It all started with a book.
The other night, we read the book, “Americana Advenure” by Michael Garland. It’s an interesting book, and it held MaM’s attention for several read throughs. There are things to find, illustrations to ponder and quotations galore.
After reading it, MaM asked why I reading over the back page, which listed all of the quotations in the book.
“I’m looking through the quotations to see if there are any by women.”
“Mom, there won’t be any, there aren’t any women presidents.”
“I know, but not all the quotations are by presidents. Oh look, ‘Independence is happiness, by Susan B. Anthony.”
“She was a president?”
“No, but she worked really hard so that women could vote.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, when Great Grandma was a little girl, women weren’t allowed to vote. Men didn’t think their votes were important.”
She got a look on her face, and said earnestly, as only a seven year old can, “Mom, every person is important. Why didn’t the men think the women were important?”
“Well, that’s just how things were. So Susan and her friends started protesting, and holding up signs, and working hard to get the government to understand that the women should be voting too.”
“Well I don’t know why the men were being mean the the women. I think those boys need to be taught a lesson.”
My grandmother was exactly the age my daughter is now when her mother was granted the right to vote. Nearly 100 years later, the book Americana features exactly one quote by a woman.
I find it hard to accept that this is the world we live in. I mean, really.
Here’s my hope: in ninety years, when her great grandchildren are reading books about America, I hope the women are better represented. It’s not that they’re not accomplishing things, it’s that they’re not being recognized. My hope is that my daughter’s generation will change that. After all, and I quote, “Mom, every person is important.”