In 1993 I turned fifty-years-old. I felt old. I was teased and received all the gag gifts that go with such a milestone birthday. But there was a bright spot, it was the “Year of the Woman!” What could be a better birthday present than that!
But wait, 1992 was supposed to be the “Year of the Woman” too. And, according to a Wall Street Journal article, 1994 was redux. Surely with all the elections and appointments of women, it did come to pass . . . surely. No doubt all this attention to the female majority in the US resulted in equal pay . . . no doubt . . . surely.
What happened? Does anyone even remember the first “full-fledged” female bishop? How about Carol Moseley-Braun? Joyce Elders? Lani Guinier?
The battle for women’s suffrage began in Seneca Falls, NY in 1848 and it took seventy-two years for the 19th Amendment to be ratified. My mother was one year old at the time. If living she would turn 100 next year. My what progress must have been made in all those years. Surely women now receive pay equal to men. Surely a woman has been elected President. Surely women have an equal place at the table where important decisions are made. Surely . . .
What went wrong? Who failed? We need to ask these difficult questions. In the next post we will take a closer look at the progress made since the Year of the Woman of the nineties.