There is a special place in Hell…

for women who do not help other women.

Says Madeleine Albright and my mother-in-law…from time to time…or, ya’know, all the time.

This quote has been at the front of my mind recently…maybe as a result of #MeToo…or maybe just because as a woman, it should be.

Just yesterday I thought about it as I was leaving our gym…yes, Chickens, we have a gym on campus and if you haven’t checked it out…you are missing out…because it is becoming ‘the’ place to be. Every time I head over for an after-work-workout, we (women) are ‘reppin’ in the gym and it always makes me so satisfied in some way.

Regardless of age, body type or shape, clothes, musical preferences (not-so-subtle hint, you-totally-know-who-you-are Pat Benatar) …it’s just pickin’ up good juju as a place where we Chicks (as in the ‘Chicken’ sense of the word not the MadMen ‘chics’ sense of the word) are heading to feel good and strong and totally supportive and nonjudgemental…and not in a “Heeeey gurrl, let’s get a pedi…” kind of cliche…but in a real I see you kind of way…

I’ve never been one for sentiment, or even girl-friends for that matter, but I am coming to a greater appreciation of what it means to be a woman in a world created by and for men.

What does this have to do w/Northern? Um. Everything. If you’re a woman. And we are the bulk of the WVNCC community…and academic communities nationwide. In this vane, let’s play a game…fact or fiction. Below I’ve listed 10 statements. Your task is to identify which is historical fact and which is fiction. Ready? Yes-you are.

  • Women were not permitted to prosecute husbands for rape.
  • Women couldn’t open bank accounts in their own names until 1975.
  • In the 1970s women could be refused an alcoholic beverage if unaccompanied.
  • Today, women earn 80 cents to every dollar earned by men.
  • School textbooks have instructed girls on “How to Be a Good Wife” by “Hav[ing] dinner ready: Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal — on time. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospects of a good meal are part of the warm welcome needed.*2. Prepare yourself: Take 15 minutes to rest so you will be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. His boring day may need a lift.” AND…
    “Don’t complain if he’s late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day.”
  • Women in labor were expected to serve ‘groaning cakes’ to guests. Let me say that again- Women. In labor. Were expected to serve cake.
  • Roberta Gibb was the 1st woman to run the Boston Marathon in 1966 and because women weren’t “allowed” to enter the race until 1972, she received no official credit for doing so.
  • A 2015 study of advertising found “just 3% of women were portrayed as aspirational or in leadership positions; Only 0.03% of women were portrayed as funny; Only 1% of women were portrayed as heroes or problem solvers”
  • A 2017 study found that girls begin to believe they are intellectually inferior to boys at the age of six. (Interesting to note that being “nice” becomes more important to girls at this age than being “smart.”)
  • A 2016 study found that “when women don’t feel good about the way they look, nine out of 10 women and eight out of 10 girls will opt out of important life activities.

Okay – so it isn’t much of a game – these are all fact.

So to my sisters, though we may have markedly different stories and experiences, our gender is a narrative we share. I recognize, now, that each of us has to be part of shaping the next chapter and the next…adding to the evolutionary work of so many women who came before.

If it is to be a work of significance, it can’t be written by one or two individuals…

So…to my Northern ‘Chicks’ (see above)↑…if you haven’t yet visited the gym for your personal health and wellness, I’ll see you there…where the ceiling is not made of glass.

Holler Back Ya'll

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