great while to get it going again. -- Equal Rights Convention, New York, 1867

At one point in history women united regardless of their race and that is one thing about the Clinton campaign no matter the outcome, women did join together regardless of their race. Just as Elizabeth Cady Stanton did not live to see her dream of women actually being able to vote come true, the reality is some of us will not live to see the first woman be elected President.

It's especially less likely if the historical significance of why that would be just as important as the first black president is diminished.

1 comment:

Scott G said...

There are way too many prejudices, but I think the biggest one is against the poorer of us. If Senator Clinton was a poor, white women, Senator Obama a poor, black man, or former Senator John Edwards a poor, white man, they would all be irrelevant in politics.