When (Almost) Everything Changed
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10/15/09 | Gail Collins | 3 Comments

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Gail Collins, New York Times Op Ed Columnist

When I was in college, people talked a lot about the "revolution," although I'm not entirely sure we would have recognized one if it happened in the front yard. This was back in the late 60s and early 70s, when everybody wanted to be a revolutionary, including the kids who were majoring in investment banking.

When we failed to actually create a political and social utopia, it didn't truly come as a big surprise. And some things worked out just the way we hoped -- maybe even better. I don't know if we would have dared imagine an African-American president who won his nomination after a hard primary battle against a woman.

And we would have been pleased to know that the United States of the 21st century would be a place where women worked as routinely as men did, and where young couples automatically assumed they would share the role of family breadwinner.

It really was a revolution. And we would never have imagined that that the country was going to charge right into it without ever asking who was going to take care of the kids.       

Back in the day, we were totally confident -- so confident that we hardly even bothered to discuss it -- that our futures would involve flexible jobs that allowed both husbands and wives to take time off or reduce their workweek without ruining their career opportunities. And that early childhood education would be available to everybody just the way elementary school education is.       

But it didn't happen. And the tension between work and childcare is the one thing that restricts all the amazing progress that American women have made over the last 50 years.

It crops up all over. Girls outstrip boys all the way through college, yet they don't have the same earning power once they've been out in the world of work for a while. We still only have 17 women in a 100-member U.S. Senate, and one of the big reasons is that women who go into politics tend to wait until their children are older. They get a later start than men, and it's harder to make it to the top of the ladder.

I named my new book about what happened to American women since 1960 "When Everything Changed." But this, alas, is one thing that didn't.

Gail Collins, a New York Times op ed columnist, is the author of When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present. She was previously the Times editorial page editor, the first woman ever to hold that position.

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Comments

  • Very idealistic one. We need it inorder to know for those people who underestimate the woman.:)

    Posted by Projmae4, 14 November 2009.

  • Beautiful. Powerful. Not just for us, but for our children and their children. With our most important role being this: To teach our daughters to be great wives, and our sons to be great husbands, what a timely endeavor. When we speak from the stage, or write in a blog, or even tweet...may it be from the most powerful voice and the most peaceful place. Our hearts.
    So for all you juggle as women, we celebrate your ability to beautifully be the chef, teacher, housekeeper, bookkeeper, taxi driver, counselor, doctor, mediator, stylist, tear wiper, nose wiper, and -- wiper. Hmmphh. :) You Rock, ladies.
    @alyandrea

    Posted by AlyandAndrea, 24 October 2009.

  • When everything changed for American woman was when a migrate citizen whose life was spent on watching and learning and teaching the truth and healing the individuals and families wrote 9 books on a calling in 1994 in one year and guided her pioneering Universal Psycho-Spirituality of Being Human and her Global Peace and Reform Program and guided those who took her lifework and split it between themselves and ran with it and denied her of giving her credit thinking this little woman does not deserve her own lifwork and we are more of a bully and can take it!The woman is me and I have proven to the bullies that power is within and does not come by the pound or position or extpernal power but by the lifetime of accomplished sense of SelfPower & Rose pioneering Self/Societal Knowledge of Being Human I braught back faith to the chovenists who have taken over the world and had left their wives alone at home or at work having their lustful lives with their mistesses forgetting the lobsided world that needed a partner to share power with for Power Balance which is my copyrighted philosophy and my copyrighted scientific technology of Pattern Change Programing Creating Your Own Destiny;an evo-revolutionary Psycho-Spirituality of Being that is the 800 page book I wrote that only sending it to Deepak Chopra made him write 25 books from it and Wayne Dyer manifest his destiny and William Glasser write Choice Theory in 1998 years after fighting against my Choice Therapy and Programs I had written in 1994 while my books sent to Clintons had already began to change the course of history and my Dialogue for Change reinterpreted power as the energy and spirit other than the bullies with their atomic weaponory! I have been censored and silenced for 12 years for others to be promoted as me by my promoter and catch up with me so that he does not loose me or get dumped somewhere down the line of his way of paranoia or greed or ignorance or toxic love for me that has cost me 12 years and everything I had and my rights but thank god we do see the change that is not reversing and now we need the collective conscience and class to give the credit when it is over due my friends!

    Posted by Rose Parvin, 21 October 2009.