Earned, Not Given

This month we are celebrating Women’s History Month.

But throughout history, women have not been seen as equal to men. It wasn’t until June 4, 1919, that the suffragettes finally won the long battle for women’s right to vote.

It was frowned upon when women would try to work. The only jobs they were expected to have were taking care of the house and the children. Not all women wanted this as their future, but

getting jobs outside the house took a lot of work for them to achieve.

Only in World War II were women appreciated for taking over jobs the men couldn’t do while they were away at war. This led to an influx of women working in factories, creating baseball leagues and engaging in multiple other activities that showed their support for the war effort.

A perfect example is the movie “A League of Their Own,” which centers around female baseball teams created in 1943. This was also when “Rosie the Riveter,” the star of a campaign aimed at recruiting female workers for defense industries. Rosie served as a form of encouragement for women in the factory workforce and eventually became an icon.

When the men returned from war, the women were expected to go back to being housewives. But everyone knows that once you get a taste of something new, it takes time to return to the old way. Women who had jobs and loved it didn’t necessarily want to return to domestic chores, and they pushed for more women in the workplace.

“Women’s History Month means a lot to me,” said Michelle Chapman, a student at Grossmont College. “It is something that I feel is important because so much has happened in the centuries of women going from not having any rights to getting more rights. That is something that should grow with every decade. I know my grandma’s rights are entirely different than what we have now.”

Chapman mentioned Mindy Kaling, an actress and producer, as an example of an inspiring woman.

“She has taken many chances (which) is hard in the world, even if people do not love everything she does,” Chapman said. “I see this with ‘Velma.’ She wanted to change the Scooby-Doo franchise, and that’s precisely what she did, which is so important. Because she is letting a new generation of women see Velma as them.”

In the new live-action version of “The Little Mermaid” Disney is releasing in May, another important decision was made to help empower women. Casting Ariel was based on talent, not appearances, with Halle Bailey chosen to portray the main character. This gives a whole generation of girls an iconic Disney princess who may look like them.

Dannie Golding, a senior at Helix High School who will soon be a freshman at Grossmont, said her favorite historical female is Amelia Earhart.

“She was the first female aviator to fly across the Atlantic Ocean, and I do not want to become a pilot or ever fly a plane,” Golding said. “I admire her because she never let anyone or anything stop her from setting records and fulfilling her dreams.”

When questioned about the playing field for men versus women, Golding said: “The playing field is much harder for a female politician than a male. Male politicians are usually respected more and have help from male politicians that came before them, which is something female politicians don’t normally have. America has yet to have a female president, and it is 2023.”

Women’s History Month not only celebrates women for their strength and achievements but also recognizes their sacrifices. A lot of changes have been made over the years but the battle for women’s rights is still not over.