You know the history. Once upon a time in the United States, women couldn’t own land, vote, attend college, play professional or college sports, have open or easy access to birth control, or apply for jobs listed in the “men only” sex-segregated help wanted ads in newspapers. There were other limitations too, such as the seemingly insurmountable barriers erected by racial discrimination. Getting any respect as a woman, let alone participating fully in society, seemed the stuff of fairy tales.
But many determined and visionary women, and men, thought big enough for us all, and today in the United States, the picture for women shines bright. Since the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848, there have been many significant shifts, both in attitude and action, resulting in vast improvements in quality of life for women in the United States.
A New History in the Making
I’ll get right to the point. Women are creating and experiencing another major shift toward equality and more self directed lives. You’ve heard the rumblings of this on the news and in the popular media, but it’s bigger than you can imagine. And right now, this very instant, a seismic shift is upon us. Things are changing for women, finally tipping the gender power scales “right side up.”
When I say “things are changing for women,” I mean access to the many avenues by which humans, at least in these modern times, can enrich, improve, control and create a dynamic, engaging, fun, and fulfilling life of their own choosing. “Things” such as economic success, financial stability, educational achievement, political influence, altruistic impact, and religious freedom. The most progress is evident in industrial and post-industrial countries, absolutely in the United States and there are the glorious and painful beginnings of change, personal choice and freedom in other countries, too.
There are, of course, other ways to build a diverse, fulfilling life than through formal education or political influence. But to have control over one’s life, and to personally choose how to build a fulfilling life, power and self-directed participation in society must be available and accessible to all. To measure and understand a person or group’s access to what society offers, researchers look at certain indicators to “get a reading” of how society’s members are fairing.
This is exactly what I did to see how women specifically are doing in the United States.
I buried myself in articles, books, reports, studies, broadcasts, lectures and speeches. Researching the indicators and statistics, I took a deep look for myself at the “truth behind the numbers” about women in this context of the freedom to design a life of choice.
Could I develop a real understanding of the social and economic well being of contemporary American women?
Would it be possible to get beyond the myths, stereotypes and one-liner “news” stories to see a new truth emerge?
PowerLines for Women
What I discovered, frankly hidden in plain sight, blew my mind. I identified six of what I call PowerLines, upon which American women stand tall and strong:
- Economic Muscle
- Doing Good for Others
- Business and Entrepreneurship
- Political Influence
- Family Dynamics
I will share everything I learned with you. It is after all, your story of Power and Promise. Some of the data may not be completely new to you. But I promise that when we look at the big picture, you will see yourself in a whole new light. And you will see that women are rockin’ the world.