Monday, May 31, 2010

A Pyramid of Women

I hold myself humble before the pyramid of women who elevate me. I , in turn join my generation, in elevating another. The gift I believe my generation of women has given to the next is that of balance. I came of age in the time women didn't just marry doctors, but became them. We assumed the roles men had long held of breadwinner, protector, power broker. We did not relinquish the roles of mother, domestic manager, and nurturer. We did it all, and the consumption of Prozac is our testimony to the lesson of balance.
We, by our intelligence, efforts, and numbers changed the perception of women as the weaker sex, women's place is in the home.

 Our reproductive freedom allowed us to realize these dreams, but I think we would have found a way through sheer will, or maybe I am just dreaming.

I met the most delightful young woman today. She is all promise. Tonight she has her commissioning ceremony and becomes a Captain in the Air Force. She is graduating from Medical School this weekend. Her wedding is next weekend. I attended a wedding of a wonderful couple where the young woman will undoubtedly be the breadwinner.

What a wonderful situation to have these crowning achievements, and be so young!

I felt honored to be able to be one of the women who elevates them  and allows them to develop with imagination the only  boundary. Of course, I stand on the shoulders of an entire pyramid of women. Some of them I know, and are my family. The generations who braved immigration with no education, but intelligence and purpose. This was my grandmother who inspired me to make the journey in reverse to pursue opportunity in Europe and study. There are my mother's shoulders who elevate me. She showed that a woman can have a career and a family, and created day care out of thin air! I was never alone after school, and was always well cared for, and supervised. There are actual women who stay home from work because the nanny can't come that day. They are standing upon my mother's hands, holding them up, as they will not lose their employment due to the day's disaster. Of course, there were many women who have toiled silently beneath the grip of society's expectations to give their encouragement for those women who broke through the barriers to find new limits. Mine was the now famous glass ceiling. At the point in my career where I should have been promoted, it was to a younger woman to take the place I labored to create. I saw that as my personal sacrifice in this everlasting chain. I identified with Hillary Clinton, a capable woman who earned her place in American politics by playing the boys' game, but being brushed aside as old guard. Sometimes you just can't win.

Who has elevated you? Upon which shoulders do you stand? Who will you elevate?

Until next time.....................

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