Prior to Pearl Harbor there were few women working outside the home. An estimated 18 million women worked in defense industries and support services by 1945, working as ship builders, machinists, welders, painters, riviters, pipefitters, police officers and nurses.
During the same time, 1.2 million blacks from the South migrated north and west for industrial defense jobs.
It was a time of incredible social change, survival and victory in spite of what the nation endured. The groundwork was laid then, when the war ended, for the civil rights and the women's rights movements, which slowly advanced across the nation in years to come.Richmond is host of the Rosie the Riveter Memorial located at the Marina Bay harbor. There is a plaque at the memorial which reads:
"You must tell your children, putting all modesty aside, that without us, without women, there would have been no spring in 1945."
Enter Michelle Obama.
Now "Miche" Obama is being touted as the new iconic woman the nation needs to rein in a new world order. Women are being asked to show pride for a woman who reportedly is changing what it means to be a First lady (planting a vegetable garden and buying gifts for prime minister's children from the White House gift shop). Apparently she is the epitome of what a female should be: smart, svelt with toned biceps, and a superhero incognito. Women are being rallied, by the likes of Oprah, to show our support for her powerful message of equality. We should be celebrating our collective achievement of equality rather than being rallied to make it our most urgent cause. Equality is relevant; however, there are more urgent issues. Bangladesh is sinking, children are dying of Aids all over the globe, we are fighting two wars, our economy is in the toilet, the poles are melting, drug czars are taking over our U.S Mexico border, we have an energy crisis, and Russia and China are talking about creating a new currency.
Does anyone else see irony in this scenerio?
One final thought: Was it not equality that got her hubby elected to the White House?
What in the world does this have to do with dream weaving a life I can be proud of? The answer is that I must keep my head on straight and prioritize appropriately if I'm going to live a life of substance. I know first-hand that in 1975 I could not be seen at a night club with a black man, whether or not our relationship was platonic or romantic, but would be asked to leave. The law prevents this discrimination today. We have evolved with the exception of some radical extremists and, in my world, that is worth celebrating.