HOT TOPIC: Women's History
Volume 1, Issue 32 - May 1, 2005

"As I watch my eleven year old daughter rise from early childhood to impending adolescence, I can’t help but make comparisons between her orientation to the world and that of my mother. Born in 1935, Mom had been raised in a poor family of eight children in South Boston with a working mother and no father in the home. Her older brothers and sisters raised her, and she always kept with her those memories of being poor and alone. As she became a young adult, she developed typing and bookkeeping skills and did well for herself all of her working career as she worked to augment my father’s salary. Nonetheless her view of the world was always shaded by her roots and the society in which she was raised. Women were first and foremost child-bearers and care-takers. This was her focus; this was where she put stock in her self-worth. For all her intelligence and ability I saw as a son looking up to his mother, she never strayed from her perceived roles.

My daughter, on the other hand, does not know the age in which my mother was raised. She is highly verbal and intent on expressing her ideas. She sees no limit in what she can accomplish and considers herself an equal with everyone around her. Quick to pick up on inequities which still exist in society and annoyed by their seemingly unnecessary distinctions of gender, she talks in terms of multiple careers and a variety of desired accomplishments in her lifetime. Never mind my mother; I fear my grandmother would be speechless in listening to my daughter’s aspirations! The transition in society over the past century has compelled these changes in attitude and lifestyle for both men and women, and as a father I am proud to see what the future holds for my daughter and all women.

With Mother’s day looming next weekend, I wanted to pause and consider the many contributions women have made to society beyond that of child-bearer and care-taker. In doing so I have collected resources which provide high-caliber content in visually-pleasing format while avoiding web sites which may be too militant for the K-12 classroom. It is striking to look over these sites and realize the many facets of contribution that women have given to civilization over the centuries, not just in a historical sense but in an anthropological/ sociological context. Women have always patiently, quietly made a difference. The fact that technology has made this more possible and more evident is a direct benefit to both men and women at the dawn of the Information Age. . ….."


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