Celebrating Change & Thinking about Women

Many times, over the years, I have listed a litany of things — small and large — that have changed in my life time to my children.  I have done this because I wanted them to know that things can change; that injustices can be overcome; that attitudes can shift; that we can make a difference in the world and in the lives of others.  When I was young:

  • Girls were not allowed to wear pants to school.  No matter how cold it was, we had to wear skirts or dresses.  In winter, we wore those horrible leotards that kept sliding down our legs.
  • My mother could not get a bank account of her own without my father’s signature.
  • My mother signed her name with both my Dad’s first and last name.  When I married, I kept my last name.  When our children were born, they were given my name as their last name. Their father’s name became their middle names.  
  • When I was growing up, I knew no women who had gone to university. Today, I work many women who have masters’ degrees, doctorates, medical degrees, law degrees and degrees in engineering.
  • When I graduated and landed a job with a small industrial union, I was the first woman to be hired into a non-clerical position.  At that time, no woman had ever led a political party in Canada.  No woman had ever been the Premier of a province in Canada.  Today, two of the three political parties in Ontario are led by women, while four of the ten provinces have female Premiers.
  • When I grew up, I lived in the suburbs where we, with our Italian last name, were the most exotic people in the neighbourhood.  All of my friends were white, although many had families from different parts of Europe.  Today, my children live in a multi-cultural world with friends whose families hail from China, the Philipines, India, Central America, the middle East, as well as Europe and small-town Canada.
  • When I was young, I did not know anyone who was openly gay or lesbian.  Today, I have several close friends and a few family members who are gay, and my children are close friends with people who are gay, straight, lesbian and bisexual.

Women's Day Buttons-KPWith International Women’s Day upon us, I feel overwhelmed by all of the problems still facing women around the world:  Women raising children in war zones; Women watching their children die of starvation; Women sold into the sex trade; Young girls forced to marry against their will; Girls deprived of schooling because of religious ideology; Women subjected to rape and abuse.  But, I remind myself, that things can change.  People can make a difference in other people’s lives.  We can change the world we live in.  And this gives me hope.

About kp

I am a woman and a mother, a sister and a wife. I have called myself a socialist and a feminist, an environmentalist and an activist, a pagan and an atheist. But, at this stage in my life, none of these labels feel right. I am searching; trying to find an inner calm; trying to make peace with life's disappointments; trying to answer the big questions in my own small life.
This entry was posted in Inspiration, Life, Work Life, World, Writing, Writing for your life and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Celebrating Change & Thinking about Women

  1. Kim – yes we have come a long way yet we have a long way to go so the only answer is continue to move forward and take new ground. A dear friend of mine said the world would never tolerate the number of missing women who fall to various unimaginable fates if only they were men.

    She said such numbers and such fates of missing men would create a galvanization world wide. I know this is true and rather than become defeated by that it reminds me of the work we have ahead of us. Thank you for your part in continuing to take more ground!!!

  2. It is through awareness and being pioneers that brings change.. We still have along way to go in many countries before attitudes in treating women is changed.. But we are making huge strides and look how far we have come.. So I am hopeful that through our collective thoughts and actions we can bring change that will eventually bring freedom from the shackles of all women around the world…
    A wonderful post which I really enjoyed reading Kim.. Thank you xox

    • kp says:

      Hi Sue…It is helpful to remember what needs to be done AND to re-affirm for one another that we can change those things. Thanks for speaking so clearly and consistently for our ability to co-create a more beautiful reality for all women. Kim

  3. Ellen says:

    Amazing how things have changed when you stop and think. One thing I remember – when girls took home ec while the boys got to take shop! Hope that one has fallen by the wayside also.

    • kp says:

      LOL…it has! A lot of my kids’ girl friends took shop at high school. I think it would be useful if both courses were mandatory for both genders. Kim

  4. Wow. Yes, I’ve witnessed some of these changes in my parents lives. And it was a pretty amazing day when I was able to help my Mum open her own bank account (prior to which, she’d always had to ask Dad for money for the home). People change. The world changes. But it’s important for us to remember where we came from, else we do forget…Happy (belated) women’s day! (I’m pretty impressed that you kept your surname, btw :) )

    • kp says:

      I know you think about the technical and social changes we have seen in a generation or two; it really is amazing…sometimes, it disturbs me and other times, it excites me. Happy women’s day to you to as well. And, thank you, when I kept my name, there were many in my family who disapproved. Even more when we gave our children my last name. It was something that felt right to us but it took a little fortitude to do. Kim :)

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