(This is a guest column by Casey Dye, a colleague.)
Women, since the 19th century, have seen a dramatic increase in the quality of life in most parts of the world. Oppression of women in the form of equality began to subside as women continued to prove they were not inferior to men on an intellectual standpoint. Women were once looked at as property, then as females who couldn’t own any property, to being able to own their own property and have the ability to have their voice heard. The culture of domesticity has faded from today’s society almost entirely, and leaving women to venture after their dreams. Many of these dreams included the furthering of the power of the women’s voice whether it be a movement to end the drunkenness of the American man (Prohibition), or the ability to vote. With the right to vote came the possibilities of a woman being able to divorce their drunk abusive husbands and save their children. From here women began to take control of their lives from who they married, to where they worked, to what they wore. Fashions began to change to create more sensible attire for women in the work force. More than fifty years after the American government freed the slaves they gave women the right to vote showing this was no easy task, but with this new freedom women are now able to enter the public sphere for the first time. This continued to chip away at the idea the women belonged in the home. Social reform through freedom of press and speech for women, along with the increase in capitalism, gave them the opportunity to prove their equality rather than just preach it. Now women hold leader positions in fortune five hundred companies and in those circumstances are getting paid better than most men.
To say women’s fight for equality is over is far from the truth, but for as far as they’ve come they have just steps to go in hopes for true equality. I for one believe in this movement whole heartedly. My mother is a strong independent woman who raised me with respect for women. With this message being passed along we might see true equality in our lifetime.