June 12, 2008
Setting the Foundation for our Future Women
As a child I used to listen to my grandmother share about how many different time periods in history she lived through. I watched her and respected her all of my life. I never assumed she was unhappy with her situation in the home. My grandmother raised two sons, was married to the same man for nearly 55 years, never wore a pair of pants in her life, and cooked every meal my grandfather ever ate at home. I can’t help but wonder if she ever wished for a day off.
I was a teen when the second wave of the Feminist Movement of the late 1960’s began to unfold. I remember the cheers every time Helen Reddy performed her hit song “I Am Woman” and the major news when Billy Jean King, woman tennis champion, challenged Bobby Riggs, male tennis champion, to a match of the sexes. There was usually one big top story on the nightly news about the mischief women of the world were creating. Protests for political rights, protests for equal rights, protests for personal rights, and of course the famous bra burning were typical of this time.
The essay “Why I Want a Wife” by Judy Brady was written in 1971 early in the second Women’s Feminist Movement which began in the late 1960’s. This story is written in a humorous tone but the message of the essay speaks loud and clear of the injustice women have endured for much of our history.
In the essay, Brady spells out the reality of what this “Movement” signifies in the lives of every woman. The article begins with the realization that it would be nice to have a wife and continue with a powerful listing that backs the dilemma many women face in the struggle to become equal in a male dominant society.
This plea for change can be traced back in our history for centuries but most prominent is the first feminist movement that started in 1848. Can you imagine today how things must have been for women back in that...