feminists in Pariswoman showing muscles296044_490238270987734_25261447_nDid you know that Charles Fourier, a Utopian Socialist and French philosopher is credited for having coined the word “feminism” in 1837? I was surprised that feminism started so far back. When you think of feminism, is your first thought the Suffragettes in the early 1900’s? There were many waves of feminism over the decades and movements that occurred around the world. In the twentieth century, Gloria Steinem was a strong feminist and  was politically active to help women advance and be recognized for their skills. I have read so many books, seen television shows and movies where feminism not only didn’t exist but if a female wanted to work at a “man’s” profession she was shunned, disrespectfully treated, and paid far less than her counterpart male. Many of the books emphasized that the woman’s place was in the home and that’s where she should remain while the man worked to earn a living.During World War II, most of the men were at war and the women did all of the male jobs.  They worked in factories, assembled guns, and even were pilots. When the men returned home, the women were expected to go back to being housewives, but most of them didn’t want that life style. That led to many difficulties. It started in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s.  The transition was so difficult that in the 1950’s and 1960’s, many women were extremely frustrated which led to alcoholism, prescription drug addition, and many billable hours for psychologists and psychiatrists. When you think of feminism today, its almost non existent. Many woman have children, work outside the home, and take care of their families. There were periods of recession when women had an easier time obtaining a job than their husbands, fathers, brothers, and male friends. The old saying “A woman’s place is in the home,” doesn’t really exist anymore. There have been women who have been Prime Ministers such as Margaret Thatcher of the United Kingdom, and currently Angela Merkel of Germany. They are two very strong women. In the Good Gus Series, women are equal. Mary, from May’s Cafe’, works and takes care of her family. Her husband assists her, but she basically runs the business. Doc Moore’s nurse, Joyce, left the UK and traveled alone to Pecos, Texas to begin a new life. That took courage and a great deal of strength. In the books, she is recognized for her skills and abilities. Doc Moore looks at her as his equal. Miss Patty, the school teacher, is also a strongwoman n whose ideas and opinions are valued and respected. As you think about examples for the child or children in your life to show that girls should be respected and have their own success, I hope you will consider a book from the Good Gus Series.

4 Responses to Feminism

  • Heather says:

    In the big picture it really doesn’t exist the way it used to. Women today have so many options that even 30 years ago they would have had to fight for. I know many women who make more than their male spouses, which seems to be less and less of an issue as time passes. Of course now many men are starting to take on the “traditional wife/mother” role of staying home with the children and they’ve had to start their own sort of revolution to overcome the stereotypes and the attempts to emasculate them because of it. Europe is a little ahead of the U.S. there 🙂 But this post is a great reminder of how far we’ve come as a society and that we owe all the women before us who sacrificed for us to have a world where the gender wasn’t a considering factor.

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