“What little they had made way for a lot today.”
My mother was born in the year 1960, making her the last of the baby boom generation. This was the first generation where men were coming home from the war and suburbs were being built up all across the country. Mass marketing and advertising was introduced and the influence of entertainment was taking hold. Why was so much going on during this time period? Well, it was because this was an era of mass population growth in the United States. Jobs were in abundance and the men who came home from World War 2 were settling in and with their wives building large families. But there was something else that was prevalent during this time period. And that is the fight which was taken to the streets by women all across the country along with the civil rights movements. Women were expected to act a certain way at times outside the realm of their choice.
It makes you think that what if these women were born in today’s society. How much would they have been able to accomplish had they had that push that women have today? My mother recently showed me a photo of her when she was a teenager running track and field. A sport that I took part in myself at a young age. Only difference between me and her is that, not only am I a man, but the encouragement I received was different than her generations. Girls were told to “shut up” and “keep quiet” when expressing their goals and ambitions. Ambition was for the boys, and staying at home was for the girls. It makes you think; how many of those house wives back decades ago often dreamed when being at home all day. What were their dreams when they would be cleaning floors or preparing meals for the family.
These were thoughts I never got a chance to ask my grandmother or great grandmother that I could ask my mother. I would have loved to ask my great grandmother, before you married my great grandfather what did you dream about in life. Because women today don’t have all these goals and women in the past didn’t have them. It’s just that women were not expected to do anything in life. I was an adult when my grandmother died, I wish I could have asked her what were her goals as well. Just so I could get some clarity into what life was like living with all of this bundled up inside. Asking them what it was like to not be able to do what you wanted to do.
See, in the end, so many young women say there is still a lot of work to accomplish for the women of today. But in the past, they had it much worse, even with the good times. I guess that’s why I push so heavy at my goals because my mother never got her chance to shine like she wanted at a young age. So many women at that time had so much potential to be great, but greatness was not an option. And for the ones who stood out front despite the lack of encouragement, it gave way to so many today.
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