Happy International Women’s Day
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about whether the world that my daughter will become a woman in is better or worse than the world where I grew up. It’s sometimes hard to imagine that life is improving for women in the U.S. I think that the pay gap between men and women has closed by something like a nickel an hour in the last ten years, so at this rate, even by the time she’s old enough to work, we’ll still be down at around 85% of what men make. The mommy wars have heated up quite a bit since I was a child, although that is largely due to greater job opportunities for women. Reproductive rights, after going through a major expansion, have been beaten back to a place that is only slightly better now than they were the year that I was born.
There are some significant improvements, of course. Access to child care has improved tremendously, although there’s still quite a ways to go to make quality childcare universal. We’re much more likely to been taken seriously if we report our partners for rape or abuse. The glass ceiling gets expanded a little more every year, as the percentage of women in corporate boardrooms and executive offices crawls into double digits. There are a few more women in elected offices. In some parts of the country, it’s easier to live as an open lesbian.
But it’s not enough progress, for thirty-some-odd years.
Edited to add: Check out Miriam Peskowitz’s excellent post on her own IWD activities. I wish I had been as productive on mine!