Daffodils and Future Promises

Daffodils on the doorstep, that’s how my blog begins. There were six of them, three stems of two cuddled together, an impromptu nosegay. Picked earlier in the day they were still perky but on the downside of fresh. My benefactors were the girls next door. They are six and four and delight in leaving me secret gifts. The six-year-old loves school, is polite and shy. The four-year-old rocks the teeter-totter in the other direction. She hates to wear shoes, ignores directions and rules, and can shriek like a zoo animal.

I arranged the flowers in a vase in the kitchen window so they could see I’d discovered their surprise.  I sat down with a cup of coffee to read Newsweek, and found I could not get the two little souls next door out of my mind as I read the article “Are We There Yet.”  See article

The piece discusses a 40-year-old gender-discrimination case against Newsweek.  Forty-six women sued the magazine in 1970.  In interviews these women were told they’d never get to the top of the magazine hierarchy, but they were young and believed the glass ceiling could be broken, so took positions at Newsweek anyway.  They were wrong.  Realization lead to the successful lawsuit.  The article asks the question, “Just how much has changed and how much hasn’t?”  Considering my pixies next door, I read on.  The facts are discouraging.

  • U.S. Department of Education data show that a year out of school, young women will earn 80% of what men do.  That’s averaging across professions and applies even if young women have higher college GPAs.
  • According a study by Catalyst, a woman’s research firm, female MBA’s earn $4,600 less on their first job out of college.   See article
  • And more women are breadwinners as their husbands lose their jobs in the recession. If they bring home 20% less than men, the impact on the family is clear.
  • The founder of Men With Pens, a copywriting Web site, admitted last year that ‘he’ was, in fact, a ‘she.’  “I assumed if I chose a male name [I’d] be viewed as someone who runs a company, not a mom sitting at home with a child hanging off her leg,” she says.
  • Women who ask for higher starting salaries are considered to be “less nice” and have a harder time getting the job, according to a Harvard study.
  • Then there is the question, if women rise to the top of their profession, does it have something to do with their looks or out-of-board-room behavior.
  • The World Economic Forum found that between 2006 and 2009 the United States fell from 23rd to 31st on the Global Gender Gap Index, behind Cuba, but ahead of Namibia.  Namibia?

So I ponder the futures of my young daffodil-gifting neighbors.   What can I do to make sure the types of statistics listed above do not apply to them?

What can we all do?

8 responses to “Daffodils and Future Promises

  1. We women keep on pushing and some men that get it, keep expanding. There has never been a promise of anything… we were born women and need to share that secret strength and pride all around us especially with our young children boys and girls alike. Raising a more intelligent aware youth will continue our efforts.There have been significant levels of progress and since women are such a strong force to be dealt with then we will peak. Let the weaker, delicate ego’d upper crust and not alike, continue with their strutting while we continue with the evolution of teaching progressive thought process, respect, and equality for women and children. The stronger are always feared by the weaker and they are very aware that we are a threat. Women are so well rounded with high intelligence, physical and spiritual strength, compassion, bearing the weight and responsibility. Those that subdue and restrain fear what they cannot understand it is really sadder for them. Women will be just fine with progressing to the top of the food chain where we have always been at actually historically. Learning from history we know women have always been pushed down but how awful for any of us to whine or complain (accept to sympathetic women friends or the rare male). We are strong we work harder and harder for ourselves to our rightful place. Men are more capable of physical strength because they are to procreate and hunt and gather. Women can handle that and the rest. We are not to be limited and will push and educate, and not accept boundaries, restraints, limits. Push to the top whatever that is for you women and children out there but with pride. We can all become involved if even with a friend, neighbors, at a workplace or with a community effort there are all levels to become involved. But start at home with our children.

  2. We’ve come a long way as women. We can do it all. We can excel in school, raise a family, succeed in a profession while continuously climbing the ladder of success. We can be good mothers, friends, wives, sisters etc. Women are more effective communicators and multi-taskers, more well rounded and grounded people. Our future’s women will be just fine as long as we continue to inspire and educate our youth (both girls and boys), while not allowing them to forget what we’ve been through, where we are today, and the endless possibilities that await for tomorrow.

  3. My friend, Coretta Simmons, sent me a website, which tries to answer the question, what do we do? See Legal Momentum Their mission: "To ensure economic and personal security for women and girls."Sherie

  4. Hello! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook group?
    There’s a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate your
    content. Please let me know. Thank you

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