The world I grew up was not equal and welcome for a woman, and far less for a woman of color.
For this piece I felt that a neat pour of Uncle Nearest whiskey was appropriate as opposed to a cocktail. I was once told by a man at a whiskey tasting that women only drink whiskey neat to show off. And to that guy I raise my neat pour and say, screw you and cheers!
“Did you know my mother could not have a credit card the year I was born, without having a husband cosign it, until 1974 when the Equal Credit Opportunity Act was passed?”
In the 1840's J. Marion Sims performed hundreds of surgical gynecological procedures on Black enslaved women without consent or anesthesia. Read more about these practices.
June 4, 1919, and ratified on August 18, 1920, the 19th amendment finally granted women the right to vote. (But, not all women). In the 1950's & 60's Black Americans were still fighting for their right to vote. (Read about the DuBois Circle). The voting rights act was only passed in 1965!
That same year, (mind you I was born not so long after in 1973) finally, the Supreme Court (in Griswold v. Connecticut) gave married couples the right to use birth control, ruling that it was protected in the Constitution as a right to privacy. Then in 1970, Toni Cade Bambara’s essay “The Pill: Genocide or Liberation?” calls attention to race and gender controversies surrounding contraception in communities of color.
Also in the early 1970's, thousands of Native American women were sterilized without consent by the US Govt under the guise of medical prevention, contributing to a drop in Native women’s average birth rate from 3.7 children in 1970 to 1.8 by 1980. By comparison, white women’s average birth rate was 2.42 in 1970 and 2.14 in 1980.
In 1972, women were FINALLY allowed to compete officially in the Boston Marathon for the first time.
Also the year I was born Landmark Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade makes abortion legal in the US! Of course we are still fighting against Roe v. Wade from being overturned 47 years later. And in that same year, my mother could not have a credit card without having a husband cosign it, until 1974 when the Equal Credit Opportunity Act was passed. This was also supposed to ensure people of color would have equal rights to banking and lending, however it was a promise not kept for people of color.
Finally, in 2013 the joint Chiefs of Staff lifted the US combat ban, and service branches were given three years to implement the change to allow women on the front lines in combat.
(Women of color still had to fight against racial inequality even with things like their approved hair styles)
So this is my answer as to why I find it so important to fight for justice, this is why I won't and can't 'shut up', ever. And notice the retro ads that I have included, I'm only 47 and the world I grew up was not equal and welcome for a woman, and far less for a woman of color. I will not go back and I will not watch hard won rights get stripped away. I know that I cannot be equal and free until we are all equal and free. #BlackLivesMatter
And I'll leave you with a favorite quote right now...
"If you have come here to help me you are wasting your time, but if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together."