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Friday, January 20, 2017


     Today my family and I drive to the Washington, DC area to participate on Saturday in the Women's March.  As a child of the late 60's, I feel as if I am going back to my roots as I approach my 70th birthday.  Back in those days we marched against the Vietnam War, racial injustice and Richard Nixon.  We marched for human rights, the environment and student rights.  I believe we were not wrong.  Now forty eight years later, I am to taking to the street, protesting the rights women could loose by the incoming administration, and quite frankly, protesting the election of a man who will set our country back to a time when women and minorities were considered second class people....not even citizens.

    As a genealogical blogger, I need to put all this into a family perspective.  Here is a glimpse of my female ancestors who lived during a time in this country when women slowly gained more human rights.  For instance, the youngest women in my family who were allowed to vote in 1920, were my two grandmothers at ages twenty two and forty.  Or another instance, lack of spousal rights....my husband's grandmother, who at age thirty six in 1931, lost her husband. She also lost her right to stay in her home and on the family owned farm land.  She was raising seven children, who became wards of the court due to her inability to provide.  She had no legal rights and others (males) in the family seized her home and property.  Perhaps one of the most horrific stories was told by my father relating to lack of reproductive rights.  When he was on rotation in the late 1940's, as a new intern, he saw numerous women coming into the ER who had either butchered themselves or had gone to a sleazy neighborhood abortion place and were hacked up beyond belief.  Either losing the ability to have children or losing their life due to no women's reproductive rights.

     I found the following quote on The National Women's History Project which explains what can be lost or set back and why we march.

"The staggering changes for women that have come about over those seven generations in family life, in religion, in government, in employment, in education – these changes did not just happen spontaneously. Women themselves made these changes happen, very deliberately. Women have not been the passive recipients of miraculous changes in laws and human nature. Seven generations of women have come together to affect these changes in the most democratic ways: through meetings, petition drives, lobbying, public speaking, and nonviolent resistance. They have worked very deliberately to create a better world, and they have succeeded hugely." (History of the Women's Rights Movement)

  There will be other issues to protest with the incoming collection of governmental swamp dwellers.....bring it on.....I'm ready.

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© 2017, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser


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