Tonight while out with friends mainly around my own age but a few of the younger family members were with us, and what does tend to happen is that us older ones do tend to tease the younger ones about just how good they have it lol but then it got me to thinking about the changes for women in particular in my lifetime….
My nieces were shocked when I told them 3 months before getting married l could go to the docs get the pill with no problem, after l was married my husband had to sign a form giving permission for me to take the pill the reason being was that l was in effect denying his right to fatherhood…
The first time l was sterilised l had to have my husbands consent, when l was later re-sterilised and had an abortion again l had to have his consent.
That would be unfathomable to todays married women….(It only affected married women)
This then of course led on to the changing role of women in society and of course the inevitable if it weren’t for my generation todays generation wouldn’t have the freedom of choices they have today.
I was entering my 3rd yr at secondary school when they brought in the equal opportunities act where girls could have access to the same lessons as boys and vice versa instead of girls being taught secretarial stuff and the boys “man stuff” such as wood and metal work which girls were not allowed to do.
My first job was quality control for Courtaulds and l covered 3 large mills there were no female managers no female charge hands the only senior female positions were personal but even then the main personal was a man the female personal officer was to deal with “womens stuff”
Women did mainly office work but all were overseen by a man.
But this was the era of womens rights and l was the first female work study officer in the group, but l was just the token female not because they thought l was worthy of the job but because there hand was forced….
I encountered sexism on a scale you wouldn’t believe could happen.
I had my breast grabbed while doing my job and the managements response was to say that the man had a family blah blah blah and felt it would be better if l was keep away from that room which lasted all of 9 months….Oh and l had given him the wrong signals for putting a plaster on his finger when he had caught it on the machine, even though l hadn’t actually spoken to the man.
Skipping forward to being married with children, when ever l was out without my husband l would often hear “oh is he at home babysitting?” this always got my back up and l would state very loudly that no man babysits his own children he was just at home with them.
I was considered loud brash for going against what was expected of a female of that time.
So of course the younger ones were going on about how women are still not equal, but change takes time it doesn’t happen overnight and l have seen womens rights come on so far from when l needed my husbands permission, and who knows in another 35 yrs it will be a total level playing field but its not going to happen over night change takes time nor will it be handed to you on a plate, but you can make changes within your world.
Me my small changes were educating the men in my life that we are equal we have different strengths and those differences are to be celebrated but man is not superior to women and vice versa…
I would not let anyone put me down for being just a women, l have fought for my right to be who l want to be, yet some of the biggest critics of my choices have been other women………
I have taught my boys to be decent men and partners, and not stereo type roles.
My youngest works all week and then takes over from his partner at weekend so that she can work at no time has he ever said the he is babysitting nor complained about it as its a partnership.
My eldest son has become a full time single parent to his 3 children and continues to work.
Both my sons have been taught the skills to do so while at the same time not been made to feel ashamed for being men, because its those differences that attracts us to each other.
Yet l am old fashioned as l do see that men and women are different men have certain traits that we woman have to work at physical strength being one of them but that doesn’t mean l think he is superior because of it….Nor should he use that strength to make him feel superior….
Women we do the child baring that is our one of our strengths but it doesn’t make us superior we are 2 sides to the same coin….
So when your complaining about how unfair the world seems to you think about the small changes you have seen happen and what could become possible and do your own bit to change your little bit of the world to make it a fairer place.
Just as a footnote to those who have alternative sexualities or gender identities
I have had friends for over 35 odd yrs of all persuasions including much loved family members, and l have witnessed the remarkable strides forward that have been made although still an awful long way to go but changes are happening…..