We celebrate fifty years of space exploration on July 20, 2019. On that day in 1969, man first walked on the moon, taking “One small step for (a) man, one giant leap for all mankind.”
Another giant leap, arguably a bigger one, should also be celebrated. On July 20, 1848, the first convention for women’s rights convened to pass a resolution requesting that women have the right to vote. There were other proposals, but it is women’s suffrage, arguing that females should be included in the constitutional phrase: “That all men—and women—are created equal.”
This was well before the civil war, and it would be decades before people of color, and women, finally won the right to have more say in their lives.
July 20. 2019 marks 171 years since women, notably Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony, first had the temerity to ask that women be included in a democracy. Other nations, and a few states, would grant women’s voices before the 20th century dawned and passed suffrage in 1920.
Is getting the vote as important as stepping off our planet? Yes. Before that time, women were not allowed to own property. They were not allowed to keep their own wages—if they had any. They were sometimes denied visitation of their own children. They could not establish credit, or have any recourse to marital rape, incest, violence, or abuse.
The entire world is better off, men included, when women have a say, and therefore more respect and autonomy under the law. Men bear less burden of responsibility. They endure less resentment. More technology and innovation flourish. Children enjoy more nurturing, as does the planet. Human beings are happier.
Men went to the moon. Women worked for NASA, wives, mothers, daughters and countless other females, all contributed to the space race. But in the final analysis, it was men who were chosen to represent Earth, “To come in peace for all MAN kind.”
It’s true that the word “man” is supposed to include woman-kind too, but decades of psychological tests have demonstrated that no one thinks of a female upon hearing any phrase using the word man, such as: “We put a man in space!”
The first mammal to orbit Earth was a bitch. Yes. Laika, the stray, Soviet dog, who was sacrificed for science, was a female. She’s still up there.
Females, as the Kimmy Schmidt song says, “are strong as hell.” We absolutely have to be. Putting up with thousands of years of people like Predator Trump and Jeffrey Epstein have made us that way. Having to endure millions of slights and injustices, taking on the burden of most unpaid work, bearing babies, providing care giving, and so much more, made us this way.
For most of history, it is women who suffered more, under patriarchy and rape culture. Women hauled and harvested. They cooked the food. Cleaned the house. Wiped the babys’ butts. Cared for the sick.
Not all women supported women’s suffrage. Many women who believed it was women’s role to be subservient according to misinterpreted scripture, and “tradition.” They held out to do what they believed was right. Why would they do that?
It’s because females are strong as hell.
Nevertheless, it was men who loved women who withheld human rights the longest. Some of the most powerful men laughed, scoffed, ridiculed, tormented, and even abused women who dared to step off the world as it was.
But it was also men, strong and just men, who saw that women too, should be allowed basic human rights, representation, and autonomy. Together, the new world was reached.
Many people think that the time is past due to put a “girl” in the Whitehouse. “Girls” is what women used to be called. They were also called wives, while a man was still called a “man.” Ever hear this? “I now pronounce you MAN and Wife,” Not man and woman.
This is just one reason people want a qualified woman president. Trump would prefer to defeat someone like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez because he knows his racism and sexism is rocket fuel for fanning the flames of hate that make up some of his base.
Those people who imagine a world that never existed are fueled to fight equality among the people of Earth. They don’t see the gain. They are blinded by toxic fumes.
Trump is not so keen on being beat by a woman of his own generation, who ‘runs like a girl,’ such as Elizabeth Warren. Suffragettes, if you are out there, let me hear from you, please. I know you waited nearly a century to see a woman in office, only to be given Trump in 2016. My heart, and your heart, as well as the heart of the country need to see a qualified woman who will work hard for unity, over divisiveness.
It’s time to take that giant leap for all humankind.
We are now in a crisis of climate and threatened democracy. But it would do us well to remember the right stuff that we are made of, both men and women.
An Earth shot, an honoring and celebration of all things primarily female, the Earth and moon, is justified right now. And, a celebration too, of all things primarily male: solar power, muscular strength, providing and protecting, and more. Magnificent masculinity and fantastic femininity are both necessary.
There is plenty of overlap in the spheres of womanhood and manhood. That is a good thing. Our shared strengths will help us find the world we need. It is our differences, not just men and women, but whole cultures, and honored diversity, among-and even beyond- the human race that matters. We are all part of nature; we share DNA with a whole world.
With a relentless effort toward equality for all people, we can achieve progress as never before. We can learn that cooperation is far more valuable than conquest. We can begin by loving one another and then take that giant leap that allows us to include the whole planet of forests, mountains, oceans, meadows, and supportive biosphere.
As Konstantin Tsiolkovsky wrote, “Earth is the cradle of humanity, but mankind cannot stay in the cradle forever.” Let’s take that thought one step beyond, the hands that together rock the cradle can not only discover whole new realms, we can also recreate beautiful worlds right here on Earth.