Moving Forward

Moving Forward

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1891-4.ch006
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It is past time for women to take their rightful place, side by side with men, in the rooms where the fates of peoples, where their children’s and grandchildren’s fates are decided. - Hillary Clinton

As we write this, Hillary Rodham Clinton has just won the Democratic nomination and will be the first female to run for President on the ticket of a major political party. It’s a huge milestone for the United States, for women, and for the world. And it only took 240 years. Is that slow progress? Fast? Is any progress to be celebrated? Maybe those aren’t questions worth entertaining, or maybe they are THE questions. We’re not sure. It is fascinating to consider that Clinton’s mother was born on the same day that the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, where women were granted the right to vote, was passed. The mother is born into votership, the daughter is nominated for President. Historical evolution is interesting if nothing else. Although this particular set of facts does make us smile, whether or not we like Hillary’s politics, or like her as a politician in general, we do like the progress that has been made for the cause of women everywhere by having a woman run for the Presidency of the United States. Now what is taking higher education, a stalwart of progressivism, so long to catch up and allow women full representation in the realms of leadership in the academy?

One of the currently trending top headlines - #stateofwomen - offers more evidence on both women’s progress and lack thereof. #StateofWomen is a recent campaign, where women (and men) are encouraged to pledge their support to gender equality. It is an outgrowth of the United State of Women summit (http://www.theunitedstateofwomen.org/film. Fascinatingly, when #stateofwomen began to trend on Facebook, the only negative comments posted on the page were from men (or at least the usernames and associated photos appeared to be masculine). (Paraphrased) statements such as “this is just another way for third generation feminists to remain relevant when there really is no problem with gender equality,” “another initiative to help women become the SUPER GENDER” and “look at rap music, twerking, and music videos to understand women” are up-to-the-minute evidence that some of society at least is still socialized to believe that women either don’t need equality, or that there isn’t a gender equality problem in the first place. It’s clear that women still have a long road ahead of them if the issues surrounding the gender gap are to be closed.

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