For years, decades, millennia (really!), women had been truly second-class citizens, if considered "citizens" at all... across continents and cultures, cities and civilizations, they were treated as commodities, fit only to maintain homes, cook, clean, plow fields if necessary, bear children, and be beautiful (if lucky!).... They were no better than the livestock they might be herding, feeding, and milking, and perhaps NOT as valued...
That was why, as the 20th century unfolded, even with a few stops and starts, the evolving recognition of womens’ equality was so heartening. Women drove cars, flew airplanes, got the vote, qualified for their own loans, purchased their own homes, were elected to political office, worked in factories during wartime, managed businesses and great international corporations in peacetime, and by the beginning of the 21st century were in a position to run for President….
And then, in one of History’s merry pranks, the great gears of progress ground to a halt…. There came a national election that changed so much..and so quickly. Imagine if you can, any man, let alone a famous one in the public eye, running for office, saying that you can grab a woman by her pussy and they let you because you’re a star. The sitting President who happened to be African-American would have been deposed, if not lynched for such a remark. Even his wife and daughters might have been lynched for that kind of statement, but here was a television celebrity, “a reality-show star” and Presidential candidate from an established political party steeped “in tradition”, saying what would get any non-white man torn to pieces…. And yet he not only retained his nomination from the “family-values” party, he was elected.
As startling as all that might sound or seem, it pales in comparison to the fact that 53%, that’s right, 53% of white women voted for him. Can you believe it? Women whose mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers had struggled for equal rights and recognition as intelligent beings, had voted for someone who described them and their daughters as nothing more than their vaginas, fit only to be assaulted…. modern women in the United States.
And only a few months after that nationally broadcast scandal, everyone had seemed to forget… especially the women themselves… modern women... in the United States.
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