March’s Marching Orders: Suit up & Make Women’s History!
Happy Women’s History Month!
Yes, it is crazy that there is just one month dedicated to women and all our contributions. Nevertheless, it is awesome and necessary to celebrate, honor and learn about all the women – worldwide – who have directly and indirectly contributed to our vast history.
Now, depending upon where you are from, hearing the phrase “marching orders” might raise concern. You might think it means pack up your things, and go. However, for those of us in the U.S., it means here are your instructions for getting the job done.
In honor of Women’s History Month, I want to hear your stories: the stories of the women in your lives – alive now or centuries ago – who changed the course of your history in one way or another. It doesn’t have to be some huge event like your mother was the first astronaut – though if so, PRAY TELL!
Share the stories of women that history has not written about, the ones who influenced you and the course of your life in meaningful ways that might otherwise go untold and unacknowledged. For me, my top three are my grandmothers. Yep, I had three of them. One worked for the Democratic National party in Washington, D.C in the early 1930s. In her spare time, she played a washtub bass in a jug band she started with a group of girlfriends. That gig kept going for 30 years. In the same decade, my step-grandmother put herself through nursing school, joined the Navy and served in two wars. She retired as a Lt. Commander, and sold diamonds and silver wedding sets to newlyweds. And the other? She was a member of the LPGA, and taught golf to kids for 50 years. She was a vocal advocate and proponent of women earning livings as professional athletes.
CHANGE, BY NATURE, IS RADICAL
Each one of us has the power to change consciously the course of our lives and, whether we have children or not, the lives of future generations by choosing to do something to advance our education, earning power or savings account. For the most part, change is small and incremental but no matter the size or timeframe, change is always radical.
IN A NUTSHELL
At the risk of stating the obvious, all of us born in the U.S. during the 20th and 21st centuries have mothers who have the right to vote, and the right to discuss and participate in politics and finances. Our mothers had, and have, the freedom to laugh, drink, wear pants, and have their own money to spend. I cannot pretend to be an expert but I do know two things: in 1920 the 19th Amendment ratified the right for women to vote, and almost 100 years later, the United States still has not passed an Equal Rights Amendment. For the 21st Century, that’s kind of a big deal, right?
How we act as catalysts for change or react in the wake of it absolutely impacts our present and future history. So go on, name three women who changed the course of your life. And then, add yourself.
These words from Ann marie Houghtailing stand out most for me: “Suit up, and be your own damn super hero!” Some very determined and smart women, and men, gave their lives for us to be where we are today. Don’t misinterpret or squander this opportunity; history is every moment. Every action. Every day. Be the hero.