An Unequivocal Piece of Mike's Mind...
In 1792, writer Mary Wollstonecraft called for the full participation of women in the rights and duties of citizenship. Her essay, A Vindication of the Rights of Women becomes a foundation for the early movement for suffrage for women.
In 1851, Sojourner Truth delivers her feminist speech, Ain't I a Woman?, at a women’s rights forum in Akron, Ohio.
In 1860, social reformer Elizabeth Cady Stanton addressed the New York State legislature, advocating the passage of the women’s suffrage bill that was before the state senate.
In 1863, Olympia Brown was ordained as the first fully credentialed Universalist minister.
In 1916, Jeannette Rankin of Montana was the first woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.In 1920, the 19th amendment to the constitution was ratified, finally granting full voting rights to women.
In 1922, Hattie Caraway of Arkansas was the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate.
In 1925, Nellie Ross of Wyoming was elected the first woman Governor.
In 1981, Sandra Day O’Connor became the first woman to serve on the United States Supreme Court.
In 1993, Janet Reno became the first woman Attorney General.
In 1999, ordained women in the Unitarian Universalist ministry outnumbered men for the first time in the history of any denomination within the Judeo-Christian tradition.
In 2001, Condoleeza Rice became the first woman National Security Advisor, and in 2005, the first woman Secretary of State.
In 2007, Nancy Pelosi became Speaker of the House, third in line to be President of the United States, the highest political office ever held by a woman at that time.
In 2016, Hillary Clinton became the first woman to be a major candidate for president and won the popular vote!
In 2020, Kamala Harris became the first woman, and the first Black woman, to be elected Vice President of the United States, the highest political office ever held by a woman. At this moment, both the second and the third person in line to be president are women.
All of which is wonderful(!), though it needs to be noted that the U.S. is WAY behind the rest of the world in terms of women in elected leadership. Sixty-seven other countries have already elected women to their highest offices, either presidents or prime ministers. The achievement of equality for women is certainly not done, but the election of Kamala Harris, and the progress represented, is worthy of celebration.
To be clear, the goal is not to have more women in politics, though that’s a good start. The real goal is full and unequivocal self-determination for women. Full stop. So that if a woman wants to go into politics, or science, or finance, or whatever, there is no more in her way than there would be for a man in the same situation, and when she gets there she should get the same treatment, the same respect, have the same opportunities, and receive equal pay.