Women’s History Month: March
Aviators, Educators, Inventors, Journalists, Nurses, Physicians, Scientists, and Soldiers
“History is herstory, too.” ~Anonymous
Women, I’ve heard, are good at multitasking. A couple centuries ago, in New England, a young lady, was, simultaneously, caring for an infant, shelling peas for dinner, helping two youngsters with their Greek and Latin, and reading a novel in French.
But before you admire her too much, consider today’s supermom. She rises early, prepares breakfast, makes beds, helps get husband off to work and kids off to school, shames Ben Hur with her charioteering, dons her professional cap, turns in her eight- to ten-hour workday, then, on her way home from the office or school, stops at the grocery store, picks up the kids, prepares dinner, cleans the kitchen, does a load of laundry, helps the children with their homework, gives them their baths, gets them to bed, runs the vacuum, takes out the garbage, turns out the lights … and husband wonders why she says she’s tired.
Though she may be more linguistically challenged than her peer of yesteryear, and less artsy, today’s supermom makes the Colonial matron look simplistic. Take, for instance, a scientific genius like Marie Curie. In the middle of heady research and detailed writing, she found time to give birth to offspring—talented offspring—one who, like her mother, would become a Nobel Laureate, and two who would marry men who would become Nobel Laureates. Or take the example of the forty-something perimenopausal housewife who found herself pregnant with quads while she was finishing law school and studying for the bar. She never dropped out of school nor did she get an abortion. She completed both projects. Of all the significant things women do, and there are many, the most remarkable is giving birth. Single women like Clara Barton and Elizabeth Blackwell can get about much like a man—they have the freedom—but a married woman with children heading into the workplace: ah, now that’s an impressive thing! …
“As long as there are women in the world, men will have a greatly exaggerated idea of how many things take care of themselves.” ~Robert Brault
Copyright © 2012 Alexandra Lee