Thursday 23 December 2010

Freedom 55

Honesty in advertising, journalistic integrity, these are issues that came to the fore in the 50s, when retailers were touting 'labour-saving' devices for women who were leaving the home in droves, to work outside the home.

It was a great time, when women were called to duty during WW II. The men were overseas, the women were working in munitions factories. It was just the beginning of equality and liberation. Women were seen to be capable of pulling their weight out in the workforce. It is not all that long ago! Once the vets came home, though, the women were sent back home. It was a journey our mothers fought for us.

This is it...choices that my generation finally figured out. During my young adulthood, the pendulum swung (from barefoot & pregnant to finding work), and from the backlash over freedom and choice the introduction of the birth control pill, we felt we were entitled to have decisions we could make. I had slightly older colleagues who had to quit teaching when pregnant, as there was no Mat Leave.

When I had young kids, and I was entering the workforce, there was much pressure from women's organizations (e.g., my women teacher's union), to rise to positions of power: you must become a specialist, consultant, principal, just being a teacher was no longer adequate. To be fair, my schoolboard (then CBE, now OCDSB) had one of the first superintendents to be off on maternity leave!

Lord knows where the images came from, buried deep in my computer, despite my fat finger delete in 2007. If anyone knows...I'll attribute them.

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