Married but LookingApril 15, 2008
When you type “women’s rights” into a search engine, you get an interesting set of web links. ”Married but looking” is number six, and I’ll leave what that is to your imagination. What was number one?
The National Park Service page on women’s rights leads the list. Seneca Falls, New York, and the Elizabeth Cady Stanton House are highlighted, focusing on the first women’s rights convention held there in 1848. The saying, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men and women are created equal,” was written in the Declaration of Sentiments during the convention. That’s appropriate to bring up now, as April is the anniversary of Thomas Jefferson’s birth — the author of a similar but oh-so-different saying.
What would the attendees of that first convention think of women’s rights in the United States today? I have a feeling there would be mixed feelings. On the one hand, we have a presidential election that has a woman candidate, Hillary Clinton. Daily news articles, no matter their viewpoint, agree that the woman voter is powerful, and the ”gender gap” is definitely a hot topic. Speaking of married, I found an interesting study by Betty D. Ray, a master’s student in political science at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, recently presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association: “The Gender Gap, the Marriage Gap, and Their Interaction.”
On the other hand, I think other issues centering on the rights of women today would cause considerable dismay for the original attendees of the first women’s rights convention. For example, 160 years after the convention, pay equity still has not been realized. Title IX, Social Security, education, and other issues are still of concern. Since I’ve already talked about “married,” let me end with something about “looking.” Yes, I’m still looking forward to the day when women’s rights have been achieved and human rights are everyone’s focus.