WomenView – The Future is Female

National Women’s History Month
The Future is Female
By Patty Castillo Davis

While the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad vastly increased the pace of urbanization, agricultural development and industrialization which integrated California, the women who lived in and around 1870 in the newly established albeit, unruly village of Modesto did not enjoy progress the same way as their male counterparts. Employment roles of servitude in saloons and in brothels were the eventual offerings in this wild west settlement for many women. On September 6, eleven hundred miles away in Laramie, Wyoming, Louisa Ann Swain became the first woman in the United States to vote in a general election. A fete hard fought against, was the belief that cooking, cleaning and raising children is the sole submissive duty of every woman. Anti-slavery stances bore the fruit of the push back which led women to assume leadership in reform and help redefine the role of women in the 19th century United States. The Seneca Falls Convention (the first Women’s Rights Convention) in 1848 was where the first proposal of the idea to allow women to vote was devised. Delegates led by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, wrote a “Declaration of Sentiments” outlining grievances and goals. Many were criminalized for being “militants”, their sashes and protest banners torn to pieces, some beaten at the hands of their husbands and the police. Women were imprisoned in workhouses, in squalid conditions, fed unsuitable food which led to hunger strikes and force feedings and in one instance, thirty three Suffragettes were tortured by guards-they paid long and with everything. Ultimately on May 21, 1919 The House Of Representatives passed the 19th Constitutional Amendment and the Senate followed two weeks later. In 1920 three fourths of the states were in agreement and the United States adopted this new policy.

To mobilize to bring women into full participation in the main stream of American Society is an arduous journey fraught with barriers. Gender stereotypes, inadequacy in numbers of female leadership and workplace culture are just some of these circumstances. When Betty Friedan authored The Feminine Mystique, a call to action was echoed one hundred eighteen years later over comparable concerns; cooking, cleaning and raising children is not enough to suffice the deeper desire to achieve an education. This helped set fire to another movement. The National Organization Of Women was founded in 1966 with “the purpose to take action through intersectional grassroots activism to lead societal change and eliminate discrimination.” Today NOW steers its focus on an expansive range of women’s rights issues. To quell racial discrimination, gender based violence and predation and champion pay equity, women’s health and body image and economic justice.

2020, Lauren Jamieson, Proprietor Of Lo-Fidelity Laboratories Craft Cocktail Lounge in Downtown Modesto is meeting with her all female team, finalizing their course in celebration of Women’s History Month. When asked about her personal dealings with gender discrimination, Jamieson replied, “I’m an “owner” now and not as susceptible to the whims of others. I view it as my responsibility to help in any way I can, those who work for me to be on a path towards a similar situation.” International Women’s Day, March 8 is observed across the world and encourages us to take action for equality and celebrate women’s achievements. How will you help forge a gender equal world?

This month, check out these amazing women oriented events. Blues legend Bonnie Raitt will be rocking the Gallo Center on March 21 where her slide guitar is right up there with the best of the best. Soul legend will bring her Midnight Train to Georgia to the Gallo on March 22 and show why she is one of the all time greats. Modesto Performing Arts will be presenting the Legendary Ladies of Country featuring the award winning Joni Morris at the State Theatre on March 22. Louisa May Allcot’s book Little Women comes to life at the Gallo Center on March 12,13 & 14. And don’t forget our local women rockers starting their own businesses like Halee Smith and her Rockit Music Gear Company @rockitmusicgear Go see a show, celebrate our women entrepreneurs and leaders and go out and hear our women rock and roll, now and in the future.

Lofo team (clockwise) Roni, Penelope, Shawna and Heather
Halee Smith rocks her gear

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