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Celebrating the 19th Amendment

By Deanna Dammer Kimbrough Posted on April 6, 2020

Op Ed by Deanna Kimbrough

I recently read an opinion in another newspaper that claimed our country’s male population is being victimized by things that have, in fact, been put in place to give our women equal rights.

Disclaimers:  I am a woman.  I came of age in the 1960s.  I believe in Equal Rights for all.  I believe silence gives consent!

The first thing I had to do after reading the opinion was ask “what century is this?”  I realize the piece is just an opinion, and everyone has the right to an opinion, but it is still disheartening to know that the writer (a man) thinks men need to fight to overcome the progress women have fought so hard to achieve.

Let’s consider what the year 2020 celebrates.  On August 26, 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment to our nation’s constitution was declared to be the law and put into effect.  It was on November 2, 1920 that all women in our country were allowed to vote.  There is so much history that led up to that day. The struggle for this right started as far back as 1848, with the Women’s Rights Convention held at Seneca Falls, New York. 

Here are some other historical times to remember.

During World War II, women filled the jobs from which men were taken for military service.  Women were mechanics, pilots, nurses, ambulance drivers, and office workers during that war. (Remember Rosie the Riveter?) Some had to leave their children in the care of others to do those jobs.  Help came in 1942 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt, at the urging of his wife Eleanor, signed the Community Facilities Act, which helped lead to government sponsored child care centers. When the men returned from the war, many women had to give the jobs back and return to their homes.  Some had really found a new sense of independence from the work force and wanted to continue pursuing careers.

It was 1963 when our Congress passed a law guaranteeing equal pay for women doing the same work as men.

In 1972, Title IX of the Higher Education Act prohibited sex and gender discrimination in our nation’s educational institutions that received federal funding.

It took the Equal Opportunity Act of 1975 to prohibit certain businesses from discriminating on the basis of sex or marital status when making loans or issuing credit cards.

Women were first admitted to military academies in 1976.

It seems to me that instead of adding more fuel to the fire of gender inequality, let’s focus on how far we have come and encourage our young boys and girls to work hard, encourage each other, take pride in their accomplishments, and erase any sexist, bigoted excuses from their attempts to achieve. 

As we used to say way back in the 1960s, let’s Keep On Keeping On.

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