History is a funny thing.
Looking back we can always see something that could have been done better.
There is always an opportunity to say if only.
There is always something to cry about.
Something to laugh about.
Something to yearn for to be once again.
It is true that women have faced a lot of struggles. But then, so have men. In fact, any life worth living is filled with struggle. Else, how do we grow and change and become greater than we already are?
I grew up in a household that loved country and western music. Somehow, the voice of Tammy Wynette rumbles around in my head when I think of what traditional culture says about being a woman.
Sometimes it's hard to be a woman
Giving all your love to just one man
You'll have bad times, and he'll have good times
Doin' things that you don't understand
We could start from Day 1 of the earth and examine the history of women and see that sometimes life has favored us, and sometimes it hasn't. We could look over the world today into every country and culture and see that there are places where women are honored, and places where women are degraded.
So, isn't the question about whether or not this is a good time in history for women a bit irrelevant? I mean, are we talking about in the U.S. or are we talking about other countries?
Over at Mental Floss, Laura Turner Garrison posted a terrific article about 6 Modern Societies Where Women Literally Rule.
Within China, Indonesia, Ghana, Costa Rica, New Guinea and the North-East Indian State of Meghalaya, there are some groups where women literally rule the societies and culture.
Would you agree that these are not the obvious choices for nations that elevate the role of women in society and politics?
Conversely, in a 2008 article in the Toronto Star written by foreign affairs reporter Olivia Ward, the following list of the 10 worst countries for women was published.
The Democratic Republic of Congo
The Tribal Borders of Pakistan
Somalia (namely Mogadishu)
I have to say that these countries do fall into my conception of places where it would be hard to be a woman.
Being an insulated, North American, Texan, suburban woman, I have lived a life that has allowed me to pretty much do what ever I want, when I want, if I can. My sister and I often use the term first world problem when we talk about our day to day challenges. And I don't come from an affluent background where things were handed to me on a silver platter. Whatever I haven't achieved has been by my own choice.
I know that in America we get a lot of things wrong when it comes to women's rights. But, come on, at least we live somewhere where it is possible to change our laws and society. It might be slow, but it is happening.
And, not every girl receives a great education. The inner school and outer boundary systems are flawed. But, if she wants to, a girl can grow up and get out of her environment, and do something different if she chooses.
I hope and pray for my sisters in other countries that they can experience the liberty and freedom that America affords us. I know that the unfortunate truth is that many, in fact most, will not.
From my observation, we as Americans are brash, and bossy, and at our core want everyone to be like us. And, from the numbers or people trying to get into the US, I would say that there are multitudes of people who agree with us.
We aren't always right. In fact sometimes we're dead wrong. But, at least here in the US, we have the right to be wrong. Most importantly, we have the right and opportunity to stand up and fight against the wrongs. And for me that means that any day to be a woman in America, is a good day.
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