I have been watching the political conventions with great interest. Bill Clinton's story last night reminds me of how far we have come. I am just a bit younger than Hillary Rodham Clinton, and we have lived through the same times.
We have come a long way...
Since 1968, when I had to lie to a doctor about my marital status so I could get birth control.
Since my second year in college, when every damn week the instructor in my graphic arts class would begin his critique of my work with “Not bad for a girl”.
Since my classmates, on finding out I had gotten married over the weekend, expressed surprised that I was still in school.
Since I was unable to rent a car because you needed a credit card and a driver’s license, and I could not get credit in my own name, and my husband did not drive.
Since a teacher friend of ours had to go to court to keep her job after the first trimester of her pregnancy.
Since my female department chair cautioned me not to discuss my own pregnancy or children in the office. Women were routinely advised against displaying family photos on their desks.
Since some wag in the Engineering School used to call my department (Textiles and Consumer Economics) around graduation every semester and ask if we could iron their robes.
Since the University began studying the feasibility of convenient, affordable daycare for the children of faculty, staff, and students. We have a state of the art recreation center and a whole bunch of other nice things, but still no child care. still along way to go in that department!
Most of all, I remember how refreshing — and yes, liberating — it was to find someone who loved me, brains and all, and who encouraged me when the rest of the world wanted to stand in my way. Who has never treated me like a child, or anything less than a full and equal partner.
The world has a long, long way to go before every child has the same birthright. But we have made progress, and we won't turn back.
Here is a great op ed that provides more context on her/my/our times back in the day.